"If you wish to converse with me," said French philosopher Voltaire, "define your terms."
Fair enough! That's what we'll start by doing in this discussion of making green smoothies with chia.
First of all, what is chia? Chia is a wonderfood that's been making headlines in the natural food community. Cultivated by Aztecs thousands of years ago, you can now find chia in any reputable health food store or organic supermarket. If you don't live near one of those or don't care to pay inflated prices, just buy chia seeds online.
Chia seeds health benefits include:
- High in omega 3 fatty acids
- Chock-full of dietary fiber and protein
- No gluten
- Full of minerals, vitamins and other important nutrients
- Easily digestible
- Help cut down on food cravings for natural, safe weight loss
The chia seeds are tiny black or white seeds about the size of a mustard seed. They have a neutral, subtle flavor, and when added to other foods they can't really be tasted at all. That makes them perfect for adding to your green smoothies (or any kind of smoothie come to think of it!) because the addition of chia will not affect the flavor.
For example, you can add chia to a strawberry banana smoothie and give it to your picky five-year old as a healthy afternoon snack, and they will not even notice there is anything different about the smoothie. Or you can whip up a big batch of blueberry granola smoothies for a brunch with friends, throw in a handful of chia seeds, and everyone will have that much more protein without even knowing it! Chia is just perfect for adding to smoothies because of the lack of strong flavor and the instant boost of energy.
Moving on: what is meant by a green smoothie? No, there's no food coloring involved! A green smoothie is just a smoothie that includes a green veggie or perhaps two veggies. Most people find that if the smoothie consists of about 40% vegetable and 60% fruit and other ingredients, that's a good balance. Any more and it's a bit too green for many folks! And any less, and you're missing out on the great health benefits of a green smoothie.
What are the health benefits of green smoothies with chia? We have already talked about the health benefits of chia. The health benefits of adding green vegetables to your chia smoothie include:
- More regular bowel movements
- Fewer cravings for processed foods
- Stronger skin, hair and nails
- Boost in energy long-term
- Stabilization of blood sugar
As you can see, both chia and green vegetables turn a simple smoothie into a true powerfood. If you start the day with a green smoothie with chia added, you will feel great. Do this once a day for a month and you will see lasting changes. Do this once a day for a year and your life will be transformed!
Possible green vegetables to add to your green smoothies include:
- arugula or rocket
- dandelion greens
- mustard greens
- turnip greens
- carrot tops
How to Make Your First Green Smoothie With Chia
Here is the basic recipe:
- 2-3 sweet fruits, such as apples, pears, mangoes, bananas, blueberries. Blend the fruit up first.
- 2 cups or 2 large handfuls of pre-washed organic leafy green vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, or any of the examples above.
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds. These can be black chia seeds or white chia seeds, it doesn't matter. If you are not sure which to use, this article will explain the difference between white and black chia seeds.
Here are a couple of sample recipes. Be creative and make up your own!
Mango Green Smoothie
- 2 apples
- 2 mangoes
- 2 big handfuls mixed baby greens
- 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
Chocolate Mint Green Smoothie
- 3 bananas
- 2 cups spinach
- 10-12 mint leaves
- 2 Tbs. carob powder
- 1 cup fresh lemonade
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds