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Green smoothies can serve as cheap meal replacements.
Our bodies crave blended produce. (The blending process breaks down vegetable and fruit cell walls so that they’re more easily absorbed.)
After stocking up on a few fresh, frozen, and nonperishable items, you’ll be ready to make a cheap green smoothie that costs only $4!
Green smoothies and juices are hot, hot, HOT! (Ironically, because they should be served cold, cold, COLD!) A new smoothie/juice place pops up in my neighborhood every week.
Until recently, I was under the impression that making my own green smoothies was A) too expensive and B) only possible with a special blender (like the popular Vitamix). Fortunately, I realized that both of these beliefs are false. Now, I whip up a cheap green smoothie almost daily with my trusty ol’ immersion blender. (You can use a traditional blender as well. Whatever you do, don’t buy anything fancy! Any type will work just fine.)
First of all, why blend?
Blending vegetables and fruits is a great way to make their nutrients more bioavailable, or more easily absorbable. When you blend the produce, you break down cell walls and free up nutrients. You could never chew vegetables enough to break them down as much as a blender can.
Also, some vegetables–like the popular green smoothie additives spinach and avocado–are best eaten raw. According to Precision Nutrition:
Heat breaks down vitamin B1, vitamin B5, folate, and vitamin C, so you get more of these when you eat certain foods raw.
Also, note that blending is different from juicing. When you blend, you use the entire vegetable or piece of fruit (minus any seeds). When you juice, you lose most of the nutrients from the skin, pulp, and membranes. Think: blending = better!
Why is it called a green smoothie?
A green smoothie is composed mainly of vegetables, so be sure not to add too much fruit! Fruit should be considered “nature’s candy”; natural sugar is still sugar!
Now for the cheap green smoothie grocery list…
- Green apples*
- They have less sugar than other varieties and make the smoothie perfectly textured and tart.
- I like to buy giant bags of frozen blueberries because they’re cheaper and last longer.
- I buy frozen cauliflower for the same reasons I buy frozen blueberries. Adding cauliflower to any green smoothie gives it a great creamy texture.
- I usually buy fresh or frozen bags of arugula, spinach, or kale. When I buy fresh greens for the purpose of making smoothies, I immediately freeze them so that they don’t rot.
- Some type of nut butter
- Artisana cashew butter is my favorite.
- Perfect 3 Grass Blend
- It’s only available online.
*When buying produce, organic is always best if you can swing it!
I also keep a lot of nice-to-have additions on hand. I’d recommend adding at least three of the following to each smoothie because you want it to be a meal replacement that will keep you satiated for several hours:
- If they’re in season…
- I like this product because it’s a superfood complex for immunity, cognitive, and allergy support. Also, it contains very little sugar.
- Hemp hearts
- Chia seeds
- Nut milk
- I like cashew and walnut milk. Make sure it doesn’t contain any unnecessary additives (like carrageenen!) and that it’s unsweetened. Both are available at most grocery stores and on Amazon.
- Cacao powder
- Like a chocolate-y taste? This is your ingredient! Available at most grocery stores and on Amazon.
- MCT oil
- “Good” fat that may help to improve gut health. Available at most grocery stores and on Amazon.
- This healthy spice adds great flavor. Available in grocery stories and on Amazon.
- Algae powder
- Collagen powder
- Goodbye fine lines, hello healthier hair and nails! Available at some health food stores and on Amazon.
- Goji powder
- This ancient berry is a great source of antioxidants. Available at some health food stores and on Amazon.
Exactly how cheap is this DIY smoothie…?
If you follow the recommended amounts below, a smoothie containing all of the Must-Haves (apple, greens, berries, nut butter, and powdered grass blend) and three of the Nice-To Haves (for this example, let’s say honey, hemp hearts, and algae powder) is only about $4. The other day, I bought a green juice from a popular chain in my neighborhood that only contained cucumber, kale, broccoli, spinach, and lemon…and it cost a whopping $10!
Also, remember that a green smoothie should serve as a meal replacement. Sometimes I even make one for dinner!
Recipe: Cheap Green Smoothie
*Note: This “recipe” is just that–a recipe in quotation marks! It’s not meant to be a prescription. Anything goes when it comes to green smoothies (except, as previously mentioned, adding too much fruit! Keep it green!). Swap ingredients in or out as you refine the taste to your liking.
- 1/2 large OR 1 small green apple, chopped
- 1/2 cup berries (fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 cup cauliflower (fresh or frozen)
- 1 handful greens
- 1 tablespoon nut butter
- 1 scoop Perfect 3 Grass Blend (it comes with a little scooper)
Also, add three or so of the following:
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/4 teaspoon honey
- 2 tablespoons hemp hearts
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons flaxseeds
- 1/2 cup nut milk
- 1 tablespoon cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon MCT oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon algae powder
- 1 tablespoon collagen powder
- 1 tablespoon goji powder
- Add all of the ingredients to your blender. (Since I use an immersion blender, I add all of the ingredients to a 32 oz mason jar.)
- Add filtered water. Make sure the water covers all of the ingredients. (If you use avocado, you’ll want to add a bit more water.)
That’s it! Making a cheap green smoothie is easy peasy. Since I’ve gotten into the green smoothie routine, my mouth starts watering whenever I think about them (like right now…)!
Bottom line: There’s a reason green smoothies are popular; our bodies love to soak up their nutrients. Pull that blender out of storage and stock up on cheap fresh, frozen, and nonperishable ingredients!
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