Nutrition: ¡Go Green for your Health!
Um… what exactly are you drinking?
I get this question every time someone sees me sipping a green smoothie from a jar.
What gives this slushy drink it’s bien verde color?
A few handfuls of dark green leafy vegetables which are, calorie for calorie, probably the most concentrated source of nutrition and of protein (surprising, I know, since most of us associate protein with meat or nuts).
Although I make nutrition a priority, I have always struggled to incorporate more greens into my diet. I love a good ensalada now and then, but I can’t eat a salad when I’m short on time and on the go.
One of the pluses of green smoothies is that they are quick to make and drink, and easy to take pa’ llevar.
Take-out convenience isn’t the only perk of this power-drink. I began drinking green smoothies regularly six months ago and have noticed that I feel more energetic and full longer.
Gotcha Natalie. But we’re talking about a glass of green. Do these smoothies taste good?
My students love them and say of the green color: ¡qué cool!
Mamá readers, if my students are any gauge, I can say with confidence that your kids will enjoy this nutritious meal in a cup.
Natalie, you’ve brought out my inner Popeye. You had me at “spinach.” How do I make a green smoothie?
- Throw 3-4 pieces of chopped fruit into your blender or juicer
- Add 2 cups of greens
- Then 2 cups of liquid: water or juice
- Blend until smooth
Makes 3-4 smoothies.
Not sure which leafy greens to use?
Spinach has a mild, fresh taste that blends easily into sweet smoothies. You can also experiment with these nutrient-packed leaves: kale, chard, collard greens, arugula, and wild greens like nettles and dandelion (yep, that pesky weed is bad for your garden, but great for you!).
Mix and match until you find a combination that will have you coming back for more.
Some of my favorites:
Don’t like to experiment with ingredients?
I’ve found delicious and easy green smoothie recipes here.
That sounds good, but I don’t have time to make smoothies each morning…
Green smoothies keep for 2-3 days, so I like to make a few blenders full every few days and store them in washed out jars that I grab on my way out the door.
Can’t make them at home? Jamba Juice and Whole Foods are some of chains where you can buy green drinks on the go.
Whether you buy or make a green smoothie in your kitchen, add this nutritious drink to your diet. You’ll feel and see the health benefits right away.
A teacher by day, The Wise Latina Club’s Natalie Wagner Fierro is the co-founder of the Institute for Student Health. She equally loves food (cooking or dining in Washington’s restaurants) and burning calories by distance running, practicing yoga, and archery. Click here to read more about and connect with Natalie.What will you put in your green smoothie?