Friday, February 17, 2012

Green Smoothies

We had a request to post about green smoothies.  Since my mom was named Green Smoothie Christmas Queen this last December, I asked her if she would contribute her great knowledge to us, so this guest post comes from my mom, Lark Galli.

Green Smoothies will curl your toes
About seven years ago a new friend suggested I try some powdered green drink.  I did, and I felt so good whenever I had some, which was most days. My body seemed to appreciate it. Then last year, another friend led me to a demonstration by Green Smoothie Girl.  That was even better!  Now, no matter what happens later, almost every day at our house begins fresh with a living green, brown or purple "green" smoothie.
Basic Green Smoothie:
In the Blendtec regular sized 2 q.t jar place the following ingredients in order:
2 cups cold, purified water
2-3 handfuls of spinach mixed with coarsely chopped chard, kale, collards, or beet greens (be generous with the greens. That's where the greatest nutrition is)
2-3 2-inch chunks of organic squash, cucumber or carrot (I look for mostly neutral flavored veggies)
a chunk of cantaloupe, apple, orange, fresh pineapple, mango, etc.
fresh and/or frozen berries or frozen "festival blend" fruit
1/2-1 frozen or fresh banana
1 sm. handful raw pumpkin seeds
1 T or so ground flax seeds and/or wheat germ
That's the usual these days. I frequently process through two smoothie cycles. The trick is not to add too much water (tune in to the YouTube in your mind to see the chartreuse mess I had last Saturday when a smoothie tsunami spewed all over my face, clothes, shoes, the stove, the counter, Laurel's shoes, the rug, floor, etc.! I learned that the new Blendtec jar holds 1.5 x the old, not 2x). Make sure that total ingredients do not extend much above the lid line, and keep your hand on the lid, at least for starters. Consider goggles, too ;).

Also desirable is keeping the sugar content as low and the leafy veggies as high as you can while still enjoying the smoothie. Thus, the banana is mostly to give the smoothie that familiar, down home flavor, and not something you want extra of. The big kids leave it out. We're not there yet. It's good to keep pineapple and other sweet fruit to a minimum too.

Other occasional additions (unpopular in some very local circles) are a wedge of uncooked beet, cabbage, or a piece of fresh ginger. I make 'em, and I like 'em. I don't really like what celery does for the taste of a smoothie. Ditto broccoli, bell peppers, etc. Costco is a great source for the spinach (get the big bag, not the carton, if you are really going to make a lot of smoothies), and the frozen berries and festival fruit mix. Sometimes a green smoothie will be green. Occasionally it will be brown, and when you are lucky (with beets, beet greens and berries), gloriously ruby colored.

Green Smoothie Girl say it is optimal to drink up to a quart of green smoothie a day, and Dr. Joel Furhman (Eat to Live) would surely agree.   A smoothie will retain it's nutritional powers for three days in the fridge.

Of course, green smoothies can be much more varied than this. I have a free app called "Green Smoothie" that has smoothie and blended "soups" ideas. Those I have tried have been very tasty. I usually just wind up putting in what I have in the fridge, but it can be fun to be intentional about it.

The green smoothie is a family obsession lately. Most days, Rachel and I drink ours at home, Dad at work or on the way to work, and Laurel and Micah when they get home from school. Sometimes Hannah, Fei Fei or Derek will imbibe (Derek's was just a shot glass size for starters). If you'd like to be further inspired to do something wonderful like this for your health, look for Green Smoothie Girl online or see her when she comes to town. Of course, she's not the only one doing it. We're all doing it!

We all feel so much better.

Don't we?

xo Mom
PS Excepting its initial tantrum, the new 3 qt. Blendtec "Wildside" jar has been a boon for making big batches.


  1. Wonderful post, Lark! Thank you for the ideas. I haven't made any smoothies in a while, and was just thinking the other day that I wanted to start making them again. This will be a good place for me to start!

  2. Sounds delicious! We have long awaited a guest post from Lark.

  3. Thank you for guest posting, Lark! I loved the green smoothie you shared with my in St. George last week. How I wish I had a Blendtec... :)

    I might add to take a spoonful of coconut oil or cream before the smoothie (or add it in) to make sure all those lovely fat-soluble vitamins are optimally absorbed.

  4. Lark, I finally did it! I used chard, dandelion greens in mine, as well as beets (greens included), a kiwi, half an avocado, and a little bit of raw milk (cream included) -- I feel like I am drinking health. Thanks again for this great post!