A more Veg focused diet is not only about eating. You can also get great nutrients from having drinks like smoothies. Especially green smoothies can be really healthy. More and more places in urban centres in Nigeria spring up and offer these health boosters. With our amazing variety of leaves, we are predestined in Nigeria to have green smoothies. Already people are blending Ugwu leaves and others. If you wish to see some Green Smoothie blending live, then come to the Lagos Veg Fest next week (Ocotber 10-12) at Freedom Park Lagos (www.lagosvegfest.com). There will be demonstrations and tasting of Green Smoothies.
The benefits of green smoothies are the following:
1. Green smoothies are very nutritious. The ratio in them is optimal for human consumption; about 60% ripe organic fruit mixed with about 40% organic greens.
2. Green smoothies are easy to digest. When blended well, most of the cells in the greens and fruits are ruptured, making the valuable nutrients easy for the body to assimilate. Green smoothies literally start to get absorbed in your mouth.
3. Green smoothies, as opposed to juices, are a complete food because they still have fibre. Consuming fibre is important for our elimination system.
4. Green smoothies belong to the most palatable dishes for all humans of all ages. With a ratio of fruits to veggies as 60:40 the fruit taste dominates the flavour, yet at the same time the greens balance out the sweetness of the fruit, adding a nice zest to it. People are usually quite surprised that something so green could taste so nice.
5. A molecule of chlorophyll closely resembles a molecule of human blood. „Consuming chlorophyll is like receiving a healthy blood transfusion", some advocates of green smoothies say. Many people do not consume enough greens, even those who stay on a raw food diet. By drinking two or three cups of green smoothies daily you will consume enough greens for the day to nourish your body, and all of the beneficial nutrients will be well assimilated.
6. Green smoothies are easy to make, and quick to clean up after. In contrast, juicing greens is time consuming, messy, and expensive. Many people abandon drinking green juices on a regular basis for those reasons. To prepare a pitcher of green smoothie takes less than 5 minutes, including cleaning.
7. Green smoothies have proven to be loved by children of all ages, including babies of six or more months old. Of course you have to be careful and slowly increase the amount of smoothies to avoid food allergies.
8. When consuming your greens in the form of green smoothies, you are greatly reducing the consumption of oils and salt in your diet.
9. Regular consumption of green smoothies forms a good habit of eating greens. After a few weeks of drinking green smoothies, most people start to crave and enjoy eating more greens. Eating enough greens is often a problem with many people, especially children.
10. While fresh is always best, green smoothies will keep in cool temperatures for up to three days, which can be handy at work and while traveling.
Enjoy the blending!
GREEN SMOOTHIES – RECIPES
Welcome back to our every Thursday VeggieVictory column. The last two times I was writing about some benefits of green smoothies. Well, I guess now it is time for some recipes. I actually got a few feedbacks that this is what you are waiting for. During the upcoming Lagos Veg Fest (October 10-12) at Freedom Park, Lagos Island, there is going to be a Green Smoothie food tasting and demonstrations. Save the date – www.lagosvegfest.com. Here we go with the recipies:
There’s more than one way to make a tasty and nutritious smoothie. In fact, the combinations are seemingly endless! The matrix below is a guide for making a basic green smoothie, including some of the more commonly used ingredients and adapted to what we can find in markets here in Nigeria. Simply choose at least one ingredient from each column, blend, and enjoy a nutritious breakfast, snack or even dessert!
A few notes:
Ripe, frozen bananas make a great smoothie base, adding a sweet flavor and creamy texture. Try using one banana and half a cup of other fruit. If you don’t like bananas, use a cup of one or more of the other types of fruit listed.
If you’re shy about greens, try starting with 1 cup instead of 2, but be sure to use a whole cup of liquid.
If you don’t have a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix or Blendtec), try blending the liquid and greens together before adding the frozen fruit. This will ensure a smooth consistency and make the mixture easier to blend.
Feel free to use as many add-in’s as you like! They’re a great way to add flavor and extra nutritional punch to your smoothie.
This matrix is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all possible smoothie ingredients. Once you’ve mastered the basic smoothie, don’t be afraid to experiment with other ingredients like avocados, carrots, tofu, soy yogurt, apples, and other greens!
½ to 1 cup liquid
2 cups greens
1 cup frozen fruit
mango, pineapple, papaya
Cocoa, mesquite, maca powder
romaine or leaf lettuce
strawberries, raspberries, blackberries
tiger nut milk
turnip, beet, collard, dandelion greens
ginger, cinnamon, other spices
And finally, here’s my favorite combination!
The “Doesn’t Taste Green” Smoothie:
½ cup plain or unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 cups organic Ugwu leaves
1 frozen banana
½ cup frozen mangos
1 T raw cacao powder
1 T cocoa powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 scoop vegan protein powder (optional)