food

Mia Freedman: "What really goes into my green smoothie."

Image: Mia with her smoothie.

I’ve written here before how I’ve become one of those insufferable people who drinks green smoothies every day for breakfast. Every day. Even weekends. Sometimes at work in front of my colleagues.

You can read that humble brag here.

Working as I do with 60 women and sharing as I have, images of my green smuggie smoothie on social media occasionally, I’ve been fielding a lot of questions about WHAT THE HELL IS IN THAT THING.

I’m so glad you asked.

I have become quite the evangelist about my green smoothies and over the year or more I've been drinking them, I've acquired rather a large amount of knowledge about what makes them work.

It would be my great pleasure to share that knowledge with you now. Here are some important things to remember before we begin.

1. Rubber bands have no nutritional value.

I'd like to say there was this one time where I accidentally blended the rubber band holding together a bunch of kale into my smoothie. But there was more than one time. I've done this many times. Try to avoid it where possible. Sticks in your throat.

2. Ditto those little sachets of silicon that comes in the containers of dry ingredients to keep them fresh.

You know, the ones that say "DO NOT EAT" and you laugh at the stupid warning because what idiot would try to eat a tiny bag of chemical grit?

Ha! As if anyone would eat one of these! Oh wait...

The first time I did this, I told my husband because he is the one who always reassures me when I'm freaking out about something health-related. Like last week when I kept getting numb toes when I exercised and I was worried I might have MS. He suggested my new trainers might be tied up too tight, and you know what? HE WAS RIGHT.

Except when I told him about the silica sachet, he went a bit pale because he'd drunk the smoothie that day too. "Jesus, babe! I noticed the grit. But I thought it was because you hadn't washed the kale properly and it was dirt," he said. "Oh shit. I think that silica is poisonous."

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Since that wasn't quite the reassurance I was looking for, I immediately called the poisons information centre - 131126 - a number I'd forced myself to memorise when my children were small and exploring their environment by trying to ingest everything in it.

The lady actually laughed at me. This was more reassuring than shouting for me to call an ambulance. When she regained her ability to speak, she asked for a few more details which I was happy to provide. "It was in the packet of Chia seeds and the silica must have fallen into the blender and now I've drunk it and do I need my stomach pumped?"

Apparently I didn't. She said it wasn't actually poisonous in small quantities like that and that my body would just eliminate it naturally without absorbing anything. Because it was, essentially, tiny bits of rock and there was nothing to absorb.

GOOD NEWS.

OK. So onto the ingredients. I can't really give you exact measurements. I'm sorry about that because whenever I read someone saying that I get the shits. What does a HANDFUL MEAN, ANYWAY? WHOSE HAND? WHAT IF I HAVE A SMALL HAND? WILL THAT FUCK EVERYTHING UP?

The answer here is no. It's not like baking where you have to be precise. What tastes good to me may well taste like grass clippings to you. And what tastes like grass clippings to you the first time you have a green smoothie, may well taste like a delicious chocolate milkshake when you've acclimatised your tastebuds.

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Here's what goes into my smoothie:

Kale

Baby spinach leaves

Mint

Ginger

Cucumber

Lemon

Greens powder

Sunflower seeds

Chia seeds

Coconut water

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A FEW OTHER THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW: I won't lie to you, the whole process is fiddly and annoying so instead of doing it every day, I do it every couple of weeks and bag individual smoothie ingredients (minus the chia seeds and greens powder) and then just add those with the coconut water.

I also use a Vitamix to blend it all up. Not sure if it works in a normal blender or those new bullet things but I'd say it probably will.

The lemon is CRUCIAL. It's the way you make it not taste like grass. DO NOT FORGET THE LEMON. But peel it. I just cut the skin off - I don't peel it like an orange. Also peel the ginger obviously (I love how I say 'obviously' even though I blended small rocks and rubber bands into my smoothie on more than one occasion).

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If it's not sweet enough for you, you may want to add half a banana or half an apple or any sweet fruit. I go hardcore because I'm a legend used to it.

It's also important to have it COLD. If your ingredients come straight from the freezer, that will do it. Otherwise add ice either during the blending process or pour over ice if your blender isn't up for that.

And I've been told that too much kale can give you an ulcer so I try to mix up my greens.

Go easy on the kale.

Collard greens (whatever they are) or dandelion leaves or English spinach... anything green and leafy. Even lettuce. Just not rocket. If you do it in big batches it's easy to chop up a whole lot of different greens, dump them in the sink, mix them all around and then bag them so there's a good mix.

What else do you need to know? Roughly, I use per bag/smoothie: a big handfull of greens, a cucumber, a knob of ginger, half a lemon, a mini handfull of fresh mint and a tablespoon of sunflower seeds. Into the blender I add two tablespoons of chia, a scoop of greens powder and a couple of cups of Coconut water depending on the consistency you like.

Oh, you might also like to use a Mason jar (I find large pasta sauce jars are the perfect size) and a straw so your smoothie is portable.

Now go crazy, you big, smug, glorious green smoothie drinker.

What's your go-to green smoothie recipe?

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