Drinking green this week, not only in anticipation of St. Patty’s Day on Friday but because this is the season for all sorts of locally grown local leafy greens. So, today we’re raising a glass and saying , “Cheers” to a healthy and delicious way to enjoy an easy springtime smoothie!
Shop local for the best selection of local greens
My Saturday morning norm is to hit 2-3 different local farmers’ markets on any given Saturday morning. It’s fun, relaxing and a great way to spend time with other folks who love to shop locally. Find a couple of farmers markets nearest to you, go and get to know your farmers.
This time of year look for all sorts of leafy greens. Spinach is usually my go to for green smoothies, but kale, spring lettuces and Swiss Chard all work well and taste good and microgreens do, too.
Watch your sugar
I’m not a doctor, a nutritionist or a dietician; but I know enough to know that too much sugar in our diets isn’t a good thing. Making smoothies as meal replacements or simply as what we think to be a healthy snack, could also be an easy way to drink in too much sugar. So, watch the sweet stuff.
Springtime Smoothies – or those you’ll make anytime of the year – don’t always have to start with processed juice. Use freshly brewed tea or coffee instead and you can control your sugar intake. I love using the Turmeric Chai Tea from my friends at Turmeric Zone. It won’t add a green color like the Matcha but it does add an equally good flavor.
Keep it green with matcha tea powder. Matcha is ground green tea and not only is it good for you, it’s also delicious. And you can control the sugar or sweeteners you add. My matcha go-to is Matcha Nude from Asheville. The ground green tea itself is actually from Japan; but the product is packaged and shipped out of Asheville by a fabulous woman-owned company. Follow them on social media for all sorts of delicious matcha tips and tricks.
I featured this brew in one of my recent Eat and Drink Locally round ups. Here is the link to that post. And then, you can order online and read more here: matchanude.com
Sweetening Your Springtime Smoothie
Check sugar levels on any juices or plant based milks you might add. And remember that even fresh fruits and honey have sugar. Instead of more sweet, try add more of a depth of flavor (that will keep you from craving more sugar) by using spices and extracts, like fresh ginger and cinnamon or vanilla. Or, add a syrup, like the Sweets Elderberry Syrup I mentioned in this post, a little goes a long way and it packs a punch of antioxidants as well as great flavor.
If you are going to add protein powder, I suggest you keep it local and use Mighty Muscadine Protein Powder from Advance NC. Muscadines are a super fruit full of good-for-you antioxidants so there is that too. Its a favorite of mine, all the way around. You can read more in the same blog post In which I shared the scoop on Match Nude; then order online here: https://www.mightymuscadine.com/
Another great way to add protein, and vitamins, too and make a creamier smoothie at the same time is to add whole or skim milk or plain yogurt to the mix. Plant-based milks have protein too, just make sure to read labels and use an unsweetened variety.
Eat Your Peas and Carrots
In addition to fresh lettuce, kale and Swiss Chard; you can also add microgreens to your smoothies for an extra burst of flavor. Microgreens are the first two leaves of any vegetable. These tiny plants are grown by several farmers around town and are hand-harvested with kitchen shears – its definitely a labor of love!
To add more green and all the right fats, use a fresh ripe avocado.
When you are thinking about other veggies to add for flavor and vitamins, green color, not withstanding, locally grown carrots, beets and all sorts of berries also are a great addition to any smoothie.
If you want to keep it green in color and still add fruit use yellow or golden fruit. Bananas, mangos and pineapple are always a delicious addition to the mix.
Want to watch me make this? Check out the Salad Sippin’ segment I recently did on WCNC’s Charlotte Today here.
Then shop local for all the goodies and whip up a smoothie for yourself – its super simple and you’re going to love it!
Easy Springtime Smoothie
- 2 cups prepared Mafcha Nude Matcha Sweetened as you would like
- 4 cups mixed local greens choose from Spinach, lettuce, kale or Swiss Chard
- 1 cup your favorite micogreens
- 1 cup fresh pineapple cut into cubes
- 2 yellow mangos peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 scoop Mighty Muscadine Protein Powder optional
- 1 firm but ripe avocado peeled and mashed
Variations and Additions
- 1 cup milk use whole milk or plant-based variations. skim milk works well too
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 banana peeled and chopped
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender.
Mix well until smooth and then, sweeten to taste with honey or a simple syrup
More Variations for your next easy Springtime Smoothie
Consider adding any of the following to mix up the flavors:
- 1/4 medium beet (steamed and cooled if you do not have a high-power blender)
- Sub in coffee for the tea
- 1/4 cup cocoa nibs ( particulary good with coffee and a banana and a bit of protein powder)
- 1/2 cup fresh local blueberries
- 1-2 Tbsp. Chia Seeds
- 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
- 1 cup of your favorite coconut water
Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp. peeled, grated ginger
- Pinch of Sea Love Sea Salt
So matcha great information, Heidi.