Fresh Green Smoothies for Fiber Plus
When smoothies were introduced in the early 1960's, they were touted as a healthy alternative. They often were made with milk, yogurt, ice cream, and processed sugar, with blended fruit. Chocolate and peanut butter were also common additions, and continue to be potential smoothie ingredients at the chain smoothie boutiques. Although certainly more nutritious than sodas, the old style smoothies contain a multitude of pitfalls. Updated smoothie methods have taken out the potential issues with processed sugars and dairy, and replaced them with nutritious, yet still delicious combinations.
Green smoothies are the pinnacle of the modern smoothie, combining the greenest of green vegetables with sweet fruit to get the fullness of both while taming the bitter greens into something divine. The right fruits both sweeten and smooth out the smoothie.
Veggie smoothies require a decent blender. Expensive high-powered semi-professional blenders produce a smoother result, but are not necessary for a good smoothie. Smoothies are made using a 50% green vegetable to 50% fruit, although it may help to begin with a 40/60 ratio. There are some typical green vegetables that make their way into most green smoothies. Chard, kale, cilantro, parsley, cucumber, wheat grass, and spinach are all very common. Good fruits for green smoothies include bananas, kiwi, pears, pineapple, and berries. Apples add sweetness, but don't contain the right type of fiber to improve the texture of the smoothie.
The smoothie method varies slightly between blenders. Those high-powered blenders will liquefy everything into a velvety homogenous mass. An ordinary household blender requires a little more thought and a little more chopping. It is easiest to add enough water to the greens in the blender to get them to blend, and then add the coarsely chopped fruit afterward. Household blenders simply take more time to pulverize the greens, and leave a more fibrous texture than the high-powered variety. However, the result is still delicious. Either way, enough water (or herbal tea!) should be added in order to get the fruit and vegetables to move in the blender. Ice can be added as well.
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