Red light, Green light your way to green smoothies.

So you decide to take the plunge into the nutrient dense, detoxifying green smoothie abyss!  Maybe you even buy the super-blender plane ticket to this paradise.  Getting ready for the trip, you pack your bags (shopping cart) with kale, spinach, celery, cilantro and maybe a granny smith apple and some chia seeds.  You are so excited for you and your family to dive into it….but they won’t touch it. Not with a 10 foot twizzler-pole.

Great.  Now all your effort and $ are lost.   Not so fast- it’s not time to retire the super-blender to milkshakes and margaritas.  I can show you how to get the whole crew on the green- smoothie bandwagon!

Easy does it.  When you say “smoothie” most people think of a slightly healthier shake – as in bananas and strawberries and vanilla yogurt – rather than the frozen yogurt that would make it a milk shake.  Thanks Robeks and Smoothie King.  A far cry from the kale – concoction you tried to serve them.  Win them over by making a gradual transition.  I believe in letting them see what you’re putting in it – if you sneak it in, yes they’re getting the health benefit but not learning to appreciate different foods.

Here’s a game plan:

  1. Intro recipe:
    1. Start with fruit based – banana, berries, cherries, pineapple
    2. Milk of choice or PLAIN yogurt for protein.
  2. Version 1:
    1. Add an avocado that dials down the sweetness, but makes it super creamy and adds healthy fats that will keep you fuller by slowing the rush of fruit-sugar to your blood stream.  Avocado is a great way to make a creamy, vegan/nut free smoothie.
    2. Chia or flax seeds (pre-ground or in a high powered blender than and grind them) also add protein, healthy fat and thicker texture.
    3. Peanut butter, or other nut/seed butter.
  3. Stop Light Smoothie
    1. It’s a pain, but kids LOVE it!20150303_071412
    2. Start with the Yellow Light layer which is your base that you’ll add red and green to.  Bananas, pineapple, mango – any yellow fruit. Now pour off 1/3 into 2 different containers, leaving 1/3 in the blender.
    3. Red Layer: add strawberries or cherries to the yellow layer in the blender and pour that off into a 3rd container.
    4. Green layer: add one of the yellow portions back to the blender and add spinach (kale is too strong for this intro-smoothie)
    5. Layering: pour the green smoothie into the bottom of a clear glass.  Use a spoon to carefully add the yellow (the goal is for them not to mix  – I’m not great at this as you see.  😉  )  Carefully add the red to the top.
  4. Hide with Chocolate: often when you add the spinach to a fruit based smoothie it turns green – duh, right?  Well we eat with our eyes first and if your skeptics see something green they’ll likely turn their nose up before they even taste it.  Add a tablespoon or 2 of unsweetened cocoa powder to hide the green color/taste.
    1. Fruit: 1 cup : banana + cherries (anything you can imagine covered in chocolate!)
    2. Protein/fat: 1/2 cup: avocado, plain yogurt, milk of choice, liquid + 2T chia/flax seeds, Peanut butter, or other nut/seed butter (2T)
    3. Green: 1 cup: spinach
    4. Chocolate: 1T cocoa powder
  5. My go to Green-Machine!
    1. fruit:1/2 c pineapple or red apple
    2. Green: 1 cup kale or spinach + 2 stalks celery + 1/2 cup cilantro or parsley
    3. 1 lemon juiced
    4. 1/2 cup water + ice
    5. protein: protein powder or 2T chia seeds

**Disclaimer – I use a vitamix which handles the chia seeds well – if you’re using a less powerful blender you will likely still have the chia seed consistency in the smoothie.

Chocolate Smoothie/Ice cream for dessert!  From milkshake to smoothie, then back again! Try the chocolate smoothie above, but use frozen bananas/cherries and add a few ice cubes.  We like it really thick and eat with a spoon like ice cream!

Enjoy!

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