The options when it comes to green drinks are varied and many. There are juices and smoothies and shots, endless methods, an infinite combination of ingredients, and there is, as yet, no consensus on which is best.
I think the technical term for what I'm doing is 'leaning in'. I started by buying green juice, then making green juice. Then I learned that the ingredients are better blended than juiced because you don't end up essentially throwing away most of the fibre. None of the store-bought smoothies I tried were particularly pleasant – too sour, too earthy, too wheatgrass-y – but my attempts at making my own at home were unmitigated disasters. Turns out, I just needed the right recipe...
Kimberly Snyder is an LA-based nutritionist who serves as a dietary consultant to the Hollywood elite. She looks exactly as one might expect – youthful, slender, gorgeous – and says things like 'coconut water is a miracle fluid' and 'success can only be measured by our progress'. If Oprah still had a show, she'd have Kimberly on in a second. Her signature recipe is the Glowing Green Smoothie. I'm sure there are fancier smoothies with spirulina and flax seeds and ground up stag horn in them, but this one holds a special place in my heart. It's the first green smoothie I ever managed to finish. And you never forget your first.
340g Romaine Lettuce
1 cup Spinach
3 Celery Stalks
1/2 of 1 Lemon
(Given that so many of the ingredients are listed in the Dirty Dozen,
I bought everything organic.)
Wash all the fruit and vegetables and peel and core as appropriate. Place the water, lettuce and spinach in the blender and blend until liquified. With the motor still running, add the celery, apple and pear. Allow them to incorporate into the water/lettuce/spinach, then add the banana and lemon. Keep blending until smooth. The consistency is determined by the amount of water added: if you like it thick, add less, if you like it thin add more. I used 420ml and it was perfect for drinking through a straw.
The smoothie, when made correctly, is fresh, invigorating and delicious. I thought 'Oh, it's just throwing a salad in a blender, how hard can that be?' But it's important to follow the recipe to the letter – too much spinach and there will be a bitter aftertaste, too much fruit and it will be sickly sweet. It's all about balancing the ingredients. Having said that, it can be adapted if you trade like for like (i.e. fruit for fruit, vegetables for vegetables). Personally, I don't care for pear – the flavour isn't detectable but it lends a certain grittiness to the texture – so I might try some peaches instead next time.
Depending on how much water you add, the recipe makes about 1 litre (36oz) of smoothie, enough for three drinks throughout the day or for sharing with a friend. If you're not going to drink it all in the same day I would recommend freezing it in portion-sized batches. Or you can go full hipster and decant it into mason jars and put it in the fridge, where it will be good for 2–3 days; an ideal way to store it if you're planning a picnic or want to take some with you to work.
36oz | 20 mins