Yes, that’s right – green shakes are easy for beginners. All it takes is fresh lettuce, parsley, spinach, celery and possibly some Spirulina or Moringa. Although the latter two may not sound familiar, it’s absolutely fine, we did promise to make it easy.
If you are the type of person that happened to start the day by replacing your morning coffee with some lukewarm lemon water… it can’t have been easy - but you clearly know where to begin. If you’ve recently become parents, congrats! You’ve most probably acquired a blender and placed it on your kitchen counter in preparation for the big baby food chapter in your life - another great place to start! If you have a home herb or vegetable garden and the first healthy meal you produce is a green shake – that’s absolutely fine too. Like, we said we are all about beginnings and beginners.
Photo: Tali Dovrat
It’s exactly how we ended up here – by starting at the very beginning. Our garden and field were overflowing with green leaves, but we had a toddler to chase after, “mom” was way beyond exhausted, pregnant and anaemic. The solution was looking right at us from the depths of that very garden.
In recent years, The Green Shake or Green Smoothie has gone very quickly from being a “health freak” drink to being a mainstream modern-day saviour.
The smoothie has become the undoubted star of Pinterest, a staple food group all of its own, that can be found in variations almost anywhere today, from juice stands to street carts in Manhattan, and in your upstairs neighbour’s kitchen. It seems almost superfluous to explain its goodness, and that in itself is a staggering achievement.
Photo: Ofra Ron Mazor
So, if you started your day determined to ‘make the change’, to live a healthier life starting now, what do you need to know? Here are 10 things that will help you make progress:
The Green Shake is a great breakfast, yes that’s right – a full nourishing meal for kids on their way to school, an ideal post workout meal that is both filling and accessible. Its abundance of fibers from the green leaves, the multiple vitamins and minerals that are slowly and naturally released to the body and its low glycemic index, make this meal the one you should never skip.
Meal prep for the green shake can begin the night before by washing and packing an assortment of leaves in individual portions. All you have to do in the morning is add fruit and a nourishing nut milk and hit the noise button.
The blender has come a long way. Do not attempt to reach that perfect smoothie consistency with a stick blender. At the farm, we employ a Vitamix blender but there are others you can use – what’s important is that the blender is geared to blend fast enough and hard enough to achieve that perfect texture.
You should always make sure to have a natural healthy fat component like nuts, almonds, almond milk, coconut milk or avocado. The healthy fat helps our bodies process and digest all the goodness packed into the shake.
Make you own nut milk. It’s so much easier than it sounds and can be done while you are prepping your leaves the night before. Your homemade nut milk will save you from consuming a range of preservatives, sugars and chemicals that are added to industrial milks you can find on the shelf. Stay tuned for our recipe and method.
Add ice or a frozen fruit to make your smoothie extra creamy – and extra yummy!
Maybe we should have mentioned this one first, but we chose not to! We are by no means preachers. If you are into shakes and the leaves you are planning on using were purchased in the supermarket, just don’t. If your good intentions are aimed at improving your health, and you end up making a pesticide juice – you may be better off having that coffee instead. If you have a vegetable garden, use your own leaves, or simply opt for organic greens to avoid this conundrum.
Green leaves you should always strive to add: mint, parsley, spinach, nettles and kale* (not suited to everyone).
Make sure you sweeten the smoothie for kids! Throw in a date or two, natural sweeteners or even some unprocessed sugar. Make it fun and tasty for them – why not?
Try to stick to the basic recipe until you reach pro level. Getting creative before you know what works can deliver bad results, and if you have a recipe that works, why fix it right?
Here is our winner recipe: