My passion for nutrition began somewhere late in high school, early in college. During my sophomore year living in the college dorms, I remember tasting Odwalla Superfood juice for the first time. Dark green and thick, this juice reminded me of swamp water. My curiosity was piqued. Could this possibly taste good? It certainly looked healthy enough. I took a sip and my friends waited for the verdict. “It tastes pink!” I finally declared, much to their amusement.
Of course, what I meant was, it tasted like I would have expected a pink juice to taste. Fruity! That first sip of Odwalla Superfood was over 10 years ago (my oh my, that makes me feel old) but I still love it, and I’ve enjoyed giving it to my kids and watching them slurp it up with just as much enthusiasm.
So what is Odwalla’s secret? They have discovered that when you mix dark green vegetables with sweet fruit, the taste of the fruit overpowers the taste of the greens. And your body is happy – after all, most of us could use more dark greens in our diets, and fruit is the perfect vehicle. I would also like to point out that fruit (despite the bad rap it gets for being high in natural sugars) contains a host of vitamins and nutrients, including loads of vitamin C, which helps our bodies to absorb the iron in the leafy greens. Win-win!
Luckily, we can achieve the same effect at home. Green smoothies are delicious and easy to make, and you can customize them to your heart’s content based on your preferences and what you happen to have on hand. Be sure to include some frozen fruit for a nice, cold and frothy effect. If your kids ever balk at eating their dark leafy greens, perhaps they will happily drink them instead!
- 1 cup frozen pineapple tidbits
- 1 cup frozen mango chunks
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 Tbsp flaxseed oil (or ground flaxseed)
- 2 1/2 – 3 cups orange juice (start with less)
- lots of raw spinach or kale
Place frozen fruit in the blender. Break bananas into chunks and add. Drizzle flaxseed oil on top. Pile in as many fresh greens as you can, and pour orange juice over the top. Blend thoroughly, stopping to push down the greens if necessary. If it is too thick, you can add more juice or water as desired. Serve immediately.
This recipe makes enough for my family of 5 – two adult servings (big tall glasses), two kid servings (smaller glasses), and one baby serving (half a sippy cup).