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Dorothy Dean presents: Green smoothies can help kick the new year off right

By Audrey Alfaro For The Spokesman-Review

The holidays have come and gone. But if they left you feeling guilty for overindulging in ham, cookies and cocktails, a green smoothie might be just what your body needs to detox and help shed those extra holiday pounds.

They’re hydrating, packed with nutrients and make an easy, refreshing breakfast or pick-me-up. (And they’re great for hangovers too!)

If you’ve never had a green smoothie, be assured it does not taste like a cup of blended grass. Surprisingly, you can’t taste the greens at all.

A basic green smoothie has three ingredients: a liquid base, leafy greens and fruit. I prefer coconut water for its hydrating powers. But juice, water and almond or soy milk can also be used.

For greens, my go-to is spinach. I find spinach takes on the flavor of added fruits or mix-ins like it’s not even there. Any leafy greens can be used, though.

Next is pineapple for flavor and sweetness. Mangoes, berries, grapes or apples are other options. And I always add a banana for creaminess.

Lastly, I add a spoonful of chia seeds. Not only do they add protein, fiber and omega-3, they also expand in your belly, keeping you full longer.

Other ideas for additional flavor, texture and health boosters are yogurt, mint, protein powder, avocado, nut butter, cacao, cinnamon, ginger, and flax or hemp seeds.

So dust off that blender, because whatever your New Year’s resolutions might be, this smoothie will help you achieve them feeling refreshed and energized.

Basic Green Smoothie

1/2 cup coconut water

1 1/2 cups fresh spinach

1/2 cup fresh pineapple, chopped

1 banana

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 cup of ice

Add all ingredients, except the ice, to blender and blend until smooth. Add in ice and blend until desired consistency.