The Amazing Parsley: Health Benefits and 3 Green Smoothie Recipes with Parsley
If you are like most people, you may be thinking of parsley just as garnish.
You know, that green stuff that is used to decorate food platters that everyone carefully separates from the real food and tosses to the side.
It’s a shame, because parsley has amazing health benefits, adding a powerful dose of vitamins and minerals to a green smoothie.
What’s so special about parsley?
Parsley is finally being recognized as a powerhouse of nutrition and flavor. Recently it has been recognized as a superb addition to any green smoothie.
The Amazing Parsley: Health Benefits
* Parsley is rich in calcium.
Forget milk, yogurt or cheese. 100 grams of parsley delivers the same amount of calcium as 100 grams of milk, plus more and minus the health risks. One cup of fresh parsley in a green smoothie delivers 83 milligrams (8% RDA) of calcium. When blended with with oranges, kiwi fruit and/or figs, it’s a delicious way to take care of your bones, without the health risks of dairy products (not to mention hormones and antibiotics, and inhumane treatment of animals).
* Parsley is rich in iron.
One cup contains 3.7 milligrams of iron. Parsley is the richest source of iron from any leafy green that you’d get from the supermarket.
* Parsley contains lots of vitamins.
It is rich in vitamin A (as beta-carotene) and provides up to 168% RDA in just one cup. Like most leafy greens, they are an especially rich source of vitamin K providing up to 820% RDA. Two tablespoons of parsley have a whopping 153% of the RDA of vitamin K, which is necessary for the synthesis of osteocalcin, a protein that strengthens the composition of our bones. Vitamin K also prevents calcium build-up in our tissue, thus helping prevent atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke. They provide an excellent source of folate (23% RDA) and vitamin C (89% RDA).
* Parsley has anti-inﬂammatory properties.
Along with luteolin, the vitamin C found in parsley serves as an effective anti-inﬂammatory agent within the body. When consumed regularly, they combat the onset of inflammatory disorders, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis .
* Plus, unlike dairy, it is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol.
* It is also a good source of Protein, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus and Zinc, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.
In combination, parsley’s volatile oils, flavanoids, and high Vitamin A content may help reduce cancer risk.
Parsley versus Dairy
The good of milk: This food is a good source of Protein, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Riboflavin and Calcium.
The bad of milk: This food is high in Saturated Fat, and a large portion of the calories in this food come from sugars. (source: http://nutritiondata.self.com/). Not to mention all the hormones, antibiotics, and animal misery that is in that food.
So, which one would you rather have?
Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ll skip the dairy and go for a green smoothie!
So, let’s get to it.
How To Use Parsley Leaves In Green Smoothie Recipes
Parsley has a distinct, strong taste so it is best to use no more than one cup in a smoothie recipe. You can combine it with non-bitter greens like fresh baby spinach or romaine and green leaf lettuce. Parsley pairs best with fruits like pear, coconut, pineapple, mango, oranges and kiwifruit.
When added to a smoothie, it turns the drink a delightful bright green. Not only that, it has breath-freshening properties, too. Available year-round in any super-market, it is inexpensive, especially compared to other greens. One bunch of parsley is usually available for a dollar or less.
Buy parsley with deep green colored leaves. If leaves are wilted and yellow, it’s not fresh. Rinse it in cool water and shake or spin it dry, and store in a plastic bag in the fridge. It can also be wrapped in foil or plastic and then frozen.
Parsley Lemon Smoothie
- 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley (keep the tender stalks and chop off the tough ones)
- 1-2 lemons with the rind, pith & seeds removed
- 1-2 bananas
- 2 cups of water
Blend well in your Vitamix (or whatever blender you have) on high for 30 seconds or until the smoothie is creamy.
Tip for beginners: add some sweetener of choice e.g. agave, or stevia.
Iron-Rich Parsley Pear Pineapple Green Smoothie
- 1 cup parsley
- 1 cup spinach greens
- 1 large pear, cored
- 1 cups pineapple, cubed
- 1 cup water
Add all the ingredients except for the greens to your smoothie maker, and blend on high for 30 seconds or until the smoothie is creamy.
Parsley and Mango Green Smoothie Recipe
- 1 cup parsley
- 1 ripe mango, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup water
Cut mangoes into nice size chunks or slices. Blend all ingredients on high until everything is smooth and creamy. As for most green smoothies, I highly recommend a powerful blender.
Pineapple and Parsley Smoothie
- 1 cup non dairy milk (such as oat, rice, soya, almond, hemp, coconut drink or raw nut or seed milk) If you are drinking this straight away, substitute half a cup of milk with half a cup of ice or frozen milk cubes to be added at the end.
- 3 cups fresh pineapple chopped (1 small pineapple)
- 2 medium bananas (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup parsley chopped, tightly packed or 2 cups loosely packed. (Or spinach or any other mild greens if you aren’t brave enough for the parsely yet.)
- 1 cup oats (Yes, you can add oats to a green smoothie to make it more filling and smooth. If you don’t have a powerful blender and want the smoothie very smooth you can soak the oats for an hour before blending.)
Blend the ingredients in the order listed. Add more water if required to thin it out. Substitute any of the ingredients for whatever you already have. If your smoothie is too warm, you can cool it down in the fridge, add a few ice cubes, or frozen fruits (and blend again).
For all my blending recipes I use Vitamix. If you don’t already own a VitaMix, I strongly encourage you to check out what this machine is capable of! For more information about VitaMix you can go directly to the VitaMix website. You may also want to read my post about the Best Blender.
I LOVE my VitaMix and highly recommend investing in one if you are ready to make serious changes to your diet. I have had mine for almost 5 years and use it daily!
If you decide to purchase Vitamix – be sure to use Promotional Code 06-004554 to get free shipping.
Inside my Vitamix: The making of green smoothie!
This recipe has been featured on Raw Foods Thursdays.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions?
If you have a favorite recipe, why not submit it here in the comment section of this smoothie recipes blog for others to enjoy too!
I also welcome any comments, questions and suggestions. Thanks!