Spinach (and other dark, leafy greens) is an important ingredient in all of my green smoothie recipes. In fact, every recipe on my website calls for leafy greens including spinach. The fruit in smoothies masks the delicate flavor of spinach so it is a great way to boost your intake of healthy greens without tasting them.
You should try to include two good handfuls of fresh baby spinach in each green smoothie you make. The optimal ratio for a green smoothie is 40% spinach or other leafy green to 60% fruit. You can start with one handful and then slowly increase the amount as you get used to drinking green smoothies. Trust me, your smoothies will not taste like liquid spinach!
Spinach Nutrition and Health Benefits
Spinach is considered a super food as it is a good source of vitamins A (as beta-carotene), C, K, and folate, as well as dietary fiber, calcium and iron. Spinach also contains selenium, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, copper, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and E.
Spinach is rich in antioxidants that may help protect against certain cancers of the stomach, skin, breast, prostate, ovaries and colon. Spinach is good for cardiovascular health and may help prevent heart attack and stroke. Anti-inflammatory properties may help with diseases such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Spinach contains lutein, which may protect eye health. Studies suggest that eating spinach may help reduce the effects of age-related decline in brain function.
Spinach Smoothie Recipes
Spinach is not typically a flavor that is sought out for in green smoothies. Because of its delicate flavor, spinach is easily masked in a smoothie by including flavorful fruits such as pineapples, oranges and berries. Browse my spinach smoothie recipes.
The most basic spinach green smoothie recipe calls for one or two ripe bananas and two large handfuls of spinach blended with about four ounces of water.
Browse any of the green smoothie recipes on my website for some great ideas that call for leafy greens such as spinach.
Alternatives To Spinach
How To Select And Store Spinach
Choose spinach that is crisp and vibrantly green. Avoid spinach that is yellowing, wilted or appears slimy or overly wet. Spinach is highly perishable and should be kept dry and in the refrigerator.
Bags or tubs of packaged, pre-washed spinach can be placed directly in the freezer for later use. There is no need to blanch it first. Read more about how to wash and store leafy greens.
Spinach has been shown to have a fairly high level of pesticide residue and ranks 58 out of 100 according to research conducted by the Environmental Working Group. I strongly advise that you only use organic spinach, which is easily found at most grocery stores.
Tracy Russell is the creator of the Green Smoothie Weight Loss Program, the 30-Day Whole Foods Challenge and founder of Incredible Smoothies. She is passionate about helping people improve their health with green smoothies and a whole foods lifestyle.