I used to be obsessed with green smoothies and juices. I figured, how much healthier could it get? All that green first thing in the morning? Score.
But after a while, I started to feel unsatisfied. I would get hungry about two hours later, and sometimes would still want something to chew.
Then I learned about the importance of including healthy fats. Fats send signals of satiety to the brain. They also are crucial in absorbing vitamins. Many vitamins such as A, D, E, and K, are fat soluble, meaning that they need to be paired with fat in order to be utilized by the body.
So if you really want to absorb the goodness of spinach and kale in your smoothie, pair it with some avocado, hemp/chia seeds, or full fat coconut milk.
Other healthy fat sources include: nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or coconut oil and homemade almond butter.
To satisfy my yearning to chew, I poured my smoothie into a bowl and topped it with whatever I had on hand: bee pollen, coconut flakes, chopped walnuts, goji berries, cacao nibs, sprouted buckwheat.
Chewing is not only satisfying, but it also serves as part of the digestive process. Chewing tells your body that food is about to come down the chute (i.e. your esophagus) so those digestive enzymes and juices better start pumping.
In conclusion: healthy fat + a bowl + crunchy toppings = a satisfying green smoothie meal.
Matcha + Maca
These two ingredients will definitely step up your green smoothie skills. They're both excellent sources of energy: perfect for the active-types, or anyone living in this fast-paced modern world.
Matcha is fine ground green tea powder with great antioxidant, cancer-fighting effects. Matcha has also shown the ability to exert an alert, yet calming effect due to the amino acid L-theanine, as well as serve as a calorie burner/metabolism booster.
Maca powder comes from maca root, and has powerful alkaloids that help nourish the endocrine system by increasing stamina, boosting libido, and preventing fatigue. It's great for regenerating the adrenal glands and lowering cortisol (the stress hormone). Furthermore, it's a great addition for athletes as it promotes quick regeneration of fatigued muscle tissue.
2 handfuls spinach (or kale or chard)
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup H2O
1 frozen banana
2-3 tsp matcha powder
1-2 tsp maca powder
1/2 tbsp fresh ground flax
Add all ingredients except avocado. Blend until smooth. Add avocado and blend just until incorporated. Serve in a bowl with whatever toppings you have on hand.
NOTE: For less sugar, substitute half or whole banana for a zucchini. For a pre-workout boost or sweeter taste, add dates.