(WFM) healthy eating specialist Tim Williams taught adults and children alike innovative ways to get their daily serving of vegetables through surprisingly scrumptious and energizing green smoothies, during this week's free class: Green Smoothies 101.
Williams explained that making smoothies is a fun and easy activity you can do to get children to eat their greens.
"It's something kids can do safely with an adult supervising," he said. The jovial healthy eating expert gave parents helpful hints on how to best present these nutrient-rich concoctions to finicky eaters. After demonstrating "Tim's Green n' Brown Smoothie” also known as the Kitchen Sink Smoothie, he advised, "When kids make this, it's good to let them see that everything starts out green and turns brown, a lot of times if they just see it this color they won't eat it."
Williams also utilized a high-powered Vita-Mix blender to make a "Simple Kale Smoothie", which consisted of three cups of organic kale, frozen fruit and apple cider. "We give this to team members here. It's something that's really going to energize them, without caffeine, and provide energy and mental alertness. The nutrients absorb really, really well, and it lets you sleep when you want to," said Williams.
Those in attendance got to try a cup of each freshly blended beverage.
Lauren Berg, 7, said she likes it, "because when it has greens in it, it tastes really good."
Diane Raymond, WFM's culinary demo specialist came over to try a sample. She often makes smoothies at home. "They're delicious, and a great way to get greens, and get kids to eat kale, which you wouldn't be able to do otherwise," said Raymond.
Lauren's mother, Ellice Berg, was so proud of her daughter, who is usually a fussy eater, for trying all the different smoothies, and was thrilled that she was enjoying them so much. "She's eating healthier than she has in months. This is the best thing, coming here, and Tim has such personality," said Berg. She promised Lauren a reward for doing so well — ice cream.
"That's your test right there," said Williams, "kid approved."
Green smoothies are fast and easy to make, extremely nutritious and refreshing. Adding greens to your diet supplies the body with plenty of vitamins, minerals, protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber and tons of phytonutrients, and are best when prepared with organic ingredients.
The American Cancer Society recommends eating five or more servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits each day. Nutritional deficiencies are thought to be responsible for many diseases that are widespread today. Greens are one of the most important foods for us to eat. Many studies point to their cancer fighting and health restorative properties.
Green smoothies provide a concentrated amount of fresh greens in a capacity that is virtually impossible to obtain through any other means. They also help curb unhealthy cravings by providing bodies with adequate nutrition.
Also, if you utilize a high- powered blender for your smoothies, fruits and veggies will be broken down to a size that allows for easy absorption in the body.
These beneficial beverages can help give you more energy, regulate digestion, aid in weight loss, result in clearer skin and make hair and nails grow in faster and stronger.
"The juicer does a lot of chewing for them liquefying and releasing a lot of the nutrients," said Williams. He explained that it's a lot healthier to eat vegetables raw, because when people steam them they often add butter and cream. "It's a great way to get them closer to the way nature intended."