Friday, April 27, 2012

Green Smoothies

I was able to spend last Sunday morning with some friends up in Charlotte and I was offered a real green smoothie.  I know I have snuck in some greens in a shake, like my Protein Shamrock Shake or the Strawberry Cucumber smoothie,  but the smoothie my friends made was mostly greens--spinach, kale, mint, with a few orange segments and strawberries (stems included!)  The idea was based on the concept that the best way to absorb all the nutrition and anti-oxidant goodness of greens was to ingest it completely pulverized. 

I loved it.  It felt like I was ingesting pure nutrition and vitamins.  And since water was added (instead of a milky beverage)--it really made it a refreshing and thirst-quenching drink as well.

So I decided to try to make one myself.  I started with baby spinach (I hit the Costco in Charlotte and brought back a bucket of organic baby spinach):

I added some strawberries (frozen is what I had on hand-I recommend letting them defrost a bit) and a hunk of banana for sweetness since I didn't have an orange:

Then water:

And blend!

Vitamins in a glass!

Spinach, strawberry, and banana

I liked this one okay, but I decided to forgo the banana in the future. It actually made it creamier and more viscous than I wanted--I think a green smoothie is definitely better on the thinner side for easy drinking. To me, as one who isn't naturally a big vegetable lover, it's best to keep green smoothies like these on the less chunky/thick side.

My next try was spinach, a chopped gala apple (I removed the stem and seeds, but didn't bother peeling the skin), a spoonful of orange juice concentrate (still did not have a real orange on hand) for a little sweetness and vitamin C, and of course, water:

Spinach, a gala apple, & spoonful of OJ concentrate
I liked this a lot--nice and bright.

I hit the store and picked up some kale and mint.  I found a can of pineapple chunks in the cupboard and tried a combo of two handfuls of spinach, one handful of kale, a few (defrosted) frozen strawberries, a few pineapple chunks, the leaves from a couple sprigs of mint, and of course about 1.5-2 cups of water:

Spinach, kale, strawberries, pineapple, and mint
Really promising--I didn't notice the kale which I think is a good sign, flavor-wise.  I'm going to up the mint, probably double or triple the amount--it gave a nice sweet and refreshing pop and I'd like to amplify it next time.  I couldn't even taste the pineapple--I think it was overwhelmed by the strawberry.  Next time I'll try the pineapple alone with maybe the OJ concentrate and still the mint--really loved it!

I highly recommend trying a green smoothie.  It might seem weird or off-putting to drink a smoothie where a green leafy vegetable is the base, but I'd say the benefit is at least worth trying it.  I definitely recommend trying spinach and some fruit as a first one. Besides the fact that spinach is a vitamin powerhouse, it's actually pretty mild, flavor-wise. Adding some kale surprisingly had little effect on the taste and I like adding another dark, leafy green into the mix.  Ideally, I'm sure it'd be best if all the ingredients were fresh, but I'd like to think all benefit is not lost using a couple of frozen or canned ingredients with some fresh ones.  I really look forward to trying different combinations--anybody trying this and got some favorites/recommendations?


  1. i can get on board adding an avocado to a fruit smoothie (so good) but spinach and kale? i hate kale!

  2. The idea was based on the concept Juniper Practice Exams Question Answers that the best way to absorb all the nutrition and anti-oxidant goodness of greens was to ingest it completely Microsoft Practice Exams Question Answers pulverized.