7 Vegan Power Smoothies: Day 1: The Go Green

By Angelika Hanna

I am excited to start today my 7-days series ‘ 7 Vegan Power Smoothies’.

Every day for one week, I will post a different smoothie, starting with the color green. I have invested quite a bit of time on research to learn and share some facts and health benefits of the ingredients I use in my smoothies.

Deliciousness and health benefits come together in all my colorful smoothies. I did not add any artificial colorants and sugars.

The stars in today’s smoothie that create the bright fresh green are the kale, the spinach and the avocado. Kale and spinach are known as two of the healthiest and most nutritious plant foods on this planet (Healthline Info, 2018.) Like other leafy greens, they are very high in antioxidants. They are very high in nutrients and very low in calories. The low-calorie content makes them an excellent food for a weight loss diet.

However, kale is known for its somewhat tardy and slightly bitter taste. But not to worry. The other ingredients in this tasty green smoothie balance out the tardiness of the kale as well as the typical ‘spinach taste.’

The mango will sweeten up your smoothie. (If you prefer banana instead, it works as a natural sweetener as well.)

All my smoothies are dairy- and banana-free. It is my personal taste that I did not add banana to any of my smoothies. I find that banana has a dominant and overpowering taste in smoothies and covers up the flavor of the other veggies, fruit, and spices.

Coconut water and non-chlorinated water are the only liquids I used to dilute the fruit and vegetables.

Here are some main facts about the ingredients and some potential health benefits – there may be more than what I listed below. All the following information is taken from Healthline.com, a reputable and reliable source backed up by scientific studies.

Kale:

Is an excellent source of:

  • Betacarotene and carotenoid antioxidants: May help to support eye health.
  • Vitamin K: An important nutrient that is involved in blood clotting and binding calcium. It may help prevent osteoporosis.
  • Vitamin C: Kale is much higher in Vitamin C than most other vegetables. May help boost the immune system. May have positive effects on skin health, tissues, bones, teeth.
  • Potassium: A mineral that has been linked to reduced blood pressure and may therefore help to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.
  • Calcium: Plant-based source of calcium, a nutrient that is important for bone health and other cellular functions.
  • Magnesium: Important mineral that may be protective against type 2 diabetes and heart disease. May be helpful against insomnia.
  • Manganese: Supports enzyme function and fat metabolism.
  • Copper: The body uses copper to form red blood cells, bone, connective tissue.
  • Other Antioxidants:
    • Substances that may help counteract oxidative damage by free radicals in the body. Oxidative damage is believed to be among the leading drivers of aging and many diseases, including cancer.
    • May have heart-protective, blood pressure-lowering, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-depressant effects.

Spinach:

Is an excellent source of:

  • Iron: May help with fatigue and boost the immune system.
  • Calcium: Plant-based source of calcium, a nutrient that is important for bone health and other cellular functions.
  • Magnesium: Important mineral that may be protective against type 2 diabetes and heart disease. May be helpful against insomnia.
  • Vitamin C: May help boost the immune system. May have positive effects on skin health, tissues, bones, teeth.
  • Vitamin A: May help protect eyes from night blindness and age-related decline. May lower the risk for certain cancers. May support to boost the immune system.
  • Other Antioxidants:
    • Substances that may help counteract oxidative damage by free radicals in the body. Oxidative damage is believed to be among the leading drivers of aging and many diseases, including cancer.
    • May have heart-protective, blood pressure-lowering, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-depressant effects.

Avocado:

Free of bad cholesterol. Consists primarily of carbs, but is high in healthy fats and contain 20 different vitamins and minerals.n Although, it contains 9 grams of carbs, 7 of those are fiber. So, there are only 2 ‘net’ carbs, making the avocado a low-carb friendly plant food overall.

Is an excellent source of:

  • Vitamin C: May help boost the immune system. May have positive effects on skin health, tissues, bones, teeth. Helps iron absorption.
  • Vitamin K: Important for blood clotting and may help promote bone health.
  • Vitamin B5: Like other B vitamins, it helps the body obtain energy. Is also involved in hormone and good cholesterol production.
  • Vitamin B6: Is involved in red blood cell production and the creation of neurotransmitters.
  • Vitamin E: Anti-inflammatory. May help support the immune system, cell function, and skin health.
  • Potassium: A mineral that has been linked to reduced blood pressure and may therefore help to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.
  • Dietary Fiber: May help to reduce blood sugar levels, and is therefore beneficial against diabetes and for metabolic health.
  • Lutein + Zeaxanthin: The antioxidants Lutein and Zeaxanthin are important for eye health and may lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Mango:

Is low in calories yet high in nutrients.

Is an excellent source of:

  • Dietary Fiber: May help reduce blood sugar levels, and is therefore beneficial against diabetes and for metabolic health.
  • Vitamin C: May help boost the immune system. May have positive effects on skin health, tissues, bones, teeth. Helps iron absorption.
  • Vitamin A: May help boost the immune system and fight infections.
  • Vitamin B: May help the body obtain energy. It is involved in hormone and good cholesterol production.
  • Vitamin K: An important nutrient that is involved in blood clotting and binding calcium. It may help prevent osteoporosis.
  • Vitamin E: Anti-inflammatory. May help support the immune system, cell function, and skin health.
  • Potassium: A mineral that has been linked to reduced blood pressure and may therefore help to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.
  • Magnesium: Important mineral that may be protective against type 2 diabetes and heart disease. May be helpful against insomnia.
  • Other Antioxidants: May help counter free radical damage linked to cancers, diabetes and other illnesses.

Ginger:

Is closely related to Turmeric and Cardamon. It is often referred to as one of the most health beneficial spices next to Turmeric. Ginger is a flowering plant originating from China. It is the root of the ginger plant that is commonly used as a spice. Common use of ginger is as the root itself or in powder form.

Potential health benefits:

  • May have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
  • May help improve digestion and stomach issues.
  • May help reduce morning sickness, sea sickness, chemotherapy-related nausea and general nausea.
  • May help reduce inflammation in the colon.
  • Is often used as a breath-freshener. It may help fight mouth-bacteria and may be beneficial to reduce gingivitis.
  • May help fight the flu and common cold virus.
  • May help reduce muscle pain and soreness.
  • May help with osteoarthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • May help lower blood sugar levels and improve heart disease risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • May help lower cholesterol and blood triglyceride levels.
  • May help fight cancer cells.
  • May help reduce menstrual pain.
  • May help improve brain function and may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

Chia seeds:

Deliver a massive amount of nutrients with low-carbs and very few calories. They are a whole-grain food. Non-GMO. Naturally gluten-free.

I like to add chia seeds to my smoothies for their nutty flavor.

They are an excellent source of:

  • Dietary Fiber: May help move food through the digestive system and aids bowel health.
  • Protein: Makes up the building blocks of organs, muscles, skin, hormone. A diet high in protein may help you lose weight and belly fat, while increasing muscle mass and strength.
  • Calcium: Plant-based source of calcium, a nutrient that is important for bone health and other cellular functions.
  • Magnesium: Important mineral that may be protective against type 2 diabetes and heart disease. May be helpful against insomnia.
  • Phosphorus: An essential mineral that the body uses to build healthy bones. Creates energy. Makes new cells.
  • Zinc: Mineral that metabolizes nutrients. Maintains immune system. Grows and repairs body tissue.
  • Potassium: A mineral that has been linked to reduced blood pressure and may therefore help to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.
  • Vitamin B1: Plays essential role in metabolism. Helps convert nutrients into energy.
  • Vitamin B2: Helps convert food into energy. Acts as an antioxidant.

Coconut chips:

Made out of coconut meat. Cholesterol-free. High in saturated fat and calories, and should therefore be consumed in moderation. However, a moderate amount of plant-based fat is said to be healthy by nutrition experts, as it is used by the body to produce energy.

Are an excellent source of:

  • Dietary Fiber: May help move food through the digestive system and aids bowel health.
  • Iron: Has an important function to carry oxygen throughout the body and to make red blood cells. Deficiency may cause anemia and lead to symptoms like fatigue.
  • Copper: The body uses copper to form red blood cells, bone, connective tissue.
  • Potassium: A mineral that has been linked to reduced blood pressure and may therefore help to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.

Coconut water:

1 cup = 46 calories. Cholesterol-free. Beneficial to hydrate the body.

Is an excellent source of:

  • Dietary Fiber: Works to move food through the digestive system and aids bowel health.
  • Vitamin C: May help boost the immune system. May have positive effects on skin health, tissues, bones, teeth.
  • Potassium: A mineral that has been linked to reduced blood pressure and may therefore help to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.
  • Magnesium: Important mineral that may be protective against type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
  • Manganese: Supports enzyme function and fat metabolism.
  • Other Antioxidants: May help protect the cells from free radicals.

Recipe:

Prep Time: 20 min

Blend Time: Approx. 3-5 min

Yield: 3 servings

Author: Angelika Hanna / Zest4Food

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
  • 1 medium-sized avocado
  • 1 ripened Alphonso mango (use 2 for sweeter flavor of your smoothie – you can also add a banana if you like)
  • 1/2 tbsp black chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup coconut chips
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup non-chlorinated water (for a thick smoothie consistency – use 1 cup for a more liquid consistency)
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • Natural sweeteners such as honey, stevia, agave, dates (optional) – I did not use any sweetener in my smoothie.

Instructions:

  1. In a large blender, place the kale, spinach, avocado, mango, ginger, coconut chips, chia seeds.
  2. Pour the liquid – coconut water and non-chlorinated water on top.
  3. Close the lid and press the ‘on’ button to start blending.
  4. When your mixture takes on a thick smooth consistency and is fairly well mixed, stop and taste for sweetness. (If you don’t find it sweet enough, add at this point the natural sweetener of your choice)
  5. Continue blending until all the ingredients are well combined into a thick green smoothie.

Serve chilled. Enjoy!

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3 thoughts on “7 Vegan Power Smoothies: Day 1: The Go Green

  1. Hi Angelika! I’m loving your blog already!! I am a BIG fan of green smoothies!! And using fruit to sweeten them rather than sugar. I love the recipe book, “Simple Green Smoothies,” by Jen Hansard and Judah Sellner. I’m glad you commented on my blog so I could follow you! 💚

    Liked by 1 person

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