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 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 iron, vitamin A (as beta-carotene), C, K, folate, dietary fiber and calcium. 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 helps prevent heart attack and stroke. Anti-inflammatory properties help with diseases such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Spinach contains lutein for better eyesight. 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.
The most basic 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
If you would like to add some variety to your green smoothies, try kale, chard and romaine lettuce. You can also add cucumber and celery to your smoothies as well.
How To Select 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.
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.