Green Smoothie How-to

​A couple of weeks ago I finally bought a blender to replace the one that went kaput sometime last summer. Since buying the blender, I’ve been a bit fanatic about my green smoothies. With warmer weather, I find that smoothies make the best breakfasts — they aren’t too heavy, but with the right ingredients, they can be incredibly satisfying.

Because I am rarely without a smoothie most mornings these days, I’m often asked about which smoothie recipes I favor. I find it easier to think of basic ratios rather than specific ingredients because I’m often just working with whatever I have in my refrigerator or whatever produce is on sale. Additionally, I like a smoothie that is filling and just a touch sweet. Therefore, I don’t like adding juices or sweetened yogurts/milks to my smoothies.  I usually follow this basic guide when throwing together my smoothies:

  • 2 handfuls of spinach or kale
  • 1 sweet, ripe fruit (like apple, banana, strawberries, mango, pineapple, or blueberries)
  • 1 citrus-y ingredient (like lemon juice, lime juice, or a peeled orange)
  • 1 part protein or fat (a cup of plain kefir, a half cup of plain whole milk yogurt, an avocado, or two-three tablespoons of almond butter)
  • Unsweetened milk to help blend the ingredients 
  • I sometimes include additional ingredients to add crunch (like chia seeds), flavor dimensions (cinnamon, nutmeg), or to help dominate the flavors (cacao powder, ginger).

This basic guide usually yields a 16 oz or 20 oz smoothie.

As you experiment with flavor combinations, you’ll quickly discover your favorites. Right now, these are the combinations I’m making the most:

  • Spinach + berries + almond butter
  • Kale + berries + almond butter
  • Kale + banana + orange + kefir + ginger
  • Spinach + banana + kefir + ginger
  • Spinach + banana + kefir + cacao powder + almond butter 

All of the combinations above make great gateway smoothies, meaning they’re yummy enough for non-smoothie folks to at least give them a try (my kids love green smoothies — even the son who once cried because I gave him a salad for lunch).

So, who knows? Maybe green smoothies will become your go-to breakfast, too!

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