Recipe: Green Smoothie
Updated: Feb 7
What's the easiest and quickest way to boost your immunity? A smoothie! A vegetable smoothie is like a fresh salad that you can drink. Because most of the ingredients are raw, it is rich in vitamins and minerals. Try this immunity-boosting Green Smoothie recipe using everyday ingredients like spinach and broccoli. Let’s try and enjoy!
100 gm raw spinach
60 gm raw broccoli
1 medium apple, roughly chopped
2 tbsp walnuts
1 tsp honey
100-200 ml water
Serving: 2 (about 300 ml per glass)
Nutrition Value (per serving):
Energy: 210 kcal
Protein: 8 gm
Carbs: 26 gm
Fats: 11 gm
Fibre: 5 gm
Steps to prepare the ingredients:
1. Wash the broccoli properly by putting its head in the water and shaking it.
2. Separate each floret with a knife and rinse them properly with your hands.
(Tip: It is recommended to wash broccoli properly to remove any small insects and chemicals from pesticides. But don't soak it for a long time to avoid nutrient loss.)
3. Rinse the spinach well.
4. Put some water in a large pot and bring it to a boil. Put the stems of the spinach in the hot water, and keep for 30 seconds.
5. Then soak the leaves of the spinach, and continue to boil for 30 seconds.
6. Remove the hot water. Soak the spinach in some clean water. Squeeze and drain.
(Tip: This process of blanching the spinach helps preserve its nutrients.)
(Note: After this process, the weight of the spinach will reduce from 100 gm to around 70 gm.)
7. Chop this spinach roughly.
(Tip 1: It is recommended to wash and boil the spinach properly before using it to remove chemicals from pesticides, small insects, and oxalic acid on the spinach. Oxalic acid can make the smoothie acrid. Depending on your constitution, eating too much oxalic acid may cause kidney stones. But don’t over boil the spinach or soak it in water for a long time to avoid nutrient loss.)
(Tip 2: You can store any excess boiled spinach in the freezer, and use it anytime later.)
Steps to make the smoothie:
1. Add the broccoli florets, boiled and chopped spinach, chopped apple and all other ingredients in the blender.
2. Blend the ingredients to a thick but flowing smoothie. Adjust the thickness using water.
Your Green Smoothie is ready!
Check out the photos from participants of our healthy cooking session:
Know Your Ingredients:
Spinach is a superfood because of its high nutritive value. It is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron, and calcium. Vitamin C plays a role in fighting viruses and bacteria that invade the body and helps boost immunity. Vitamin A makes the nose and throat stronger. It is best to have spinach is winter, because winter spinach is richer in these nutrients. Vitamin C contained in winter spinach, for instance, is 5 to 10 times the amount in summer. Spinach is also low in carbs but high in insoluble fiber. This type of fiber helps in digestion. Spinach has a host of benefits. It can reduce oxidative stress, promote eye health, fight cancer and regulate blood pressure.
Broccoli has multiple health benefits. It contains a variety of nutrients, such as folic acid that helps cells regenerate, vitamin C that helps to prevent cancer, and vitamin K that plays a critical role in bone formation. Broccoli can be eaten cooked or raw. Many vitamins are often lost during cooking because they are water-soluble. So, eating broccoli raw or with soup is recommended. Broccoli is eaten all year round, but one in cold season is richer in nutrients.
Apples are an exceptionally healthy fruit with many research-backed benefits. Pectin, water-soluble fiber contained in an apple, is a good feed for good bacteria which lives in the intestines, and plays a critical role in building immunity. The malic acid found in an apple is good for healthy stomach and intestines. The peel of an apple is rich in fiber, and has antioxidant effects. So, to get maximum benefits from an apple, it is best to eat a whole apple including the peel.
Walnuts provide healthy fat, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Omega-3 fatty acid contained in walnuts increases the flexibility of body cells, and activates the brain functions. Walnut skin contains many types of polyphenols, such as catechin, tannins and ellagitannins. These polyphenols make the signal of the immune cell stronger, and boost immunity. Walnuts have a high antioxidant activity. This activity helps to fight oxidative damage in the body, including damage due to LDL (bad) cholesterol which causes heart diseases and brain infarction.
Milk is a good source of high-quality protein. It is considered a complete protein, providing all nine of the essential amino acids required for the body, making it a great source of proteins for vegetarians. Being rich in vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, and magnesium, it is good for bone health. Although many people avoid full cream milk, it is a rich source of ‘good’ fats required by the body. Milk contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which are linked to many health benefits, including for the heart and brain. The fat in milk raises the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the ‘good’ cholesterol in the body. However, despite these properties, people who are lactose intolerant should avoid milk and look for non-dairy milk substitutes like coconut milk, almond milk, and even millet milk.
This recipe has been contributed by Chie Hirayama, Dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator (Japan).