Making Myself a Green Smoothie

I was working on a client pitch one day and while researching on the web I came across what is apparently “the new nutrition pyramid”. This was a surprise, having grown up with this pyramid on the right as the basis for a healthy diet, and now I discover has been replaced with the new diagram (on the left).


from washintonpost.com (old in the 1990s, the new launched in 2005)

The original food pyramid was said to be flawed because the specifications were based on “servings” which cannot be measured specifically. Even with the man climbing up steps, to indicate that exercise is needed to stay healthy (hmmm…) the new pyramid was not really seen as an improvement from the old. So in 2005, the new pyramid was also trashed and replaced with a new and simpler diagram for healthy eating:

The new food pyramid is actually no longer a pyramid but a plate!.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/02/food-pyramid-usda_n_870375.html

With this visual illustration of how our plate should look every meal time, does healthy eating become much simpler? At the very least, being more conscious certainly is. Pyramids or plate, in the end what remains consistent is that veggies should always comprise majority of our diet. We moms don’t need any reminding!

At home, my kids and I are not totally carnivores, and even if Gary is, I’m happy the young ones prefer fish and seafood to beef and pork (though chicken is still a favorite). Like most moms, I just try to make sure we have at least 1 vegetable dish per meal, but even with this rule I don’t think we still make the minimum nutritional requirement. To eat enough isn’t the only challenge, it is also making sure what we take in actually has value. The process of cooking can actually diminish or even eliminate totally essential nutrients and fiber from greens. This is why eating veggies raw like in salads is usually better or drink up your veggies and fruits in liquefied form. Green smoothies or making juice is a much easier way, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do more regularly at home.

Yet there’s another debate on what the best process is: blending VS juicing. The juicing fans say that drinking green juice allows better absorption, but the smoothie fans say juicing destroys the essential fibers in fruits and veggies. Personally, I like both smoothies and juice in terms of taste, but feel that smoothies are more filling and i think I get more fiber this way.

There are a lot of providers of ready-made green drinks from companies like Rawlicious or Spruce Cold Pressed Juices. I used to order a weekly liter of smoothies from Rawlicious and found the Hella Green (Pure coconut water, yummy yellow mango, banana and organic greens) to be my favorite. Then recently I finally got my very own blender and got started on making my own smoothies at home.

Of course I got myself from pretty mason jars to complete the experience:)

Here’s how I made my first green smoothie at home. First step is to lay down the equipment

I just love this Powermix Silent Blender from Electrolux. Besides being true to its name (it blends oh so quietly), it even has a juicing function and a chopper too.

Lay down the ingredients.

My recipe for the day is composed of:

Greens: combination of pechay, camote tops and spinach (recommended by my friend Denise of Indigobaby)

Fresh fruits

Ripe mango and pineapple

First step is to pour in the water (alkaline is my preferred, filtered by Waters Philippines).

Add in the greens

Then blend!

Told you it was silent!

Remove the top foam

Put in the fruits

then blend again

You’re done! Pour all that healthy freshness into a glass or jar.

Ahhh! This 2/3 of a pitcher makes 3 servings. I keep my mason jars in the ref then just replace the lid with a daisy cut lid to put in a straw.

Zach was the only one who was at home to try my concoction and he loved it! Coby was apprehensive but after much prodding (like telling him it’s what The Hulk drinks. He tried it out too (haha)) Gary, who doesn’t eat fruits and veggies at all is also willing to try my next creation in an effort to get healthy. Hopefully with everyone drinking green smoothies, Reese will be convinced! Let’s see how it goes!

If you haven’t tried a green smoothie, here are benefits and tips that might convince you to try it yourself:

1) If you are juicing to lose weight, drink a glass of juice to replace a meal. If you want to gain weight, add a glass in between meals. It is however advisable to take in the smoothie on its own and not together with cooked food.

2) When craving for sweets or junk food, reach for a smoothie instead. I like bringing a smoothie along in a drink bottle when I’m rushing out the door in the mornings and sip from it throughout the morning. (If you do this, make sure you use an opaque, insulated container. I use a Kleen Kanteen insulated container.)

3) As I learned with my first smoothie, choose your combinations well. This first one I made was super good but was loaded with calories and sugar because I put in 3 whole mangoes (i love mangoes!) and 1/3 of a pineapple. Ideally, there should be more greens in your smoothie than fruits, and the latter used only as a sweetener.

4) Get a good machine. A good blender doesn’t actually cost that much (especially when you compare it to those premium juicers!) My Electrolux Powermix Silent blender is easy to use, easy to clean (that’s important too!) and as I discovered has other cool functions like the chopper:

Its main unique feature is that it has a noise reduction system that makes it 10x quieter than a regular blender. Watch this video:

So if you’re into smoothies too, please share your favorite recipe with me! If not, then maybe its time you try it out too 🙂

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