With summer finally underway, there is nothing I find to be more refreshing than sipping on an ice cold smoothie in the sunshine! Smoothies are also an amazing way to power up your day or refuel after an intense workout. Pull out your favorite straw and get in on some nutrient dense ingredients that will enhance your summer glow and keep your energy levels high! I hope you love this Green Spinach Smoothie recipe as much as I do! Enjoy all of the benefits of boosting your daily veggie intake!
Contributor: Madeline McDonough
Spotlight on Hemp Seeds
Derived from the cannabis plant, hemp seeds are incredibly high in nutrients –especially protein. With more than 10 grams of protein per serving, this seed is small but mighty and a simple way to elevate your smoothies. I’m a huge hemp fan because the seeds are also full of omega-3 fatty acids which are needed for brain development, a strong immune system, overall heart health and regulation of blood pressure. Hemp seeds are also a great source of soluble and insoluble fiber, both of which are essential for a healthy gut environment and daily bowel movements. In one study, participants suffering from excessive constipation were given hemp seed pills or a placebo. Those who took the hemp seed pills experienced improvements in constipation, as well as straining when compared to the control group. With such an amazing nutrient profile, hemp seeds are the perfect way to easily increase the nutrient density of your Green Spinach Smoothie!
Blending vs. Juicing
Lately it seems like more people are beginning to understand the true value of relying more on fruits and vegetables for health and weight management. This has led to an increased interest in juices and smoothies because these drinks serve as a vehicle to get more nutrients in the body. But are all smoothies and juices created equal? A 2012 study and many others say no. Researchers assessed the phytochemical content of juices and smoothies and concluded that blending vegetables seems to be the better choice. The results of the study indicated that blending, as opposed to juicing, yields significantly higher levels of phytonutrients due to the pulp that remained in the final product.
Blending vegetables and other produce allows for most of the nutrients, especially fiber, to remain in tact. This is critical for decreasing the impact that the drink has on your blood sugar levels. Smoothies also provide an opportunity to add extras like hemp seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts for a healthy source of proteins and omega 3 fats. At the end of the day smoothies are more nutrient-dense and higher in fiber which are two important components of overall health. If you are going to drink a juice make sure that it’s raw and cold-pressed, filled with mostly veggies and less fruits, and no bigger than 6-8 fl oz.
Green Spinach Smoothie
By Brigid Titgemeier
- 1 granny smith apple, cored and diced
- 1 cup spinach, frozen
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 1/2 avocado
- 3 Tbsp hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 cup water
- Measure all ingredients and add to the blender.
- Blend for 30-45 seconds or until smooth.
- Pour smoothie into two cups. Can freeze for later use.