Author: Emilie Spruill
Since I’m expecting our first baby, London Sophia, this summer, I have been trying to respect my very qualified certified RN Midwife’s strict nutritional guidelines! Her main instructions are get enough protein (90-110 g daily) and avoid all sugar with the exception of very few servings of fruits, and this includes dried fruits, honey as well as refined sugars, of course. So if you are particularly interested in a low-glycemic Green Smoothie, note that I am not a nutritionist, but this one did not spike my Blood Glucose levels throughout the recent week of finger-pricking and glucose detecting that I endured! **The only time my blood sugar reading did elevate slightly was when I added banana, so I have since replaced banana with avocado–the consistency is similarly creamy without the extra sugar!
Greener Pastures Smoothie by Emilie Spruill
Ok next let me share the benefits of this green goodness, and then I’ll share the super-simple recipe. I literally make this for my sweet husband and me every morning, and even when I’m half-awake, the results are fabulous! All nutritional info below is courtesy of the Green Smoothies smart-phone app (www.rawfamily.com) Use all organic ingredients whenever possible.
Ingredient List (this recipe typically makes 40 ounces or so):
1 Small-Medium Avocado ~ Avocadoes are full of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that may help to lower cholesterol. Also a great source of blood-pressure regulating Potassium, Avocadoes are rich in Fiber, B Vitamins (energizing), Vitamin E, C, K, folate, riboflavin, Niacin and Magnesium.
1 Small-Medium Granny Smith Apple ~ (Including Peel and Seeds; remove the stem): Besides soluble fiber, apples also contain iron, potassium, folate, calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Note that most of the Vitamin C is in the skin so do NOT peel the apple!
1 Small Pear ~ Pears contain more Fiber (see a pattern?!), B2, C, E, Copper and Potassium. Pears are actually higher in Pectin (a water-soluble fiber) than apples. This makes them both effective at lowering cholesterol and toning intestines. Pears are safe for most allergy-sufferers.
1/2 Cucumber ~ Cucumbers are rich in Vitamin C and Caffeic Acid, both useful in soothing skin irritations and swelling. The hard skin of a cucumber is rich in Fiber and contains Silica, Magnesium and Potassium.
2 handfuls of Baby Spinach ~ Spinach is an antioxidant powerhouse, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Magnesium, Manganese, Folate, Betaine, Iron, Vitamin B2, Calcium, Potassium, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Copper, Protein, Phosphorus, Zinc, Niacin, Selenium and Omega 3s… WOW! Spinach is known for stabilizing blood sugar in diabetics and anti-oxidants are known to defend against cancer-causing and wrinkle-causing free radical damage. Vitamin K helps to promote healthy blood clotting.
1 inch of Ginger Root ~ Peeled: Ginger is packed full of Vitamins C & E, more essential minerals and is believed to have a similar effect on thinning the blood as aspirin. Ginger reduces inflammation in the body, lowers cholesterol, reduces fevers, migraines, dizziness and nausea. Ginger is great for arthritis-sufferers and those with intestinal problems.
2-3 Drops Liquid Stevia: This ultra-sweet sugar-alternative is great and Midwife-approved in my case! I prefer the drops to the powder but don’t overdo it–it’s very concentrated! I found this at our local HEB/Central Market but you can also order a 2-pack here athttp://www.amazon.com/SweetLeaf-SteviaClear-Liquid-4-Ounce-Bottles/dp/B001E5E3JY
2 Cups Purified Water: Tweak this amount to achieve desired quantity and texture. I use about 2 cups everyday, but it’s not an exact science! (Replacing this with Coconut or Almond Milk would make a creamier smoothie, FYI).
Place in a high-powered blender and BLEND WELL! I like to blend in my Kitchen Ninja Pro for at least 1-2 minutes on Blend, and often I will add in a couple of ice cubes so that our smoothies are a bit colder!
If upon tasting, this smoothie is TOO green for you, you can try adding additional fruit, such as a Banana, Mango, Peach or Berries. I think that you will be pleasantly surprised though, because if you close your eyes, you would think that this was a fruit smoothie from your favorite chain smoothie establishment, only it has none of the hidden sugars, additives or powders! Before long, your body starts to naturally crave less refined sugars and more greens when you regularly indulge in this green goodness!