The Best Way to Make Healthy Green Smoothies
Author: Millennia TEA’s Official Science Steeper - Allison Tannis, MSc RHN
Everything You Need to Know about Healthy Green Smoothies
What you should put in your blender to make the ultimate healthy green smoothie might surprise you. Scroll through the various recipes for green smoothies on the internet, and you still may miss the most important things you need to know. Some smoothies aren’t very healthy. Yet, a quick switch of ingredients and suddenly your blender blunder can turn into a healthy green smoothie flowing with impressive nutritious value. Let’s geek out, and then take a spin around the blender to discover what you should know about healthy green smoothies.
What Greens Should I Put in a Smoothie?
Fresh spinach is a popular green for smoothies, as it has a mild flavour, and it blends up into small pieces in your blender. Kale is also a popular choice, likely thanks to its superfood title. For some, a dried, powdered greens mixture is more convenient. If you enjoy a peppery taste, arugula could be tossed into your blender to make healthy green smoothies. Parsley or broccoli are also used but, they can have an overpowering flavour. However, none of these are the best green for smoothies. What’s the best green you can add to your smoothie? This geeky reveal just might surprise you!
The Best Green for Smoothies
When in doubt, geek it out. Let’s look at the antioxidant values of various leafy greens to decide which one is the best green for smoothies. Spinach has an ORAC value (a measurement of the antioxidant power of food) of about 1500. Kale earned its name as a more superior superfood of the leafy greens because its ORAC value is about 1700. This means these leafy greens can protect your body from a LOT of free radicals (the bad, reactive substances in your body that form from all sorts of factors, such as stress, pesticides, and UV radiation in sunlight). This is great news! These pesky free radicals damage all types of body cells and can lead to health issues from cataracts to cardiovascular disease, to inflammation and wrinkles. (Anyone else read this and immediate reach to add another handful of greens to their blender?)
But, wait! There’s an even better green you could add to your smoothie than kale or spinach. Fresh tea leaves have an ORAC value of about 68,000. That’s 4x the value of spinach! Human studies suggest green tea is more than an antioxidant superfood – it contributes to a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease and plays a helpful role in oral health, bodyweight management, and bone mineral density. For thousands of years, green tea leaves have been dried, then brewed to make green tea. It’s considered one of the healthiest drinks on the planet. Just imagine how healthy eating the fresh tea leaves would be?
With such an impressive antioxidant capacity, you’re probably wondering why you haven’t heard about fresh green tea leaves before. Only recently, did two health-motivated people, search the globe for a way to bring fresh tea leaves home (instead of dried tea leaves). Today, you can get fresh Millennia Tea leaves in the freezer section of your favourite food store, and online delivered directly to your front door.
What Fruit Goes with Green Tea?
Fruit is a great addition to any healthy green smoothie - bananas being the most commonly used. But, what’s the best fruit to pair with green tea? The mild flavour of green tea means it blends well with delicate fruits, such as mangos, peaches, and blueberries. But, it also pairs well with bright fruits, such as limes and raspberries, or limes and lychee. Go bold by blending blackberries and basil with green tea in the blender to create a truly spectacular green tea smoothie. Strawberries and cucumbers are sweet and refreshing fruits to add to a green tea smoothie. For a healthy green smoothie with some real zing, combine green tea with the lively flavours of mint and ginger – take it further and add lemon or lime. The options are endless – let your culinary creativity run wild in your blender, and enjoy crafting endless delicious green tea smoothies.
Can You Put Tea Bags in Smoothies?
Please don’t wreck your smoothie by putting your bag of dried green tea leaves into your blender. Nor waste your time using that tea bag to brew a cup of green tea to add to your smoothie. The best way to make a green tea smoothie is to use fresh tea leaves – they taste great, and offer 15x more antioxidants than your dried, crunchy, bag of tea. Plus, they are so convenient - you can find them in your freezer beside your favourite frozen smoothie fruits and veggies.
Are Green Smoothies Actually Healthy?
The leafy greens in a green smoothie are known for being sources of antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and energizing nutrients. It’s healthy to eat leafy greens: studies show eating more leafy greens could reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 15%. Eating even just one serving of green leafy vegetables a day may help slow cognitive decline with aging, according to Tuft’s University researchers. But, since greens can have a bitter taste, many green smoothie recipes include sugar and fat – these can make a green smoothie unhealthy. Use frozen or fresh whole fruits instead of sugar-added, flavoured yogurts or juices. And, don’t shy away from vegetables: frozen cauliflower is delicious and blends in well without changing the flavour too much. Carrots, celery, cucumber, and beetroot are other popular vegetables to include in a smoothie. Spice up your blender – try adding ginger or turmeric into the mix to elevate the nutrient potential in your next green smoothie. For a more complete nutritional SLURP, include protein in your smoothies. Quick and easy options include nut butters, coconut yogurt, almond milk, silken tofu, or a protein powder.
How to Eat Tea Leaves
Organic, chopped, raw, fresh tea leaves look pretty in a bowl, but they taste best when mixed into your smoothie, or in your next pasta sauce, soup, curry, or salad dressing. Go beyond the blender - there are so many ways to eat your tea!
Healthy Green Smoothie Recipes: Green Tea Smoothie
You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for healthy green tea smoothie recipes! Whether you love to slurp a sweet smoothie, or a spicy one, we’ve got some of the best healthy green tea smoothie recipes right here:
Ginger Mint Peach Green Tea Smoothie @deliciouslygeeky
1 cup coconut water
1 cup of frozen organic peaches
½ frozen banana
1 tbsp chopped Millennia Tea fresh tea leaves
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
3-5 medium mint leaves
5 More Delicious Green Tea Smoothie Recipes on Instagram & our Blog:
- Millennia Green Smoothie Bowl @thesweetenedpea
- Green Tea Cucumber Smoothie @idilsworld
- Cherry and Pink Pitaya Tea Smoothie @nutritionblooms
- Super Greens Tea Smoothie @find_wellness
- Tracy’s Healthy Green Smoothie Recipe
Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: impact on human health. Pharmacogn Rev 2010 Jul-Dec;4(8).
Nutrients and bioactives in green leafy vegetables and cognitive decline. Neurology 2018 Jan 16; 90(3):e214-e222.
What are ORAC values? Scientific American, 2013.
High ORAC foods may slow aging. U.S. Agricultural Research Service, 1999.
The effect of green leafy and cruciferous vegetable intake on the incidence of cardiovascular disease: a meta-analysis. JRSM Cardio Dis 2016 Aug;5:1-9.
Beneficial effects of green tea: a literature review. Chin Med 2010 Apr; 5:13.