Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Green Smoothies + Nutrition


Ever since my last post on Green Monster, I have been hooked in trying different recipes almost everyday. I have a few favorites, which recipes are posted below. These are great for any sort of craving, post-workout, snack, meal, or push to a healthier diet. As these green smoothies can be changed according to your taste buds, ingredients you have on hand, or special nutrients your body may be lacking-in, just make accordingly, giving your drink a balance of taste and nutrition. Below is also a little information on nutritional benefits of some ingredients you can opt to put in your green smoothies: 

chia seeds: labeled as a superfood, with one serving (2 tbsp) for less than 90 calories. They are an excellent source of fiber, reaching about 40% daily intake and an almost perfect ratio of soluble and insoluble fiber ratio. Also, these seeds contain over half of the recommended  fatty acids, being the best option of Omega-3 fatty acids among non-marine whole foods. Chia seeds are complete proteins and are also gluten-free. They are rich in many vitamins, such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron, among with many others. And lastly, are a impressive source of antioxidants.  For more detailed information, click here.

flax seeds: these too are packed with nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that are essential to our body. Flax seeds are rich in monounsaturated fats and loaded with vitamin E, as well as many other B vitamins mostly concerning the importance of metabolism. And a fine source of minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc. Find more nutritional facts here. Also, ground flax seed (flax seed meal) can also be used for an egg replacement in many recipes, mostly baking. Often time vegans use this method, 2 tbsp ground flax seed combined with 3 tbsp water, mix and let sit, then use as needed.

broccoli: low in calories, yet rich in fiber, minerals, antioxidants, vitamins, and Omeg-3 fatty acids. Studies show that there are many nutrients in this vegetable particularly that helps protect against many types of cancers, more information found here.

spinach: known for its many nutrients that help protect the body against disease and cancers, prevent osteoporosis and iron deficiency. This green leafy vegetable is low in calories, rich in fiber, as well as in many other minerals and vitamins. These include, potassium, manganese, iron, vitamins K, B, and C, among many others also which you can check out here.

carrots: naturally sweet, crunchy, and contain many nutrients benefiting your diet. They are packed with beta-carotene (gives them their orange color), Vitamin A, C, K, and B-6. Also, carrots are low in saturated fat and provide rich sources of fiber, antioxidants, potassium, folate, manganese, and others. They help with inflammation of the body, blood circulation, and weight loss. A more thorough history can be found here.

oranges: contains no saturated fat, low in calories, rich in fiber, a good carbohydrate. One orange provides 12% of daily potassium and almost 100% calcium intake. Oranges also contain many antioxidants and vitamins such as A and B. More health benefits here.




Citrus Berry Green Juice: (2 1/2 cups)
Ingredients:
5 ice cubes
5 strawberries
1 large handful spinach
Juice of a grapefruit
Juice of an orange
1/4 cup water
2 tsp chia seeds or flax


Directions:
Place ingredients in blender, the heaviest first and liquid last. Blend  until completely smooth, about 1-2 minutes.





Very Green Nutrient Packed Smoothie: (3 cups)
Ingredients:
5 Ice cubes
1/2 cup juice (I used  fresh squeezed orange)
1/2 cup water
1 apple, cored
1 carrot sliced
5 broccoli florets
5 frozen strawberries
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp flax seeds

Directions:
Place ingredients in blender, the heaviest first and liquid last. Blend  until completely smooth, about 1-2 minutes.




Chocolate Coconut Green Shake: (2 cups)
This one is my favorite! Its like a special treat :)
Ingredients:
5 ice cubes
1 large handful spinach
1 large banana
2 tablespoons coconut
1.5 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 tsp chia seeds

Directions:
Place ingredients in blender, the heaviest first and liquid last. Blend  until completely smooth, about 1-2 minutes.

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