The Wonders of Green Smoothies

img_5296Did you know that through one green smoothie you can consume 5-8 servings of fruits and vegetables? Did you also know that eating green smoothies is one of the easiest way to digest the full nutrients of fruits and vegetables?

Green smoothies are a wonderful alternative, as opposed to juices, of absorbing the full potential  by retaining the entire whole form of the fruit/vegetable, thus receiving all the fiber. They can assist in boosting energy, building your immune system, detoxing impurities, and loosing weight. Greens are rich in magnesium and alkaline minerals like calcium and are superb in their Omega-3 unsaturated fat content.  Believe it or not, greens are one of the richest sources of protein.

Another one of my new year goals was to begin eating more greens in our diet. What better way than to include these in our morning smoothies? We serve kefir smoothies three times a week for breakfast, so my desire was to discreetly begin adding some nutritious greens to the mix. I have found it to be incredibly simple, delicious, and so much easier to eat than a large salad (especially for the kids). Not only can you really not taste the greens at all, but you are getting a huge boost in nutrition. Greens are especially frugal and thus another good encouragement to begin consuming them. We have stayed amazingly healthy over this past month since beginning the green smoothie pursuit, even when we have been exposed to some nasty illnesses around us. Could it be?

The best combination is a balance of 40% greens to 60% fruits. Keep the greens varied as well. Spinach is our favorite, in addition to kale. Other options include:  celery, chard, romaine, alfalfa, parsley, beet greens, and collard greens.

I have found you can make a green smoothie out of pretty much any fruit and greens combination!

Here is how I start. Combine:

I have found it easiest with a traditional blender to combine the greens first in order to get them real smooth. This would not be necessary with a Vita-Mix, but with a standard blender combining all the ingredients at once usually leaves you with green clumps.

img_52981 1/2 cups of liquids (I usually use a combination of water, coconut milk, and kefir)
3 oz or more fresh greens, which is approximately half a bag or 3 large handfuls (spinach or kale are best!) -start with smaller quantities and work you way up!
2-3 Tbsp orange juice concentrate, optional (this is a more frugal alternative than using pre-mixed juices – it stretches the juice further)

After these ingredients are thoroughly blended, you can add an assortment of fruit.

Here are our favorite additions:

1/2-1 cup Frozen strawberries or raspberries
1 Banana
1/2 cup Frozen Blueberries
1/4 cup Frozen Pineapple
2-3 Frozen Peach slices

I have also used canned pears on occasion as well.

Blend and add a little stevia or honey to sweeten and any additional boosters.

Additional boosters:

Ground flax seeds
Ground pumpkin seeds
Coconut oil

Enjoy!

Further Reading & Recipes

There are a wealth of recipes out their for green smoothies!

Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko – This book is a great resource of information on all the health benefits of eating greens!

Green Smoothie Recipes & In-depth Info

Creamsicle Green Smoothie

Groovy Green Smoothie

Making Green Smoothies appealing for Kids

Ode to My Green Smoothie

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

110 Responses to The Wonders of Green Smoothies

  1. Annie July 17, 2012 at 5:18 am #

    Thanks for this post! I am so excited-I just got a nice blender and made green smoothies this morning as a part of our 40 Day Real Food Challenge! My picky 2 year old loved it and it is going to be a regular part of our routine now. I have a great excuse to pick up all kinds of fruit on sale and freeze it for later. :) Thank you!

  2. Sara June 23, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    Thanks for the recipe, how many servings does this make?

    • Lindsay June 23, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

      Probably 3-4 servings

  3. vitamix vs blendtec February 9, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    My 18 month old has taken a liking to pears recently (thank goodness) and I have never tried to use frozen pears as you have here. I have some right now that I can freeze so I am excited to try this out!!

  4. Elizabeth September 29, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    We do not like cooked carrots too much around here, and find with our local coop we get more than we would normally eat. I let my girls drop them into a food processor and shred them. We freeze them flat in a zipper freezer bag. Then I can break off chunks for whatever I want. Muffins, bread . . One of our favorite smoothies:
    1 banana,
    Kefir from Raw Cows Milk,
    handful of frozen blueberries,
    handful of frozen carrots (gets one more veggie in!) .

    I make a habit of keeping frozen bananas in my freezer – so we never need extra sweetener. I think I’ll try our favorite smoothies now – using greens too! Thanks!

  5. Lexi Porter August 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

    Great article! I’ve been having green smoothies for years – every morning for breakfast!

    I just wrote a post on my own blog about them, and linked to this article

    http://www.raw-food-guide.com/green-smoothies/

  6. Barbeques Recipe June 23, 2011 at 4:16 am #

    I like your website, also Knowing your Barbeques Recipe, will help you know the correct and right amount ingredients. Especially since you want to be sure to fully cook meats like chicken and pork on the grill, they have a tendency to dry out.

  7. Jen June 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    I love our smoothies… we smooth for snack every day (my kids are 2 1/2 & 15 months). i haven’t tried alfalfa yet, but we use spinach every day. I steam & freeze in ice cube trays a giant back of fresh spinach from Costco, then drop one cube into our smoothie!

    I usually use:

    1 banana
    1 C strawberries or raspberries
    1 cube spinach
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup applesauce
    1/2 cup crushed ice (if using fresh fruit instead of frozen)
    honey as needed for sweetness (depends on how yummy your banana is!)

    Another thing i’m going to do tomorrow is use one fresh peach! Or, throw in a whole apple!

    Broccoli is another green addin that doesn’t offend the palate as much as it sounds like it would! :) This is such a great way to get in all those fruits & veggies i know we’re missing out on without our smoothies.

  8. Nikki October 4, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    I am so happy to find someone promoting green smoothies. We have been making them for a few years now and I am always trying to get people, especially moms, hooked on them. We love citrus/greens combinations. I like to juice half a lemon and throw that in as well. A little ginger is alright too (not too much though). Has anyone tried adding wheat grass juice?

  9. GreenBean October 2, 2010 at 11:31 am #

    Yes! I love green smoothies.

    My little guy has been drinking them since he was 2. It’s been the greatest discovery for us!

    You’re missing my favorite green smoothie resource: gotgreensrevolution.com
    http://gotgreensrevolution.com/green-smoothie.html

    I can’t go a day or two without my green smoothie!

  10. Julia DesCarpentrie September 20, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    My boys will think this is awesome! Can’t wait to try it. Has anyone tried freezing the leftovers into popsicles?

    • Lindsay September 21, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

      Yes, we have done it before. You will want to make the original a bit sweeter for popsicles otherwise it tastes rather bland.

  11. Tami July 5, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    Am I understanding this right? You should not use raw spinach in a smoothie it should be steamed first? If we should steam it first then why put it in a smoothie rather than eating it? I am new at this so any suggestions would be great:) Thank you

    • Lindsay July 5, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

      That is what Sally Fallon suggests. She says that steaming makes it possible to absorb the calcium. I eat it raw personally and don’t worry about it, because on the other side the raw food camp says it is so healthy and valuable to eat these green smoothies raw.

  12. Sarah July 2, 2010 at 5:21 am #

    Hi, I recently found your blog and am so thankful! you make reading NT book so much easier! lol. I often make my kids smoothies but never add greens. this is perfect! just wondering how much coconut oil do you add? and do you add all of the fruit listed or just one?

    Thank you so much for this blog! I post a couple links daily from it on FB and have several friends begging for more. We all love your blog. We love your shopping list too, it helps especially since we are also from the portland area. I can’t thank you enough for this vital information!! :)

  13. Marie July 1, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    Can the green smoothies be kept in the refrigerator to be eaten over a few days (I am all for this, but I have not made any followers in my family yet), or do they need to be drunk right away?

    • Lindsay July 1, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

      They can be put in the fridge, but the flavor deminishes significantly. Oxidation occurs as well which causes nutrient lose.

  14. Kristen June 25, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    So, how much do you serve your family? 8 oz. for each person? Maybe less for a toddler?

    • Lindsay June 25, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

      The kiddos drink a small 8 oz glass, but my husband and I drink 16 oz each.

  15. Kelly May 14, 2010 at 4:29 am #

    Lindsay, thanks for this post. I’m new to the smoothie thing, and you’ve been helpful without being overwhelming. Hope you don’t mind, but I’ve linked to you on my blog.
    Thanks!

  16. kc May 5, 2010 at 9:17 am #

    I just wanted to let everyone know that the bags of prewashed greens in the produce section should not be used. Those greens are sprayed with citric acid (a GMO corn derivative) to preserve them. Also, check all frozen vegetables and fruit to make sure they contain no ingredients besides the fruit or veggie itself. I have also read recommendations to diversify the greens selection every couple of days so that you aren’t eating the same greens everyday. I use raw goat milk kefir (homemade so it is GMO corn-free) and raw egg yolks in my smoothies as well (I have two chickens so I know my eggs are safe – and completely GMO corn and soy-free). The fat content is very important so that even the fat soluble vitamins are absorbed so always include coconut oil or avocado in your smoothies for the best health benefits. I am in the process of starting my own sprouts so that I can include them (some sprouts are even more nutritious than greens and good organic greens are not always available here).

    • Lindsay May 6, 2010 at 5:41 am #

      This is not the case with organic prewashed greens in bags. I am encouraging the use of organic because of the high pesticide spray content of traditional spinach and other greens.

  17. Amanda May 3, 2010 at 8:22 am #

    I LOVE green smoothies!! I happen to be sippin on one right now… (mango, pineapple, banana, coconut milk and spinach.. mm)

  18. Lori April 1, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    I just learned that spinach should not be used raw as it has oxalic acid in it that blocks calcium absorbtion. When it is steamed, the acid is neutralized. Wonder about steaming it first, keeping it in the fridge then using???

    • Lindsay April 1, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

      Yes, or you can buy frozen spinach.

  19. Carole January 26, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    I hope I haven’t done too much of a good thing….I bought a big ol’ bag of kale and have been using about 3 handfuls in my smoothies (along with blueberries, strawberries, some ground flax seed and juice or yogurt). My concern is I want to make the Zuppa Toscana tonight and I’m wondering if I’ve had too much Vitamin A today already??!!! I didn’t realize how much Vit. A kale has :-)
    Lindsay, do you have any info on this? Maybe I should just make something else tonight…
    thanks for all you do!

    • Lindsay January 26, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

      If I were you I totally would not worry about it. I don’t think you can eat too many vegetables. ;)

      • Brianna March 13, 2010 at 2:42 am #

        The vitamin A in kale comes from beta carotene, which is only converted to vit A by the body when needed. The rest is discarded. You CAN eat too much of it, but it takes a LOT for the average adult. If you notice your hands or feet getting a bit orange, or you start getting the runs on a regular basis, cut back a little. Otherwise, you’re fine.

        Kale is also high in vit K, which is a factor in blood clotting. If you clot easily, you might not want to eat so much kale. But that’s the biggest issue I’ve heard of with eating too much dark leafy greens, kale especially. :)

    • Nodin October 2, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

      Of the ppanoly of website I’ve pored over this has the most veracity.

  20. Mandy Walker January 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    Hi!

    I made somewhat of a green smoothie a few months ago for my now 17 month old son. He is allergic to a ton of foods and I was trying to think of a good snack for him between lunch and dinner. I made him one using spinach, banana, pure pumpkin, ground flax, rice milk, and added a little cinnamon. I made myself try it before I gave it to him and I actually liked it. So, just wanted to say thank you for posting about green smoothies.

  21. Cara November 20, 2009 at 9:32 pm #

    Oops … forgot to hit the “notify me” button ;)

    • Lindsay November 23, 2009 at 1:25 pm #

      Yes, I throw in raw eggs occasionally, but only those that come directly from the farmer. I personally think it is safer if you know the farmer and their practices…there is more guarantee of safety this way. Free range does not necessarily mean it is actually pastured. It only means it has access to pasture.

      • Heather July 19, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

        Lindsay, Do you use all of the fruit you suggested for 1 smoothie (strawberries, banana, blueberries, pineapple, and peach) or just pick a few?

        • Lindsay July 20, 2010 at 6:42 am #

          My normal everyday smoothie is: greens, strawberries, bananas, blueberries and orange juice concentrate.