Anyone else trying to improve their eating habits? And I don't mean just fewer trips to Starbucks or McDonald's - I mean adding in the GOOD stuff, like fresh fruits and vegetables!
If you're like me, trying to add more veggies, then this Pear, Banana, and Spinach Smoothie Recipe is right up your alley. It's my latest favorite way to down my veggies! It has two full servings of greens, plus a helping of fruit too. It's packed with vitamins, and has a low glycemic index if you use unsweetened almond milk. Just don't overdo the honey, which has lots of sugar.
Raw Foods and Health
According to WebMD, the whole fruits and vegetables found in a raw food diet "can clear up headaches and allergies, boost immunity and memory, and improve arthritis and diabetes." I'd say that's a very good reason to incorporate more raw foods into your diet! Personally, I've suffered from migraines most of my adult life, so I'm open to anything that can help prevent chronic headaches.
Plus, raw vegetables and fruit, as well as water, help you feel fuller longer. I've been working to lose weight for over a year now, and this is one thing I do that I believe helps. I also eat lots of fish and chicken!
Benefits of This Smoothie
Well, my cutesy answer is "right away"! But in all honesty, it's pretty good any time of day. It's perfect for breakfast as the fruit cuts the "later in the day" taste of vegetables. It could be a meal replacement for lunch, or it's a perfect between-meal snacks. For me, if I get everything out before I go for a run, then I find it to be a quick post-workout drink too, since it has healthy carbs from the produce, as well as a lot of liquid to rehydrate.
Using Frozen Fruit in a Smoothie
One neat little trick with this smoothie - and it also works for many others - is to use frozen fruits instead of room-temperature ones. If you want to give this a shot, just freeze your banana the day before. The colder fruit brings down the temperature of the smoothie, making it more refreshing. (You could also add ice but maybe that just dilutes everything. I haven't tried it.)
Now on for the shopping list and easy instructions. Original recipe from Joy the Baker.
1 cup raw spinach
1 cup raw kale
1 under-ripe banana
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1 tablespoon honey
You may want to use organic fruits and vegetables if they are readily available. I do like to buy organic produce when I can. I don't mind the idea of washing away a few smal bugs in exchange for avoiding nasty chemicals, but in all honesty I can't remember if I've ever found any critters in organic produce. I purchase mine from the local produce market rather than the supermarket whenever I can, at least for the fresh items.
Pro Tip: For added immune support, find locally-grown honey; it helps your body fight off locally-grown germs! Again, you can skip the supermarket if you find someone who keeps beehives and sells the honey. Ask around on social media if you can't find one by doing a Google search.
To make this Pear, Banana, and Spinach Smoothie, start with 1 cup each raw spinach and raw kale. Kale is the curly-leaved vegetable shown in the photo above. Kale has a thick stalk in the middle of each leaf; you want to remove the more tender green parts and discard the center stem. Put both into the blender with a cup of unsweetened almond milk. Blend thoroughly until you've gotten rid of as many small bits of greens that you can.
Add 1 banana (frozen, if you think to do this in advance), 1 chopped pear, and 1 teaspoon honey. Blend again until everything is thoroughly mixed.
Pear, Banana, and Spinach Smoothie
- 1 cup raw baby spinach
- 1 cup raw kale
- 1 pear
- 1 banana (underripe and frozen, if possible)
- 1 cup Almond milk unsweetened
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Peel the pear and cut it into bite-sized pieces
- Remove tough center stem from kale leaves and any longer stems from spinach
- Add kale, spinach, and almond milk to blender, and blend until the leaves are as small as possible
- Add banana, pear, and honey
- Blend again until pear pieces are thoroughly blended