The Live Green Smoothie Diet

18 Mar, 2009

How To Make A Live Green Smoothie

Posted by: Angela Leeds In: Live Green Smoothie Basics

 

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Live Green Smoothies For Beginners

To help you gauge a good beginner’s proportion of greens to fruit, I’ve included measurements below. But I personally never measure my greens or my fruit when I make Live Green Smoothies. Since we’re dealing with fresh produce here, it’s hard to standardize measurements. A small very ripe banana will tend to be sweeter than 2 medium un-ripe bananas. “Three leaves of kale” could be tiny or gargantuan, depending upon the bunch you bought.

A good ratio to use when making green smoothies is 60% fruit to 40% greens.

You can use any kind of greens, and it’s good over time rotate your choice of greens. But keep it simple. There is no reason for complexity, and in fact the simpler your Live Green Smoothies are, the better your body will be able to digest and absorb the special nutrients that they carry.

A newbie to Live Greenies will generally enjoy them on the sweeter side. But your tastes will adjust after awhile and you’ll want less sugar and more greens. There are no hard-and-fast rules, though,only guidelines. Mostly importantly, learn how to make the smoothies that taste good to you so that you’ll enjoy drinking them, and drink them often!

After you’ve blended your smoothie, taste it before you pour it out. Ask yourself the following questions, then add fruit or greens accordingly.

  • “Do I want this more sweet, with more fruit?”
  • “Do I want this more watery, with less greens?”
  • “Do I want this energizing and really clarifying, with more greens?”
  • “Do I want this more refreshing, with less fruit?”

A Word About Blenders

When I first started “going raw” and discovered Live Green Smoothies, I had a $20 two-speed “smoothie blender” I picked up at Wal-Mart. I achieved my entire personal transformation using that blender, and I enjoyed drinking all the smoothies that little pipsqueak of a machine churned out.

However, when I later picked up a powerful 3+ HP Blendtec “Total Blender” (revamped and now called “Home”, but the same machine), my experience of drinking Live Green Smoothies jacked up as much as my vitality had. I’d never want to go back — the pricier Blendtec was worth every penny. So, if you can afford it, get a Blendtec. If you can’t… no worries. Your smoothies will just be a bit “chewier”… but there’s no harm in that.

However keep this in mind: there is evidence to show that the 2+HP blenders have the ability to break through the cell wall of the fruit & vedge in your smoothies, making them all that more digestible and their nutrients all the more “bio-available” to your system!

A Word About Preparing Your Greens and Fruit

If you use organic produce and you have a Blendtec, everything is quick and easy: Rinse the produce and throw into the blender whole, except for fruits that have pits or rough external skin. I don’t peel or core my apples; I use the stems on my greens; I don’t dice anything into small pieces; and I don’t make my smoothies in stages (“First blend this, then blend that… and now this.”) Everything goes in, the button gets pressed, and presto, in 40 seconds it’s done. Maybe I’ll add ice at the end, so I’ll do a 2nd round. But that’s the maximum fussiness I put into my smoothies. I am both busy and lazy, and I have to be hard-pressed and well-persuaded to put needless energy into any of my tasks.

In addition, I use water to create at least a 32 oz finished product, so I don’t have to repeatedly jam the fruit & vedge down to get it to blend. There is sufficient liquid in the blender to get the job done quickly and easily.

If you don’t use organic produce, I recommend that transitioning over to more organic – besides the pesticide residue you’ll decrease in your system, and your contributing to more balanced agriculture, studies have revealed that organic fruit & vedge do indeed have more nutrients. And I’ve taste-tested many times — organic produce is definitively sweeter, more mineral-rich, and more tender than produce grown using pesticides. As for food preparation, you’ll have to be more aware of removing peels and skins, roots and tops. Do what you need to do to make sure the food is clean and safe.

Simple Greens-and-Fruit Combinations For Live Green Smoothie Beginners

Spinach is the green of choice for beginners. It has a strong, tannic flavor when cooked, but when it is raw it has virtually no flavor at all. Instead, it gives a flavor of intense “freshness” when combined with fruit. Parsley is also very refreshing and enjoyable for beginners. I tend to use Parsley far more frequently than Spinach these days because it’s much, much cheaper and I’ve tightened up the purse strings. As you begin to branch out, try other greens: Kale, Arugula, Watercress, Beet Greens, Collards, Dill, Cilantro, even Broccoli. Later you can even experiment with making Live Green Smoothie with sprouts…which make “green smoothies” of all lovely colors — purple, fushcia, orange, and yellow!

In general regarding fruit: choose “sweet” fruits as the basis of your combination. Reserve less-sweet fruits, such as berries, as additions… unless you want an extremely low-sugar, very tart smoothie.

  • One of my all-time favorite smoothie combinations is Spinach and Pear. It tastes like “essence of pear”… super-refreshing! Try 2 pears to a handful of spinach.
  • Another excellent combination is Parsley and Mango. This makes for a gorgeous spring-green smoothie, and these two flavors really complement each other. One mango should suffice; add a banana or some grapes if you want it sweeter.
  • Spinach with Banana & Vanilla is great, especially if you add a bit of ice — it’s like a pretty, green, vanilla shake! Use 2 bananas with the spinach, and add either a dash of organic vanilla extract or a 1″ piece of vanilla bean.
  • One I make frequently is Grapes with Parsley. It’s extremely refreshing, and one that I generally make when I’m less inclined to sip — for example, when I’m taking one to the gym or making a smoothie after an intense workout, or when I’m getting my third blenderful of smoothies in at the end of a busy day. Use the grapes from a nice large bunch!

Basic Live Green Smoothie Recipe for Beginners

  • 1 cup (or a good medium-size handful) fresh spinach or parsley
  • 2 heaping cups (or two pieces) fresh sweet fruit
  • good, pure water to fill blender to 32 oz (or to the point at which it won’t explode when you turn it on to MAX)
  • 1 cup of ice (optional)

Blend: Put everything in the blender and blend til everything is broken down as good as your blender can manage. In my Blendtec, I have it set to 40 seconds, which is overkill. If you have a weenie-blender, you might want to give it a full minute or more.

Drink: Pour into glass & drink, or into ice-filled water bottles to take with you on-the-go. One blenderful will generally fill two large water bottles with ice, with a bit left over to drink.

Clean up: Rinse with hot water, then tip over to drain & dry. No need to use soap — you haven’t used anything that requires soap to break down.

After getting your smoothie feet wet, begin tinkering with these proportions.

  • Add a larger handful of greens, between 1 and 2 cups, or more. Try different combinations. Branch out to using kale, arugula, dill, watercress, beet greens, collards, broccoli… or anything else green you can buy in your produce section!
  • Add less fruit, or play with fruit combinations.

And then start exploring some of the more adventurous combinations on this site and elsewhere!

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Here are some “How To Make A Green Smoothie” videos, for your viewing pleasure…

How To Make A Green Smoothie, with GreenSmoothieGirl

This video was produced by Green Smoothie Girl, whose site is an absolutely awesome resource for green smoothies. Make sure you check it out! It’s extremely informative and well-organized, and I find that I’m extremely well in sync with GreenSmoothieGirl — AKA Robyn’s — take on everything from the greens to soy to coconut oil and salt.

open source video, online video platform, video solution

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This video was produced by Tim VanOrden of Running Raw.Com. I love this guy, and need to go out of my way to meet him because he’s also someone who has been leveraging the vital power of raw foods to become an elite athlete later in life. And he’s got more personality than his smoothie has chlorophyll!

open source video, online video platform, video solution

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This video was produced by Sergei Boutenko, a member of the Boutenko Family well-known for being leaders in bringing green smoothies to the world. Make sure you check out their site. I completely support their “Keep It Simple” take on green smoothies. They are wise and informative — not to be missed!

open source video, online video platform, video solution

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9 Responses to "How To Make A Live Green Smoothie"

1 | Jodi Cleghorn

March 19th, 2009 at 2:03 am

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Hi Angela,
Congratulations on the site. It looks fantastic. I'm sitting here drinking a green smoothie as I write – a wonderful mango, pear and endive concoction (and forcing my partner to drink it too).

I'm really low on energy today and knew it would help me get through the rest of the day. I'm looking forward to making green smoothies a part of our every day diet – and probably inspired also to get some green growing in our garden.

Thanks for all the great info – will be sharing this information with all my friends and getting Annie to link from her Raw Foods blog.

Jodi Cleghorn
Co-Author – Reclaim Sex After Birth
http://reclaimsexafterbirth.com

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2 | admin

March 18th, 2009 at 11:09 pm

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I’m tickled to hear that you like it… and that you’re drinking an LGS. and will be enjoying more of them regularly! I’m right there with you. :)
Wonderful… send Annie over. And I’m heading over pronto to check out your own site. Sounds very cool!

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you won’t be a stranger… would love to chat with you here again! :D
Angela

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3 | Mikey Mileos

October 11th, 2009 at 9:32 pm

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Hi,

I’m really keen on making Live Green Smoothies, but I don’t know where to get fresh produce. Stuff at the supermarket is probably there for aaages.

I can’t grow my own stuff cause I live in the city.

Do you have any advice?

Cheers,
Mikey

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4 | Axel

June 26th, 2010 at 6:36 am

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Hi,
Can one use milk as a base instead of water or would this be counter-productive? Why do I ask?
Well, here in Germany (in the state of Hesse) especially in Spring we make a traditional Green Sauce (similar to the Italian or Mexican Salsa Verde) using about 200g (8 oz) of fresh herbs usually (borage, sorrel, cress, chervil, chives, parsley, and salad burnet, dill, lovage, lemon balm spinach or basil) finely chopped and mixed with yoghurt and/or sour cream and chopped hard boiled eggs, salt pepper, lemon juice. It is absolutely delicious with new boiled potatoes and a real health booster!
This sauce known as “Frankfurter Gruene Sosse” has even been attributed to the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe but this is probably wishful thinking. It’s worth trying as an alternative to a LGS.

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5 | Angela Leeds

July 3rd, 2010 at 12:10 pm

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Hi Axel,

That Green Sauce sounds delicious! As for using milk or any dairy products in Live Green Smoothies, you can certainly use whatever you’d like in your smoothies, but it’s the fact that they are made from all raw, living fruit & vedge, plus pure water, which makes them “Live”. And that “Live” effect of the living greens & fruit is what makes them magical. :D

Angela

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6 | mike sanders

August 20th, 2010 at 5:55 am

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do you eat food as well and if so what please

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7 | Angela Leeds

August 20th, 2010 at 4:24 pm

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Hi Mike!
Yes, I eat regular food as well…whatever I want based on what my needs are and what the realities of life are at the time. I am not 100% raw and I am not 100% vegan… although at times I may choose to be.

I encourage everyone to make their own conscious choices, and to eat as undenatured and “cleanly” as possible… food that has been grown as nature intended, with care, and minimally processed. Of course, raw and living foods are the most undenatured foods on the planet. However, there are other considerations for each person’s balance — their constitution, comfort, “groundedness”, pocketbook, geography, availability, and convenience.

Let each person’s conscience and intuition be their guide. :)

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8 | Debo

December 9th, 2011 at 10:35 pm

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I have Type II Diabetes how do I start out with the green smoothies and fruit ? Won’t the fruit raise my blood sugar?

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9 | Angela Leeds

May 27th, 2012 at 11:14 pm

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Hi Debo,

I’m not a medical professional and so can’t speak to what is best for your personal condition, but I’ve certainly heard a lot of stories by people who claim that raw foods and green smoothies and green juices helped them tremendously with diabetes. Why not try one of my mild & easy recipes, like Liquid Sunshine — it’s wonderful, and not too sweet!

http://www.live-green-smoothie-diet.com/2009/08/the-quintessential-live-green-smoothie-liquid-sunshine/

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  • Angela Leeds: Hi Chris, There isn't a substitute for cacao butter because it has a distinct flavor and cools to a very hard texture. It can be hard to find locally
  • Angela Leeds: Hi Maggie -- The goji berries I have used are all dried, like raisins, but I know people who grow them and harvest them fresh! They are very hardy and
  • Angela Leeds: Hi Sharon -- wow, that's great to hear! I know, it can be discouraging out there with so many high-maintenance "raw" recipes. I write the recipes for

About The Live Green Smoothie Diet site

Transform your body, energy, and mind with Live Green Smoothies!

Discover the "liquid sunshine" happy vibe of blending & drinking live greens and fruit!

Whether you're a raw and whole food enthusiast, a junk food enthusiast, a master on the BBQ grill, or a life-long vegan, the Live Green Smoothie Diet site has you in mind.

Foods with more Life in them lead to a life with more Life in it!

The purpose of the LGS site is to show you ways to use living, raw, and superfoods to jack up your health, your vitality, and your sense of well-being...no matter what your current diet & lifestyle is like!


The Leeds Family have regularly used Tahitian Noni Juice and other TNI products with some amazing results, since 1997!

I am very proud to be a distributor of Tahitian Noni products, and hope you will check them out!