Confession: I’ve spent the last few days on a super secret smoothie mission. I’ve been playing with all sorts of different food combinations trying to create the ultimate SLC Green Smoothie and after several #fails and Vitamix volcanoes, I have finally concocted something worthy of slurping.
The SLC Green Smoothie is a balanced blend of seasonal fruits, leafy greens, proteins and fats meant to keep your energy levels soaring all. day. long. (or at least until lunch!). Seriously, I drank this smoothie yesterday at about 9 am and I was completely full and satisfied until noon — exactly what you want out of a smoothie.
What I like about this smoothie most is that it’s packed with leafy greens and yet, their taste is barely noticeable. Spinach is usually my go-to smoothie choice because once blended it’s so neutral that it barely affects flavour and yet it’s loaded with healthy vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. I also included local, seasonal fruits like apples and pears that are both surprisingly low on the GI scale (compared to most fruits) that they won’t cause your blood sugar to spike which can lead to an inevitable energy crash. The addition of the ½ banana is completely optional, especially if you’re concerned with keeping your blood sugar levels low, but the banana together with the avocado gives this smoothie a deliciously creamy texture — my mouth is watering just thinking about it!
Now that we know what’s in the SLC green smoothie, let’s go through each ingredient and discuss their awesome nutritional benefits:
- Apple — Polyphenols, a major source of antioxidants in apples, are five times more prevalent in apple skin than in the flesh so I always am sure to never peel my apples. In addition to cancer-fighting antioxidants, apples are also an excellent source of soluble fiber (pectin), which can help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and help regulate blood sugar levels.
- Pear — Pears are more known for their succulent flavor, but they’re actually quite nutritious as well as they’re loaded with insoluble fiber making them great bulking agents to fight constipation. Pears are also rich in beta-carotene, B vitamins and potassium that’ll help keep you trim and bloat-free
- Avocado — Avocados, or as they are known by my friend’s darling children “gator eggs”, are rich in heart-friendly monounsaturated fats and de-puffing minerals like potassium. The addition of the avocado to this smoothie also helps to double the absorption of antioxidants from other ingredients like the apples!
- Banana — Most folks associate bananas with potassium but they do indeed offer so much more. This creamy, rich and sweet fruit is also a great source of vitamin B6. B6 not only helps our body tackle stress but acts as a coenzyme in the breakdown and utilization of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Along with B12 and folic acid, B6 also helps to keep homocysteine levels in check (too much homocysteine has been associated with depression, memory loss and atherosclerosis).
- Almonds — Beauty food junkies listen up! Almonds are one of the top sources of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps fight premature ageing and also helps keep the brain sharp and heart strong. The monounsaturated fats in almonds also help to lower cholesterol.
- Spinach — Spinach contains nearly twice the iron of other leafy greens, making it one of the most available plant-based sources of iron. It’s also an excellent source of folic acid, potassium and magnesium, as well as vitamin K, carotenes, and vitamin C.
- Hemp seeds — Hemp seeds are one the best source of plant-based protein. A single serving contains all 9 essential amino acids making this one of the only plant-based complete protein sources. Hemp seeds are also a great source of the omegas like GLA which is a key nutrient for regulating PMS and also helps to promots clear skin (beauty alert!).
- Bee Pollen — A superfood in its own right, bee pollen is a natural energizer and immune booster that also adds a touch of sweetness to this smoothie.
- Lemon — Last but not least we have lemons that help to boost digestion, balance blood pH, aid in detoxification and keep immunity strong thanks to its abundant levels of vitamin C.
Okay, phew, that was a lot and now I’m exhausted. I might need another smoothie today to keep me going but in the meantime why don’t you tell me what smoothie ingredient you can’t live without? Did I miss anything that you feel is vital in a coffee-alternative, energy boosting morning smoothie? Let me know in the comments section below!
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 apple
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 avocado
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 4 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp bee pollen (optional)
- Blend all ingredients together until smooth.