Forget green beer, Irish car bombs and bowls of Lucky Charms. Toast to your health this St. Patrick’s Day with the rejuvenating power of a green smoothie.

As this unrelenting winter of polar vortexes, constant snowstorms and ubiquitous sniffles is nearing a close, we’re all in need of a tune-up.

Dark, leafy greens and phytochemical-rich fruit provide just the cure we need.

Green smoothies are easy to make and the combination possibilities are endless.

A good smoothie needs something liquid, something creamy and something sweet. And in the case of a green smoothie, something green.

Dark, leafy greens – the superstars of the plant world – include kale, spinach, romaine, collards, Swiss chard, dandelion, mustard, beet, turnip and cabbage.

I use them all in salads and cooked dishes, but for green smoothies I generally stick to the milder greens such as kale, spinach and romaine.

I typically use either freshly squeezed juice or plant-based milk as the base of my smoothies.

However, water is a good choice, too.

Bananas, silken tofu, nut butters and avocado all provide extra creaminess when I add them to my smoothies.

Instead of ice, I use frozen bananas.

Being both creamy and sweet, bananas make an excellent smoothie ingredient.

Whenever I have bananas that are about to become overripe, I just peel them, break them into smaller sections and freeze them in a freezer-safe container.

Then I have frozen bananas whenever I want to make a smoothie.

Almost any combination of fresh or frozen fruit can make a satisfying smoothie.

But when I’m making a green smoothie, I also consider the color of the final product.

Darkly colored berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries) can turn a green smoothie a slightly brownish shade.

So I tend to stick to fruits such as apple, banana, mango, peach, pineapple and pear that allow the final product to be green.

If you’re diving into green smoothies for the first time, you’ll enjoy my simple green smoothie recipe.

It has four ingredients and takes less than 15 minutes to make.

If you would rather have someone else do the chopping and blending for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration, check out my favorite green smoothies in Portland.

Slainte – here’s to your health.

 

Avery Yale Kamila is a freelancer who lives in Portland, where she writes about health food and drinks green smoothies. She can be reached at:

avery.kamila@gmail.com

Twitter: AveryYaleKamila