Do you want to eat more greens? Eating greens and other vegetables is very important. Smoothies are a fantastic way to get additional fruit and vegetables into your diet without feeling like you are eating a lot of boring uninteresting stuff.

My favourite way to consume more green vegetables is green smoothies which are drinks based around a leafy green such as spinach. Spinach is an excellent source of nutrients, including iron and other vitamins and minerals, and is practically free of calories. This recipe can be modified so that it works as spinach dip or with spinach salad.

Spinach based smoothies are a healthy drink which, when used with low-fat yoghurt and milk or water, can become quite low-calorie. Often a problem with using lots of fruit and high-fat milk is that the fat content becomes high enough so it's comparable to a milkshake. I use these drinks instead of coffee and tea, as they give me the boost without the caffeine.

I have one green smoothie everyday when I get back from work and it definitely works for me than a coffee (and doesn't keep me awake at night). I use a small blender than makes one cup at a time (a magic bullet) which I find makes less mess and can be thrown in the dishwasher. I tend to add virtually anything with my spinach, but I quite like the combination of spinach and banana mixed with frozen fruit such as blueberries. If users strong coloured fruit such as blueberries, you can often hide the spinach if you want to feed it to younger children.

My recipe for a perfect green spinach smoothie (to make around 1 pint/ 500ml)

  • 250g of spinach (scrunched if using a small cup type blender)
  • 100g blueberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 50g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 banana
  • 100ml milk/ water
  • Two pinches of xanthan gum

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in the blender
  2. Add the xanthan gum last.
  3. Blend until smooth
  4. Chill or drink immediately and enjoy!.

This is my general recipe for my green smoothies but pretty much everything can be substituted. Spinach can be changed for any green leaf, banana changed for apples or more Greek yoghurt. Replace the blueberries with strawberries or raspberries to change the flavour.

The flavour of the spinach will always come through, unless you something with extremely strong flavouring or add a lot of sugar/sweetener. Some people might not like the taste of spinach, so experiment until you get something you like.

Do you have any favourite smoothie recipes? Found any other way of incorporating spinach into your diet? Write any hints or tips in the comments.