I was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and after the first 48 hours of worry and surprise, I started researching because that’s what I do! I started with reliable sources on the internet and then started getting books from the library.
What I have discovered so far is that MS is an autoimmune disease, of which there are many, and symptoms can be helped by eating a diet high in nutritional value. Basically this means a LOT of vegetables, along with meat and healthy fats, and also means getting rid of sugars, processed foods, dairy and gluten.
In an effort to eat even more vegetables than previously (and I thought we ate pretty healthy before!), I have taken to having a berry green smoothie each morning to jumpstart my day with some of the many servings my body needs.
Here are some tips I have found helpful regarding green smoothies:
- Berries, especially blueberries, help to disguise the taste of greens.
- After trying several different greens, my favorites for smoothies are spinach and kale.
- I have used both fresh and frozen greens successfully.
- The avocado is the healthy fat, but if you don’t have it, use the 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil.
- If you like a more liquid smoothie, add the whole can of coconut milk.
- If you do not use the entire can of coconut milk, shake it before opening so it distributes the heavier cream.
Ingredient Notes & Tips
Now let’s break down how I make this more economical and more meal-prep-friendly!
Banana: I like to use bananas that are a bit over ripe so they are naturally sweeter. If you can find marked down bananas at your grocery store, even better!
Berries & Fruit: I prefer to use berries since they are kind of a super food and because they mask the greens flavor so well, but I will also add in another frozen fruit to fill it up and to keep costs down. Any fruit that I have previously frozen from fresh is game, as is other purchased frozen fruit. I can get frozen mango and pineapple at our local ALDI affordably so a few bits of those often make it into our smoothies.
Avocado: The good fat is a necessary essential in the green smoothies to help keep you full so don’t skip this ingredient! If you can afford avocados and can get them locally, use those. If you can’t or you really hate avocados, then try the coconut oil. I don’t think the taste of avocado is prevalent in the smoothies, but someone who dislikes the taste might be able to detect it. Coconut oil is available on Amazon so it’s a nice option for easy access, and it’s also shelf stable longer than avocados.
Greens: Use any greens you like the taste of and are the cheapest you can find. I do like to use organics, and if you can grow them or get them locally, even better! I can get organic spinach and kale at my local ALDI, which is the cheapest source in my area. I also recently found a local organic farm that has greens and tried both turnip and mustard greens. I will admit to not liking either of those in my smoothies, so I will stick with spinach and kale.
I have tried both fresh and frozen and both seem to work equally well. When I do get a large amount of greens from the organic farm, I put some in freezer bags and freeze them. It’s very easy to break off however much you want for the smoothie.
Coconut Milk: I have been purchasing coconut milk in cans at our local Walmart Supercenter, but I do see that it’s available on Amazon as well. It appears to be the same price for me. I use unsweetened as I don’t want any sugar or sugar substitutes (artificial or natural) in my smoothies, and honestly it doesn’t really need it with the banana and fruit.
Besides coconut milk, you can use pretty much any liquid. Any kind of milk, either dairy or plant- or nut-based will work, as will juice (I use 100% juice), green tea, kombucha, or even just plain water.
How to Blend Effectively
I have been using the Ninja blender I was gifted, and it does work well. I use the larger container and this makes enough for a really big smoothie or can be split into 2. Any blender that is relatively powerful should work. If you have an older or weaker blender, you might let the ingredients sit for a half hour or so in the blender container to thaw out a bit. You can also try adding a bit more liquid.
Another option is an immersion blender if you have a large enough drinking glass to use, or even a food processor would work.
I just learned a trick from a new friend who says she puts the smoothie ingredients in a quart mason jar and is able to screw this into her blender base and purees it right in the drinking container. Brilliant! She uses the cheapest blender sold at our local Walmart, so I have added that to my “wants” list and when I try it out, I’ll post a video update.
Making the Prep Smooth
(Sorry, I couldn’t resist!) I know it’s tedious and feels like too much effort some mornings to drag out a blender, drinking container, and all of these ingredients, so here is my best tip for making this manageable so you’ll actually drink a smoothie every single morning.
Line up mason jars, whatever size you prefer – quart or pint, and add the ingredients to each jar except for the liquid.
Screw on the lids and store in the freezer. Each morning, set out a jar, take off the lid and add the liquid. Let it sit while you’re doing other stuff. After 20 minutes or so, you can use a spoon or spatula to break it up enough to pour into a blender. (After emptying the jar, I like to add a bit of water and swish it around to get any last bits of the ingredients and pour this into the blender also.)
Or, if you’re like my wise friend, you can just put the jar directly onto your blender base and puree away.
If you like a thinner smoothie or the blender seems to be working too hard to puree, you can add more liquid.
Now for the recipe!
Easy & Yummy Berry Green Smoothie
- 1/2 banana
- 1 cup berries and/or other fruit
- 1/2 avocado or 1 Tb coconut oil
- 1-2 cups greens
- 1 cup coconut milk or juice or water
- Add all to blender and mix until smooth.
So now you have no reason not to try incorporating a healthy green smoothie into your morning routine! Comment below if you try this smoothie recipe and any tips you have!