Seeing Green

My wife and I recently attended a class on making green smoothies. I have to admit, I was a bit apprehensive beforehand. OK, actually I was a LOT apprehensive!

I had flashbacks to the days when wheat grass and carrot juice drinks were popular. My memories of those? Blecchh!!! I am happy to say I was very pleasantly surprised at the smoothies we made. None of them were at all nasty tasting, and some of them were downright yummy! It is definitely a taste that grows on you.

Green smoothies are now all the rage in the raw food movement. Proponents claim a plethora of health benefits come from drinking them. There’s no doubt they are high in fiber and loaded with antioxidants and phytochemicals. Many greens are also high in Omega-3 fatty acids, and blending the greens helps the body digest and assimilate the nutrients more easily.

The general recipe is to mix 60% fruit with 40% greens, and blend in a good strong blender with water or other liquid. The Vita-Mix blenders are popular, but our Osterizer does a good job too. Any mix of fruits and greens can be used. My goal is to get more fruit and greens in my diet, so variety is a good thing. The smoothie in the above photo had apple, banana, and mango for fruit (the banana and mango were frozen), and raw turnips greens and arugula (fresh from the garden). The taste was amazing! I used about 1 cup of cold water for the liquid.

Green smoothies don’t always look green. If you use blueberries or blackberries, the resulting smoothie may wind up purple or even brown. While a nice green color may be visually appealing, it really doesn’t matter. A purple, red or brown smoothie is good for you too!

Basic Green Smoothie Recipe Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

A powerful blender like a VitaMix is best, but any blender will do. The resulting smoothie may just not be as smooth.

  1. Add 1 cup cold water
  2. Add 2-3 fruits, totalling about 2-3 cups. Common fruits are apple, banana, peach, pear, mango, papaya, pineapple and berries like strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, etc.
  3. Finally, add about 2 cups of chopped greens. Mild tasting greens include spinach, lettuce, kale, celery, Swiss Chard and parsley. Stronger greens include turnips greens, broccoli leaves, endive, arugula, chicory, cabbage and mustard greens.
  4. Blend until smooth. (use short bursts if necessary)
  5. Drink and enjoy!

The green smoothie makes for a great liquid lunch, or do like my wife and I do and have it for an afternoon snack. It fills you up without filling you out!

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14 Responses to Seeing Green

  1. meemsnyc says:

    The fact that there is a good mixture of fruit in this smoothie makes me want to try it. It looks so healthy!

  2. Mike says:

    So after reading your post this morning we made our normal fruit smoothy but also added chicory and arugula to it…it was not half bad, not bad at all.:)

    • Villager says:

      Mike, it sounds like a good way to use whatever greens happen to be available. Right now we have kale, turnips greens, arugula and lettuce. Later on we will have pac choi, tatsoi and spinach. The fruit sure helps take the bite out of the greens.

  3. Kelly says:

    They are quite refreshing aren’t they? I make mine in a standard blender too, but I am wanting a Blendtec in a bad way. My friend loves sweet potato greens in her green smoothies, but I never tried them (the greens) that way, I have only used Kale and MacroGreens powder.

    • Villager says:

      Kelly, I’ve never eaten sweet potato greens, but I know the deer and rabbits love them raw! This afternoon I had a smoothie with apple, banana, raspberries, turnips greens, lettuce and some French sorrel. They are habit-forming!

      • Kelly says:

        Your drink sounds delicious, this summer I got on a kale smoothie kick with some cacao powder and mint leaves thrown in.

        I have cooked up sweet potato greens with garlic and olive oil, they aren’t half bad!

  4. Interesting. As we still have oodles of greens in the garden, I may have to give this a try.

  5. Shawn Ann says:

    Thanks for your idea! I posted about our version of your smoothies on my blog! You’ll have to go see! This is a great idea!

  6. Meredith says:

    Oh, wow, I’ll have to try this, Villager! I never heard of a “green” smoothie before, but I generally have trouble meeting the recommended amount of leafy greens in my diet, so it seems to be a great trick for people like me. I already indulge in the occasional fruit smoothie and have some frozen fruit in the fridge, too. 🙂

  7. Richard Burton says:

    Can smoothies be made with any of the following?
    Tomatoes, zucchini or beet tops

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