Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My first ever "Green" Smoothie!

So with the birth of this blog I've started regularly following a bunch of other great blogs, mostly about healthy eating, food in general and healthy living (see: greenlitebiteshealthychicksthenewhealthy and lifeafterbagels).

This week a few of these blogs (thenewhealthy & greenlitebites) talked about green smoothies! Yes, that's right, green! For those of you who are smoothie fans, whether you get them from your favorite juice bar, kiosk in the mall, or your very own kitchen, I'm not sure how many of you are really familiar with green smoothies. I definitely wasn't before this week.

I make smoothies at home a lot, and they're always purple. I tend to use a good amount of raspberries and/or blueberries and/or blackberries which, no matter what else I add, tend to color the whole thing a vibrant purple color. Until the other day.

I had picked up a package of Market Pantry frozen mixed fruit from Target in the spirit of trying something new, and the smoothie was... light yellow. I was intrigued, as the few grapes and strawberries didn't seem to do much to the color. But that was it, just slightly intrigued. Until yesterday.

It was the third time I had seen green smoothies in a blog post just this week, so it was official, I was going to try it! But before I get to that - what makes the smoothie green? Well, the answer is spinach. Yes, spinach. In a smoothie. And, get this, it isn't horrible. In fact I loved it. Believe it or not, (and Mom, if you're reading this, I know, I know, just trust me..) it really doesn't taste like spinach.. at all! Ugh, I can't... nor do I want.. to imagine what it would taste like if it did! I love spinach, but I can't imagine loving it cold. With ice. And yogurt. Threw a straw.

So in my big venture to the grocery store last night I picked up a bag of fresh spinach so I could try this out. This morning for breakfast I decided it was time. Keeping in mind the recipes that my fellow bloggers posted and tweaking them based on what I already had here, this is what I came up with...
I chose my food processor over a blender

  • 1 handful of fresh spinach leaves
  • 2/3 c. frozen raspberries
  • 2/3 c. frozen mixed fruit
  • 1/3 c. + 1 tblspn plain greek yogurt
  • 1/3 c. Almond milk (add more if it's too thick)
Any fruit you like will work, and any yogurt and any milk (or even water or iced tea!) will do just fine. You have to make it your own, use what you have and go with your gut ;). Check those other blogs I mentioned above to see what combination they went with.

Be sure to blend on high. Usually I don't have to but in this case, to really blend the spinach, I had to blend on high for about 30 seconds. 

As soon as I hit the "pulse" button the smoothie almost instantaneously becomes the color that it is going to remain throughout the rest of the blending process. This time it turned, you guessed it, purple! Wait what? I thought this was a post about a green smoothie? Well, yes it is. The whole concept is that there is a healthy handful of spinach packing iron, fiber and lots of other wonderful nutrients. So what if my first green smoothie wasn't green; the concept is still the same!

How did it taste? It tasted very similar to all of the other smoothies I've made. This time I used not only spinach, but greek yogurt rather than regular plain yogurt. This was due to my recent discovery (on Thintervention, the only 10 minutes of that show I've ever seen) that yogurt actually isn't nearly all it's cracked up to be, especially since it has SO many grams of sugar. I've been spending 10-15 minutes in the dairy aisle each trip to the store, analyzing the fat free plain yogurts on a mission to find the "best of the bunch". EatThisNotThat says that Stonyfield's is the best, but it was no where to be seen, so I went with Fage Total 0% Plain Greek Yogurt. I licked a little off my finger and the aftertaste was more of an after feeling. It was like my mouth was instantly dry and my tongue was a little too fond of the roof of my mouth. It tasted fine though, and the smoothie had NO aftertaste.. or feeling. I will definitely be buying Fage again in the future unless someone shows me a better yogurt! :)

I know that you're all wondering if you can do this since you just can't imagine spinach in a smoothie. I swear, at least with the combination I used, there was no spinach taste, smell, or aftertaste. I will do it again. Tomorrow morning. And the day after that.

I challenge you to try something new and make a smoothie from home. If you're already a smoothie pro, try Greek yogurt and/or spinach. So many places where you can buy pre-made smoothies use simple syrup (water and sugar), other heavy syrups or preservatives that make your smoothie not nearly as healthy as you may think. Making it at home ensures that you know what you're drinking, and adding the spinach has oh so many benefits! Let me know how it goes!


  1. Ah, I love it! And I absolutely loved hearing about the whole process that not only led you up to making a green smoothie, but that took you through trying your first one!

    I felt the same way before I tried one myself. Once you go green, you never go back! ;)

    Also, plain Greek yogurt is the way to go! Not only for the minimal sugars, but also for the protein!

  2. That's exactly what my smoothies look like too . . . Brad INSISTS that I put berries in ours . . . in fact sometimes it's not even purple, the berry and spinach combo make it brown and really yucky looking, but it always tastes good

    I also put hemp protein powder in mine for extra protein