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 Vanilla, Ginger, and Turmeric by The Bojon Gourmet
Fig and Grape Oat Milk Smoothie by Golubka Kitchen
Kale-Ginger Smoothie by Oh My Veggies
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Sweet Spinach-Mango Smoothie
- 1 c. orange juice
- 1/2 c. water
- 1 banana
- 1 c. frozen mango pieces
- 2 c. fresh baby spinach
- 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.
Hallie B. (TheWordyBaker) says
Good tips! I made a lot of green smoothies a few years ago when I had my wisdom teeth out. My favorite truly green smoothie was made with spinach, frozen blueberries, yogurt, and pomegranate juice. I also made a nice raspberry and avocado smoothie, but I’m never sure if using avocado makes a smoothie green or not!
Forget the Viagra...Pass me a Carrot! says
Reblogged this on Forget the Viagra, Pass Me a Carrot and commented:
I always start the day with a green smoothie – fluids and veggies. I have never really been a breakfast person but because I know I need to have something, this nutritional punch suits me. I tend to use carrot juice as not as sugary as a fruit juice but adds some sweetness. Try wheatgrass, banana and a spoon of finely ground flaxseeds. Thanks Katie for the recipes.
Forget the Viagra...Pass me a Carrot! says
Great recipes Katie – I use fresh carrot juice as not quite as much sugar as fruit juices but still adds some sweetness. A banana gives a little carb too if you are planning a workout sometime in the morning. Thanks and have reblogged.
angelica | table twenty eight says
Oooh yum!! It’s mango season here and the grocer is chock full of fat, heavy, golden specimens… I never thought to add spinach to a mango-banana smoothie – thanks for the tip! x
Max Jones-Lloyd says
ave you ever added Spirulina.. you would have to look it up to read about all the things its brilliant for (and added ‘greenness’. New Zelanders love it. Expensive but worth having it in the winter months or when in recuperation. It truly is amazing stuff.
A. T. Sherbiny says
Very nice recipes and photos :)
Hey there – I made avocado, mint and mango today – very green and really great – the avocado adds creaminess. I’ve just started a diet blog myself – take a look if you get the time :)
Kateřina, Let´s Create says
Thank you for these wonderful ideas!
Have you ever used frozen spinach? Fresh spinach is really expensive in my neighborhood, so I’m limited in my frequency of smoothie-drinking. Thanks!
I haven’t used frozen spinach, but it’s certainly worth a try! If there are other fresh greens (swiss chard, kale, etc.) that are cheaper, you could try those too… just start with a smaller amount to make sure you like the flavor.
I am always on the look out for new green drink recipes. Yours looks great, I’ve saved it to try later this week, along with two more that I found here; http://www.ivlproducts.com/all-day-energy-greens-drink/fitness-and-nutrition/Green-Supplement-Green-Smoothie-Recipes-to-Keep-You-Fueled-Throughout-Your-Day.aspx — Thanks for sharing!
Supi J. says
Great Smoothie post. Will be following your blogs! Thanks for wonderful ideas..
I just made this w/out banana, and Orchid Fruits Juice instead of apple/orange and OMG I know what my fave green smoothie is atm!