I'm going through some financial difficulties at the moment and have to alter the food I eat unfortunately.
I current make green smoothies using a mix of kale, spinach, watercress, collard/turnip/mustard greens, and combine it with 1 apple, banana, and orange. Then I add about 16 ounces of juice and blend.
Pineapple juice is the best for neutralizing the taste of the greens but it is also too costly for me to use anymore. Apple juice is half the price but doesn't work nearly as well as a sweetener.
What would you guys recommend as an alternative sweetener? Juices would be ideal if not for the price, and they are the 1st thing I'm willing to give up on because I've read they actually don't have much nutrients anyways. I am willing to try anything else right now as long as it's cheap and effective for sweetening.
Agree with Luvourmother. IMO, commercial juice is mostly sugar anyway. I either use water or a mix of water and almond milk. What you described would taste fine to me, but if you want it sweeter, you could add another apple or banana or some mango. Carrots also add some sweetness but give you lots of fiber and more nutrients than juice. If you really just want to sweeten it, add a little honey or stevia (depending on where you are on the veg spectrum).
You grow your own greens I'm assuming?
I don't add sweetener to smoothies like you describe. In fact I'd add a bit of lemon juice!
You can add some cinnamon, or even soak a few raisins to make them easier to blend!
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Yeah, commercial juices are really bad - tons of added sugar.
I use agave nectar:
Also use honey.
Soaking and blending dates or raisins (as silva mentioned) with your greens makes a nice natural sweetener also. I grow my own stevia leaf herb plant and add it with my greens for a sweetener. Can't get much cheaper than growing your own sweetener. I grow chocolate mint leaf also (and can't stop picking at that stuff everytime I walk by it lol).
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And even if juices don't have added sugar, most are very high in natural sugar and low on nutrients, especially apple juice, pineapple juice, and white grape juice. Mothers think they are doing such a great thing by giving their kids storebought apple juice, but I read somewhere that they might as well give them kool-aid or soda.
I use bananas to sweeten my smoothies because I'm not fond of dates (they're too saccharine for me). Certain other fruits can be sweet as well. Lychee is a pear-like Asian fruit; it's sweet but hard to find fresh (it's usually canned in syrup). Mango (especially champagne mango) tend to be on the sweet side, so they're good in smoothies. Sometimes you can find sweet peaches and they work well in smoothies too.
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i like it sweet so i add coconut sugar to my banana smoothies in the morning.
though coconut sugar can be expensive..
i'd also agree with the dates. i found honey dates at walmart i think the tub was $5 if you're looking for something inexpensive. i'm actually excited that i'm gonna try ordering dates online from a date farm later this year when they're in season!!