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Green Smoothie Ingredients for a Healthy Meal or Snack

Updated on November 18, 2012

Healthy Green Smoothies

With just a few simple green smoothie ingredients, you can make a simple, healthy breakfast, light lunch, or snack. Taking only about 5 minutes to prepare, green smoothies are a tasty way to get your recommended daily servings of fruits and veggies.

What is a green smoothie?

At the most basic level, a green smoothie is a blended salad, flavored with fruit to make it palatable. Unlike salads that can be topped with tons of fatty ingredients, green smoothies are low fat and chock-full of vitamins and minerals to keep your body healthy and strong. Because the blender breaks down cell walls, these nutrients are absorbed very well by the body.

Image: Scraps2Treasures

How to make a Green Smoothie

It only takes a few green smoothie ingredients for this simple template recipe. You choose whatever fruits and greens you have on hand. The wonderful thing is that this recipe is easily adapted to your own taste and preferences.

Basic Green Smoothie Recipe

* 2-3 cups liquid to facilitate blending

* 4-6 cups dark leafy greens

* 2-3 fruit choices

* 1-2 tsp of honey or agave nectar (optional)

* add-ins like ground flaxseed or nut butters (optional)

Throw everything in the blender and process at high speed until smooth. Makes 3-4 servings

It really is that simple!

I recommend choosing organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible to limit pesticide and chemical exposure.

Image: Jennifer of Healthy Kitchen Guide

Quick tip

If you are using a less expensive blender, I find it helpful to liquefy the greens first. Blend your greens and liquid until smooth. Then add your other green smoothie ingredients. It seems to get things smoother that way.

Image:  Lisasolonynko
Image: Lisasolonynko

Green Smoothie Ingredients - Liquid Choices

The first green smoothie ingredient you should consider is what liquid you are going to use. I always add 2-3 cups of liquid to my green smoothies There are a wide range of liquid choices you can add to your smoothie to get the blending action started.

Liquid Choices:

* Water

* Water with 2-3 tablespoons frozen juice concentrate like orange, apple, or grape

* Milk (Non-Dairy is fine too! I like making mine with almond milk.)

* Yogurt thinned with a bit of milk (Supplies probiotics)

* Kefir (Supplies probiotics)

* Fruit juice

Image: Lisasolonynko

Image: Tyxop
Image: Tyxop

Green Smoothie Ingredients - Leafy Greens

I generally use 4-6 cups of greens. This isn't rocket science so you don't have to measure. Just use what you have.

Leafy Green Choices:

* Spinach

* Romaine Lettuce

* Kale (cooked and pureed, or raw)

* Micro greens

* Sunflower Sprouts

* Purslane

* Mache

* Arugula (spicy)

* Mustard (spicy)

* Collard Greens

* Endive

* Beet Greens

* Dandelion Greens

* Swiss Chard

* Cabbage

* Parsley

These are just suggestions. If you can eat it in a salad, you can use it in a green smoothie. Feel free to use a mixture of these as well. Some of these greens have a strong flavor so you will want to start out with a small amount.

Don't get in a rut and use the same greens every day. Mix it up a little so you are getting a broad range of vitamins and minerals. If you eat Kale or spinach regularly in your green smoothies, you may want to consider cooking it. Kale and other cruciferous vegetables contain goitrogens which can mess with thyroid function when eaten in large quantities. Spinach, beet greens, and swiss chard all contain oxalic acid which can block calcium and iron absorption. Cooking destroys goitrogens and oxalic acid. Just something to consider.

Image: Tyxop

Image: Vilhelm
Image: Vilhelm

Green Smoothie Ingredients - Fruit

Depending on the greens I have chosen, I use 2-4 servings of fruit. If you are using greens that are stronger in flavor, you will probably want to add more fruit.

Fruit Choices:

* Apple

* Orange

* Banana (can be used as a sweetener)

* 1-2 cup Berries (such as Strawberries, Blueberries, or Raspberries)

* Peach

* Kiwi

* Medjool Dates (can be used as a sweetener)

* Watermelon

* Cantaloupe

* Pineapple

*Pear

*Cherries

Prepare the fruit like you would for eating - remove pits and seeds. If the peel is edible, go ahead and leave it on. I routinely throw unpeeled apple slices in my smoothies.

I haven't found a fruit yet that I don't like in a smoothie. Don't be afraid to experiment!

Image: Vilhelm

Green Smoothie Ingredients: Add-ins

While greens, fruit, and liquid form the basis of your green smoothies, don't be afraid to experiment. For example, I love peanut butter and banana in my green smoothies. Here is a list of some add-in ingredients that might spark your imagination.

Additional Ingredients

*1-2 tbs of Nut Butter

* 1-2 tbs of Ground Flaxseed

* 1-2 tbs Chia Seeds

* 1 shredded carrot

* 1 cucumber

* 1-2 celery stalks

* 1 tbs coconut oil

Blender Tips for Green Smoothies

If you are lucky enough to have a high-power blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec, then it might not matter in what order you blend your ingredients. However if you are using a less expensive blender, I find it helpful to liquefy the greens with the liquid first. Then add your other green smoothie ingredients. It seems to get things smoother that way.

After making your green smoothie, rinse your blender jar then fill a third of the way up with water. Add a drop or two of dish liquid and replace the lid. Blend on high for a minute or so, then rinse. Quick and easy cleanup - you can't beat that!

Image: Vitamix Blender on Amazon.

Vitamix Vs. Blendtec - The Debate rages on

People tend to be quite loyal when it comes to the best blender for making green smoothies. What do you think?

Which is the better high-powered blender?

Vitamix

Vitamix

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    • anonymous 5 years ago

      Vitamix has been better.

    • hawaii_green_smoothie 6 years ago

      Definitely Vitamix. So much more reliable

    • Miss_Organic 6 years ago

      I prefer the Vitamix because it has a tamper to help the ingredients blend quicker.

    Blendtec

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      • anonymous 4 years ago

        I like the blendtec because it doesn"t need a tamper. Everything pulls down and blends beautifully. And it fits under my upper cabinets so it can stay right out on the counter but out of the way

      What are Your Favorite Green Smoothie Combinations? - Share your concoctions!

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        • BuckHawkcenter profile image

          BuckHawkcenter 6 years ago

          Great nutricious information! Really enjoyed all the choices and liked the layout of this lens. Big thumbs up for this one!

        • profile image

          Miss_Organic 6 years ago

          @BuckHawkcenter: Thank you for your kind words! I hope you found the information to be helpful.

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          Apple + banana + avocado!

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          Haven't tried before! I like what I see here. They look healthy and nutritious. Thanks!

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          I like the ideas for green smoothies! :)

        • ItayaLightbourne profile image

          Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

          I make mine with all vegetables, a few lemons and some liquid Stevia extract. Yummy!! Great article. :)

        • Scraps2treasures profile image
          Author

          Scraps2treasures 5 years ago

          @ItayaLightbourne: I am not quite to the point where I can leave out fruit completely, but I am getting there. I still have to do about a 50-50 ratio with my kids though. But I figure they are still getting a ton of vitamins and minerals that way!

        • profile image

          anonymous 4 years ago

          Just tried my FIRST one...yummy....a handful of organic romaine lettuce & spinach,2 pears, 2 Gala apples (or whatever kind you want), a ripe banana, & a mango....with some ice, so good! Next one will be with strawberries!

        • profile image

          FashionMommy 4 years ago

          Smoothie sounds like a good idea.

        • Jogalog profile image

          Jogalog 4 years ago

          I need to start making more green smoothies - most of mine are red or orange!

        • Michelllle profile image

          Michelllle 4 years ago

          I love green smoothies.

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