One of my favorite “healthy” things is to drink a green smoothie in the morning on my way to work. If time runs short, at least I’ve got something in my stomach besides coffee to hold me over until lunchtime. I tend to feel better and have more energy when I have my morning greens as well. Although, I’ve yet to convince the kids that green smoothies are the way to start the day. 🙂
What’s in a Green Smoothie?
There are all kinds of recipes for green smoothies out there. Since I’m not a big fan of measuring, sometimes I find it hard to follow a specific recipe. My smoothie method is pretty simple: add some greens, add some fruit, add some liquid, blend. No measuring, nothing precise, just add a handful of each (or other measure that ends up with about 50/50 greens to fruit if you like to be precise). Add just enough liquid to blend and turn on the blender. Done – easy! It’s also easy to use what I have on hand. Spinach and strawberries are probably the mildest, easy combination to start with.
To spark my green smoothie creativity, I created a handy guide to keep in the kitchen for easy combinations. For a printable copy, click here. I keep this guide on the fridge for fast reference on busy mornings. Initially, I made this for the kids, but find I use it the most.
For the greens, we generally keep fresh kale on hand because it’s cheap and easy to find good organic kale in our local grocery store. Kale keeps longer in the fridge than some other greens and it’s one vegetable that everyone likes. Herbs are great in smoothies too – I especially like cilantro with pineapple – yum! Carrot tops are another favorite since I’m able to grow beautiful tops with pretty small carrots attached. I just pull up the whole thing, wash well, and toss in the smoothie. These have a somewhat strong taste, so I usually only use one or two and mix them with something milder like kale or spinach.
I almost always use frozen fruit in smoothies because it’s easy. Frozen fruit doesn’t go bad as fast as fresh, and I like the texture and coldness in the final smoothie. When using apples, I always use fresh, but most other fruits will work well either fresh or frozen.
You can also add some interesting flavors like fresh ginger, honey, or apple cider vinegar. Ginger is good for digestion, as is apple cider vinegar. Honey has all sorts of wonderful properties and counteracts the tartness of apple cider vinegar if you choose to add it. I think of my green smoothie as an opportunity to sneak in a good bit of healthy all at once. It takes the pressure off remembering if I’ve eaten the good stuff all day long.
Favorite Green Smoothie Combinations
I’ve tried all sorts of combinations in my green smoothies. One of my favorites is a mixture of kale, frozen cherries, and water.
Another favorite is blueberries, cilantro, carrot tops, and kombucha. If you want to learn more about making your own kombucha, visit Kombucha Kamp. I learned how to make my own from this site and consider them the experts. They’re super helpful and a small business, which I always love supporting. I’ve been making kombucha for a couple of months now and really enjoy having it on hand.
I guess technically this one should be called a “Blue” smoothie. 🙂 Delicious!Another really tasty combination is made with a frozen fruit mixture of pineapple, strawberries, mango, peaches, and grapes. Add kale, cilantro, and water to make a super sweet smoothie. Sometimes I add a small bit of fresh ginger if I have it on hand. Ginger is strong! A small piece goes a long way and make sure it blends completely so you aren’t surprised with a spicy chunk in the middle of drinking this sweet, delicious smoothie!
I’d love to hear if you like green smoothies. Any crazy flavor combinations out there? I’m always looking for new ideas to try – please share your favorites in the comments. 🙂