Tuesday, January 19, 2010

green smoothies

i call them spinach shakes and have been drinking them for over 5 years now. i am addicted and seriously crave them if i go a day or two without one...

i don't know about you, but i'm not a huge fan of vegetables. i'll eat them (most kinds), but i don't love salads (i know... gasp) and i hate preparing/cooking veggies. so, my sister (the other author of this awesome blog who is in the hospital, pregnant with twins, and leaking amniotic fluid at 31 weeks) taught me about these smoothies. i've altered the recipe over the years and really made my own. after cutting out refined sugars, my taste buds have really changed, and i no longer add yogurt, like i used to several years ago. this is a GREAT way to get more vegetables in your diet. especially the ones that are super good for you. green and leafy ones! these smoothies are great for part of your breakfast, a snack, or a "veggie" with dinner. we commonly have it with our dinners. so here's the recipe since i've had so many people ask me for it over the years.

in a blender- combine the following ingredients:

*spinach, kale, mixed greens* - i jam as much as i can into that blender... mostly because i share my shake with three other people in my family. if it's just for you, you don't have to put that much in. and if you are just starting out, i'd recommend spinach. it's the most mild of the three.

*1 banana* - this is important if you want to cover up the "green flavor."

*fresh or frozen fruit* - i add anywhere between 1 c. frozen fruit to one piece of fresh fruit (tropical frozen fruit mixes make this extra yummy- my favorite is the one that has peaches, strawberries, grapes, and mango i think). frozen pineapple is also really good. strawberries are standard for our house.

*ice* - i do 4-6 ice cubes usually. depends on how much of the other stuff you are using

*water* - you want enough so it will blend together- probably 1-3 cups (or more. you don't want too much or it will be too runny).

*emergen-c* - this is optional. i like to add it (it's just vitamin c). i add 2 packets for my family of 4 that drink it (isaac refuses).

*stevia* - i started adding this a few years ago. when i started using kale and mixed greens, this really helps to make the smoothie more sweet. stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of a plant. the best part is that it's calorie free! be careful not to use too much... it has a bitter aftertaste if you use more than is needed. i use 2 packets when i'm using kale/mixed greens. with spinach, i either use 1 or none at all.

*100% juice concentrate* - i don't add this anymore, but did for a long time. if you need a way to make it sweeter, apple or pineapple juice is a great choice. orange is good too. add a few spoonfuls of juice concentrate. i mostly cut it out because it was sweet enough for me without it and i didn't want the added calories (and juice has A LOT).

like i said, i used to add flavored yogurt at first. but this added tons of calories AND TONS of sugar. it's not needed. (it does make it taste super good though). i am always altering it, trying to make it with less calories, so it's more "pure." give these smoothies a try. you can alter it to your needs... add more fruit, stevia, or some 100% juice to make it more sweet. i've given this shake to A LOT of people and almost always, have them asking for the recipe. they are always shocked at how good it is. let me know how you like it!


  1. We make these kind of shakes all the time, my boys think they're cool because they drink veggies that nobody is suppose to like!! We add plain and often flavored tofu for added protien, some of my kids have a shake every morninf and I felt they'd stay fuller with some protien, powders were to chalky for them. Question for you is Truvia the same as Stevia, it's derived from the plant but wasn't sure if it's the same thing?

  2. I was just thinking about these shakes the other day! Looks like I have a new recipe for breakfast tomorrow!!!

  3. We make these all the time too, since I got the recipe from you forever ago. The kids request them! I love that! And you really can make it totally different based on which fruits you add to it so it never gets boring. We like to do mixed berries, with tons of blueberries!! Super yummy and super healthy!

  4. My sister introduced me to these and while I'm still learning, I must have had some success because my 17 month old never fights a green colored smoothie, and looks skeptical when I offer her a boring old pink one.

    I happen to really hate the taste of bananas in my smoothie, unless it's with chocolate and pb...;-) so I make them with juice and plain yogurt. We quite like V8 fusion juice, the 100% kind with vegetable juice in it. I'm also trying to find ways to add protein and a little fat so it's more of a balanced meal without such a high glycemic index. My sister adds avocados...I have yet to try that myself although hers are good.

  5. i love these things although i haven't gotten to the point of having mine be "green" totally yet. they are more purplish brown. sounds even grosser! ha! i put 1 c. mixed frozen fruit, 1 banana, 1/2 c. plain nonfat yogurt, water, ice, flax seeds (the kids think this is seeds of the strawberries- boy I've got them fooled!) and then spinach! i just don't "pack" mine chuck full of spinach...yet. maybe i'll be brave someday! :) thanks for the recipe ideas!

  6. katie... the mixed frozen fruit makes it brown. raspberries, even strawberries, and blueberries especially turn mine brown too! flax seeds is a great idea too!

  7. These are the best Tiffany. They are known as Alien Juice around here. And of course, they give you as much power as aliens have. So, drink up!