My Daily Green Smoothie
As a naturopathic doctor, I find myself recommending smoothies to almost all of my patients. There are a few reasons as to why I love smoothies so much; they are easy to prepare, minimal dishes to clean, can be meal-prepped, but most importantly, if done correctly can provide most of your nutrients for the day!
Whether you have a picky eater in the family, or you just don’t have time to prepare a nice big salad everyday, smoothies can be a life saver! Also, I get it; green leafy vegetables can get boring after a while.
Not only are smoothies delicious, but blending helps to breakdown the fibre in the ingredients and can provide a nice gentle nutrient-dense meal to the gut without causing bloating and gas.
What’s in it:
Greens: this is where the bulk of the nutrients in your smoothie are going to come from so don’t shy away here! I like to add anywhere from 4-8 cups of greens, depending on the type. Kale can be bitter so I use less, while spinach and mixed greens blend beautifully so I load up
Berries: antioxidants galore! All berries are extremely healthy, they are high in vitamin C, antioxidants, calcium, iron, and fibre. I suggest anywhere from 1-3 cups per serving
Banana: mostly for sweetness and creaminess, but also high in potassium, B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, copper. 1 banana per serving
Fat: you can play around with which fats you like best in your smoothie, some of my favourites are hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, avocado, and nut butter. Hemp, chia and flax seeds are high in omega 3 and magnesium. 1-2 tbsp per serving
Protein: you can’t have a well-balanced smoothie without protein! There is protein in all fruit, vegetable, nuts and seeds, but you can also add protein powder if you wish. I personally like the Raw Organic Garden of Life Protein Powders, the protein ingredients are sprouted which allows better bioavailability so that your body can absorb the nutrients better. And sprouted grains and legumes are easier to digest, so you won’t get that post-protein bloat!
Superfoods: spirulina, chlorella, barley grass juice powder, wheat grass juice powder, etc. There are so many superfoods on the market, each providing different benefits. Please consult with your naturopath to find which one suits your health goals best.
Water: 1-3 cups
Blend your greens with a cup of water before adding the other ingredients. It helps to chop it up nicely so you don’t get big chunks of kale in your smoothie - it’s called a smoothie, not a lumpie! It also gives more room in your blender for your other ingredients.
Make sure your bananas are ripe with spots before freezing them. Unripe bananas (if they make a crunch sound when peeling) can cause constipation and don’t have as many nutrients as a ripe banana, plus they are sweeter when ripe! And don’t worry, frozen bananas don’t taste as banana-y so you don’t have to worry about the taste if you typically don’t like spotty bananas.
Organic! Make sure your greens and berries are organic - the whole point of having a smoothie is to have a cup full of nutrients, not pesticides.
Water is all you need in your smoothie, the fruit adds the sweetness and the banana and healthy fats add the creaminess, so no need for juice, milk or yogurt.
To meal-prep you can wash and prep all the ingredients in containers and freeze them for quick access in the morning. Or you can blend them in advance and freeze them in mason jars (leave 1” at the top for expansion) and the night before move it to the fridge. In the morning just give it a quick stir and it should be a nice consistency.
Dr. Caroline Méthé is a medically trained, naturopathic doctor in the Greater Toronto Area. As a professional primary health care practitioner with a holistic approach, she consults with patients of all ages at her clinic. Her approach as a Naturopathic Doctor in Canada treating children, digestive concerns and running a general family practice is to focus on root-caused diagnosis followed by effective, evidence-based treatment plans.