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Green Smoothie Recipe: Spinach

This all-green smoothie recipe not only looks pretty, but it tastes wonderful. Experiment with the ingredients or try the green smoothie recipe as it is listed below. Beware: I don’t ‘measure’ ingredients for this or any other green smoothie recipe.

I have found that I prefer the consistency when I use frozen fruit and less ice, such as banana slices or frozen mango cubes (from fresh). Another factor that affects flavor, nutrition profile and consistency of this green smoothie recipe and other smoothies is the use of protein powder. There are dozens of protein powders available. Currently, I am trying one made by ‘Nature’s Bounty’ (whey-based). It is located alongside the ‘Nature’s Bounty’ vitamins and dietary supplements. I use one scoop but the nutrition information is listed for two scoops. One scoop provides about 7.5 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber and 60 calories. It is low in carbohydrates and fat. Choose vanilla-flavored protein powder over chocolate for most smoothies, especially this green smoothie recipe as chocolate protein powder alters the flavor too much.

Blenders for a Green Smoothie Recipe

You can use any blender that is higher in quality (usually priced at $25.00+) to prepare this green smoothie recipe. Look for multiple ‘buttons’ and settings that allow you to crush ice and chop. If you do not have or cannot afford a Blendtec or Vita mix, which are both very expensive blenders, try the Ninja (available at Walmart) or the Magic Bullet (available for purchase online – both cost $100.00).

The ingredients I use for this green smoothie recipe are inexpensive as I choose ‘in-season’ produce and freeze fresh fruit/veggies when bagged frozen are more expensive and vice versa. In terms of servings per recipe… using my ‘non-measuring’ technique, the recipe yields enough so that I can pour a tall (about 16 oz.) glass for myself and a couple of short shots for eager tasters. Adjust the amount of each ingredient to suit your tastes. Remember, these are my estimated portions for each ingredient. Layer the ingredients in the order listed, starting with green grapes…

Basic Green Smoothie Recipe

  • 1/2 cup or so seedless green grapes
  • 2 handfuls (nearly 2 cups) fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup or so of fresh kale (no stalk if you are using a conventional blender)
  • 1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 fresh avocado
  • 1/4 fresh cucumber (no skin)
  • 1/2 frozen banana slices
  • 3 chunks frozen cubed mango
  • 2 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup light coconut milk (unflavored)
  • additional skim milk if more liquid is needed
  • Ice cubes as desired for proper consistency

Green Smoothie Recipe nutrition analysis

Per serving (makes about 1.25 servings): 357 calories, 11 g fat (4.5 g saturated), 49.5 g carbohydrate, 8 g dietary fiber, 22 g protein, 181 mg sodium and 31 mg cholesterol. This is a wonderful meal replacement. Vitamin and mineral highlights of this green smoothie recipe: very high in vitamins A and C; high in calcium, manganese and potassium. It is low in sodium and has a moderate sugar content (much less than a can of soda!!)


Green Smoothie Health Benefits and Facts

About the Green Smoothie

Green smoothies are everywhere. Go to the bookstore and you’ll find titles such as the ‘Green Smoothies Diet’ and ‘Green Smoothie Revolution.’ But what are green smoothies? Do these blended drinks taste like grass? Do you have to buy a $500.00 blender to make them? Many people think that is the case…HARDLY! I was a green smoothie sceptic at first but now I’m a huge fan and have fun experimenting with all kinds of fruit and vegetable combinations. There is no one-and-only ‘green smoothie.’ This post, Green Smoothie Health Benefits and Facts, is the first of an ongoing series…I will review the ‘Green Smoothies Diet’ (and others); provide recipe and ingredient suggestions, review high-powered blenders, provide dietitian-specific guidelines as well as a nutrition facts for green smoothie recipes.

A green smoothie is simply a cold, blended fruit and vegetable drink of an almost milkshake-like consistency (or a bit thinner). Most individuals are familiar with traditional fruit smoothies which include frozen/fresh fruit, dairy milk or a non-dairy substitute, yogurt and perhaps an added sweetener, such as honey or agave nectar. With green smoothies, you substitute some of that fruit with vegetables, such as baby spinach, carrots, kale, sweet peppers, avocado, broccoli and fresh herbs like mint and basil. I like to use a bit of light coconut milk – you need less liquid than you might think since veggies have such a high percentage of water. Though ice is a recommended ingredient to keep the smoothie ‘frosty’ I prefer to simply freeze some of the produce as I like creamy smoothies better than icy blends. What about wheatgrass juice, flaxseed oil, protein powder and other ‘functional’ ingredients? We’ll get to that in future pieces.  

Green Smoothie Benefits

So, what are the benefits of drinking a green smoothie (every day or at least regularly?)…you are consuming the whole fruit/ vegetable, often with the skin which includes all of the nutrients as well as a healthy dose of dietary fiber. Simply stated, if you choose your green smoothie ingredients wisely to ensure that you have a good balance of carbohydrate, protein and fat, you have the perfect meal; packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals or substances in plant foods that fight disease and promote health. While the smoothie may not be ‘low-calorie’ – the recipes you find here will not be high in calories, providing enough for a meal substitute. The main benefit of drinking green smoothies is that doing so makes it easier and more fun to consume a nutrient-rich diet.