One of my favorite things to do is develop new smoothie recipes, especially if they are green smoothies. I work closely with one of my favorite companies, Simple Green Smoothies, on recipe development as well as photos and videos. So on any given day, you’ll find my fridge full of various leafy greens and a freezer full of fruit. Not a bag gig! For my own purposes, I wanted to develop a recipe for an Ultimate Superfood Green Smoothie that I could rely on as part of my regular rotation.
I know the word “superfoods” if often overused and a little misunderstood. Some people hate the term, but I like it because to me a superfood is one that is loaded with nutrients and something I should maybe think about adding to my diet, if I haven’t already. If you do an online search for superfoods, you’ll end up with numerous results with links to foods you may have never heard of before. I’m not quite as interested in those “superfoods” as I am the everyday ones that may already be in my fridge or cupboard. And those are the superfoods in this smoothie.
Each ingredient in this smoothie is considered a superfood:
Spirulina and acai puree are two ingredients that are becoming more mainstream these days.
+Why You Should Eat Superfoods+
A cyanobacterium (blue-green algae), spirulina is high in iron, protein, B vitamins, and chlorophyll. If you’re vegetarian, it’s a great thing to add to your diet. Though if you want to consume larger amounts a pill may be better than the powder…not going to lie, it tastes pretty terrible unless it’s masked with fruit. Ha! But the 1 teaspoon (per serving) in this smoothie will still taste great. Pinky swear. ;) You’ll find spirulina as an ingredient in a lot of supplements like powdered greens and vitamins.
Acai berries are the fruit of acai palm trees native to South America. They are very popular in Brazil. You’ve probably seen or had an acai bowl. Acai is often combined with blueberries or other fruit because it also can be a little strong on its own. I love adding packs of frozen acai pack to smoothies. Acai berries are high in fiber, antioxidants, minerals (copper, iron, zinc, magnesium), vitamins (A, C, B6, riboflavin, niacin, K), and even healthy omega-6 and -9 fatty acids. It’s a great food to add to your diet if you aren’t already. Like other berries, acai has anti-inflammatory properties too. You can find the frozen puree in the freezer section of Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, health food stores, and other well-stocked grocery stores. If you can’t find the puree, you can also use powdered acai. (Navitas Naturals is my favorite brand.)
CHIA + ORANGES + BLUEBERRIES
Of course the other ingredients, like chia seeds are more well-known and used. I eat a few tablespoons of chia seeds everyday for the dietary fiber and healthy fats. Oranges are high in fiber too, as well as vitamin C, as everyone knows. Blueberries remain a favorite smoothie ingredient – naturally sweet, high in antioxidants, and other nutrients. (And they’re great at masking the green from the kale if you’re adverse to that!)
Kale is one of the world’s healthiest greens. Baby kale is mild flavored and blends really easy, so it’s great to use in smoothies. Kale is high in vitamins A, C, and K, and also contains protein, iron, and plenty of fiber. Fiber seems to be a recurring theme here – but it’s essential to include fiber-rich foods for a healthy digestive tract as well as helping to lower blood cholesterol and keeping you full. Fiber also has benefits on blood sugar by preventing spikes and dips.
Coconut water is another favorite thing I blend with often. It helps replenish electrolytes and is very hydrating, but I love that it also adds a little extra sweetness without adding sugar.
Smoothies are my favorite way to start the day! Here are some of my other favorite smoothie recipes:
Cranberry Pear Acai Bowl
Acai Bowl with Kale and Berries
Kale Sunrise Green Smoothie
Pink Sunrise Breakfast Smoothie
Kale Cranberry Pear Green Smoothie
- 2 cups kale, stems removed if desired
- 2 cups coconut water, chilled
- 2 large oranges, peeled
- 1 cup blueberries, frozen
- 3.5 ounce package frozen acai puree, slightly thawed
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 teaspoons spirulina powder
- Place kale, coconut water, and oranges into a blender jar. Puree until smooth.
- Add the remaining ingredients and blend again until very smooth. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.