Getting to know your greens is a very important part of drinking green smoothies. Variety is great so trying out different greens and figuring out what your favorites are will help you get creative in the kitchen.
One of the most power packed greens; it also makes the best ingredient for smoothies. Being one of the most mild in taste of greens; it makes a great starter for people wanting to start adding it to smoothies without taking the risk of not liking the taste.
Hey it was good enough for Popeye…(Did you see his muscles?)
This being one of my favorites I can’t recommend it enough. It comes in a few varieties and is sold in almost any grocery store. Unfortunately a lot of people live their whole lives without tasting it. You will see it mainly being used as garnish at the salad bar. This is really sad because it is so nutritious and tasty especially in smoothies. It comes in many varieties, most commonly seen are the Dinosaur Kale (pictured) and the Curly Kale.
Chard is a relative to the beet family, in turn it was developed for it’s stalk and BIG leaves in the Mediterranean rather than it’s root like the beets. They have a distinct flavor that has sometimes been described as salty and earthly. Chard is a member of the goosefoot family.
Rainbow Chard is exactly the same as Swiss Chard, except it comes in many colors including bright orange, bright yellow, fusia, white and purple. This makes for an exciting way to introduce children and friends to greens. Put them in a salad and take them to a party and it’s a sure hit.
Arugala, also referred to as Rocket, it has a peppery sharp taste to it, kind of like a radish. It is considered a very important herb used widely in the Mediterranean area, and now in the west. It’s spicy note wakes up any salad and adds a little kick to any green smoothie. Use with caution if you aren’t familiar with this green.
Watercress is a spicy green that is also very pungent. You can find it growing wildly forming along creek beds and on ponds. It has been deemed unsafe to eat wild due to waterborne contaminants. However, you can find it very readily at most grocery stores. It only comes in one variety and is part of the cabbage family. This green wonder, is also very good for your lungs, spleen, stomach and kidney systems.
Napa Cabbage (aka Chinese Cabbage) is like an in between of lettuces and cabbage. Much more tender and sweeter than cabbage, it’s a big hit with most even people that aren’t cabbage fans. The shape of Napa Cabbage is more like that of Romain Lettuce. It’s most popularly used in soups and a favorite in Kim Chee. Best of all it makes a great addition to a green smoothie in the morning.
Similar to Arugula, Dandelion Greens carry a peppery spicy taste and are enjoyed by many in salads, soups and smoothies. You can also saute them with a little grape seed oil and garlic for a nice treat. Pick these before the plant blossoms to assure a less bitter taste. Also be cautious with this green when adding to recipes it can easily steal the show.
Most people think of a big pot of greens brewing for hours on a stove-pot in the south when they hear the terms Collard Greens or Collards. It is becoming a very popular green and being used in many other dishes. It has a mild, non bitter almost sweet taste to it. You may also find it pre-washed and bagged for convenience in the grocery store.
Often paired with Collard Greens in soups, they are just as popular as their root they are grown for. They have a milder flavor than kale and look like beet greens. They are not used in salads much because of their course leaves.
Mustard Greens are most popularly used in sautes and steaming. Of course they make a great addition to any smoothie, however use caution for the abounding spice flavor. Baby mustard greens are good way of implementing them into your diet as they are less overwhelming.