How to Grow: Green Smoothies

Learn how to use greens to make healthful and delicious green smoothies.

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Green, Smoothie, Leafy, Greens, Spinach, Drink, FoodGreen shakes have gone viral. A few years back people would raise their eyebrows at the idea of drinking a kale or spinach shake for breakfast. Now, everyone is touting the benefits of green smoothies. It’s become a gourmet trend. And why not? I find I have more energy starting the day with a green shake and it’s a quick way to get some nutritious greens and fruits into my body.

If you’re new to this veggie and fruit shake phenomena, here are a few guidelines. Keep it simple. While a Mint Chip smoothie with banana, cacao, mint leaves, spinach, cashews and coconut water sounds amazing, stick with one or two fruits and a veggie with water to get started. Say an apple, blueberry, kale shake or a banana, strawberry, parsley shake. Use a 60/40 or even 70/30 fruit to veggie ratio to begin with. The sweetness of the fruit will offset the stronger flavor of the veggie. Don’t eat other foods 1 hour before and after your green shake for the best digestion. I also like to soak raw almonds overnight and add these for a little protein boost. Soaked almonds are easier to digest than dry ones, but some people may still find them tough on their tummy.

Grow your own shake ingredients. We love using fresh and frozen berries from our garden and picking kale and parsley late into the season to add to shakes. You can grow a shake garden. In fall bring pots of parsley indoors to continue to harvest. Plan to succession crop spinach, kale, and other greens to have them maturing all season. Protect the plants with floating row covers and you can be harvesting right in to the New Year for your morning shakes.

From The Vermont Garden Journal on Vermont Public Radio.