Green smoothies

In our quest for a better diet, Perry surprised me by expressing interest in green smoothies.  [Who are you, and what have you done with my husband?]

Today I found some great deals on a wide variety of fruits, grabbed a big bag of fresh spinach from Costco, and rushed home to experiment on the children. I want this to work, so we’ll offer Perry his first smoothie after we’ve worked out some of the bumps.

After a brief phone consultation with a former green smoothie user, I decided to start with something like this:

Green Smoothie, take 1

  • 2 cups raw spinach
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 apples, quartered
  • 6 strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups kefir
  • 1/2 cup grapes

Puree spinach and water in blender (this proved easier said than done.  after a few tries I just moved on).  Add remaining ingredients and blend on high until smooth.

This went over surprisingly well, especially after I explained that the grayish green sludge would taste like neither spinach nor sludge.

For the second round, I tried something a little simpler.  I’m not likely to have most of those fruits on hand regularly, so I tried something more representative of our normal inventory.

Green Smoothie, take 2

  • 1 1/2 cups raw spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups kefir
  • 1/2 tray ice cubes (6-8)
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 apples, quartered

This was better.  It was prettier, simpler, and nicely chilled.  We usually keep ripe peeled bananas in the freezer, and I think these will make a very nice addition to our next green smoothie.  I’m storing the spinach in the freezer too, to extend its very short shelf life.

Have you ever made green smoothies?  I would love to hear your recipes and tips.

Comments

  1. A little late here :) but we LOVE green smoothies too! We use:

    about 1/2 cup of ground flax (when you grind it first, it brings out all the nutrients, if you eat them whole your body doesn’t’ absorb the nutruients…they don’t digest well)
    3 apples
    2 ripe bananas
    1 1/2 cup frozen berry blend
    coconut oil
    LOTS of spinach
    swiss or rainbow chard, kale, or collard greens (I alternate every couple of days)
    water
    After I pour everyone their glass I add a tsp of our powdered greens (chocolate flavor) so the kids call their green smoothie a chocolate shake! Very yummy!!
    There is a great website to get other recipes too http://www.greensmoothiegirl.com
    Enjoy!

  2. The idea here seems to be raw spinach, but it’s not always in season here, so we do keep on hand a bucket of powdered greens by Barlean’s. With dark berries, it’s especially nice, and, when we use a banana we’ll add some of Barlean’s flax oil.

  3. The resource you need is http://www.greensmoothiegirl.com. She’s a raw-vegan type, but knows soy is poison and has lots of recipes that anyone can enjoy. I have lots of family-proven smoothies on my blog, too. Not all are green, but many are. http://feedingthecrew.blogspot.com/search/label/smoothies

  4. faith marandola says:

    1/3 blender of oj, add as much kale as the oj will grind smooth, a carrot, 1 frozen bananna, then i use the sams club bag of tropical frozen fruit (i augment the mix with a bag of frozen cranberries and a bag of frozen blueberries when i buy it)…i throw it in a few chunks at a time until the smoothie is so frosty it wont blend anymore frozen fruit…my husband takes 2 tbsp of kelp in his half of the blender…it is the usual breakfast around here…been doin it for quite a while, and now the kids drink them too! Sure beats trying to fight the veggies down the toddlers!

  5. OH, YOU HAVE TO CHECK OUT THIS BLOG! SHE HAS ALL SORTS OF RECIPES FOR GREEN SMOOTHIES AND MUCH MORE!!! http://rawfooddietforchristians.blogspot.com/

  6. My kids actually love green smoothies. We don’t measure anything, just throw things in by the handful. I do add frozen berries, eliminating the need for ice cubes, and I never have kefer on hand, so I use raw milk. A little Orange juice is a great addition if you don’t have enough berries to make it sweet. And sometimes I add a little raw honey, for the health benefits.

    But the BEST ingredient in our green smoothies is a few Tbs. of Chlorophyll!!! This is a super nutritious addition to your smoothies – and it’s green!

  7. Incidentally, God took your old husband away and gave you one that does not want to be blind and footless when he’s 65 or 70….

    guess diabetes will do that to you…. ;)

  8. We LOVE green smoothies. This is our usual recipe:

    2 big handfuls of spinach
    2 bananas
    1 – 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
    1/2 cup frozen blueberries
    1 1/2 cups milk
    flax seeds

    We like the frozen berries because it adds that thick, icy texture without using ice.

  9. I think you meant to say “worked out the lumps” instead of bumps. We love yogurt smoothies but have never made them green. You might inspire us.

  10. We have just recently started doing green smoothies every morning in our VitaMix. My older kids drink them, the younger ones don’t really like them-at least not yet!

    Our recipe:
    -water
    -Spinach and one or two other kinds of greens, I like kale, collards, and Swiss chard
    -about 1.5 frozen bananas
    -1 apple
    -a variation of frozen fruit, either a pineapple/strawberry/peach mix or a berry mix
    -flaxseeds
    -sometimes plain yogurt

    This makes more than 2 quarts.
    I have enjoyed reading what others do to get some more ideas!

  11. we use kefir, bananas,stevia or honey, kiwi, spinach and pears.
    It makes a good green smoothie. If we don’t like the flavor when we try new smoothies, I always add more bananas. They mask alot of nasty flavors.

  12. Liz-

    I had no idea you could freeze the spinach also, this is a great thing being that our spinach was going bad faster than we could use it up…so, just to be sure I am reading what I think I am, you can freeze the spinach right?

  13. I make these just about every day. I use a handful of spinach, one frozen banana, a handful of blueberries, about 1/4-1/3 cup yogurt and either water or almond milk if I have any. You can also add a little honey. These smoothies aren’t green because of the berries which makes it easier to hide the spinach for the children. This is our favorite smoothie! We’ll almost our favorite. Our very favorite is the banana peanut butter variety…but that one doesn’t have spinach….

    God Bless!
    Lacey

  14. Love green smoothies. I make mine with homemade raw milk yogurt, (Thanks to my boys for milking the cows morning and night!) spinach, carrots, apples, bananas, and what ever else is around. Beets! Blueberries! Stevia! Fresh eggs! I have a VitaMix which blends it all very smooth.

  15. We love green smoothies. We even have them for dinner sometimes. Here’s what I usually put in them:
    3 or so frozen bananas
    some ice & water
    LOTS of spinach
    coconut oil
    spirulina
    rice or whey protein powder
    honey
    then either frozen strawberries or
    peanut butter & carob powder

    Sometimes, if I have it/take the time, I will add other stuff like — pumpkin/flax seed, yogurt, &/or fresh young coconut water & meat – these add lots of creaminess & are very good for you. They are hard to open but your girls could definitely handle it. And dates can help sweeten too if you don’t want to use honey but you should soak them in water 1st or blend very well.. Drinking them through a straw helps.

  16. Hi,
    We buy our ingredients in bulk and cut and measure it all into gallon size ziplock bags and put it in the freezer. We do a combination of spinach, grapes, pineapple, and bananas. It all goes into the bag and then we blend it with water or orange juice. Yummy!

  17. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, John loves to add cashews to a smoothie. Adds some protein, but it gives a nice rich flavor that he loves.

  18. We love green smoothies and have one most days. My latest find is that peaches cover up a good amount of greens remarkably well. Usually I have to add something with strong flavor, like berries, to cover up the flavor of the greens, but just peaches, greens, and then bananas or oranges makes a great smoothie.

    We buy the huge bags of frozen strawberries and frozen triple berries (raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries) at Costco and have those on hand all the time. I’m going to find a good source for frozen peaches now.

    I’ve found that we don’t like lettuce (like leaf lettuce, romaine, etc.) in smoothies. They always end up tasting like grass. On the other hand, we do like strong greens like collards and turnip greens. Adding an apple helps quite a bit when you use stronger greens that you wouldn’t normally like. It neutralizes the flavor or something. Kale is my favorite, but I try to buy it every other week and get something different on the off weeks so that we get a good variety of nutrients.

    Smoothies a great way to use the cores of pineapples that you’d normally throw away, and smoothies with pineapple are really good.

  19. Go to the HEB or Walmart and buy a big bag of frozen fruit. Melon or peaches or strawberries. That really adds to the frosty, thick, shake-like texture. Surely I mentioned that on the phone, right?

    • Jenny,
      You probably did mention it but I bought a truckload of fresh fruit on sale at Sun Harvest. We do freeze excess grapes and bananas, and would freeze strawberries if there was any hope of excess. When fresh fruit is out of season, we’ll look into frozen.

  20. We have green smoothies every day. Lettuce is another thing that doesn’t taste too good. Mustard greens are too strong…shudder. Kohlrabi (sp) is pretty good. I threatened to put some leftover beans in it once, but forgot to do it! Those beans got eaten, lol.

    Our usual drink consists of…kefir, spinach, bananas (we use 5 or 6), and blueberries. Occasionally strawberries or blackberries or….whatever.

  21. We are HUGE fans of green smoothies at our house. :-D

    First of all, some things we have found…

    1. Even a little pine-needle juice tends to dominate the entire drink. Not recommended…unless you really just love the taste of pine. :-P

    2. Mint leaves are better, but still quite dominating. Use a leaf per batch if you want it.

    3. Almond butter and peanut butter are great for adding protein–almond blends in really well, so you can put more in. We use PB every now and then, when we feel like a Peanut Butter Smoothie. :-D

    4. LOTS of frozen fruit. Yum.

    5. And last but not least…squash just…doesn’t taste that great. Neither does zuccini. Cucumber can work, but…still. Yeah.

    Love,
    ~Hannah

  22. Sara has some good info here:
    http://happyfoody.com/2009/08/10/happy-foody-green-smoothie-challange-2009/

    my favorite tip was throwing blueberries in to make the whole smoothie purple for those who can’t handle the green. :)

  23. I love the wine glass for serving it – helps make it special!

  24. Mine is similar to Lisa’s only I use coconut mik instead of almond milk (an idea I got from Lindsey at passiontehomemaking who makes smoothies too)
    I use just a bit of plain yogurt, but kefir would do pretty much the same thing. a drizzle of honey, a heap of spinach, blueberries and/or strawberries, half a banana.
    Im sure its very high in calories, but its so good. My fifteen month old even likes it.

  25. I love this for an afternoon snack; it is a great pick me up.

    1 banana (creamy cheap base ingredient)
    1/3 c frozen blueberries (antioxidants/hides greens)
    handful spinach (antioxidants/energy)
    big spoonful homemade yogurt or kefir (digestive health)
    drizzle raw honey (natural antibiotic)

    Optional:
    ground flax (Omega 3’s)
    drizzle coconut oil (fat burner)

    Blend in Vita Mix or Bosch blender.

    The simpler you make these–the easier it is to incorporate them into your day.

  26. I follow Susan Mondok’s blog, http://smondok.blogspot.com/. She’s a pastor’s wife studying to be a nutritionist and is very big on green smoothies and eating raw as much as possible. She’s posted some of the recipes she enjoys. You might get some really good ideas from her.

  27. For my green smoothies, I do this:

    Handful of fresh spinach
    Frozen blueberries (I buy these in a big bag from Sam’s Club pretty cheap, but of course you could also freeze your own, or use fresh blueberries and ice)
    Almond milk

    That’s it. It’s actually the color of blueberries rather than green though. :) I don’t use anything for sweetener, but I suppose you could. I don’t measure, but just fill up the blender. I drink a glass full and freeze the rest for later, unless I can talk any of the kids into drinking some.

    Another variation:

    Handful of spinach
    1/2 frozen banana
    Fresh fruit (blueberries or strawberries)
    Almond milk

    This is a great way to get your fruits and veggies in! I’ve yet to get my husband to try them, though.

  28. LOVE green smoothies here. We usually pack the blender with either spinach or kale and then add a tall glass of water, 1 banana, several frozen strawberries, and then maybe half to a whole cup each of frozen blueberries and raspberries. Delicious! The kale takes a little getting used to, but after a week of using the kale, the spinach base will be much sweeter :-)

  29. What’s kefir?

    I’ve never yet tried green smoothies, but i keep vaguely thinking about it

  30. Thanks for the reminder! I tried this a few months back and liked it, but haven’t done it since.

    I told my husband about it and he initially agreed to try it but he woke up feeling slightly queasy and one glance made him change his mind! He said he’d try it sometime if I serve it in an opaque cup, however.

  31. Catherine Hochschild says:

    Jessica has some tips at jessicalynette.com.

  32. Yummo! I will have to try these the next time I go to the market. Thanks for sharing!

  33. we don’t make smoothies but we do make green drink: ( I never measure I just dump it all in)

    Handful of Spinach
    a banana – frozen is good
    A palmful of ground flax seed (or less)
    a good squirt of honey or Agave nectar
    a splash of Apple juice or OJ
    a bigger splash of Cranberry or Cran-pomegranate Juice (the real stuff not cocktail) Or Vice Versa if you like OJ/Apple more than cran stuff. Then blend REALLY well until spinach is smooth ;) You can use other greens or a combo but I’ve never strayed from the spinach.

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