A spinach smoothie is a type of creamy, frozen drink made with spinach and various fruits. Although the spinach usually colors the drink green, these smoothies taste more like the fruit the spinach is paired with than the vegetable. Since spinach is rich in many vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients, spinach smoothies are usually a healthy addition to a diet.
Fresh spinach leaves are normally used to make a spinach smoothie. The leaves should be green and crisp, without any wilting or brown spots. Since spinach often contains pesticide residue, any leaves should be thoroughly washed before use. Buying organic, pesticide-free spinach is also an option.
In addition to spinach, a selection of fruits are normally added. Bananas are the most frequent addition, but apples, oranges, or grapes also may be included. Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries, are other popular choices. Overall, the fruit additions are highly varied both in the type and number of fruit. Ideally, the smoothie will primarily taste like the chosen fruits rather that the spinach.
Water or milk is essential to these smoothies. Since the main benefit of a spinach smoothie is its high nutritional value, usually soy milk, almond milk, or another low fat milk variety is used. Yogurt, usually plain or vanilla, may be substituted for, or included in, the liquid element. Since smoothies are designed to be cold, ice is normally added as well. If frozen fruit is used, however, the ice can be eliminated.
Artificial sweeteners, flavored water, or maple syrup may also be included for additional sweetness. Other beneficial nutrients, such as flaxseed, may be added to the drink for a greater health boost. Depending on how it is made, a spinach smoothie may have fewer than 150 calories and will contain more than five different vitamins, as well as anti-oxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and several minerals — such as potassium and zinc — necessary for the proper functioning of the body.
Although spinach smoothies usually take the color of the green vegetable, some fruit additions may change the color of the drink. Blueberries, for example, can turn the coloring gray, whereas strawberries may turn the drink brown. The color changes generally depend on the quantities of the fruits versus spinach.
A spinach smoothie is easy to make. The desired ingredients are simply placed in a blender and blended until a smooth liquid forms. To help prevent clumps of spinach remaining, the leaves may be blended with the water or milk before the other ingredients are included.