Green Smoothies 101: Introducing smoothies to your diet

This one is for my mom.  Hi, Mom!  I let the cat out of the bag a few weeks ago when I mentioned how many fruits and veggies my Crazy Loveable Family goes through in a week.  I tracked it because I was forever running out of food for these people.  That’s when I said the words “green smoothie” and my mom’s face did this confused contortion and I was going to have to do the crazy explanation of how I drink spinach.  In the end she was curious and purchased the fixings to try her own green smoothie.  So here it is mom for you any anyone else who finds it intimidating or strange to drink your fruits and veggies.

First,  here is a very basic recipe that is great for those hesitant to stick their tongue out and taste the goodness.

It is fair to note that I make smoothies for a family.  I don’t have any idea how to scale down my recipe for a single serving.  If you need less play around with it or do what I do make smoothie popsicles for a refreshing healthy afternoon treat.

Tropical Green Smoothie:

Layer ingredients.  Banana at the bottom.  Pour OJ over the top.  I know it doesn’t seem like it should make a difference but in my own pre-coffee stupor I’ve mixed up the order and it just does not blend the same.

  • 1 ripe banana

  • handful of spinach (If you are just starting a small handful is enough.  Then as you get more comfortable increase amount)

  • 1 Cup minimum of frozen tropical fruit (mangoes, papaya, pineapple)

  • 1 Cup milk or yogurt of choice (I have used vanilla yogurt, plain yogurt, kefir, whole milk, coconut milk, almond milk and rice milk it all depends on who is drinking them around here.)

  • 1 Cup Orange Juice or tropical fruit juice – 100% juice not fruit drinks

Blend until desired smoothness occurs.  I use the liquify setting when I make them for my middle Crazy Loveable Kid.  For a more milkshake like smoothie I use the puree setting.

Second, let’s talk about the Dos and Do nots for first time smoothie making.

  1.  D0 include OJ or pineapple when starting out.  The pineapple and OJ cuts the spinach flavor.  If i leave it out the Crazy Loveable Kids will not drink their smoothies at all.  If I don’t have OJ or Pineapple I don’t put spinach in the smoothie.  Now, I can make a green smoothie without either and be okay but it’s been a journey.
  2. D0 start with spinach as your green.  I already mentioned starting with a small amount and building up but eventually you can use other greens like kale, chard, collards, dark lettuces, parsley just to list a few more adventurous options.  Baby spinach is mild and easy to get your hands on.  It also blends really smooth.
  3. Do use an opaque cup and straw if the color turns you off.   Think Bella from Breaking Dawn Part 1.  Sorry Mom, you’re probably not going to understand that reference.
  4. Do not pick berries as your fruit.  Yes, they are tasty but they turn your smoothie brown or purple and let’s face it if you are already nervous about trying something new you don’t want to look at brown gloop.  Also, berries like strawberry and blackberry have tiny seeds.  If you are at all sensitive to textures those seeds can really throw you off.  Leave the blueberries for the pros, people.  Yes, they are healthy.  But they can be tart if not perfect, the skin can create an odd texture to the drink and they will make the drink an unappealing color.
  5. Do not be afraid to play around with the fruits, veggies, milk combination until you find one you like.

Lastly, here’s an easy read that gives a quick overview of green smoothies’ health benefits.

Keep chasing perfection, people.  Eventually we’re going to Catch Excellence.


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