Sunday, August 8, 2010

(non) Cooking Class:How to make a green smoothie

I've been drinking green smoothies for a while now. It's been part of my effort to get more whole and raw foods in my diet and a great way to achieve fantastic health and energy. I try to drink between 2-4 cups a day.

My smoothies have evolved over the months as I have experimented with different greens and fruits, even the way I make them has changed. My husband used to complain that my smoothies were way too thick and he'd always have to add a lot of water to his when I'd share. Now, I think I've found a good method that makes a great smoothie that tastes good and is easy to get down. I know that there are many ways to do it, but I thought I would share what works for me.

What you'll need:
a blender (preferable high power)
1 banana
1-2 cups frozen fruit (mixed berries are the best)
any other fruit to taste
filtered water
*greens (see below)

First, gather all your ingredients. I have a small 1 quart blender which is the perfect size for what I drink.

Fill the blender with 1 cup water then fill it up to the top (or quart line) with spinach. I pack my spinach a little to get more in, but not too much. It's usually about 2 very large handfuls.

Blend the greens and water until all the greens are chopped up. It should reach about to the 2 cup line at this point.

Add your banana and frozen fruit. I think my blender is in the middle between a regular and high powered blender so I microwave my (frozen) fruit for about 20-30 seconds so I don't burn out the motor. I would suggest doing that if you don't have one. In this smoothie I put in a small handful of blueberries a banana, blackberries and mango. Power it up and blend until smooth. Add any other fruit you want to taste and do a final blend for about 60 seconds. Add more water if it's too thick.

You should have between 3-4 cups when it's all done.

Pour into a mason jar or a cup with a lid. Keep the lid on when you are not drinking to prevent oxidation. The smoothie will keep about 48 hours, just shake it up before you drinking.

NOTE: When using other greens in addition to spinach I have found that over time the smoothie gets a little sludgy. If you don't drink it all right away and it's too thick next time you go to drink it, just add a little water and shake it up.

Here are some of my favorite smoothies:
*spinach, banana, strawberries, whole orange (peeled)
*spinach, banana, blueberries, peaches
*spinach, banana, strawberries, pineapple

*Here's a tip: I try to buy fruit when it is in season and on sale. When I find a killer deal, I stock up and freeze it for smoothies later on. Plan ahead and you'll always have what you need to make your smoothie.

*(If you're a beginner, you will only want to use spinach as it is very mild. If you're a long-timer, try experimenting by adding chard, collards, beet greens and kale. My favorite to add is kale, it's kind of peppery and wonderful for your digestion. I've also used chard, which is kind of earthy and beet greens which aren't too bad. When adding other greens use both the leaf and stem and add only 1-2 at a time and taste before you add more.)


  1. any good ideas for a banana sub? little one is allergic to banana and i want to try this for them.

  2. Mango and avocado are nice and creamy. Avocado especially for your little guy if he needs extra fat. Peaches, pears, & apple are good too.

  3. I get my 3-year-old John to help me (he won't drink them unless he makes them, for some reason). He washes the spinach in our salad spinner, rinses the fruit in the colander, peels the bananas and breaks them into the blender. We often put "green ice cubes" into them if I don't have spinach: I steam then puree broccoli and freeze it in ice cube trays. John and our 9-month-old Joseph LOVE smoothies.

  4. That's great getting him involved! My younger daughter will always drink mine, but my older daughter is getting picky about drinking it these days.

  5. Hey Michele-Do you have any ideas for using the Thai Coconut Rice leftovers? I made WAY too much and we've used up our curry chicken and I'm not sure what else it would go with. I can freeze it for another day, but if I could think of something for now, I'd rather do that. Sorry this has nothing to do with green smoothies :). But those look great too!

  6. Carolyn, I've seen recipes that use coconut rice with mango, kind of like dessert. You could also make like a rice pudding, add a little whole milk, cinnamon and nutmeg, and top it with some dulce de leche. I used to eat it like that in Uruguay, minus the coconut. That's all I got right now, hope that helps.

  7. Michele, lol on the mango, avocado, he's definitely allergic to avocado too, crazy I know and mango is one he's never tried, we're too afraid, to close to the kiwi, passion fruit, banana and avocado he's allergic to. But he loves pears and apples so we'll try that. Do you think it would be absolutely nasty if I added some organic happy meat to get him some extra protein, such a great way to hide it?

  8. T-I have never heard of organic happy meat. I would say "no" for putting it in a smoothie. May taste funny. As for protein, whole plant foods have more than enough protein in them, we've just been led to believe that the only source of protein basically is from meat. If you are adding who le plant foods to smoothies, you should be good on the protein front. Beans are also a good source.


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