It seems like green smoothies have become all the rage lately. And well they should! I have been drinking them on an almost-daily basis for almost two years and I LOVE them!! How else can you get so much green goodness in you in a way that is delicious and satisfying? Go on…try to think of another way. No? Nothing coming to mind?? That’s because green smoothies ROCK and I truly believe they are one of the best ways to eat raw greens, veggies and fruit!
I had heard of green smoothies and had even tried some off and on, but didn’t get serious about them until I really started changing the way I lived and ate. And this is seriously one of my favorite things to share with people! It’s a simple and delicious way to introduce healthy, yummy, life-enhancing food into your diet.
I drink a quart of green smoothie every day (with the exception of when I’m traveling or when I’ve – gasp! – run out of greens). That’s 12 servings of greens, fruit and vegetables!
This is what is in my typical, everyday smoothie:
Greens – I always use spinach (mostly because it’s readily available, inexpensive, and you absolutely cannot taste it in a smoothie – I promise!) and usually another green – kale, collards, chard, beet greens. I recommend starting with spinach, then gradually adding some of these other greens. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can delve into stronger tasting stuff. I’ve had two very unfortunate experiences when I tried introducing new greens into my smoothie. One was mustard greens (I can hardly say or type those words without gagging) and the other was parsley (I have no idea what possessed me to do that. I couldn’t eat parsley for months after that one…).
-I buy all organic greens. I don’t necessarily buy all of my produce organic but I definitely go organic with my greens. I get the one pound bins of organic baby spinach at Costco or Sam’s Club (usually much cheaper at a “warehouse store” than a typical grocery store) and the rest of my greens at either Whole Foods or a regular grocery store.
Fruit – I always add a banana (unless I’m out) because it’s a strong tasting fruit and makes the smoothie “smoother.” I also almost always use an apple, frozen blueberries and frozen mixed fruit. Sometimes I will also add a slice of organic lemon, peel and all – sooo beneficial to your health!
You can really use any fruit that you like. I’ve tried so many: watermelon, pears, mango, pineapple, oranges, cantaloupe, papaya, strawberries…but my “go-tos” are above.
– I store my bananas in the freezer. Once they are ripe, I peel them, break them in half, and put them in a freezer bag. They last so much longer this way!
-I buy big bags of frozen blueberries and frozen mixed fruit at Costco or Sam’s Club. Again, it’s a lot cheaper buying them here than in a regular grocery store.
Veggies – Most people probably don’t add veggies to their smoothies but I figure it’s an easy way to get more raw veggies into my diet! I always add a whole raw organic carrot, and if I’ve used broccoli during the week, I save the large stems and add them to my smoothie.
I’ve also put raw beets in my smoothies but don’t use them on a regular basis.
Other – I usually add a tablespoon of organic, unrefined coconut oil and organic flaxseed oil (the good refrigerated kind). You could also add some chia seeds or raw honey or whatever else tickles your fancy. There are so many good things you can add to a smoothie! The possibilities are pretty much endless!
So here is how I make a green smoothie:
I add a glass full (approx. 10 oz.) of water to my blender then fill it to the top with greens.
Blend it down until you don’t see any (or many) pieces of green (it will now smell like grass – I try not to get my nose near the open blender at this point 😉 ).
Add veggies, fruit and any other “extras.”
Blend until smooth. I usually let it go for about 30 – 60 seconds – the time it takes to blend down will depend on how powerful your blender is.
And voila! A yummy green smoothie!!
-I would say the most important ingredient in making green smoothies is not actually an ingredient but the apparatus used to make the smoothie. I have a Vitamix blender and I LOVE IT!!! If you are serious about making green smoothies a part of your diet, a high-speed blender is a MUST! Yes, they are quite expensive. But trust me, it’s worth it! I’m not saying you can’t make green smoothies in a basic blender – you can. It just might take longer to blend and it will not be as smooth. IMPORTANT NOTE: I am currently staying in Hawaii for a few weeks and the pictures above were taken here. So that is not my beloved Vitamix. I seriously contemplated shipping my Vitamix to Hawaii but common sense finally won out. And I can now confirm that a basic blender does not do such a hot job with what I put in my smoothies – they have been turning out very chunky. But at least I am still able to enjoy my smoothies while on vacation! 🙂 I’m just going to hug my Vitamix when I get back home…
-I use water as my liquid base but you can really use anything: fruit juice, coconut water, almond milk (I personally tried this and was NOT impressed). You’ll just need some kind of liquid so it will blend better and won’t be too thick. If it seem like the greens are just sitting there and not blending down – add more liquid. That should do the trick!
-I know most people think they don’t have time to make a green smoothie on a daily basis. But it honestly only takes about 10-15 minutes – most of that depending on what type of blender you use. There is almost no mess if you use all frozen fruit, and clean up is a breeze! I just rinse out my blender, fill it halfway with warm water, add a few drops of dish soap, and blend for a few seconds. Rinse it out again, set it out to dry, and that’s all there is to it! I find that the smoothie tastes best if I drink it within a few hours of making it but it’s perfectly okay to make one a day in advance. Just make sure you shake it up really good before drinking.
If you’re still skeptical about the benefits of green smoothies and how they can possibly change (or save!) your life, click HERE to see numerous testimonials that the Green Smoothie Girl has compiled on her website from people who have started incorporating them into their diet.
Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below!