Have you ever sat down to eat a bunch of kale, a whole cucumber, three celery sticks and a piece of ginger? If you have, I applaud you. I just can’t bring myself to do it, I’m too impatient to do all that chewing. It’s so much easier and more delicious to drink your veggies in a green smoothie!
To me, a yummy smoothie is nutrition-packed comfort food. The best of both worlds right there in one glass. Health AND comfort, it’s a win-win!
Over the years of recipe trawling and tasting, here are my favorite green smoothies, to suit a range of tastes and purposes from boosting the immune system to helping with weight loss. So grab your blender and let’s go!
6 Delicious Green Smoothie Recipes
1. My Simple Green Smoothie
This is the big winner with my kids. It’s perfect for a quick and easy afternoon snack when they come home from school hungry and tired. They can’t resist this creamy banana-sweet goodness, despite its green color 😊
- 1 1/2 cups Almond milk (or whichever milk you prefer)
- 1 ripe Banana (for optimal digestion make sure skin is spotty and there’s no green tip)
- 1 handful Spinach leaves
- 1/2 Avocado
The banana provides a natural sugar pep-up; avocado brings good monosaturated fats (great for hydrating your skin!) and protein; while the spinach contains excellent nutrients and folate (for repairing DNA).
The almond milk is also fantastic for skin with its high level of Vitamin E – 37% of the recommended daily intake in just one ounce! See more on why I love almonds in smoothies further down in this article.
I also like to add in 1/3 of a cup of frozen blueberries, but for some crazy reason, my kids don’t agree! I guess they don’t like the tart taste so much. The frozen blueberries are great for extra nutrition, and also to make it cool, instead of ice.
2. Dr. Oz’s Glowing Green Breakfast Smoothie
Start your day with this Glowing Green Smoothie by Dr. Oz, which he says will get your energy levels up, stabilize your blood sugar levels, and get those cravings down. It’ll also really help out your liver and gall bladder in their all-important role of body detoxers.
With all the amazing antioxidants in this smoothie, your immune system will definitely get a lift!
- 2 cups of filtered Water
- 7 cups of chopped Spinach
- 6 cups of chopped Romaine Lettuce
- 1.5 cups of chopped Celery
- 1 Apple, cored and chopped
- 1 Pear, cored and chopped
- 1 Banana
- 2 Tablespoons of fresh, organic Lemon juice
3. Green Smoothie for Weight Loss by Liezl Jayne
I really like how this recipe gives you a bunch of options, so you can make your own special green smoothie according to your individual tastes and needs. This delicious smoothie can easily work as a nutritious breakfast or lunch, as it is packed with natural plant-based proteins, whole carbs and fats – the good ones! – that will energize and keep you full for longer.
Liezl Jayne says this is her go-to green smoothie when she feels she needs a detox, and it’s helped her lose 40Lb. Maybe give it a go!
- 1 Banana (fresh or frozen) OR 1 cup of chopped Mango
- 1/3 Avocado OR 2/3 cup full-cream dairy or coconut Yoghurt
- 1 handful of fresh Baby Spinach
- 1/2 to 1 cup chopped Cucumber (peeled)
- 1/2 to 1 cup filtered water OR coconut water
- ice to taste
- 1 tsp cold-pressed Coconut Oil
- 2 tsp Chia Seeds (soaked in 6 tsp of water for a few minutes)
- 1 tbsp Almond Butter (unsweetened)
- 2 tbsp dry wholegrain rolled Oats
- 1 tsp Spirulina OR Chlorella powder
4. Better Skin Smoothie by Melissa Alvatore
Want to give your skin a chance to get clear and glow with good health? Here’s your chance, with this recipe from Melissa Alvatore. I love the fresh, citrus taste of this one, topped with a bit of ginger spice.
Packed with kale as well as spinach, plus cucumber and ginger, your liver will get a detox pick-me-up, and your digestive system is going to get a real good boost too.
If you use organic produce, you can leave the cucumber, apple and pear skin on for extra nutrients and good fiber. Otherwise, you’d better peel it off so as to reduce your intake of pesticide residues. You can also wash it well with a vinegar and citrus spray.
Ingredients (2 servings):
- 1/2 Cucumber – a natural skin cleanser, regulates blood pressure
- 3 Celery Ribs – great for immunity, lowers cholesterol
- 1 Green Apple – pectin in skin is good fiber, aids digestive system
- 1/2 Pear
- Handful of Kale – full of antioxidants
- Handful of Spinach – full of antioxidants
- 1-inch piece of Ginger (peeled) – helps with allergies, great for soothing the gut
- Handful of Pineapple pieces
- Juice of 1 Lemon – assists iron absorption from spinach and kale
- Dash of Cayenne Pepper (optional) – helps to open up your sinuses
- Water (to your taste)
5. Beginner’s Luck Smoothie by GreenSmoothieGirl
This is another excellent, simple smoothie recipe from Green Smoothie Girl that will get your kids excited about eating green. Let them drop the grapes in one by one through the blender lid hole and see them whirl into green smoothness!
- 1 ½ cups Water and Ice
- 3 large handfuls Spinach or mixed green
- 3 cups frozen or fresh green Grapes
- 1 scoop Protein Powder any flavor
- 2 Tbsp sprouted or ground Flaxseed
6. Recovery Green Smoothie by Derek Simnett
If you’ve done a serious workout at the gym or ran a few miles, then this high-calorie smoothie is for you. It was devised by a Derek Simnett, a vegan nutritionist, specifically for aiding the body in nutrient recovery after vigorous exercise. It’s all too easy to crack open a chocolate bar when you’re sweaty, exhausted, with muscles burning. Make this smoothie instead and replenish your body in the best way possible.
- Water (about 2-3 cups)
- 3-5 Bananas – for calories and to replace glycogen stores (mango+papaya also work)
- 3-4 Dates – taste+minerals, especially selenium
- 2 Tbsp Flax Seeds – excellent source of Omega 3 oil
- 2 Tbsp Hemp Seeds – protein, have all the essential amino acids and healthy fats
- bunch of Green Leafy Vegetables (about 2-3 cups) – full of essential minerals
- 1/2 Tsp Turmeric – amazing anti-inflammatory properties
- 4 black peppercorns – increases turmeric absorption 10-20x
Optional Extras (to taste):
- Cinnamon powder
- Vanilla Extract (in glycerine)
A word about Turmeric: it’s not good for those taking blood thinners or anti-coagulants, or if you’ve got kidney stones. So check with your doctor first.
What’s So Good About Smoothies?
Wondering whether you should get on the smoothie bandwagon? Here’s a handy list that will convince you:
- Easy and healthy snacks at home or to go
- Packed with vital nutrition to strengthen the immune system and fight disease
- Improve digestion (thanks to fiber)
- Assist the liver and kidneys to detox (thanks to many antioxidants)
- Taste great and are a delicious way to get kids to eat their greens
- Help you to eat a variety of vegetables you wouldn’t normally eat
- Keep you feeling full and away from annoying junk food cravings
- Simple to make, lots of great recipes available
Tips for Making a Great Smoothie
The Order of Things
If you’re just starting out, you don’t just chuck everything in the blender willy nilly and press the on button, or you might end up with a “chunky” instead of a “smoothie!” There’s a basic process for making a good smoothie.
- Start with your liquid.
- Add in leafy greens and blend till smooth.
- Layer in fruit and/or veg and any extra ingredients from softest to hardest.
- Blend again.
- For a smooth consistency, blend for at least one minute.
- Drink up! You can also store it for up to 24 hours in the fridge.
But: if you have a super-powerful blender, such as a Vitamix, the order of things doesn’t really matter. Chuck all the ingredients in together and whiz it up.
Leave Out Sweeteners
Save on unnecessary calories by sticking to fresh, frozen or dried fruit for sweetening my smoothies. There’s really no need to add in any other kind of sweetener and risk getting a blood-sugar spike that’s hard on the body.
If you’re finding it hard drink a smoothie because it tastes too “grassy” or is not sweet enough, just add a bit more fruit to suit your taste buds. Then slowly decrease the fruit over time and your taste buds will adjust to less sweetness.
Do the Wash
I always make sure to wash my fruit and veggies really well before use, especially if I can’t afford to buy organic. This way, I can remove as much bacteria and pesticide residue as possible before consuming. Check out these helpful washing tips.
Cool Down with Frozen Fruit
If you’re an ice lover, no worries! Keep at it. But if you’re open to frozen fruit as a substitute, this is how you can make your smoothie real smooth and dense and still have it cold.
Save Time with Frozen Smoothie Bags
Make things easier and more convenient by making a bunch of smoothie ingredients in a batch. Just freeze a batch of ziploc bags containing your greens and chopped fruit, and pull one out whenever you need it (best to use within 30 days). Glass jars will also work.
You can do this for any combination of fruit and veg you like, as well as the number of servings. Now you’ve saved yourself about 10 minutes each day selecting, washing, peeling and chopping ingredients. Spend it on some extra “me” time!
This may sound odd, but I recommend “chewing” your smoothie. Well, you can’t really chew your smoothie, but what I mean is swish each mouthful around in your mouth for a while so the enzymes in your saliva can do their job of starting the digestive process off right. Savor the flavors and take it slow. Your gut will thank you for it.
How To Make Your Own Smoothie Recipe
I love experimenting and coming up with my own signature smoothies. You will too! Just follow this basic formula and you’ll have a reputable smoothie repertoire to suit your unique palate in no time.
Green Smoothie FAQs
Can Green Smoothies be Stored?
Yes. It’s best to drink them fresh, but you can also store them in the fridge for up to 24 hours. I like to make a double batch so I can have a smoothie the next day, as well as give one to my hubbie to take to work.
Can You Freeze a Green Smoothie?
Sure you can. Use a freezer-safe glass jar and freeze for up to 7 days. The night before I want to drink it, I take one out and put it in the fridge for defrosting.
You may wonder whether freezing will cause nutrition loss. Yes, there is loss, but interestingly it is minimal. In fact, antioxidant levels in small fruits do not change much at all. In a 2015 study published in the International Journal of Food Properties, after a year of frozen storage 8 out of the 10 small fruits monitored kept their full antioxidant properties. Red currants and Raspberries fared the best.
How Many Green Smoothies Can I Drink in a Day?
We should all be increasing our veggie intake every day, and a green, nutrient-dense smoothie is an easy way to do it. Everybody’s nutritional needs are different, but in general most people will get good health benefits from drinking 2 to 4 cups of green smoothie each day.
Can a Smoothie be a Meal Replacement?
In their enthusiasm to cleanse the body or try to lose weight, some people may drink smoothies as meal replacements. But be aware that not all smoothie recipes are necessarily built for this. Make sure your smoothie contains enough good protein, fats, and fiber, in addition to the carbohydrates before you consider it a meal. Drink about 2 cups.
One thing I do to round out my smoothies to make them nutritionally well-balanced is to add almonds. Either in the smoothie itself in the form of almond milk, almond butter, or raw almonds. Or else, I’ll just eat a small handful separately.
I can’t say enough about Almonds. Adding them to your smoothies is a no-brainer, health-wise. Here are a few of the amazing benefits of Almonds:
- The high level of Vitamin E in Almonds- 37% of the recommended daily intake – helps to help protect your cells from oxidation damage. Eating almonds regularly helps to lower inflammation; improve vascular functions, reducing the “bad” LDL cholesterol and thus cardiovascular disease; and slows the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.
- When you’re Magnesium-deficient, you can get high blood pressure. So the magnesium in Almonds – 20% of the recommended daily intake – is fantastic for maintaining your magnesium levels naturally and keeping your blood pressure down. You can also help prevent sugar spikes after meals by including almonds in your diet.
- The good levels of protein and fiber in almonds help you to feel fuller for longer. Then you’re more unlikely to reach for unhealthy snacks! Eating almonds, over complex carbohydrates, can also aid in weight-loss, as this study shows.
Well, I hope this post has given you a bunch of great green smoothie ideas to keep you on your wellness path. Do you have a favorite recipe? I’d be curious to know…
Blomhoff, Rune & Carlsen, Monica & Andersen, Lene & R Jacobs, David. (2006). Health benefits of nuts: Potential role of antioxidants. The British journal of nutrition. 96 Suppl 2. S52-60. 10.1017/BJN20061864.
K. Choudhury, J. Clark & H. R. Griffiths (2014) An almond-enriched diet increases plasma α-tocopherol and improves vascular function but does not affect oxidative stress markers or lipid levels, Free Radical Research, 48:5, 599-606, DOI: 10.3109/10715762.2014.896458
Dunja Šamec & Jasenka Piljac-Žegarac (2015) Fluctuations in the Levels of Antioxidant Compounds and Antioxidant Capacity of Ten Small Fruits During One Year of Frozen Storage, International Journal of Food Properties, 18:1, 21-32, DOI: 10.1080/10942912.2013.790423