Green Smoothies to Kick Off 2013

After seeing my friend Mandi’s posts about having green smoothies every day and how much better she felt, I gave them a try, way back in September. And guess what?  Every word she’d written was true!  I am totally hooked, and now I want you to be, as well.

And can I tell you how thrilled I was to find a blender in our condo on vacation?  I know, it wasn’t there for making non-alcoholic drinks, but we were able to kick off each morning with a healthy smoothie to power us through our often rather unhealthy days in the parks.

0912-Green-Smoothie

I think my “Holiday Food Hangover” is even worse than usual this year, since we threw in our family vacation to Florida right before Christmas.  The overindulgence started at Thanksgiving, and never let up, it seemed.  I could see a huge difference in my kids’ attitudes…cranky, tired, and generally not themselves, despite the fact that they were getting plenty of sleep and exercise.  Diet had to be the culprit.

The worst part of this whole situation is that I’m a professional chef, and a science (chemistry) geek, so I know what we should be eating…and we’re going to get back to that, immediately!

We started our New Year with green smoothies for everyone for breakfast.  They’re filling, chock full of nutrients, and, most importantly, very delicious!

You can find tons of basic recipes online…here’s the one I’ve settled on, after tinkering with Mandi’s original one and others that sounded tasty. She doesn’t use yogurt and only sometimes adds almond butter.  I feel the added protein of the yogurt or almond butter everyday helps me to feel fuller longer, as does adding chia or ground flax seeds.

Basic Green Smoothie

  • 1 apple, cored and chopped (but not peeled)
  • 1 banana, chunked (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 cup frozen fruit such as mango, pineapple, berries, or a combo
  • 1 container honey Greek yogurt (for protein and sweetness)
  • 16 oz water
  • 2 big handfuls of spinach (to fill the blender)

Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth. That’s it.

Some variations (but these up the calories, so keep that in mind):

  • A couple of tablespoons of chia or ground flax seeds
  • A couple of tablespoons almond butter (instead of yogurt)
  • 1 cup orange or cranberry juice in place of half the water
  • Add in 1/3 cup canned pumpkin and use cranberries for the frozen fruit

I can tell such a difference in my mood and energy levels on the mornings I take time to make a green smoothie…and I try to have one for lunch on the days I don’t get one made for breakfast.

By the way, you can find Mandi at her Facebook page, The Bad Vegan.  She posts some really helpful info and it’s well worth your time to check it out!

Here’s hoping your new year is off to an amazing start…these smoothies will definitely help begin each day on a bright note!

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10 thoughts on “Green Smoothies to Kick Off 2013

  1. I will have to try this!! I need to do something besides finish off the Christmas cookies… I think I will put those out for the birds and go make a smoothie right now….

  2. Thanks for the love! I also love substituting freshly made almond milk (almonds, water, blend, pour through a nut milk bag, presto!) for the water in the smoothie. You can make some very creamy smoothies that way, and it seems to cover the “green” taste more, so I often add even more spinach on day that I have some almond milk on hand. I’m glad you have found a blend that works for you and the family!

    • Thanks for the tip, Mandi…although I almost snorted my coffee ’cause I read that as just “nut bag.” Hope y’all are having a great 2013 so far!

    • Thanks, Amy…I’m trying to decide if I want a Nutribullet for our anniversary next week. I had insomnia one night last week and saw the infomercial…I’m such a sucker! But perhaps if I wait for a Kohls’ 30 percent off combined with a sale I can justify it.

  3. Thanks for sharing this! I always see green shake recipes, but none of it ever sounds that good, and I’m not into forcing something down. But I trust your excellent taste, so if you say it’s good, I’m going to go for it.

    • I’m so surprised…you totally seem like you’d be a straight spinach and beet smoothie drinker! These have so much sweet stuff (Fruit and yogurt) in them, you really don’t taste the spinach at all.

  4. I got on the smoothie train a few years ago, but keep it mostly fruit and protein powder or almond butter. I’ve been hesitant to throw in spinach for fear of ruining my smoothie. I picked some up today though, so I’m ready for green shake action!

  5. Alright, how did you make your smoothie so green?!! I have made this recipe, a few times, and each time it turns out more of a cross between cement color and blah brown. It does not taste nearly as bad as it looks 😉 IT is tasty, I just can’t get the green look to it, no matter how much spinach I add…

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