Indulge in these easy, delicious recipes and discover the incredible health benefits of green smoothies!
IncredibleSmoothies.com founder Tracy Russell tried just about every fad diet and expensive “superfood” supplement out there, with negligible results. It wasn’t until she discovered green smoothies that she lost 40 pounds, lowered her cholesterol by 50 points, and started running marathons.
In The Best Green Smoothies on the Planet , Russell shares healthy, down-to-earth recipes made with unprocessed whole foods. Packed with fresh fruits and vegetablesparticularly leafy greensthat you can find at your neighborhood grocery store or local farmers’ market, every recipe in this book contains nutrition information as well as options for substitutions and variations. Russell reveals optimal flavor pairings (which green goes best with which fruit and which fruits blend best together) and specific health benefits of key ingredients.
Focusing on the many positive effects of drinking green smoothies, including detox and cleansing, natural weight loss, and mood enhancement, Russell offers nutrient-rich recipes with flavorful, fun combinations such as:
With 150 delicious green smoothie favorites (enough smoothies for five whole months!), The Best Green Smoothies on the Planet provides recipes that can accommodate and enhance any individual or family diet. Whether you’re a smoothie veteran or trying something new, these drinks will wow youwith both accessibility and incredible taste.
|Publisher:||BenBella Books, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||7.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Tracy Russell has tried just about every fad diet and expensive "superfood" supplement out there. It wasn't until she discovered the green smoothie that she lost 40 pounds, lowered her cholesterol by 50 points, and started runningmarathons!
Tracy is one of the foremost experts on green smoothies and nutrition. She shares her wealth of first-hand information, research, and experiences with tens of thousands of people every day. Tracy is the author of one of the largest green smoothie websites on the Internet, Incredible Smoothies (incrediblesmoothies.com), which she launched in 2009 to help others achieve a healthy lifestyle. She is also a contributor to the Whole Pregnancy website (wholepregnancy.org). She has written guest articles for other blogs and magazines as well.
Read an Excerpt
WHY GREEN SMOOTHIES?
Green smoothies are essentially a typical fruit smoothie but with the addition of fresh leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, and chard. In addition to leafy greens, green smoothies may also be made using vegetables like celery, cucumbers, and even broccoli.
Because of the sweet fruits that make up the base for a green smoothie, even the flavor of added bitter greens such as kale or dandelion is completely hidden. Instead of tasting spinach or kale, you'll taste the sweet fruit in the recipe — like bananas and strawberries!
Unlike typical fruit smoothies that often use frozen chunks of fruit, green smoothies call for fresh whole fruits and vegetables. Typically, green smoothies are not made with dairy milk or yogurt. Creamy textured fruits, and sometimes nut milks, give them all of the creamy goodness they need. There are thousands of variations on the green smoothie, so your options for delicious and nutritious flavors are endless!
There are many reasons to drink green smoothies on a daily basis. However, the most popular include:
1. Easily get five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every single day — without tasting the vegetables.
A banana, an apple, and two large handfuls of fresh baby spinach are all you need to get your recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
If you are not a salad person, or you dread the thought of noshing on food like asparagus, green smoothies provide a way to get your vegetables, especially your greens, without tasting them or dealing with their textures.
2. Replace unhealthy meals and snacks with fruits and vegetables.
Green smoothies can replace less healthy mid-afternoon snacks. They can also replace a particular meal, like breakfast or lunch. Any one of my weight loss green smoothie recipes is a hearty enough breakfast to keep me full and satisfied until lunch, and they are a much healthier alternative to sugary cereal, muffins, or fast food.
3. Green smoothies are convenient, go-anywhere food.
Green smoothies only take a few minutes to make, and you can take them anywhere. Blend them the night before and grab them from the refrigerator on your way out the door to work the next morning. You can even store green smoothies in a sealed container and have them for lunch on the go.
4. Satisfy your sweet tooth with sweet fruits that are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
Green smoothies are sweet — but they are the good type of sweet. The natural sugars in fruits are delivered alongside fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to nourish your body and feed your cells. They are nothing like the "empty calorie" sweets and soft drinks that provide no nutritional benefit.
Fruits like bananas, mangoes, and peaches that make up the base for green smoothies satisfy my sweet tooth and keep me from eating sugary snacks like cookies and caving into other cravings.
Green Smoothie Health Benefits
In addition to the reasons above, green smoothies also have a lot of health benefits. The top benefit is weight loss, which I will discuss in depth in Chapter Five.
I have interviewed countless readers on my website, Incredible Smoothies, who have lost anywhere from twenty to more than a hundred pounds thanks to green smoothies and a whole foods diet. In every weight-loss story I heard, green smoothies were the catalyst that kicked off a sustainable change leading to successful weight loss.
Another benefit of green smoothies is their ability to support your body's natural detoxification processes, soChapters Four and Six are all about detox, cleansing, and antioxidants. Green smoothies are made with the most cleansing foods on the planet — fresh, water-rich fruits and vegetables that are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
Speaking of fiber, green smoothies are loaded with it. The average American does not consume sufficient fiber in their diet. In fact, there is a whole industry addressing the fiber deficiency in the American diet by selling fiber supplements!
However, the average meal-replacement green smoothie recipe provides almost a day's worth of fiber. Sufficient dietary fiber is thought to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Fiber also slows down the absorption of sugars, making fruit one of the best, non-fattening sources of carbohydrates. Blending fruits and dark, leafy greens into a creamy smoothie breaks down the food, making digestion easier.
Consuming more fruits and vegetables in one's diet may also keep a variety of chronic health conditions at bay, including Alzheimer's, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, OPD, anxiety and depression, Parkinson's, stroke, macular degeneration, and several types of cancers. The overwhelming scientific consensus is that people who consume more servings of fruits and vegetables each day have a lower risk of developing diseases or illnesses. Specific foods have been studied and found to provide therapeutic benefits for certain medical conditions, but overall, increased fruit and vegetable consumption correlates with a lower incidence of most chronic health problems.
While green smoothies are not a cure for any disease, nor do they take the place of prescription medications and proven treatments, green smoothies provide optimum nutrition to give your body the best chance of reducing the risk of disease, while potentially providing some therapeutic benefit.
Increased energy is also among the top health benefits attributed to green smoothies. Green smoothies provide the sugar (glucose) that feeds every cell in your body. The healthy carbohydrates in sweet fruit also help fuel your body, whether you are powering through a workout or just going through your day and checking things off your to-do list.
The energy boosts from consuming green smoothies often give people the motivation and stamina to not only begin a workout routine but stick with regular exercise over the long term (as long as they are drinking green smoothies consistently). As a result, green smoothies may help facilitate weight loss through their energy-lifting properties.
What Is the Green Smoothie Diet All About?
I just want to be crystal clear: I do not promote or advocate a green smoothie–only diet. This book isn't about drinking nothing but green smoothies for a period of time in order to lose weight quickly or detox.
Short-term crash diets, cleanses, or fasts lead only to short-term results. There is no point to losing twenty pounds in two weeks if you will only gain it all back within a couple months of going off the diet. And there is no point in punishing your body with a crash diet if the results won't last for the rest of your life.
Instead, green smoothies are most effective when incorporated into a plant-based, whole food diet. In fact, simply adding green smoothies to your existing diet, whatever that might be right now, may kick-start an eventual shift in your diet and lifestyle that will propel you toward making healthier choices. Whether you simply add a green smoothie component to your existing diet or you dramatically transform your diet into a strictly whole food, plant-based lifestyle, these changes are sustainable over the long term.
You can drink a green smoothie for breakfast every morning for the rest of your life. You can eat a whole food, plant-based diet for life without feeling deprived or struggling with hunger and all the other drawbacks of short-term diets.
Because these changes are sustainable over the long term, the weight loss and other health benefits will likely last as long as you continue to eat a healthy diet that your body was meant to eat.
Green Smoothies: Fact vs. Fiction
Despite all of the health benefits, there are some myths circulating on the Internet about green smoothies, and you're bound to run into one or two of them. So I'd like to take this opportunity to address some of them.
True or False: Green Smoothies Contain Too Much Sugar
False! Yes, green smoothies are made with sweet fruit, which contains sugar. However, the sugars that are naturally found in fruit are not anywhere in the same league as pure, isolated table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or other concentrated sweeteners.
Sweet fruit contains both glucose and fructose. Glucose is essential for cell function. Your body needs glucose (sugar) in order to function! As for fructose, while some studies have shown a correlation between fructose consumption and obesity, these studies were performed using isolated fructose. There are no known studies showing a link between fresh fruit consumption and obesity or other metabolic diseases, because consuming fructose-containing fruits does not have the same effect as chugging a soda containing a concentrated source of unhealthy sugars. In fact, studies consistently show that those who consume more fruits and vegetables in their diets tend to have lower body weights.
It is even possible to reduce your overall dietary sugar intake by replacing foods high in added sugar with green smoothies. For example, an average candy bar contains between 40 to 60 grams of sugar, and 20 ounces of soda (e.g., Coca-Cola) contain 65 grams. A green smoothie, on the other hand, made with one banana, one apple, and two handfuls of fresh baby spinach only has 34 grams of sugar.
And remember that green smoothies and fruit are not just "sugar." Instead, they are whole foods rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, protein, energy-giving carbohydrates, and omega-3 fatty acids.
I always challenge my readers to go beyond "isolated nutrient thinking" and consider the whole food. When you eat whole foods, you are consuming nutrients in balanced amounts. Unless you have an existing medical condition that requires careful monitoring of particular nutrients, it is completely unnecessary to worry about anti-nutrient, sugar, or carbohydrate amounts in any whole food.
In the same vein, a large green smoothie meal that contains 50 grams of sugar might match the sugar content of a candy bar, but it will not have the same effect on your body as a candy bar due to all of the other nutrients. Chocolate bars and soda pop are unhealthy primarily because they are processed foods devoid of any nutritional quality. They do not fill you up, and they do not nourish your body. They only provide excess sugar, calories, and fat. Also, remember that a green smoothie meal is your meal, but a candy bar or a soda is 50 to 60+ grams of added sugar (not to mention the extra calories) in addition to your meals.
True or False: Green Smoothies Are Too High in Carbohydrates for Weight Loss
False! I regularly hear from people who want to lose weight but are afraid to add green smoothies to their diet because of the carbohydrate content of the sweet fruits in my recipes. Well, rest assured, because there is a huge difference between a sugary donut and a fruit-and-vegetable green smoothie! Green smoothies nourish and fuel your body. Donuts just dump excess carbohydrates, sugar, and fat into your diet.
I'm sure you've heard the terms "bad carbs" and "good carbs." While the donut example is full of "bad carbs," fresh fruit and green smoothies are firmly in the "good carbs" camp. So while low-carb diets are all the rage right now, it is not necessary to eliminate all carbohydrates, or even to do a low-carb diet, to lose weight. You can lose weight on a high-carb, low-fat diet if your carbohydrates primarily come from fresh fruits and green smoothies.
The only carbohydrates I worry about are from breads, pasta, and other processed foods.
True or False: The Fructose Content of Green Smoothies (and Fresh Fruit) Causes Weight Gain
False! All of the studies that I have read on fructose deal with isolated, crystalline fructose or fructose-sweetened beverages. I have not seen a single scientific study showing any link between fruit consumption and obesity.
I don't doubt that concentrated sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, sweetened beverages, and processed foods lead to obesity and weight gain. The evidence shows that these unhealthy foods certainly contribute to the so-called "obesity epidemic."
However, evidence suggests that fruit, while also containing fructose, does not lead to obesity because it contains less fructose than fructose-containing junk foods, and in lower concentrations. The vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber also mitigate the potential negative effects of fructose. So when it comes to fresh fruits and green smoothies, fructose is simply a non-issue for me.
Fruit doesn't make you gain weight, and I'd argue that neither does fructose per se. What can make you gain weight is a sustained overabundance of calories, excessive amounts of concentrated sugars, a diet rich in processed foods lacking in nutritional quality, and a sedentary lifestyle.
Fresh fruits and green smoothies are less calorie-dense, and contain less sugar, than most other sweetened foods out there. They also fuel your body and provide energy that motivates many green smoothie enthusiasts to exercise, so they're actually great foods for people who are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy one. Of course, if you're trying to do either, it's a good idea to keep track of your total daily calories. If your daily goal is to consume 1,600 calories, then fruit and green smoothies must fit within that calorie allotment.
True or False: Blending Fruits with Greens, or Melons with Other Fruits, Is Improper Food Combining, Which Will Lead to Health Problems
False! Every time I post a green smoothie recipe on my website that contains melon, I get at least one comment about how melons should be eaten by themselves. Without fail, every time I post a green smoothie recipe that includes a carrot or a stalk of celery or piece of cucumber, I'll get comments from concerned people who've heard that one should never mix fruits and vegetables — or some fruits with other fruits, like how bananas should never, ever meet oranges. It's "bad food combining," they say.
Over and over again, my response is that the food-combining hypothesis was thoroughly debunked almost eighty years ago, there is absolutely zero scientific evidence to support it, and no credible scientists or doctors support "improper food combining" today.
Food combining is a central tenet of the Natural Hygiene philosophy, which was founded by Sylvester Graham in the 1830s and was brought into the twentieth century by Herbert M. Shelton. Elements of Natural Hygiene are particularly popular in the modern raw food movement, and "proper food combining" is often discussed on raw food message boards and websites.
The food combining hypothesis states that certain food combinations should never be consumed since such combinations will disrupt the body's balance, cause digestion problems, and lead to poor health and "toxic buildup." The idea is that certain foods digest using different enzymes, and improper food combining confuses the body, thereby producing health-damaging side effects from digestion.
Food combining "no-nos" include mixing protein with fat or protein with carbohydrate. Food combining theorists believe that certain types of fruit should not be mixed — for example, "acid fruits" like oranges with "sweet fruits" like bananas. In fact, they claim that fruits should always be eaten separately, especially melons.
Many of my green smoothie recipes are at odds with food combining since I routinely blend pineapples with bananas (gasp!) and I also commit the unforgivable sin of blending melons with just about every fruit and vegetable you can think of.
Do I care that I break just about every single food-combining rule every day? No! I don't care because there is absolutely no reason why I should. The food-combining hypothesis is not grounded in science, and it is also not supported by my personal experience or observation.
True or False: Blending Destroys Fiber
False! I've heard some people tell me that putting fruit in a blender "destroys fiber."
The act of blending does not destroy fiber. It may break it down, but you are still getting the same amount of fiber. All blending does is replicate thorough chewing. You wouldn't worry about destroying the fiber in an apple by chewing it, even if you chewed it very well, would you?
You are consuming the same amount of dietary fiber whether you eat an apple whole or you blend it up first. The health benefits are the same, and to my knowledge there are no peer-reviewed scientific studies that indicate that blending inhibits the effectiveness of dietary fiber. Also, keep in mind that most major fiber supplements that are recommended by doctors are in powdered form, which is broken down even more than fruit fiber is when blended.
Green Smoothie Precautions
Certain individuals may need to make changes to the recommendations and recipes in this book to fit their unique medical requirements.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Best Green Smoothies on the Planet"
Copyright © 2014 Tracy Russell.
Excerpted by permission of BenBella Books, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Introduction to Green Smoothies
Chapter 1 Why Green Smoothies? 3
Chapter 2 How to Make the Perfect Green Smoothie 17
Chapter 3 The Best Green Smoothie Ingredients 35
Part 2 Green Smoothie Recipes
Chapter 4 Detox and Cleansing Green Smoothies 79
Mean Green Cleansing 86
Green Apple 87
Berry Cleansing 89
The Green Machine 91
Sweet Grapefruit 92
Green Goodness Detox 93
Cranberry Cleanse 93
Chapter 5 Weight Loss Green Smootheis 95
Spiced Blueberry and Pear 104
Healthy Chocolate 104
Coconut-Mango with Lime 107
Banana-Pineapple with Aloe and Kale 109
Chapter 6 Antioxidant Green Smoothies 111
Very Berry 115
Frozen Raspberry-Lemonade 116
Mango-Papaya with Blueberries Pineapple-Plum with Almond Milk 119
Black and Blue 121
Super Antioxidant Blast 122
Chapter 7 Fitness and Energy Green Smoothies 125
Goji Berry-Maca 130
Berry-Chia Seed 131
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Blueberry-Oat 132
Peanut Butter-Raspberry 137
Ginger-Citrus with Kale 138
Chapter 8 Immune-Boosting Green Smoothies 139
Lemon-Kiwifruit Pear-Broccoli 144
Happy Berry Muffin 146
Sweet Potato 147
Cherry-Sweet Potato 147
Kiwifruit-Grape with Broccoli 148
Refreshing Lemon-Cucumber 150
Chapter 9 Calcium-Rich Green Smoothies 153
Coconut-Goji Berry 158
Sweet Potato-Orange 158
Red Grape-Pig 160
Peach-Straw berry-Coconut 162
Super Green and Peach 162
Pineapple-Orange Tropical Strawberry-Raspberry with Avocado 166
Orange-Sesame Seed 166
Chapter 10 Heart-Healthy Green Smoothies 167
Goji Berry Super food 171
Creamy Chocolate and Vanilla 172
Strawberry Goodness 173
Chia Seed-Red Grape 176
Rasp berry-Avocado 177
Chapter 11 Iron-Rich Green Smoothies 181
The Veggie 186
Star Fruit-Peach 187
Refreshing Apple 188
Nectarine-Goji Berry 193
Chapter 12 Mood-Enhancing Green Smoothies 195
Spiced Pineapple 201
Mesquite Cacao 204
Recipe Index 219
About the Author 235