Early on, the thought of a green smoothie was about as exciting as a trip to the dentist. However, we quickly realized they weren’t as bad as we had expected. We grew to love them. Whenever we have overnight guests, I nearly always make them a green smoothie, shock them with the green, and prove how good they are. The sweetness of the fruit does a great job of masking the bitterness of the greens.
Green smoothies have been getting a bit of a bad reputation recently due to oxalate load, but it is essential to realize why oxalates are a problem in the first place. One reason for increased oxalate load is due to a diet low in fiber and leafy greens that increase vitamin K in the gut. Without vitamin K, the body produces oxalic acid and unregulated calcium. Instead of getting calcium into the teeth and bones, it binds with oxalic acid, which forms oxalate crystals. These oxalate crystals contribute to a list of health issues, including kidney stones, frequent urination, yeast overgrowth, UTI’s, etc.
To help avoid the oxalate issue, consume a high fiber diet (some may need to work up to this), use bitters to increase bile production, and include lower oxalate leafy greens like dino kale and romaine, and getting adequate magnesium.
1 c. +/- Fresh Kale (use dino kale for lower oxalate) (use as much as tolerated)
1 Banana (frozen)
1 c. Mango or Pineapple (50/50 works as well) (frozen)
1 c. Water (fresh orange juice may also work if you are just starting out)
Place greens into the bottom of the blender first, add remaining ingredients, and blend in a high-powered blender on high until smooth. Microgreens, chia seeds, hemp seeds, milk thistle, rosehips, and fresh ginger are great additions to this.
If you feel like it is still too bitter, try adding a little fresh lemon juice, it cuts the bitterness. See my full post on oxalates here. Have a picky eater? Try freezing these into popsicles or serving in a stainless steel cup to hide the color.