Green Smoothie Shortcuts
How to Simplify Your Green Smoothie Routine
Getting into a green smoothie routine is a quick and easy way to add a dose of health to your day. For less than ten minutes of effort you get more than a litre of goodness packed with fibre, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and protein. Green smoothies help you maintain your body’s energy and immunity levels so that you can strengthen yourself against exhaustion and illness.
A common complaint on healthy eating forums is that it takes too much time to prepare healthy food. It’s worth making time for healthy eating habits like drinking green smoothies. Consider it an investment in your body’s future. Making healthy eating a habit is important for sustaining progress towards optimum health.
The process of blending up a batch of green smoothies is so quick you can fit it in every day. Green smoothies are a winning combination of convenience and benefit. Here are a few shortcuts that will make it even easier for you.
Have ingredients handy in the fridge. Harvest or shop for ingredients ahead of time. If your ingredients are pre-washed, pre-cut or pre-peeled then making up your green smoothie will be even quicker. Be aware though that washing, cutting and peeling ingredients ahead of time causes some loss of nutrients.
Freeze Seasonal Fruit
Certain fruity ingredients are likely to become your green smoothie staples. These can be frozen in green smoothie size batches and added to your smoothies.
Bananas are a popular green smoothie ingredient and can be used at various degrees of mushiness. Buy them in bulk when they’re cheap and in season. You can also freeze bananas successfully, so leave them in their skins and freeze them in groups of 3-4. Move them to the fridge the day before you’re going to blend them up so that they can defrost enough to be peeled.
You can buy other fruity favourites in season, blend them up and freeze them in ice-cubes. Once they’re set, seal them up in smoothie size batches in freezer bags or containers. These fruity cubes are then easily popped out into your smoothie and have the added bonus of giving it an icy finish.
Keep a Basic Stock
At times it’s hard to get your hands on fresh ingredients or you simply run out. If you can keep yourself well stocked with some back-up basics you can mix these with fresh supplies as they come to hand. Although it does undermine the health value of green smoothies if you’re not using fresh ingredients, using frozen or canned fruit and greens is better than nothing. Once in a while is ok, so stock a backup of canned peaches, cherries, mandarins or pears.
A can or two of organic coconut milk in the cupboard also comes in handy as an occasional treat. When you can get access to fresh coconuts, especially jelly coconuts, they taste heavenly in a smoothie. However, this is a seasonal treat. A can of organic coconut milk added to your smoothie can give you a feeling of mid-Winter luxury.
Sprout Your Greens
I’m a keen sprouter, so you’ve probably read me saying this before... but really, it’s so easy. All you need is a jar and some sprouting beans, and after 2-3 days of rinsing you have your own crop. Even if you’re not a sprout fan you may find sprouts make a great base for your green smoothies. Once they’re blended up with fruit they’re easier to consume. Sprouts are also one of the best superfoods and will give your health and immunity a real boost. Try sprouting a cupful of beans once a week and including it in a green smoothie. Sprouts are certainly very cheap and convenient.
It’s also handy to have your own greens at hand. Growing parsley and silverbeet in containers is easy too.
Have the Right Tools Handy
It’s a good idea to keep your green smoothie tools all together. A permanent benchtop space for your blender is a definite plus, rather than having to retrieve it from the cupboard and set it up each time. If possible, keep the rest of your equipment nearby, including compost bins. Here’s a list of useful green smoothie tools:
- good blender
- salad spinner for your greens
- sharp knife
- chopping board
- jugs and drink bottles for left-overs and take-aways
- superfoods in a nearby cupboard
- compost and chook scrap bins
- green smoothie recipe books
Know Your Green Smoothie Recipes
You’ll get faster over time as you become more confident at throwing ingredients together and blending away. Things really become fun once you start experimenting. In the meantime, use recipes that are clearly laid out, are easy to follow and have lovely pictures to inspire and entice you.
Double the Recipe
Double your green smoothie batch and store half in the fridge for the next day. Yes, the nutrient value will degrade a bit over time, but when we’re talking about maintaining a habit long-term it’s ok to halve your workload by preparing double and saving it for tomorrow. Keep it tightly sealed in a jug with a lid or drink bottle so it oxidises less.
Cleaning up straight away after making a green smoothie batch takes about 30 seconds. Leave it for even an hour and stuff will get sticky, congeal to the sides of your blender and need scrubbing off. Rinse your blender straight away by whizzing up a few cups of warm water with a few drops of dishwashing liquid or white vinegar. Tidy away scraps, wipe chopping boards and benches before ants or fruit flies get interested and rock up to join the party.
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