Three key prerequisites for my green smoothies are that they contain plenty of green vegetables (not just a few spinach leaves), limited sugar (from fruit and other ingredients) and that they taste good.
This smoothie contains a good serve of steamed broccoli, which has a whole host of health promoting properties. There’s an increasing amount of evidence to suggest that regular consumption of broccoli (think at least half a cup per day or a cup 3 – 4 times per week) helps the body fight against cancer. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods this is thanks to a unique combination of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and pro-detoxification properties.
Similarly, spinach is rich in antioxidants and like broccoli provides the body with a good source of vitamins A & K. This is particularly useful for those who are vitamin D deficient as vitamins A & K help the body keep vitamin D metabolism in balance.
Cucumbers are wonderfully light, alkalising vegetables (as is spinach) also with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They contain three key lignans (chemical compounds found in plants) that have been associated with reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as breast, uterine, ovarian and prostate cancers.
Bananas provide a good source of potassium which helps the body maintain healthy blood pressure and heart function. They also provide a sweet, creamy consistency to the smoothie.
If I’m running low on broccoli or spinach, i’ll often substitute with some kale. You don’t have to be too precise with the ingredients, again use what you have readily available at home and if you like, add some protein powder or your other favourite supplement powder. I’ll often throw in a tablespoon of hydrolysed collagen (which I find unpalatable taken alone) .
- 150 g / 5.25 oz steamed broccoli
- 100 g / 3.5 oz spinach (I use English spinach or baby spinach leaves)
- 1 large banana
- 1 small lebanese cucumber or half a large one
- 300 ml / 10 fl oz coconut water
- 200 ml / 6.75 fl oz water
- Quarter cup of ice
- OPTIONAL: tablespoon of protein powder or supplement of your choice
Steam the broccoli and allow to cool. I often steam batches and keep them in the freezer, you can blend straight from the freezer.
Add all ingredients to a high powered blender and blend until smooth.
Note, I was given a new high powered blender for Christmas the ingredients i’ve listed are a bit too much to fit into one of the jugs so I divide between 2 (one each for my partner and I).