5 Must-Use Green Smoothie IngredientsArticle posted in: Diet & Nutrition
Stressing over getting in all your greens? Put that salad fork down and power up your blender because green smoothies are your simple solution!
Sneak all kinds of green servings into your diet with a flavorful and easy-to make smoothie. Variety is the key in any successful diet, so if you’re as sick of hearing about kale as we are, here’s a lineup of some other vitamin-rich and health-boosting greens that are great for green smoothies.
Try these five green smoothie ingredients this week to experience a whole new taste and texture:
If you’re all kale-d out, arugula is your green! This little lovable green gives you a great round of nutrients, including folate, calcium, plus vitamins A and C. Plus, it has cancer-fighting antioxidants. Drop these slightly bitter leaves into your smoothie along with some sweet citrus or dried fruits if you’re on Phase 2 of South Beach Diet (think raisins, cherries or blueberries), to balance out the bold flavor.
Shopping Tip: Select bright green, crisp-looking leaves, and stay away from slimy or withered stems.
Storage Tip: Wrap arugula leaves loosely in a damp paper towel, then place paper towel inside of a plastic bag and place in fridge. Use within three days.
Spinach is a long-time favorite for smoothies, not only because the mild leaves go well with just about any fruit, but also because this fiber-filled veggie holds over nine different nutrients, including iron, folate, calcium and magnesium, niacin, riboflavin and potassium, plus vitamins A, K and C. The great news is, if you don’t love spinach, skipping the salad and opting for a spinach smoothie will still allow you to reap the endless benefits of this wondrous green. Try it in an icy cold strawberry, apple and pear smoothie for a low on sugar, yet sweet tasting snack or meal. One-third of a cup of strawberries, along with one-third of a small apple and one-third of a medium pear will put Phase 2 South Beach Dieters out just one serving of Fruit.
Shopping Tip: Opt for fresh, crisp greens that show no signs of insect damage. (Frozen works, too!)
Storage Tip: Wrap spinach leaves in damp paper towel, then place in plastic bag and place in fridge. Use within three days.
3. Swiss Chard
If you are looking for mild flavored, green smoothie ingredients with numerous nutritional health benefits, Swiss chard is an all-around great option. It’s an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, vitamin E and iron. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, choline, vitamin B2, calcium, vitamin B6, phosphorus and protein. This beautiful green is mild tasting and delicate, so it is easily blended with many fruits and citrus flavors. Try something tropical like orange-pineapple or mango-banana Swiss chard smoothies to mix up your leafy green intake. Half of a cup of fresh mango, combined with half of a small banana, is one total Fruit serving on South Beach Diet.
Shopping Tip: Opt for chard that is stored in a chilled display to ensure that it has a crunchier texture and sweeter taste. Look for bright green leaves that do not display any browning or yellowing. Avoid leaves that are wilted or that have tiny holes. The stalks should be crisp and unblemished.
Storage Tip: Store unwashed leaves in plastic bags in the crisper; use within 3-5 days.
4. Bok Choy
Bok choy is in the same veggie family as kale, but has a far less bitter taste if you’re looking for something close to your comfort zone. This great kale alternative is an excellent source of vitamins A, and vitamin C, and is a good source of folate. If you’re in the mood to try something new and exciting in your smoothie, bok choy goes great with just about any fruit flavor. Throw some bok choy, strawberries, papaya or any citrus into your blender and enjoy this as the perfect flavor-packed pick-me-up smoothie! Just remember to keep it to one cup fresh fruit, if you’re on the South Beach Diet weight loss program.
Shopping Tip: Store in a plastic bag in the crisper; use within one week.
Storage Tip: Choose bok choy with firm stems, and avoid those with brown spots or wilting leaves.
5. Collard Greens
Enrich your body with a cleansing flush of antioxidants from the delicious and powerful collard greens. Collard greens are an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, vitamin C, dietary fiber and calcium. They’re also a very good source of some B vitamins and iron. So there’s no question: Collard greens can pump up the nutritional value of your daily smoothie to essentially replace a salad or any serving of veggies. This mineral-rich veggie is only slightly bitter with thick, fibrous leaves—which can actually add some much-needed texture to a delicious fruit smoothie. Paired in your blender with bold fruit flavors like mango, strawberry or peach, collard greens will surely create the healthy sweet summer treat you’re craving. One medium peach is a Fruit on South Beach diet, and the same goes for one cup of fresh strawberries or mango.
Shopping Tip: Look for firm, unwilted leaves that are deep in green color with no signs of yellowing or browning. Smaller leaves will be more tender and have a milder flavor.
Storage Tip: Place collard greens in a plastic bag, removing as much of the air from the bag as possible. Store in the refrigerator where they should keep fresh for about three to five days.
Note: If you haven’t reached Phase 2 of South Beach Diet yet, try experimenting with these green smoothie ingredients by incorporating your favorite Lean Proteins and Healthy Fats: Protein powders like Beach Shack Chocolate Shake and nuts are such excellent additions, you won’t miss the fruit!