I started reading about various versions of the “Green Smoothie” on blogs a few years ago. It became a craze and everyone was coming up with different versions of them. For those of you who haven’t seen them before, a Green Smoothie is basically a smoothie with some sort of leafy green vegetable added to it, most likely spinach or kale.
Why were they so popular (and still are)? Because you can use the basics of a normal smoothie, add a ton of kale or spinach and not even notice a difference. You can basically sneak in a huge serving of quality nutrients without any extra work or an alteration to the taste of your “normal” smoothie.
Reasons Why Green Smoothies Rock:
1) They take no more than 5 minutes to make
2) They are really refreshing
3) You end breakfast knowing you’ve already accounted for at least a couple servings of veggies that you need for the day
4) They are BRIGHT GREEN (cool)
5) You can get really creative with them. There is no “right or wrong”. Just throw in some ice, a couple handfuls of raw spinach or kale, some milk or yogurt, protein powder if you want, some wheat germ or oats if you’d like, frozen berries, a banana…. the options are endless!
6) Spinach and Kale both have a TON of health benefits. They fight disease, have high levels of Vitamin C, have virtually no calories, and are packed with antioxidants.
I’ve only ever made these for breakfast, but people will often times make them for snacks after a workout, or even for lunch paired with something else. I’m not always in the mood for a smoothie, but when the craving strikes, some version of the Green Smoothie is my go-to.
A piece of advice… use a banana! The banana helps to thicken the smoothie and also add a layer of sweetness. I feel like it wouldn’t have enough substance without a banana, so that is always included in my smoothies.
Below is the recipe for the one you see pictured, which I had for breakfast the other day. It is just a basic recipe, but you can really get creative in terms of what you add. A lot of people like to add peanut butter for some staying power, or greek yogurt to make it thicker with a higher protein content. If you haven’t ever tried this, I promise you that you can not taste the spinach! I hope you give it a shot 🙂
Basic Green Smoothie
(serves 1… makes a huge smoothie. I had enough for about another half glass more than what you see above)
- 5 ice cubes
- large handful raw spinach
- 1 large banana
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- about a cup of almond milk
- 2 T wheat germ
- about a half cup of water (I added this at the end because I tasted it and wanted it slightly more diluted… but just add water or none at all based on your preference)
Add everything into a blender and blend away.