Green smoothies are an awesome way to pack a whole lot of veggie nutrition into a kid-friendly package. Fruit and fruit juice-based smoothies are most common, but I like to notch it up by adding vegetables like leafy greens (kale, chard, lettuce, spinach) because you get all the nutritional benefits that you would with fruit minus the high sugar content. Green smoothies are an excellent stealth vehicle for delivering veggies to kids who might not be so sure they like the idea of a new-to-their-palate vegetable. In this format, it’s puréed with other ingredients and flavours that they may already be familiar with and enjoy, like banana and mint. This green smoothie is a great way to get a healthy dose of green vegetables and to introduce the versatile avocado! Not only does it provide satiation and a longer burn of energy, avocado is a good source of healthy monounsaturated fats and lends a lovely thick, creamy texture to a smoothie.
The coconut water base is ideal rehydration for a hot summer day. Coconut water is a rich source of electrolytes and natural minerals like potassium and magnesium, and naturally sweet-tasting, though lower in sugar than typical juice. If your child’s palate needs some time to work its way up to more greens in a glass, you can begin with adding some more fruit or fruit juice: apple or pineapple is great for more sweetness. You can also make this smoothie on the thicker side to be eaten with a spoon, or thin it out with more liquid and drink it through a straw, or pour into popsicle molds for a fun, minty, green frozen treat.
2 cups greens (spinach, chard, or kale)
1 1/2 cups chopped frozen bananas (or fresh ripe)
2 cups coconut water (or juice, or a mixture of both)
1/2 lemon, juiced
Optional: a few mint leaves
Blend on high until smooth and serve immediately or freeze in popsicle molds.
Makes 2 servings.