Week #1 ~ December Green Smoothie Challenge (Recipes & Shopping List)

Visualize this thing you want. See it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin. ~Robert Collier
December Green Smoothie Challenge
First off, I want to thank you for joining me in the December Green Smoothie Challenge. The goal of this challenge is to have one green smoothie a day (either for breakfast or another time during the day). We will be incorporating more nutrients into our diet and together we will stay accountable and share recipes and ideas. This is not a fast but a way to increase our intake of greens and fruit. All you need is a blender (I used a regular blender for three years before I invested in a Vitamix) and the desire to be healthy.

To those who are new to green smoothies, my recommendation is always to start simple. My first one was spinach, banana, strawberry, and water. Spinach is naturally sweet and you won’t believe how good it tastes. A frozen banana is key because it gives the smoothie sweetness and makes it creamy. I buy a couple bunches of bananas a week and when they get ripe I peel and toss into a bowl or bag in the freezer. Experiment with your favorite fruit. I have tried tons of different combinations and often tossing in what I have on hand. Frozen fruit works well and makes the smoothie cold (though you can add ice as well).

Sláinte!

Sláinte!

For this challenge I will come up with recipes that you can follow if you would like. Please feel free to experiment with other combinations and please share your favorites in the comment section or on my Produce with Amy Facebook Page.

I’m a green smoothie “purist” and normally stick with water, fruit, chia seeds, and greens. The chia seeds make it filling and are a great source of calcium, protein, and Omega-3.Though, many of my Weight Watchers members add yogurt, milk and dairy-free milks, and even healthy oils to their green smoothies to help meet their Good Health Guidelines.

The smoothies are a great way to fortify your iron and breaking down the cell walls of the greens makes it easier for our bodies to absorb the nutrients. My husband Mike and I both drink one for breakfast and find them really filling and satisfying. I love them and I think they give me an important boost of energy in the morning!

I have fresh mint growing in my garden and love to add it to smoothies, fruit salad, and even savory dishes.

If you do not have a high powered blender I recommend blending up the greens and liquid first and then adding the fruit (cut up in small pieces) a little bit at a time. When you freeze your bananas you will want to slice or break them into small chunks. This may not be as easy as dumping cold cereal and milk in a bowl, but I promise that it is worth your labor! 🙂

Weight Watchers members may wonder how to count the PP for the green smoothies. Personally, I do not count the PP of the fruit in my smoothies and only count the things I add that would carry a PP value (chia seeds, coconut water, avocado). Though, if you run the smoothie through the Recipe Builder, it will give you a PP value (once a fruit or vegetable is not in its natural state it is easier to over-eat). I always like to mention at my meetings that the danger of smoothies are that they may bypass our bodies hunger signals. However, I do not have this problem with green smoothies. I take a long time to sip my smoothie in the morning and it really satisfies me until I can have a morning snack at around 10:00-10:30. I attribute this to the fact that the smoothies are full of fiber and the chia seeds make them especially filling.

Week #1 December Green Smoothie Challenge Recipes & Shopping List

If you do not enjoy the listed fruit or berries, substitute them with your favorite. The amount Cherry Limeade Green Smoothieof fruit and greens that you put into each smoothie will vary depending on your personal taste. I always recommend that those who are new to green smoothies should add just a small amount of greens at first and go heavy on the fruit. You will find that the more smoothies you drink the more greens and less fruit you can start blending. If you prefer more fruit in your smoothies you may find yourself running out during the week. You may want to purchase extra “just in case.” When I first starting drinking green smoothies I found that bananas were essential to giving the smoothie its sweetness (frozen are also best). If you do not like bananas (or have an allergy), you may want to add a touch of your sweetener of choice: dates, raw honey, maple syrup, or raw sugar).

  • Spinach (3 ~ nine ounce bags of spinach) For the first week my plan includes just spinach. Week two I plan to incorporate other greens. For those who are not a stranger to green smoothies, you may want to add in some other greens such as kale.
  • Bananas (5-7)
  • 2 limes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • 1 ~ twelve ounce bag of frozen mango (or 2 fresh)
  • 1 ~ twelve ounce bag of frozen raspberries (or 2 containers of fresh)
  • 1 ~ twelve ounce bag of frozen cherries
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • Fresh ginger root
  • Coconut water (optional ~ regular water will work fine but coconut water is said to have positive health benefits. I usually buy one large can per two green smoothies or I buy a couple liter containers)
  • Chia seeds

Printable list: Week One December Green Smoothie Shopping List

December Green Smoothie Challenge

WEEK ONE RECIPES. Each recipe should render approximately 3 CUPS of GREEN SMOOTHIE. They are so delicious you may want to make extra (or leave a little) for a mid-day snack.  Printable recipes posted below.

*If you plan on drinking your smoothies in the morning you may prep your smoothies the night before. You could even freeze ingredients in individual containers for the week. Sometimes when I know I am going to be in a time pinch in the morning I blend the night before and they stay fresh.
Day #1 Sunday Energizer

Sunday ~ Day #1: Sunday Energizer Smoothie (Click here to read the original blog post)

  •   3-4 cups of spinach (more or less for one’s personal taste.)
  • 1/2 a cucumber 
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro 
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 frozen banana 
  • 1/2 cup of raspberries 
  • 1/2 cup of mango
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds (I add one Tablespoon per green smoothie that I am making. It is recommended to soak chia seeds. I do not soak mine since I have a high powered blender and my smoothie often sits for  5-10 minutes before drinking)
  • 1 inch piece of peeled fresh ginger (since it is strong tasting you might try to add a little at a time)
  • 1 cup of coconut water or regular water

Day #2 Sunrise Green Smoothie

Monday ~ Day #2: Sunrise Green Smoothie (Click here to read the original blog post)

  • 3 cups of spinach or greens of choice 
  • 1/2 cup of pineapple 
  • 1/2 cup of mango 
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds 
  • 1 cup coconut water or regular water

(I find that the mango and pineapple is so sweet that I do not add a banana. However, you could add one or 1/2 a banana)

December Green Smoothie ChallengeTuesday ~ Day #3: Cherry Limeade Green Smoothie (Click here to read the original blog post)

  • 3 cups of spinach
  • 1 lime & zest 
  • 1 cup of cherries
  • 1/2-1 frozen banana (more if you want the smoothie sweeter)
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • Fresh peeled ginger root to taste.
  • 1 cup of coconut water or regular water

Day #4 December Green Smoothie ChallengeWednesday ~ Day #4: Glowing Green Smoothie

  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 cup of pineapple
  • 1/2 cup of mango
  • Cilantro (to taste)
  • Banana (optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon of chia seeds
  • 1 cup of coconut water or regular water

Day #5Thursday ~ Day #5: Raspberry & Pineapple Passion Green Smoothie

  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup of raspberries
  • 1/2 cup of pineapple
  • 1/2-1 banana
  • Parsley (approximately 1/4 cup)
  • 1 Teaspoon of chia seeds
  • 1 cup of coconut water or regular water

December Green Smoothie ChallengeFriday ~ Day #6: Cherry Blast Green Smoothie

  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 3/4-1 cup of cherries
  • 1/2-1 banana
  • Fresh peeled ginger root to taste
  • 1 Teaspoon of chia seeds
  • 1/2 lime and zest
  • 1 cup of coconut water or regular water

December Green Smoothie ChallengeSaturday ~ Day #7: Mango Madness Green Smoothie (or “Leftovers” Green Smoothie)

For day #7 you may want to repeat one of your favorites from the week or toss in what you have leftover in ingredients from the week.

  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1 cup of mango
  • 1/2 – 1 Banana
  • 1 Teaspoon of chia seeds
  • Parsley or cilantro (or both) depending what you have left
  • 1 cup of coconut water or regular water

Printable recipes: Week One December Green Smoothie Recipes

Pin this blog post here.

Week Two Green Smoothie Recipes

Please feel free to share this challenge with your friends and family. The more people involved the more ideas, tips, recipes, and inspiration we will all receive. Starting December 1st, I will be posting a daily thread on my Produce with Amy Facebook page. Please like my page so you can join the conversation. Cheers to health and thriving in 2014!
December Green Smoothie Challenge

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