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At long last, the days are getting longer, and the sun is getting warmer here in Colorado. Early spring is a beautiful time of year for so many reasons. It also happens to be the season for spinach, and I think there is no better way to utilize those tender baby green leaves than in a green smoothie.

Unfortunately, green smoothies too often get a bad rap, perhaps because the color alone translates poorly to the uninitiated. The truth is that green smoothies made with spinach (as opposed to kale or chard, which each have a much stronger flavor) are not only incredibly healthy but very versatile and mild in “green” flavor.   Think of the beauty of a spinach salad – only blended and drinkable! The lemon is cleansing while the ginger adds a refreshing touch. You can add nearly anything to this smoothie while getting a myriad of vitamins and minerals, including iron, from those delectable greens. Try substituting a half cup of berries or a full banana for the watermelon. The optional hemp seeds add a boost of protein. Choose organic ingredients whenever possible.

Bonus: As a currently pregnant mom, I find that the ginger also helps to ease queasiness while ensuring I get important nutrients. Those who recently delivered will find that a basic green smoothie can also aid in losing some of the post-baby pounds. Score!

Basic Green Smoothie Recipe (Makes approximately four cups) 

  • 2 cups cold water 
  • 2 cups baby spinach 
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into chunks 
  • 1 apple, cored and cut into chunks 
  • 2 cups watermelon 
  • 1 lemon, peeled and separated into segments 
  • 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped 
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender using the ice crush setting if you have one. Then continue on “high” for a few minutes more; the longer you blend it, the smother the texture will be. Drink all at once, or drink half and store the other half in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Just grab, shake and go! (I like to make mine at night and enjoy at my desk the next morning.)

Cheers to spring!