Cucumber-Avocado-Lime Green Smoothie

Cucumber-Lime-Avocado Green Smoothie {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Cucumber-Lime-Avocado Green Smoothie {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

I didn’t do a very good job taking advantage of my jet lag this morning. I woke up early to gray, heavy skies and thought – what a perfect morning to make a cup of tea and take a blanket to my desk and write. But it turned out that it was also a perfect morning to lie under a pile of down comforters and waste an hour on various forms of social media. And I was only in Europe for a few days so it’s probably my only morning of jet lag. Oh well.

I’ve been wanting to get this post up before it comes irrelevant – I’m sure many of your gardens are winding down, and personally, my morning cravings have turned more towards baked apples and oatmeal than bright green smoothies. But I know we still have a few hot days ahead of us, and there are still 3 cucumbers hanging on the vine, so smoothies it is.

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Colombian Limonada de Coco

Colombian Limonada de Coco {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Colombian Limonada de Coco {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

You guys know that I’m in Colombia all the time for work. I’ve been at least once a month so far this year, if not twice. The food in Colombia is amazing, but because I’m on the road so frequently I’ve had to scale back on how much I let myself indulge when I’m gone, even if it means missing out on arepas, empanadas, patacones, and all the other delicious treats. There’s only one thing that I can’t resist having at least once per trip: Limonada de Coco. It definitely falls into the indulgence category, but it’s too good to pass up.

Colombian Limonada de Coco {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Colombian Limonada de Coco {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Limonada de Coco is basically a coconut and limeade smoothie. It’s incredibly simple to make – all you need is fresh lime juice, coconut milk, sugar, ice, and a good blender – but the end result is one of the most heavenly, refreshing, craveable hot-weather drinks I’ve ever tried. I usually describe it to friends or coworkers that I’m convincing to order one as “like drinking key lime pie.” Cold and frothy and rich, with just a touch of sweetness and lime, it’s perfection. And too easy not to try at home this summer. I don’t think a splash of rum would be amiss in this, but try it without first – I think its simplicity and purity is part of its charm. But once you’ve given it a chance unadulterated, let me know how the rum thing goes.

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Colombian Limonada de Coco {Katie at the Kitchen Door}


Colombian Limonada de Coco

One of my favorite treats in Colombia – a super-refreshing, icy cold coconut and lime smoothie.

Recipe sourced via My Colombian Recipes and Smitten Kitchen.

  • Author: Katie at the Kitchen Door
  • Yield: 3-4 1x


  • 1 can of full-fat coconut milk, unshaken
  • 1/3 c. freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 3 limes)
  • 4 TBS sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. ice cubes


  1. Open the can of coconut milk and, if it has separated, use a spoon to scoop the heavier coconut cream off the top and into a blender. Then pour about half of the thinner coconut water into the blender. Reserve the rest of the coconut milk for another use. If the can has not separated enough such that you can scoop out the cream, just stir it up and use 2/3 of the can.
  2. Add the lime juice, sugar, and ice to the blender. Blend on high until very smooth. Taste and adjust the amount of lime juice or sugar to your liking. Serve cold.


6 Tips for Tasty Green Smoothies

6 Tips for Tasty Green Smoothies {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

I’ve been sort of slow to come around to the idea of green smoothies being worth drinking. The first few I tried were not pleasant. This is not a smoothie, I thought, this is poorly blended, slightly chewy spinach water! Thankfully, I kept trying, and after much trial and error, I genuinely love starting my day with a green smoothie. My friends and coworkers are still skeptical, and I figured some of you might be as well, so I wanted to put together a list of tips I’ve discovered through experimentation. Hopefully, this gives some of you the encouragement you need to keep blending up those greens.

Tips for making tasty green smoothies…

  • Use sweet fruits and juices when you get started. I tried to make my first few smoothies with just a banana, spinach, and some milk or water. They were not good, and I ended up adding several tablespoons of sweetener to them. I quickly realized that I needed at least half a cup of orange or apple juice along with sweeter fruits like peaches or mango to make myself really enjoy a smoothie – even though juices can be pretty sugary, the trade-off of consuming a salad’s worth of fresh greens before I start work is worth it to me!
  • Start out with mild tasting greens, like spinach, and work your way up towards more intensely flavored greens like parsley and kale. Smoothies made with even a generous amount of spinach will still taste like their other main ingredients (banana, mango, strawberry, etc.). You will notice the flavor of kale in your smoothie, so work more intense greens in in stages (adding a little bit of kale to your spinach smoothie, working up to 50/50, then going all-out kale).
  • If you find yourself chewing your smoothies, take the extra 2 minutes to strain them through a fine mesh strainer before drinking them. You’ll have to scrape the edges of the strainer with a spoon as you strain to get as much liquid as possible through, but having a smoothie that’s actually smooth will make the whole experience so much more pleasant.
  • Make sure to include something creamy in your ingredient list – it will make a big difference in the final texture. Bananas are the most obvious choice, but if you’re not a banana lover, peaches and pears will also add creaminess (although not quite as much as a banana), or if you’re up for something different, try using half an avocado.
  • Follow a recipe for your first five smoothies. Take it from someone who’s tried a lot of times – the results of “winging it” can be pretty gross when it comes to smoothies. Over time, you’ll learn to balance sweetness, the amount of liquid, and the intensity of “green” flavor in your own combinations, but practice some basic recipes first.
  • If you want your smoothie to look vibrantly green and appetizing, stick with other ingredients that are light in color – oranges, bananas, peaches, mango, apple, etc. If you don’t care what it looks like, throw in those blueberries! Just be warned that it’s going to look like brown sludge.

I’ve included a recipe for my favorite green smoothie  below – it’s fairly basic, but super creamy, sweet, and energizing. It’s also delicious with frozen peaches instead of frozen mango. I won a Vitamix this fall, and I’m a little bit obsessed with it, but the ingredients in this smoothie will get blended up just fine in a regular blender. And since no one wants to have the exact same breakfast every day, I’ve rounded up some other delicious-looking smoothies from around my favorite food blogs. Any other favorite smoothie recipes? Please share them in the comments! I’d love to give them a try.

Other delicious looking smoothies to try…

Persimmon and Tangerine Smoothie with Turmeric - The Bojon Gourmet

Persimmon and Tangerine Smoothie with Vanilla, Ginger, and Turmeric by The Bojon Gourmet

Fig and Grape Oat Milk Smoothie - Golubka Kitchen

Fig and Grape Oat Milk Smoothie by Golubka Kitchen

Kale Ginger Detox Smoothie - Oh My Veggies

Kale-Ginger Smoothie by Oh My Veggies

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6 Tips for Tasty Green Smoothies {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Sweet Spinach-Mango Smoothie

Serves 1.

  • 1 c. orange juice
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 banana
  • 1 c. frozen mango pieces
  • 2 c. fresh baby spinach
  1. Add all the ingredients to blender in order listed and blend on high until smooth and thick. If your blender is not powerful enough to fully blend the spinach, strain the smoothie through a fine mesh sieve for a finer texture. Drink immediately, or keep in the fridge for up to 24 hours, stirring before serving.

Ingredient of the Week: Carrots // Carrot-Grapefruit-Mango Smoothie

Carrot-Grapefruit-Mango Smoothie {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

I was planning to post this last night, but for some reason when I got home from my run in the 35° weather, I just didn’t feel like a cold veggie smoothie. I felt a lot more like this pumpkin, black bean, and chorizo soup (delicious, we added half a jar of tomato jam for sweetness and it was perfect). But this morning when I woke up, carrot-grapefruit-mango smoothies were the first order of business.

Some of you who follow me on twitter or instagram may have heard that I recently became the owner of a Vitamix. And a pretty fancy one at that. It was a bonus of sorts from my real job (I love the thing, but I can’t ever see paying $600 for a blender), and perhaps it’s just because it’s new, but I’ve been blending up a storm. Green smoothies (or orange ones as it may be), have become a daily treat, and I love starting my day with them – they’re so immediately energizing, I feel like I should make a video game powering-up noise when I drink them. I know a lot of people who think drinking green smoothies is a completely frou-frou thing to do, but I’ve been trying to convert them one sip at a time. Seriously, green smoothies taste like mangoes or bananas or apples, not spinach. The spinach is just a bonus.

Carrot-Grapefruit-Mango Smoothie {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Since I made drinks for both rhubarb week and pea week, I figured it was only logical to whip up a carrot based drink as well. Carrot juice and booze did not strike me as a stellar combination (although I think this could change my mind), so I decided to go the healthy route and turn my stubby little garden carrots into a frothy smoothie. The trick to making a smooth drink from whole, raw carrots is to peel and grate them first – a little time consuming, but worth it for the creamy texture you’ll get (and much cheaper than buying carrot juice!). The Vitamix could probably handle them just cut up into chunks, but I’m still getting the hang of the correct ratios for using it, so I grated them this time around as well. The result was a thick, vibrant, tangy breakfast full of beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber. Drink your vegetables!

Carrot-Grapefruit-Mango Smoothie {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Carrot-Grapefruit-Mango Smoothie

Serves 1. Inspired in part by this and the Carrot-Grapefruit Juice in Vegetarian Everyday.

Note: This can be made in any blender, but if you’re using a weaker one, you’ll want to chop up your grapefruit and blend on high. If you’re using a Vitamix, you could probably get away with not grating the carrots, but I like the extra smooth texture that grating them gives.

  • 1 c. water
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 ruby red grapefruit, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1 c. frozen mango
  • 2-3 ice cubes (only if using Vitamix)
  • maple syrup or agave to taste (optional)
  1. Place ingredients in blender in order listed. Blend on high until thick and smooth. Serve immediately.

Greatist Collaboration: Chocolate Blueberry “Decadence” Smoothie

When the folks over at Greatist asked if I’d be interested in coming up with a healthified version of a chocolate milkshake to celebrate National Chocolate Milkshake Day, this recipe immediately popped into my head.  From Lucid Food, which I reviewed earlier this year, this “surprisingly refreshing” (to quote the bf) drink manages to mimic a chocolate milkshake without the primary ingredient – chocolate ice cream.  Instead, it uses cocoa powder and skim milk for a super chocolaty milk base, made frothy and cold by the addition of frozen blueberries.  Chocolate and blueberries may not be a classic combination, but I’m a fan, as evidenced by this chocolate and blueberry galette I made a few years ago.  Finished off with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and a touch of maple syrup, this smoothie makes a perfect healthy dessert or post-workout treat.

In other healthy, Greatist-worthy news, I finished my first half-marathon this past weekend!  Given that I only had 6 weeks to train, I’m quite proud of myself (and Trevor too).  Point of pride number one – I finished, and I only walked for about a minute, less than on any of my (much shorter) training runs.  Point of pride number two – my time, 2:03:51, was way faster than expected, and not too shabby at all.  It helped that I ran the first 7 miles with Trevor, and also that it was a beautiful, slightly breezy morning running up Lakeshore Drive with stunning views of Chicago just after sunrise.  I won’t lie, the last few miles felt like they took a year, my brain buzzing with that singular focus that exhaustion brings and my lower shins and knees twinging with every step, but I did it!  The next challenge?  Keeping up my mileage base and staying injury-free so I can do even better at the Newburyport half I’m running with my mom in 2 months.  Also losing 10 pounds so that I can be just that much faster.  You’d think that it would be super easy to lose weight when you more than double the amount of running you’re doing every week – it’s not.  Maybe the trick is swapping out the post long-run Sunday brunch for something lighter – perhaps a chocolate blueberry smoothie?  I’ll keep you posted.

Head on over to Greatist for the smoothie recipe.  And while you’re over there, let me know if you find any half-marathon training inspiration!