I posted this photo yesterday of a green smoothie I created that contained 5 fruits and veggies (peaches, blueberries, kale, avocado, and bananas) plus probiotics, because I used my homemade kombucha in it:
I’ve been doing green smoothies a lot recently to increase my antioxidant intake during cold and flu season. If I start to feel a little worn out, I try a green smoothie and quick nap during the kids’ nap rather than caffeine.
I’d like to post a single green smoothie recipe but honestly, my recipe changes every time based on what I have in my refrigerator and freezer. What I’ll do instead is post a list of things that are in almost every smoothie and the ingredients that vary, to give a kind of formula for green smoothies that can be altered to fit your needs.
2 cups dark, leafy greens – Usually kale, but sometimes swiss chard, spinach, or even arugula.
Yogurt – Now that my son is dairy-free, I use cultured coconut milk yogurt. Leave out the yogurt if you are using kombucha for the liquid, those don’t play well together!
1/2 cup frozen bananas – I buy “day old” bananas in a bag at the grocery store, slice them up, and keep them in the freezer so I can just grab a few. Because they are frozen, they work well in lieu of ice cubes, which helps the smoothie be creamier rather than watery. I wouldn’t go much above 3/4 cup of bananas because using too many can make the smoothie too thick.
1/2 – 1 cup Frozen organic berries – Berries have great antioxidants, but since they aren’t available year-round, I stock up during the summer months and freeze them. Blueberries freeze the best and are most cost effective for our area.
1 cup+ unsweetened fruit juice – Since I don’t use ice cubes, I have to add a liquid. Most of the time, I use apple juice because it is the most cost effective. As I’ve mentioned, I have used kombucha in lieu of juice but you definitely have to add honey and/or peanut butter to balance out the tart-ness of kombucha.
Food grade lemon essential oil – The original recipe I started using for my green smoothies used lemon juice, but sometimes I don’t have lemon juice. I always have lemon essential oil, and it’s a lot more concentrated. I usually use 2-3 drops. Again, have to leave this out if you use kombucha because that would make the smoothie way too acidic/tart.
1 scoop flax powder – for protein
honey – when I’m using a more tart green, like arugula, or when I use kombucha instead of juice, it needs sweetening
peanut butter – if I end up with too many watery or tart ingredients, I’ll need peanut butter to balance out the acidity
fresh fruit – most of the time I eat fresh fruit plain!
veggies – I particularly like to add celery to a kale and apple smoothie
different juices – I’ve used carrot juice, kombucha, cranberry juice, orange juice…
raw ginger – or other herbs/spices, but this is the main one that I use to settle my stomach
soaked cashews - I blame Stephanie for the fact that I frequently have this raw vegan staple on hand!
Here’s an example of a typical smoothie without kombucha:
1/2 cup bananas
1/2 cup yogurt (or cultured coconut milk)
2 cups kale
1 scoop flax powder
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup apple juice
3 drops lemon essential oil
1 scoop flax powder
2 tbsp honey
I have a pretty good Black & Decker blender, so I just throw everything in and blend it all at once. I usually have to blend for around 2 minutes total.
Kids love to participate in making smoothies! I unplug the blender and let my toddlers throw the ingredients into the blender container. Then we sit down with our cups and drink the smoothies. If I have leftover, I pour it into silicon popsicle molds for special “treats” later.
What are your favorite green smoothie ingredients? Anything I’m missing?