I’ll admit, I was pretty late to the green smoothie party. Like waaaay late. I was against them, for multiple reasons. First of all, blended up green vegetables? That I drink? Gross, no thank you. Second of all, I remember reading that smoothies were one of those fake healthy foods – you know, the ones that seem healthy, but really are hiding a million calories and spike your blood sugar. So I avoided them steadfastly while everyone else around me was blending up fruits and vegetables with wild abandon. Then, early this summer, my husband mentioned that he wanted to try to start drinking green smoothies.
I was skeptical – but then he came home from Costco with a blender (PS – Don’t ever let your husband go to Costco alone, you have no idea what he might come home with).
Our first green smoothie experiment was an EPIC fail. Mostly because we had almost nothing in the fridge except for an apple, some yogurt and some pretty rough looking kale. Needless to say, it did not turn out well. But I was invested, and so I started dreaming up flavor combinations that might make a good smoothie. I also wanted to be careful that the smoothie was nutritious, and not packed with sugar and calories. Being a green smoothie novice, I consulted pinterest, the internet, and my BFF for ideas. After a few smoothies that were OK but not that great, we finally have a few regulars in the rotation that we love, and we have a green smoothie almost every morning.
It’s hard to pick a favorite, but if we had to, it would probably be the Tropical Green Smoothie. It’s got such a bright, refreshing taste, and a nice green hue.
For the tropical flavors, I start with a banana base – it adds sweetness and contributes to a smooth texture. Next is the pineapple and mango, frozen of course. I add nonfat Greek yogurt for some protein and creaminess. In addition to fruit and yogurt, you need some liquid. I have used coconut milk and even plain water, both work fine. But my favorite liquid here is coconut water. It adds just the right amount of tropical flavors while still being light. Plus it is chock full of electrolytes. Top it off with a nice packed cup of baby spinach. And it is true, you really can’t taste the spinach at all.
I think it is really important that your fruit is frozen to get the right texture and temperature here. If don’t use frozen fruit your smoothie will be warm and…just not that appetizing. I don’t usually freeze my bananas, but the other fruit in the smoothie is always frozen. I also don’t add any sweeteners because I find that the fruit sweetens it plenty and there is no need. Be sure that you blend long enough to get the smooth texture that you want, for me it is usually one to two minutes.
One other thing that we do is the mason jar trick that has been floating around the internet for a few years. We have a low cost, entry level blender (,affiliate), not one of the fancy ones. I find that it actually blends the ingredients much better in a mason jar than in the pitcher that it comes with. That being said, if you try the mason jar trick, please remember that you are essentially “hacking” your blender, so you are taking a risk that it will malfunction. I have had the blender suck up the rubber ring and destroy it while using it this way. The best way to avoid that is to be sure you don’t overfill your mason jar (,affiliate), and if you hear any odd sounds stop blending immediately and check to make sure the rubber ring is in place and hasn’t been sucked into the jar.
A few notes about measurements: I usually use a jar on the scale and weigh things as I put them in the jar, and not dirty a bunch of measuring cups. The measurements are approximate and you can adjust them based on how they fit in your blender and to your taste. I did measure them just so that I could write an accurate recipe. I have included approximate grams in the measurements, but there is no need to feel like you need to be exact about it – I often just eyeball it.
Tropical Green Smoothie
- ½ banana about 50 grams
- 1/3 cup frozen pineapple about 65 grams
- 1/3 cup frozen mango about 60 grams
- ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt about 112 grams
- 3/4 cup coconut water
- 1 cup packed baby spinach about 30 grams
- Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.
Now that I am a green smoothie convert, I am so addicted to them that I even drink them on weekends – this coming from the person who is as big a fan of breakfast as Leslie Knope.
Are you a fan of green smoothies? What is your favorite way to make them?
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