I wasn’t interested in green drinks for a long time, though I heard about them. They didn’t seem like “real food”, had lengthy ingredient lists, and also had little taste appeal (or so I thought by the looks of them). But they are starting to win me over after all! Today I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts on green drinks, a simple recipe for a better tasting green drink, and reviews of four different brands (including a taste test at the end).
My interest started when my mother-in-law gave me a glass of her green drink. Not only did she prepare it in a way that made me like it, but I also noticed that it gave me an energy boost. Energy boosts are always good.
So I started to research green drinks a bit. Here’s what I have found so far. Different brands have a wide variety of ingredients, but they usually contain the following: Cereal grasses (like wheat grass, barley grass), Sea weeds and vegetables (like kelp and spirulina) herbs, probiotics, and enzymes. Often they have fiber added as well. Some have fruit like acerola as well as fruit for flavoring or added nutrition . Basically green drinks contain a plethora of good for you ingredients, the aim being a drink that can give you plenty of nutrients.
One disadvantage I have found with having this huge list of ingredients is that sometimes I like, let’s say, 90 percent of the ingredients, but wish it didn’t have the other ten percent (like certain herbs or fiber). Most of the green drinks also have raw crucifers in them as well (read about my concerns here).
But the advantage of having the huge ingredient list is that there really is a lot of good stuff to be found in a glass of this stuff! Because there are so many ingredients, I couldn’t even possibly go over the health advantages of each ingredient. But I think that most of know the pluses of sea vegetables and greens.
To get a better idea of green drinks, I contacted four companies about their products. They graciously sent me samples. Here are some reviews of the companies that interested me. Let’s take a look at some of their differences.
(Taste Test at end of post)
Vitality Super Green
Let’s start with the Body Ecology Vitality Super Green. I would say that this green drink is the most like a supplement as many of it’s ingredients, like “glutimmune”, chicory root inulin, and aloe vera extract are formulated for “intestinal support”. Many of you are probably familiar with the Body Ecology Diet, which is a diet to help heal digestive issues. This is the green drink that they have formulated to go along with the diet, though you don’t need to be on the diet to benefit from it.
It also contains fermented vegetables and algae, which is unique compared to the other brands listed here, as well as unfermented vegetables, greens (like barley and alfalfa juice), algae, and includes probiotics and enzymes. It’s the lightest in color compared to the other brand, and I assume that is because of the “intestinal support” ingredients which would not be green. It is lightly sweetened with stevia.
Going on, let take a look a Amazing Grass Superfood drinks.
This contains Green food (like wheat, barley, alfalfa, spirulina, spinach, chlorella and broccoli), an antioxidant blend (including maca, acai, carrot beets, goji, green tea, and acerola cherry) as well as fiber, digestive enzymes and active cultures, and” energizing herbs”. They have several different flavors, including a chocolate one, which I remember enjoying. I have their berry flavor drink powder, which I find quite tasty when I added just a pinch or two of stevia powder. This brand was the most “flavored” green drink, which many would probably like.
Let’s go to the brand, Vibrant Health, which has a green drink with the most ingredients and another with the least.
Green Vibrance definitely had the most lengthy ingredient list. The company owner told me Green Vibrance was the “original” green drink. And it certainly does contain a huge variety of nutrient dense foods! I won’t list all of the ingredients since it is rather lengthy, but here is an overview. Under Nutrient dense, healing and support foods, we find a wide variety of greens and vegetables (such as barley grass, alfalfa grass, oat grass and wheat grass juice, parsley, beet and zucchini, carrot, spinach, spirulina). There are more “supplement” type ingredients such as vitamin E and a few others for “Cell Membrane and Nerve Support”, as well as high fiber foods (which there are several) and prebiotics. There are 6 ingredients under the “Antioxidants and Circulatory Support” which includes ginkgo biloba extract and green tea extract. There are some herbs and other supplement like additions under “adaptogens and immune support”, and a lovely sea vegetable complex with rockweed, bladderwrack and nova scotia dulse. Finally we have enzymes, skeletal support (vit D3 and phyto-boron) and fortifying phyto-minerals and tonics (ginger and cayenne), and mango powder for taste.
I like that they use mango to sweeten it because it’s good for you too! ( It doesn’t taste at all like mango, by the way. I think it just sweetens it a bit) Also, important to note- just about everything is organic or wild crafted. This formula is very dark green in color. I also noticed that the powder was more moist compared to the other brands. It wasn’t as dried, perhaps? And it smells very fresh.
However, if you wanted a more simple formula, Field of Greens from the same company may be a good choice for you. It contains only 14 ingredients -all of which are either greens (like kale, broccoli sprout, parsley) or grass juice (like oat, barley, alfalfa grass juices). And that’s it! Nothing else, no fibers, no vitamins, no herbs, etc.
I was interested in this product for my daughter Elena, because I wasn’t sure I wanted her to have some of the herbs that were in the other formulas. I love the simplicity of it and appreciate that everything is organic. They also, by the way, have another product that we have tried and liked, which is Rainbow Vibrance, which contains a plethora of “reds, yellows, and greens, and blues” fruits and vegetables for a antioxidant rich drink. This is delicious, especially when mixed with juice. Perhaps a good way to get in some vegetables and fruit for picky eaters?
Finally, the last brand, Vitamineral Green not only has great ingredients, but is the most frugal choice as well.
It’s a pretty straight forward mixture of greens For example- grasses: barley, oat, and wheat juice and vegetables: broccoli, kale, spinach, parsley, American basil, herbs: holy basil, nettle leaf etc.
It also has seaweeds (like spirulina, chlorella, kelp, dulse, nori, etc), enzymes, and probiotics. While this one is more complex than the “Field of Greens”, it’s also quite straight forward and simple without adding in “energizing herbs” or fibers, like many of the other brands do. That is one reason I love this brand.
Rather than going for an organic label, they claim the title of truganic for their ingredients, which I have never heard of before. It’s supposed to be a higher standard than organic. And, of course, the biggest advantage is it’s price! I think it’s about 20 dollars for a jar. I definitely like the price! I love how dark green the formula is too. It looks like it is bursting with nutrients.
So there are the four brands that I have tried so far and here is the recipe I use with most of them.
Green Drink Recipe
I find that having your green drink cold really makes it taste better. You can also add more cinnamon or stevia to taste, if you like. If you wanted to use another sweetener, I am sure that would work as well. This recipe is based off of what my mother-in-law served me, but she used cinnamon oil instead of powder. One last note, you can vary the amount of water you use. I like mine more thinned out, my husband likes it thicker.
I serving of Green drink (your brand choice)
8 ounces of water
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/8 teaspoon stevia powder
Thoroughly mix together and serve over ice.
I didn’t use the flavored Amazing Grass brand for this taste test, since it’s already flavored.
Body Ecology Vitality Super Green-Lightest in color, more supplement like taste (not so “greeny” tasting), sweet. Almost didn’t have enough “taste” as it’s so light in flavor. Those who have a hard time with most green drinks, may find this one the easiest to handle.
Green Vibrance-More green like taste, but not bad. I liked it a little more sweetened, so I added a pinch more of stevia and found it just right. Husband’s favorite.
Field of Greens-Most “greeny” taste of all the ones I’ve tried, which makes sense since that’s all that’s in it. Probably would be best mixed in juice, though my husband liked this product as well (he likes it to actually taste like something, so he liked that it was stronger in taste).
Vitamineral- Surprisingly mild, my favorite. Had a nice dark green color.
So there you have it. Do you have any thoughts to add? Do you like green drinks? Have any favorite brands?