Smoothies are an easy way to ensure you are getting your daily vitamins and nutrients. In just a matter of minutes you can have a daily dose of fruits and vegetables whether you are 5 months old or 105 years old. Let your taste and desire for good nutrition determine the best green smoothie recipe for you. Photo above by Hannah Kaminsky.
To some, green smoothies may be a bit intimidating. I mean, the drink is green after all. No worries, green is a natural and pretty color. For some delicious green smoothie recipes perfect for beginners, see VegKitchen's Top 5 Green Smoothies. And for more on why they're so good for you, see the Top 10 Benefits of Green Smoothies.
Some helpful books on green smoothies:
- Green Smoothie Revolution* by Victoria Boutenko
- Green Smoothie Bible* by Kristine Miles
- The Healthy Green Drink Diet* by Jason Manheim
When I began making green smoothies for my family I started with only a few leaves of spinach and added my normal amount of fruit. There was no change in taste. I began adding more greens and equal fruits. I had a thought, if I could add greens I could add other vegetables. This is not rocket science and could not believe I had not thought of this sooner (think V-8).
I began adding carrots and even sprouts to my fruit smoothies. As for the sprouts, make sure you have a super-powered blender (think Blendtec or Vitamix) to blend them up smooth, or lots of sweet fruits to mask the powerful taste of some sprouts. If your family is not used to the taste of fresh sprouts you will get some instant feedback about the taste.
Today our greens smoothies are little fruit and mostly veggies and our ice cream is green too. There is nothing sweeter to a mom’s heart than to hear her children ask for Green Ice Cream after dinner. Ice Cream made in our High-Powered Blender with all natural ingredients, including lots of spinach to make it a beautiful green. But, I might add, this did not happen over night in our family. It took some time of me slowly incorporating and teaching my family the benefits of good nutrition.
Green smoothies should not be scary at all. They are quite simple and nearly impossible to mess up. So simple your children could make them, and even shop for their own special green leafy veggies to go in their smoothie. If your green smoothie tastes ‘too green’, then add more bananas or other sweet fruit or natural sweetener, such as orange juice concentrate or honey.
To begin with there are only a few ingredients you must have on hand when preparing your green smoothie.
- Leafy greens
- Liquid (water or fruit juice)
What you add to this determines the taste and nutrition level. For your first green smoothie, I recommend that you just start by adding a few greens to your favorite fruit smoothie. Once you break the ice you will be ready to experiment with different recipes.
The following chart gives you an idea of how to create a green smoothie to your liking and skill level (I am sure you didn’t know smoothie making is a skill).
Tasty Green Smoothie = Green Leafy Veggie + Liquid (H2O) + Fruit + Spices
Just use the table below to mix and match whatever you have in your kitchen to make your first green smoothie.
- Green: Spinach
- Liquid (use one) : Fruit juice; Water + 100% OJ concentrate
- Fruit (use one or both): Bananas; Blueberries
- Green (use one or both) Spinach; Kale
- Liquid (use one): Water; Fruit juice
- Fruit (use one or more): Bananas; Blueberries; Apples; Grapes; Dates
- Green (use one or more): Spinach; Kale; Bok choy; Collard greens; Cabbage greens; Swiss Chard; Beet Greens
- Liquid (use one): Water; Fruit Juice; Apple Cider; Pineapple Juice; etc.
- Fruits/veggies/spices (use one or more): Carrots; Beets (top & root); Lemon & Ginger root; Pumpkin; Cinnamon; Herbs (mint); Tomatoes
Spinach is a mild and sweet green (as far as greens go) and is easy to mask in taste. It is a good source of dietary fiber, protein, and Vitamins A, K, C and E.
Kale can be a bitter green, but is labeled a cancer-fighting super-food. Make it a staple in your house.
Collards have more of a ‘green taste’, but are a healthy green nonetheless. They have the ability to lower cholesterol and contain cancer-preventative properties.
Your green smoothie experience will vary based on the type of blender you are using. For instance, if you are using a hand blender or small ... low power blender like the Magic Bullet ... be prepared for small bits of spinach leaves to be left un-blended in the smoothie.
There is a significant difference in the silky smooth texture produced by a professional grade blender versus the chunky lumpy texture of the cheaper lower speed machines. The super high blade speeds produced by top end blenders literally explode the food into small bits versus cutting the food with razor sharp blades. One machine can not be compared to the other, so if you have an opportunity to test one out do take advantage of the opportunity. Especially if you are on the fence about upgrading to one of the more expensive blenders.
Most people find chunks and lumps to be very unappealing and I think this results in them making fewer smoothies. For my family of four the investment in a professional grade blender was a worthwhile investment for producing super smooth smoothies that get rave reviews.
April Jones is the publisher of Kitchen-Blender-Reviews.com. She is very passionate about green smoothies, healthy eating and teaching others the value of eating a balanced, nutritious diet.
- Here are more of VegKitchen’s recipes for green smoothies.
- For more ways to stay healthy and go raw, visit VegKitchen’s Raw Vegan Kitchen.
- For lots more features on healthy lifestyle, please explore VegKitchen’s Healthy Vegan Kitchen page.
*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!
Thank you for acknowledging the fact that green smoothies can be tough for beginners. Also, your great suggestions about beginning with basics as well as the type of blender to use. It is very helpful for beginners to know these things to ease into this type of nutrition. I liked the article very much. I have been dabbling in green drinks for a little while.
April from Kitchen Blender Reviews says
I'm glad you enjoyed the article. Getting started is always the hardest part, but once you do just keep trying new ingredients in small steps.
Have fun with it.
April from Kitchen Blender Reviews says
I agree that blending greens is outside of the comfort zone for most people. So as with anything new, just start small and continue diversify. There are so many benefits to getting more raw greens in your diet that it's well worth the effort.
Green smoothies are the bomb!!!!!!!!!! can someone possibly post a recipe for a smoothie like the Naked juices?
Barbara Pollak says
OK, I'm convinced. I have a couple of handfuls of baby spinach and baby kale, fresh strawberries and frozen banana. Maybe some dates for sweetness? Goiong to do it right now before I forget.
Barbara Pollak says
OMG, so glad I did this! What a great after-gym pick-me-up, and 0 weight watchers points if made with water!!! Bananas were sweet enough and because they were frozen made the smoothie nice and thick. I'm hooked! Where do I put the 5 stars?
How did I miss this comment? The star rating goes at the top of the post, but no worries ... I know you'll be back!
Having just been diagnosed with cancer at the age of 25 I have had to make a change in my diet.
I've always been a fruit lover but not liking greens has always been my biggest downfall! So I thought if I can put the veg in drink format then I can get all the goodness I need and great way to help with my 5 a day!
This was a great simple way to get me started unlike other sites so just wanted to say thank you xx
Oh Kristy, I wish you all the best in your recovery. And if this article has in any way helped you with your veggie intake, that is very gratifying. All the best to you!
I know this was a couple of years ago, but thank you. This has truly helped me and my family consume more vegetables in a delicious way (this coming from a fast-food generation man). Thank you!
Very informative and easy to read. I am new to Green smoothies and I tend to worry about taste.
Fresh Man says
I just discovered the power of the smoothie....and your website is very helpful....thank you....thank you
Pat Heflin says
I'm bringing up the rear on this one, I know. My husband was hell-bent on fruit smoothies years ago but I refused to drink them, as I wanted to eat my fruit and not drink them.
I saw an info commercial on the Nutribullet, started googling it, and I became convinced, I needed to try this with veggies. So far, it is awesome and I have cheated with Splenda but need to get dates or maybe prunes for sweetness. I have only used almonds, chia seeds, spinach and blueberries but there are endless opportunities. I figure if your kids could get used to it, I could too.
Kudos for the encouragement!
Sonia M. says
Since I started my smoothie fandom, me and my blender are inseparable LOL. The greener the healthier! Although I like fruit smoothies better. I'll try your green smoothies nonetheless. Thanks!
I just found your blog while searching for ways to make smoothies without pulp in my magic bullet. I gag on the pulp. Perhaps I need a better appliance? I really must have the nutrition from extraction. I don't have a colon and Ostomy wearers have a challenge with getting enough nutrients. But I just cannot stand the pulpy fruit and veggie drinks my magic bullet makes. Help!!
Lynn, I can't stand thick pulpy drinks either. You may want to consider a Vitamix. They're pricey but you'll really find the investment worthwhile.
I have a magic bullet, and I’m a health guy 70% of the time. Yet my wife and I want to get healthier. So shakes we are trying and we own a magic bullet.. we are at beginner level. Yet I don’t mind green drinks. I’ve had protein and other vitamins from gmc , as I once was a gym head. What’s best for mixing best smoothies… should/can I ate ice?
KerryBeth Aarons-Edwards says
I am a total beginner, can you please tell me what sort of amounts of spinach, fruit, water, on to use for a serving? Thanks so much, I get a bit overwhelmed by some of the recipes out there.