Health

3 Green Smoothie Recipes That Will Make You Glow!

What’s the green smoothie hype all about? This is what you need to know about green smoothie recipes and benefits of drinking them. Check them out now!

The smoothie trend is here to stay and if you’re looking for a delicious smoothie made from recognizable and affordable ingredients, then look no further.

Let’s unpack the phenomenon that has revolutionized the use of blenders everywhere; let’s dig into the green smoothie.

What are the benefits of a green smoothie?

Spinach green smoothie as healthy summer drink

A green smoothie allows you to sneak nutrient-rich vegetables into your diet without bringing too much attention to the veggie in question.

You can hide the texture and taste of almost any leafy green vegetable when blended with the right ingredients and complimentary flavours.

Why do we want to get more greens in our diets?

Green leafy vegetables will always be considered a so-called superfood. A superfood essentially refers to a food that has a high nutrient to calorie ratio. In other words, you get a big bang of nutrients for your calorie buck.

Kale is currently one of the most popular and trendy superfoods, and for good reason. Kale is bursting with phytonutrients that boost big time benefits like cancer-fighting antioxidants.

All greens, however, have phytonutrients that combat free radicals, energize, and nourish; reasons why we want to emphasize them in our diets and tuck them into our smoothies.

Blending: A digestive aid

Smoothies not only provide an opportunity to fit greens into our diet but a blended green smoothie also helps with digestion once the greens meet your belly.

The tough fibers in vegetables are difficult to digest for many people, especially when eating raw greens. Plant cell walls are made from cellulose, which the human digestive system has trouble breaking down.

If the leaves of these nutritious greens go undigested, we aren’t able to absorb their valuable nutrients, which defeats the purpose of eating them.

This is where the blender comes into play.

Blending does part of the digesting for us! The blades of the blender break down plant cell walls and pulverize the fibres that like to challenge our digestive systems.

This allows for quick and efficient access to all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants we’re hoping to absorb and assimilate.

A blender also provides an opportunity to incorporate more raw vegetables into our diets. Raw veggies and leafy greens are rich in live enzymes and other nutrients that are denatured by the heat of cooking.

By tossing raw veggies in our smoothies we’re guaranteeing nutrient diversity and ensuring a good balance between raw and cooked food.

So the green smoothie gives us the superfood leafy greens we want, the live nutrients we need and helps with the digestion of both.

Win, win, win!

What equipment do you need?

Blender full of broccoli

To make a healthy green smoothie you do need a blender. However, you do not need to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

You can get affordable blenders that do the job quite nicely. If you see yourself doing a lot of heavy-duty blending, like pureeing nuts to make smooth sauces and feel like a higher end blender is worth the investment, then, by all means, go for it! I use my high-powered blender every day.

However, for months I went without and used a personal sized blender and it got the job done, and done well!

A good place to start is a small blender with multiple functions, one that comes with blending and grinding blades. One of these will run you about $100 but it is a great tool to have, especially in a small kitchen.

There is a right way to drink a green smoothie

If the correct way to drink a smoothie seems obvious, hold up, it’s not!

Many self-proclaimed smoothie aficionados blend up their smoothie concoction and then suck it back within a few minutes. Yet, to get the full benefit of the smoothie and to feel your best post smoothie, you should take it slow for a few reasons.

First, we have digestive enzymes in our saliva and upper digestive system that are activated by chewing. So yes, even though your smoothie is blended, it’s still beneficial to give each sip a little chew to help break down macronutrients and ignite the digestive process.

Secondly, you don’t want to overwhelm your belly. Avoid pounding that green smoothie, no matter how delicious, because drinking it too fast will result in your belly’s version of an ice cream headache. Too much, too fast will cause some tummy aches, nausea,and even fatigue.

Before your smoothie, you’re most likely hungry and your stomach is empty. If you chug that smoothie, your belly goes from bored to overwhelmed! You’ve shocked your stomach with too much work in too short a period of time.

To get the most from your healthy green smoothie drink slowly, over 20-30 minutes or so. This gives your gut a manageable workload and enough time to get the digestive job done at a reasonable pace.

What makes a healthy smoothie?

Fresh kale fruit smoothie in a jar with ingredients

Smoothies are a staple in the diets of healthy foodies everywhere. They’re usually categorized as a breakfast option but can also be enjoyed as a light meal or hearty snack.

A healthy green smoothie is usually built from, but not limited to, the following components

  • Leafy greens
  • Spinach, kale, swiss chard, romaine lettuce
  • Fruit
  • Bananas, berries, mangos, pineapple, apples, oranges, kiwis
  • Liquid
  • Dairy free milk, fruit juices, water
  • Flavour enhancers
  • Fresh herbs (like basil and mint), nut butter, spices (like cinnamon and ginger), dried fruits, sweeteners (agave, maple syrup), vanilla powders and extracts
  • Superfoods
  • Hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, spirulina, wheatgrass, maca powder, matcha powder
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Protein powders, fiber supplements

Altering these ingredients, changing their ratios and pairing different flavours are ways in which you can make a million versions of the green smoothie.

Feel free to mess around and find your personal favourite or, if you need some green inspiration, check out the suggested combinations below.

The basic healthy green smoothie

Mango with Banana and Spinach smoothie

(Serves 1)

This smoothie is for the green beginner. If you’re just starting out and the idea of a green smoothie is still a little suspicious then this one is for you.

Spinach is the least green tasting leafy green and is the perfect choice when you’re not used to the earthy-er flavours of kale and swiss chard.

  • 1 cup packed spinach
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ cup frozen or fresh mango
  • 1 cup almond milk or soy milk

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

Peanut butter cookies and green smoothie

green smoothie with spinach leaves

(Serves 1)

This smoothie has a combination of spinach and antioxidant rich kale. It gains more superfood status by the addition of hemp seeds, which are a fantastic source of anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids.

Feel free to swap almond butter or cashew butter for the peanut butter.

  • ½ cup spinach
  • ½ cup kale
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 2 Medjool dates (pitted)
  • 1 cup almond or soy milk

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

Green as it gets smoothie

Green smoothie on a wooden table

Now, for those green lovers, those who are green at heart, this one is for you. There’s a load of green going on here and the resulting color is just divine.

Avocado is used to achieve a creamy texture and also provides healthy, monounsaturated fats. And remember, don’t fear the fat!

Fat in a smoothie is important for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K) as well as for the proper functioning of countless metabolic processes in our bodies, the structure of our cell walls and so much more.

(Serves 1-2)

  • 1 cup baby spinach or kale
  • ½ avocado, peeled and pit removed
  • 1 small kiwi, peeled
  • ½ frozen banana
  • ½ granny smith or golden delicious apple
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ½-2 cups water

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Start with 1 ½ cups water and add more as needed to get desired consistency.

Keep these three healthy green smoothie recipes in your collection of smoothie alternatives and please share your favourite green smoothie combo below!

About the author

Ashley Madden

Hi! My name is Ashley. I’m a pharmacist, plant based chef and holistic nutritionist. Creating health supportive, plant based and gluten free cuisine is my calling, my jam, my vegan bread and butter. You can find me blogging, sipping a green smoothie and pondering the big questions in life.

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