Tuesday, January 22, 2013

green smoothies 101

black cherry + mango + strawberry + frozen spinach + banana + water

I love green smoothies. It wasn't until we were recently on vacation, and I went 3 days without one, that I realized just how much I love them... and how much my body craves them.

Sure, I want to look as hot as the next mom in my skinny jeans, but my body is not a temple right now. I know that it should be. And, there are times in my life when I really focus on being healthy in every way. But not this month. Most days I eat well, but I'm not one to turn my nose up at a basket of nachos after skiing...

with my 6-year-old who thinks colder + wetter + steeper = better.

Add a local draft beer and a band playing Mellencamp to the basket of nachos, and I'd pretty much call that a perfect winter afternoon.

kale + clementine + banana + coconut water

Which is probably why I also crave green smoothies. They make me feel good. They keep my skin clear and glowing. They're portable. They balance out the indulgences of weekends, and start my weekdays off on the right note. As with most things I cook/whip up, there isn't a lot of precision in the "recipe". I make them with what I have on hand, and each day the results are a little bit different. Here is my basic formula for my green smoothies:

2 cups liquid + 2 cups packed greens + 2 cups fruit = 3 (2 cup) servings

baby spinach and kale + green apple + frozen blueberries, pineapple and raspberries + water

A few notes on smoothie making:
  • You do not need fancy equipment. I have an Osterizer blender I picked up at Target years ago that works just fine. 
  • Fresh or frozen fruit works perfectly, so you should be able to make green smoothies year-round! If I am using frozen fruit I let it thaw a bit though so my (non-fancy) blender can handle grinding it up though.
  • If a smoothie tastes too "green", try adding more fruit, or a bit of fresh lemon juice, and work up to the 50:50 green:fruit ratio. My kids like more of a 75:25 ratio fruit:greens. It's all a matter of taste, and any way you make them is great! I recommend starting out with a 75:25 ratio, then working up to including more leafy greens. 
  • Ideas for liquids: water, coconut water, almond milk, rice milk.
  • Ideas for dark leafy greens: fresh or frozen spinach or baby kale. 
  • Ideas for fruit: fresh or frozen banana, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, mango, papaya, pineapple, apple, grapes, melon, oranges, grapefruit. 
  • Optional add-ins: flax seeds, chia seeds, protein powder, oats, nuts, nut butter.
Cheers! I'd love to hear about your favorite green smoothie?


  1. Love those green smoothies! Great ideas in this post--thanks!

  2. My favorite green smoothie is: orange juice, milk, 1/2 of a frozen banana, a small handful of cashews, frozen mango and lots of baby spinach. Delicious!

  3. Ooh, I forgot, sometimes I add a chunk of carrot and/or a slice of ginger!

  4. Hey Michelle! I'm just getting into being green after watching 'Hungry for Change' (docu) on Netflix. Love green smoothies! My only complaint is that kale tasts a bit, um, not great at first in a smoothie. I'm going to try your tips/suggestions and tweak till I find a good combo. I would also like to suggest hemp seeds as another awesome addition. I really like the nutty taste and thickness it adds to a smoothie. THanks again!


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