Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Green smoothies

Last summer, I got into making green smoothies for my finicky daughter, as a means of sneaking a few vegetables in her. When I first heard about this idea, I thought it sounded DISGUSTING. And, it honestly does sound that way! But if you can overcome how it sounds, they really are very good! There's truly no hint of "veggie" taste, since the fruit flavors are much stronger. (I'm guessing this is why V8 V-Fusion is so popular.)

What makes this "recipe" easy is that there really is no exact recipe. I've learned a few basics, though... so learn from my mistakes without wasting your own produce. :)

Step one: Throw a handful of greens in your blender. I've used spinach, collard greens, broccoli, and cabbage. Do not -- I repeat, DO NOT -- use celery. No amount of sweetness will hide that flavor, and you'll end up wasting the entire contents of your produce drawer on it.

Step two: Splash a little bit of milk and/or add a spoonful of yogurt (plain, vanilla, fruit-flavored... doesn't matter) in with the greens and blend. Add however much milk/yogurt to allow the greens to blend smoothly. The amount of liquid you add will also depend on the consistency you want your smoothie to be (thick or watery).

It will look like this. Not appetizing, I know. It doesn't smell great either, but don't give up at this point!

Step three: Start adding your fruit. I almost always toss in a banana. It makes it sweet without being too sweet. It also makes it creamier.

I had some sliced strawberries that I pulled out of the freezer, so I threw those in as well.

It may look like a lot, but this will make a good size smoothie for both you and your child. Or at least it does for us! :)

I threw in a few cherries. I had them on hand because they'd been on sale that week.

Another mistake of mine to learn from -- remember to pit fresh cherries before adding them to the blender. Otherwise, you'll end up fishing cherry pits out of your smoothie for ten hours.

Step four: Pour into a cup and enjoy! :)

A few more helpful hints:
  • I often dilute my daughter's smoothies a bit more at this point with a little more milk. This just makes it easier for her to drink from a straw. If your child is old enough, you can serve this with a spoon.
  • Add additional veggies for more nutrients! Besides greens, you can add sweet potatoes, carrots, bell peppers (I always add these in small amounts), asparagus... really most any vegetable you have on hand. (Stay away from the celery, though!)
  • Play around with the combination of fruits for different flavors! I personally love bananas and cherries, but blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, mango, papaya, peaches, and more are all great! Keep in mind that the darker the fruit, the darker your "green" smoothie will be.
  • Fresh or frozen... doesn't matter! I like to keep an assortment of frozen fruits on hand, but if a particular fruit is in season, we use fresh.
  • If you make too much, just pop the rest of it in the fridge for a later time. They will keep for a day or so without a problem.
  • Smoothies are refreshing, but they are also FILLING! Think about how much food you're really putting in there, so plan ahead if you're making this for a pre-meal snacktime. :)
I'm so looking forward to consistently warm weather, but we might just enjoy a green smoothie tomorrow for St. Patrick's Day! :)


  1. Ok - now that doesn't look good but you make it sound good so maybe I will have to give it a try:)

  2. Haha, I know, I thought the same thing at first! If I didn't know it had veggies in it, I wouldn't be able to tell... besides the color. :)