Don’t be afraid of the green smoothie monster

by Maggie on January 13, 2011

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Are you afraid of green smoothies?

I used to be afraid of green smoothies. After asking a lot of questions on twitter about a year ago, I finally dove in and made a green smoothie. I know, so brave.

You see, when I pictured a green smoothie I imagined V8 and Clamato juice. Ugh, gag me with a spoon.

But everyone was doing it so I knew there must be something about the alleged green smoothie that was worth trying (yep, I like to jump on bandwagons, especially healthier bandwagons).

Before we go any further, you need to understand one thing about me – something MUST taste good in order for me to consume it. MUST. TASTE. GOOD. Otherwise, I just can’t let it cross these lips!

So now that you know that, know this: I LOVE my green smoothies.

Some might consider my green smoothie to be the beginner’s green smoothie. Whatever you call it, it’s pretty darn good for you and it meets my requirement in that it MUST. TASTE. GOOD.

I’ve learned how to make sure my smoothies taste good, and this is what I’m going to share with you today – because I want everyone to be eating well. Eating well changes your life, prolongs your life, and yes it helps if your taste buds are kept happy.

1. Start with spinach. Spinach blends really well. You can’t even tell it’s in there! I’ve been making our green smoothies with a $40 immersion blender. The spinach disappears. When you get comfortable with greens in your smoothies, try different dark leafy greens, like kale or swiss chard.

2. Gradually increase your greens. Don’t make your very first smoothie with two cups of packed kale. Start with a 1/4 of a cup of greens and gradually build up to as much as your taste buds will allow. Trust me, this will happen fast.

3. Start with a little bit of juice. Pete and I have been making smoothies for at least 6 or 7 years. They’ve really evolved over the years, but they started out with juice. I’ve slowly weaned myself off of juice, unless we have fresh apple cider, then I throw that in our morning smoothies. But start with juice and gradually add less juice and more water.

4. Use fruits you love when you’re getting started. I find raspberries make our smoothies super sweet and delicious. They happen to be my favorite fruit, so maybe that’s why they work so well for me. Apples and oranges also really help my smoothies taste sweet.

5. Throw in some dried fruit. I like to use goji berries or dates to sweeten our green smoothies. They’re naturally sweet and FULL of healthy goodness.

6. Start on an empty stomach. I have my green smoothie right after my lemon water in the morning. It’s such a sweet treat that you’ll find yourself bouncing out of bed for a green smoothie every morning (yep, I love smoothies so much that the mere thought of them helps me bounce out of bed…).

Here’s my version of a green smoothie, the beginner’s version:

*I have to tell you that I don’t normally measure my ingredients. It changes day-to-day, based on who I’m making a smoothie for and what ingredients we have on hand.

  • 2 cups water or juice (or a combo of the two)
  • A handful of goji berries (or 2 medjool dates)
  • ½ cup of frozen blueberries
  • 1/4-1/2 banana chopped into chunks
  • ½ cup frozen strawberries or raspberries
  • 3 tbsp chilled nettle tea (a great source of potassium, calcium, and beta-carotene)
  • 2 cups greens (I like baby spinach or kale, make sure to alternate your greens)
  • ground flax or ground chia

Add water or juice to blender or immersion blender container. Add goji berries, blueberries, banana, strawberries, nettle tea, and greens. Blend until combined. Add ground flax and blend. Enjoy!

Yield: 2 adult-sized green smoothies & 2 preschooler-sized smoothies

And now that I have a Blendtec? Well, that’s changed the whole game. Next smoothie recipe I share will definitely be FULL of celery, green pepper, parsley…just kidding.

This is what happens when you’re a stay-at-home mommy food blogger

So what’s your favorite green smoothie ingredient?