I posted this week about the nutritional benefits of microgreens. They contain 4 to 10 times the nutrition as sprouts or their full grown versions.
Many people suggest that you use them in salads or to cook with. I think the best way of using them are in smoothies. You can eat more of them and you are not exposing them to heat. They are easy to grow yourself in the kitchen window or for families, under grow lights.
I will begin selling trays of these microgreens soon by making them available for delivery on the Meal Delivery Service. Look for the addition to the weekly menu in your email.
I’ve posted before about green smoothies and the fact that it is far better to put your greens in a smoothie than in juices.
I found this great article on NutritionFacts.com;
Transcript: Green Smoothies: What Does the Science Say?
As I’ve explored previously, drinking sugar water is bad for you. If you have people drink a glass of water with three tablespoons of table sugar in it, which is like a can of soda, this is the big spike in blood sugar they get within the first hour. The body freaks out, and releases so much insulin we actually overshoot, and by the second hour we’re relatively hypoglycemic, dropping our blood sugar below where it was when we started fasting. In response, our body dumps fat into our blood stream as if we’re starving, because our blood sugars just dropped so suddenly. And the same thing happens after drinking apple juice.
Here’s what happens to your blood sugar in the three hours after eating four and a half cups of apple slices: it goes up and comes down. But if you eat the same amount of sugar in apple juice form, about two cups, your body overreacts, releasing too much insulin, and you end up dipping below where you started. The removal of fiber in the production of fruit juice can enhance the insulin response and result in this “rebound hypoglycemia.” What would happen though, if you stuck those four and a half cups of sliced apples in a blender with some water and pureed them into an apple smoothie? It would still have all it’s fiber, yet still cause that hypoglycemic dip. The rebound fall in blood sugars, which occurred during the second and third hours after juice and puree, was in striking contrast to the practically steady level after apples. This finding not only indicates how important the presence of fiber is, but also, perhaps whether or not the fiber is physically disrupted, as happens in the blender.
Let’s play devil’s advocate, though. Eating four and a half cups of apples took 17 minutes, but to drink four and a half cups of apples in smoothie form only took about six minutes, and you can down two cups of juice in like 90 seconds. So maybe these dramatic differences have more to do with how fast the fruit entered in our system rather than the physical form. If it’s just the speed we could just sip the smoothie over 17 minutes and the result would be the same, so they put it to the test. Fast juice was drinking it in 90 seconds, but what if you instead sipped the juice over 17 minutes? Same problem—so it wasn’t the speed, it was the lack of fiber. What if you disrupt that fiber with blending, but sip it as slowly as the apple eating? A little better, but not as good as just eating the apple. So eating apples is better than drinking apple smoothies, but who drinks apple smoothies? What about bananas, mangoes, or berries?
There was a study that compared whole bananas to blended bananas and didn’t see any difference, but they only looked for an hour, and it was while they were exercising. Bananas in general though may actually improve blood sugars over time. The same thing with mangoes—and this was with powdered mango—can’t get any more fiber disrupted than that. It may be due to a phytonutrient called mangiferin, which may slow sugar absorption through the intestinal wall.
Berries help control blood sugar so well they can counter the effects of sugar water even when they’re pureed in a blender. Add blended berries in addition to the sugar water, and you don’t get the hypoglycemic dip; you don’t get that burst of fat in the blood. Drinking blended berries isn’t just neutral, but improves blood sugar control. Again, thought to be due to special phytonutrients that may slow sugar uptake into the bloodstream. Indeed, six weeks of blueberry smoothie consumption may actually improve whole body insulin sensitivity.
So while apple smoothies may be questionable, a recipe like Mayo’s basic green smoothie recipe, packed with berries and greens, would be expected to deliver the best of both worlds, maximum nutrient absorption without risking overly rapid sugar absorption.
Add large handfuls of baby spinach to your Smoothies!
Although I drink fresh vegetable juices daily, I do not add greens to them. Greens are expensive, and you have to use a bunch to get even a tiny bit of juice. So I drink carrot, celery, green apple, turmeric, beets and ginger juices. I add huge handfuls of baby spinach to my smoothies. That way I am getting the fiber as well as the fat that helps me assimilate the nutrients in the greens. By adding coconut cream I am getting the essential saturated fats that are needed to be ingested at the same times as the greens. Remember that there is a reason that throughout time people have used bacon or fatback to cook greens with…and the flavor is great!
For more info on why saturated fats are crucial for your health- Saturated Fats are Needed for ALL Biological Functions
For most people the idea of getting in shape or improving our health is a daunting and intimidating task…unachievable. Every choice we makes takes us further or closer to our goals.
Many need to lose weight, improve health, be more active. EVERYONE needs to improve their nutrition. No exceptions. In working with clients for 32 years, I have seen ONE food diary where the woman met all of her needs fir all nutrients. Even calcium and iron..
In this continuing column, I will give you one small item a day to tweak or choose. Achievable goals, one at a time…
One day at a time. Follow along daily, you’ll be shocked at how much healthier you are in a few months!
For today; Add a hand full of spinach to your morning smoothie.
Here’s my favorite smoothie recipe
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen mango
1/3 cup coconut cream (I use Thai Kitchen organic)
1 teaspoon Metagenics Ultra Potent-CÂ®
1 Tablespoon Amazing Grass Orac Green Superfood Powder
3 cups Coconut water
1 Tablespoon lime juice
large handful of baby spinach- I use baby spinach because of it’s mild taste. Any baby greens except kale work- it has a too strong a taste.
Blend all in blender.