Green smoothies are loaded with all sorts of nutrients plus, if done right, way, they can be delicious and super healthy! In this article I’ll show you my secrets to making green smoothies that taste and look amazing.
What are green smoothies?
Short answer: Green smoothies are smoothies that are blended with various leafy green vegetables (leafy greens and cruciferous).
Long answer: Green smoothies are a special type of smoothies, where the focus is on using various green vegetables (cruciferous and leafy greens), in different combinations. There isn’t a special rule when it comes to what vegetables to use and in what combination, the idea is to use various leafy greens and cruciferous. This doesn’t mean that green smoothies are prepared solely using green vegetables, it simply means that one should focus more on using various greens.
So while the focus is on using different green vegetables for the main part, green smoothies aren’t that different from regular smoothies. Like regular smoothies, they are made using fruits, healthy fats, spices and superfood. Oh, yeah! And they should be green, otherwise while would you call them green smoothies?
What about the “green” taste?
Green smoothies can be as simple or as complex as you want, it depends on your preference. While some people aren’t ready for the taste of spinach or broccoli, it’s good to know that you can easily “mask” it by using different fruits (tropical fruits work best).
You don’t have to make the perfect green smoothie from the start, allow yourself a few days to transition smoothly. Keep in mind that using mango, pineapple or papaya to “mask” the green taste works like a charm. Use 1 cup of mango for every cup of greens that you’re adding to your smoothie and you’ll be safe.
Turns out the problem is not really the taste of greens, rather the fact that our bodies need a bit of time for adjusting to the natural taste of raw plants. Greens, in particular, have a stronger taste overall and that’s why you’ll need a few days of adaptation. Personally, I’ve discovered that the “taste of greens” disappears in about a week or so of drinking smoothies every day.
What are the benefits of green smoothies?
Green smoothies are so much more than just another kind of smoothie, they’re literally the king of smoothies. Besides getting a healthy bite of nutrients, there are a few more reasons to consider green smoothies.
While drinking one single green smoothie won’t do much for you, keeping it consistent may be the key to improving your health in so many ways. Here are some of the health benefits associated with drinking smoothies:
- a way to eat more plants, especially leafy green vegetables and cruciferous vegetables (loaded with vitamins, minerals but also many different antioxidants and healthy fiber).
- a way to eat more healthy fiber right from breakfast time. Soluble fiber is great for gut health, which translates into all sorts of health benefits, including a better digestion, lowered cholesterol and blood sugar, or a stronger immune system (since a big part of your immune system is located in the gut).
- strengthen your immune system – eating a wide array of easily digestible plants will contribute to a stronger immune system.
- effortless weight loss – smoothies are shown to help with weight loss, especially green smoothies since they’re low in carbs.
- improved digestion – it’s all in the gut! Plants come with lots of prebiotic fiber (soluble fiber) that supports gut health.
- healthier skin – antioxidants, healthy fats and vitamins, all can help your skin stay healthier, softer and gorgeous looking.
- burning fat for energy – these smoothies are usually low in carbs with enough healthy fats to keep you in the fat burning state.
- have a delicious breakfast or even a dessert that looks awesome.
- naturally energize yourself with pure unprocessed healthy nutrients from all those greens.
- keep hunger away for longer periods of time – green smoothies often contain a lot of fiber that translates into keeping you full for longer.
- say “adios” to all sugar cravings – your body will be nourished with all sorts of nutrients that will keep cravings away.
Green Smoothie Formula
Just because we’re talking about green smoothies, this doesn’t mean that we need to use a different smoothie formula compared to when making regular smoothies. This time the focus will be on using even more leafy greens and vegetables, making sure that we don’t include plants that could shift the smoothie color away from green.
Green smoothies are wonderfully nutritious and they can be as simple or as complex as we want. This is the “formula” that I like to use when preparing a green smoothie:
Green Vegetables + Healthy Fats + Few Fruits + Spices & Superfoods + Liquid
I stand by it because it provides a wide array of nutrients while keeping carbohydrates to a minimum. This way I make sure that my green smoothie is not only tasty but also healthy.
Moving forward, let’s discuss each of these categories of nutrients in detail:
1. Green Vegetables – I like adding different kinds of green vegetables, with a focus on leafy greens and cruciferous. Things like spinach, kale, lettuce, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, microgreens, collard greens, swiss chard, arugula, cucumber, fennel, or celery. My advice is to start with only a few different (2-3) veggies, you don’t want to over do it especially if you’re just starting with green smoothies. As you become more experienced, you’ll understand better what combinations you enjoy most and what are the nutrients that you really need to take in daily.
2. Healthy Fats – I always use healthy fats in my smoothies, making sure I have just enough without having too much. Too much fats will make for a smoothie that’s unpleasant to drink, while too little fats will make for a low-fat smoothie that doesn’t blend well. I’ve discovered that avocado and coconut oil work best for me, but many times I may also use nuts, nut butters or nuts milks. Healthy fats combine perfectly with frozen bananas, mango, pineapple, papaya or berries, making for a creamy and thick smoothie. Most of my recipes use either avocado, coconut oil or both.
3. Fruits – I like using fruits in smoothies but my goal has always been to use fewer fruits, keeping the smoothie relatively low-carb. For green smoothies we can’t use many berries because they’ll make your smoothie dark in color, but tropical fruits work perfectly. A simple rule is to use fruits that are lighter in color: think banana, apples, pears, mango, pineapple, papaya, kiwi. Using frozen fruits will make for a creamy smoothie, especially when combined with healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil or nut butters.
4. Spices and Superfoods – I have a short list of 4-5 spices that I pretty much add to every smoothie. Think cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, turmeric and fenugreek powder. As for superfoods, they can be things like chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, cacao powder, macca powder, various herbs, or protein powders. You can be very creative here but don’t over do it. Remember, the focus should be on green vegetables, spices and superfoods should be used like extras.
5. Liquid – I mainly use water but sometimes I may use a homemade nut milk (think almond milk, cashew milk or macadamia milk). I may also use coconut milk or coconut water from time to time, but on a daily basis I simply use pure water.
Tips for making the perfect green smoothie
- Always start simple, don’t use too many greens from the start. It’s up to you how many greens you’re using or how “concentrated” the smoothie will turn out.
- Forget all the rules and make it fun. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your recipes.
- Focus on using different vegetables like leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables, but you can also use things like celery, fennel, green beans, green peas.
- Blending tip: if you’re using fresh leafy greens, you may want to blend them first with the liquid, adding the rest of the ingredients afterwards. This step prevents having chunky bits of greens floating around your smoothie!
- If you’re not used to green smoothies, you may find the “green” taste a bit strange at first. Know that it will pass in a few days, once your body adjusts.
- Don’t like the green taste? use frozen veggies instead and your smoothie will have a lighter taste.
- Frozen vegetables are easier to use and have a lighter “green” taste compared to fresh. Frozen spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, green peas are some of my favorites.
- Not sure how to make your smoothie creamy? use frozen fruits like banana, mango, pineapple, etc. Anything that’s frozen will make for a creamy smoothie, when combined with healthy fats like avocado and coconut oil.
- Frozen fruits combine perfectly with avocado, making for a creamy smoothie.
- Don’t use too many berries as they’ll change the color of your smoothie towards red/dark.
- You could also use pre-boiled vegetables! Sometimes I use pre-boiled spinach, green peas or beans, broccoli or cauliflower. It’s a great way to save overnight leftovers.
- Don’t over do it with vegetables and don’t forget to make it sweet and fun to drink. After all, it’s more important to be consistent and drink your smoothie daily.
- Make smoothies ahead and store them in the fridge for the day’s breakfast or snack. Enjoy!
Enjoy that beautiful color and the rainbow of nutrients. You are lucky to drink this beautiful green smoothie!
Read more: Check-out my Smoothies 101 page – Your simple guide to everything related to making super healthy and tasty smoothies.
Green Smoothie Recipe
Refreshing Green Smoothie for Autumn Days
- 1 big avocado (skin and seed removed)
- 300 g frozen broccoli
- 1 banana (peeled)
- 1 mandarin (peeled)
- 1.5 stick celery
- 2 stalks fennel
- 5 slices leeks
- 1 small yellow apples (seeded)
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- Add everything into your blender. Add enough water to level everything.
- Blend on medium to high until everything looks creamy.
- Serve fresh or store in the fridge for 2-3 days.
- Color: green-yellow
- Texture: very creamy and with bubbles, well mixed, easy to drink
- Taste: sweet with a light leeks aftertaste, very pleasant to drink
The Bottom line
This is one health trend that we personally love in our house. It’s easy to make a green smoothie for breakfast and it will give you a steady stream of energy all day long. Make it a habit, play with various recipes, use your imagination by changing the ingredients whenever you feel like it.
Try one green smoothie a day for a week and see if you don’t just fall in love with green smoothies too. Enjoy!
More Inspiration on How To Blend Smoothies
Other Green Smoothie Recipes
What’s your favorite vegetable to use in your green smoothies? Got a favorite green smoothie recipe and want to share it? Let’s chat in the comments.