If “green monster” stirs up images of the boogeyman, you’re missing out. Green monsters—smoothies with a shot of nutrition in the form of leafy greens¬—are a great addition to anyone’s diet. With a whole blogger movement dedicated to the healthy drinks, these smoothies are particularly suited for runners and athletes, who often use smoothies as a quick recovery meal or as a way to get the extra energy they need to fuel their training.
By simply tossing a handful of spinach, kale, chard, or whatever greens you have on hand into the blender the next time you mix yourself a smoothie, you’ll be serving up all kinds of healthy. Folate, calcium and iron, vitamins A, C and K, and phytochemicals—depending on the greens you choose, you’ll be adding nutrition of all kinds. The antioxidants are great for recovery and health—you’ve got nothing to lose!
And if you’re worrying about the taste or texture being off, stop! While the colour of the smoothie will be a little different, if you mix your greens into an already tasty combination, you’ll be sneaking in the nutrition you need without even tasting it.
If you’re not convinced, just try it for yourself. This recipe is a great one, but feel free to get creative and come up with your own go-to recipe.
1 ripe banana
1 cup milk of your choice (dairy, soy, almond, rice, etc. – chocolate for a treat)
1 handful of greens (chard, kale, spinach, etc.)
1 tbsp. nut butter
In a blender, combine ingredients.
Blend to desired consistency, using ice cubes as needed.
Suggested Recipe: Peanut Butter-Banana-Chocolate Soft Serve Ice Cream
About the Author: Cheryl Madliger is a group fitness instructor at the Western Student Recreation Centre at the University of Western Ontario, where she is working towards her degree in Kinesiology. An avid cyclist, Cheryl has set her sights on completing an Ironman. Not a fan of free time, she also enjoys yoga, baking, and blogging.