The Greenie Green Smoothie

The Greenie - Green Smoothie

Passover has passed over, and I’m guessing that most of you are more than ready to leave the matzo behind. Enter the green smoothie, or as my husband has nicknamed it, “The Greenie.” I introduced the concept of a green smoothie to him after seeing different variations on several food blogs. The concept is simple—blend greens, fruit, water and other ingredients together to make a healthy tonic. Drink your veggies, so to speak. The idea appealed to my husband, who likes greens in moderation but can’t stomach more than a serving or two a day. After that, he likes to tell me that he feels “like a goat.” I don’t blame him, but I know how important it is for us to consume fresh greens each day. With the green smoothie, we’re drinking our greens, so it doesn’t feel as cumbersome as a salad.

We experimented with different green smoothie combinations, and while many were good, they weren’t quite perfect. Then my husband took over. He started with the combination I’d been playing with—water, greens, fresh mint, apple, pear and lime juice. He cut the amount of water significantly in order to make the smoothie thicker and less watery. He also added cinnamon, which I think is inspired. Cinnamon balances blood sugar by increasing the body’s ability to metabolize sugar, which means less sugar is stored as body fat. It’s often recommended as a natural dietary aide to diabetics, and it happens to taste fantastic in a green smoothie. For the final touch, he added a bit of natural sweetener– not a lot, just a hint of sweetness. We usually use a packet of Truvia (stevia-based sweetener), but you can also use 1 tbsp agave nectar.

The result was a green smoothie that we actually love to drink… in fact, it’s become a daily ritual in our home. The mint and lime juice give it a fresh, crisp edge that is somewhat similar to my favorite summer beverage, limonana. It’s a thick drink, and some of the greens will cling to the glass, which I like to polish off with a spoon. My dog Marley enjoys a Greenie dog treat each day, and we’ve taken to enjoying our own daily Greenie Smoothie as well. This concoction might look strange on paper. It may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but I’ve made it for a few people (including some skeptics), and everybody has liked it so far. I’m telling you, it’s magical… especially the way it makes you feel.

A few tips. Organic is important. You’re blending together whole vegetables and fruits (including peels), and you want to keep the drink as clean as possible. If you can afford organics, I highly recommend them. Kale is pretty bitter unprocessed, but when you process it (or massage it, as in my kale salad recipes), natural sweetness is released. The same is true for kale smoothies. Blending the kale removes any bitterness and renders the greens much sweeter than they are whole… so if you’re anti-kale, this is a great way to try it. If you’re using kale, don’t remove the stalks—they contain tons of fiber. Also, make sure you follow the steps in the order suggested. If you simply cram all the ingredients into the blender at once, they won’t blend properly (even if you have a powerful Vitamix-style blender).

Kale is one of the most nutritionally dense foods in existence. It helps to reduce cholesterol, lowers cancer risk, increases fiber intake, and has a broad range of healthful antioxidants. That said, I recently learned that raw kale contains a lot of Vitamin K, which can be a problem for people taking blood thinners. It also has a natural compound that can suppress thyroid function in certain individuals (not everybody though). Because of these risk factors, my husband and I switch off between raw kale and raw spinach. The incredible health benefits of kale tend to outweigh the negatives, in my opinion, but it’s better to be safe than sorry… plus, I feel it’s never a good idea to eat too much of any one thing. A diet with a variety of healthy foods should be the goal. If you have a sensitive stomach, stick to fresh spinach (at least in the beginning), as it’s a bit easier to digest. Luckily, this smoothie is equally delicious with either spinach or kale– and you can switch up the lime juice with lemon, if you prefer. Note: Since posting this smoothie, my husband and I have started adding grapes to the mix for added natural sweetness. It’s delish, so I’m adding grapes to the recipe!

Just look at all of the green goodness you’re getting in one drink! It’ll make you feel like a million bucks. Honest! Have you ever made a green smoothie before? What’s your favorite combination?

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The Greenie - Green Smoothie

The Greenie

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 organic ripe green apple cut into chunks, core discarded
  • 1 organic ripe green pear cut into chunks, core discarded
  • 2 cups organic roughly chopped fresh kale or spinach
  • 1/2 cup organic roughly chopped fresh mint
  • 20 chilled green or moscato grapes
  • 12 ice cubes
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp stevia or 1 tbsp agave nectar, or more to taste (we use 1 packet of Truvia)
  • 1 lime juiced, or more to taste

You will also need

  • A blender (powerful blender like a Vitamix is best, but any countertop blender will do)
Total Time: 10 Minutes
Servings: 2-3 servings
Kosher Key: Pareve, Kosher for Passover
  • Pour 1 ½ cups cold water into the blender. Add one small handful of the apple and pear chunks. Blend till the mixture is thoroughly liquid. Continue adding the apple and pear chunks in small handfuls, blending each handful one at a time, till all of the fruit chunks are blended in.
  • Add the greens and mint, one handful at a time, and blend in batches till all of the greens have been blended in. Add the grapes, ice cubes, cinnamon, agave or stevia and lime juice. Blend till the ice cubes are thoroughly crushed and the mixture is smooth. I blend it for at least 1 minute to make sure all of the greens are totally pulverized.
  • Serve. Though it’s enough for 3 medium servings, my husband and I divide this recipe between 2 large mugs. There is always a little left over after we fill our glasses, which we usually polish off between the two of us. This recipe is the best health tonic ever. Each time we drink it we feel refreshed, energized and ready to take on the day.
  • Note: Make sure you follow the steps in the order suggested. If you simply cram all the ingredients into the blender at once, they won't blend properly.

Comments (56)Post a Comment

  1. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Beautiful! I think my iPad actually smells fresher just browsing this recipe! Since you asked, my favorite combo is cucumber, kale, fennel (bulb or fronds or both), ginger, mint, pear. With or without half a lime. I like it through the juicer and then with a dash of seltzer over ice, or in the blender with ice. Yummy!

    1. Sounds refreshing Sara! :) I like juicing too, though I think I prefer the smoothie because you get all the good fiber and nutrition from the whole fruit. Juicing is nice during the summer, though, when it’s super hot out and you don’t feel like a thicker drink.

  2. My dad has cancer and I make a daily version of this drink. Its a real super nutritionally powerful mix of alkalines we should all embrace. I add celery and cucumber. Also I peel all the veg before juicing to eliminate harmful pesticides that will contaminate all that goodness. Hope some readers pick up on this tip

    1. Hi Sam, so sorry to hear about your dad. It really is an incredible drink. Yes, I mentioned the pesticide thing in the post, which is why I recommend buying organics if your budget allows. The peels of the fruits contain fiber and nutrients, so ultimately buying organic and cleaning really well is the best option. However, if organic isn’t in your budget, peeling is a must!

  3. I am the only one in my house who likes green smoothies, so I have had good luck making them for myself with my stick blender. You just have to make sure the container you’re using is wide enough, and move the blender around to get all the pieces. I like frozen fruit instead of ice cubes.

  4. When I’m in a juicing phase I have a “go to” recipe for my vegetable juicer: (1) 2 or 3 carrots, (2) 1 or 2 stalks of celery, (3) something green (usually a handful of spinach), (4) some flavor (either a piece of ginger or a slice of lemon), and (5) something round (i.e., apple/pear/orange). I love the idea of adding mint or cinnamon!!!! I’m going to try your recipe in my Vitamix – I have learned when making a smoothie to always put liquid into the container first, then add the softer/easier items before the harder/heavier items (so the ice cubes would be added last and push the other ingredients down into the blades). I’ve also learned when operating my model to start on “Variable Level-1” and to slowly increase the speed to “Variable Level-10” and then when everything is incorporated I up the speed to “High” and continue blending for another 30 – 60 seconds (depending on the recipe). Wanna know why all this stuff is on my mind??? Because on the 5th day of Passover I was so unpleasantly stuffed with holiday desserts that I decided to go on a juice fast for the remainder of the holiday. Footnote for those keeping Kosher: generally, it is believed that a blender can not (or not easily) be Kashered for Passover. Enjoy!!!!

    1. Ha! I hear you Robin. I am on a serious cleansing diet right now. This smoothie is just the thing I need to bring my body back into balance. I usually use the frozen drinks setting on my Vitamix, I’ll have to try the variable settings next time. I do agree that starting with the more liquid ingredients first is the way to go… and add slowly in small handfuls!

  5. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    I have yet to make a green smoothie, and I honestly don’t know what’s taking me so long to get to it. This version looks like a great excuse to start some serious smoothie-making.

  6. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    My son has been drinking this daily for months. He is healthy, and incredibly handsome and smart. (His wife would agree).
    He got me to try this. He offered me a glass, but I turned that down for a teaspoon and I told him I would only taste it while standing at the sink (in case I gagged or something gross).
    Surprise! It was lovely. Delicious and refreshing. He uses banana, blueberries, strawberries as well, the mint – and other stuff.

    1. I have a couple of friends who turned their noses up at first glance, but now they’re officially green smoothie converts. If you can get past the color, I find it quite tasty. We sometimes add berries too, although then it doesn’t look green… more like an unappealing brown mish-mosh. Tasty though!

  7. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I have purchased kale so many times but wound up throwing it out because the bitterness didn’t agree with me. (I tried various ways, including kale chips). Your greenie drink was a breakthrough! I love it, so refreshing and tasty. The mint and cinnamon give it a delightful and slightly exotic essence.

    1. Yay Naomi! I’m thrilled you like it. Yesterday we added some fresh grapes to the mix which gave it an extra boost of natural sweetness, I think I’ll add it to the recipe as an option. You might want to try it next time!

  8. Green smoothies are a daily in our house. The only way I can get my 2 and 4-yr old girls to get raw leafy greens in (understandable). My go-to combo is: 1/2 bunch of kale, 1 stalk celery, 1 apple, 1 pear, 1 orange, 1 banana. I also add 3 T of chia seeds. I blend this with water & ice cubes in my vitamix, and it’s fabulous. If I have lemon on hand, I squeeze 1/2 a fresh lemon in. It does make a difference. I also get all
    Of this organic (at whole foods, trader joes, & Costco). Tori, I’m exited to try your specific recipe here!

  9. Have you tried this in a juicer? I just purchased on and I am eager to juice lots of different combinations. We were recently in Cancun and had a “green juice” daily!

  10. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    another fruit that changes completely upon chopping: cranberries. i freeze them at thanksgiving to have all year long. you could throw a few into this for color, taste and antioxidants.

  11. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    My friend, Paige, adds blueberries, a few pineapple chunks for sweetness but not too much sugar and turmeric for its health benefits as well. She always adds the cinnamon. It IS literally health in a glass and so delicious and filling!

  12. I have a Vitamix and will be shopping for the ingredients. I use organic when I can get it, because when I finish removing the skin (all the nutrition) it just is not worth it.

    1. There are many websites devoted to smoothies—Two of the very best I have and…….FULL of valuable info–comprehensive,easy and DELISH!…….Cheers!

  13. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE! I have just started green”smoothing” over the last month and I have never felt better…so here are a few ideas—-I keep frozen Apple juice concentrate in the freezer and add a spoonful or two to the mix–Also I core a fresh pineapple,freeze the chunks and use them as my first “fruit layer”—Also freeze sliced banana and include that if you like–I start with 4-6 oz filtered water–to that I add a combination of spinach and Kale–sometimes include celery or cucumber–add lemon AND ginger and then add the fruit of your choice–I have frozen melons,berries, grapes and kiwi and I always add the fruit frozen—–my freezer now looks like a frozen produce market! You can adjust the viscosity of this phenomenal potion by the amount of liquid added…….Experiment,have fun and L”Chaim TO LIFE and TO YOUR HEALTH!

  14. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Beautiful recipe, and I love the name, “The Greenie”. Mint is one of my favorite smoothie ingredients. I harvested 3 varieties of mint last summer while foraging and dried out most of it for my smoothies in the winter. If you haven’t, give dried mint a try, it’s yummy too :)

  15. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    This looks very healthy! Kale is definitely one of the most healthy foods to eat. It’s a great idea to add it to a smoothie – that probably makes it taste even better!

  16. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    I like to make a green smoothie using citrus (peeled orange, lemon juice and or lime juice), fresh pineapple slices, and spinach in my vitamix. I use orange juice a instead of water and do not need to add extra sweetener. Sometimes I use frozen fruit instead of ice cubes. The pineapple and citrus blend is wonderful; I am going to add cinnamon next time!

  17. HI Tori,

    I don’t make green smoothies for my family and friends very often but I’m planning on making them one of my “goto” dishes when the kitchen is hot during the dog days of summer, without AC, up here on the coast of Maine. I do a lot of “nutritiarian” cooking for a healthy diet to control my blood pressure and colesterol without meds. Have your tried other green leafy veggies like organic chard and collard greens in the basic recipe yet. I bet that’ll be just fine and we won’t OD on kale and spinach 😉

  18. I am dying to try this greenie. Three questions –

    if I make the whole recipe (as above), can I save half for later in the day?

    I have a Vitamix 750 – can I put all ingredients, in the order given above, in at once since it is so powerful, or do I have to divide them as listed in the recipe?

    do the grapes HAVE to be cold and if so, how long in the fridge?

    1. Hi Nina! Yes, you can store the unused smoothie in the fridge, but you will want to stir/reblend it before drinking, as it will separate a bit. I have a Vitamix too, and I do not recommend putting everything in at once… it’s a powerful blender, but even the Vitamix can get stuck with so many different ingredients in the mix. Grapes don’t HAVE to be cold, no…sometimes I add them at room temp. :) Enjoy!!

    2. Hi Nina,

      I’ve been splitting this into two bottles and taking one in to work each day. I find a quick shake is enough to recombine the mixture, and I’ll sometimes add a little extra water if it’s thickened up in the mean time.

  19. Thanks a lot for sharing one of the best ways to make green smoothie! I use coconut water as my base and it tastes good and kids are beginning to love it.

  20. Thanks Sarah, I jumped the gun – the mint smell made me do it… and made the greenie just before I received your reply.

    I cut up the apple and the pear in chunks and added them all at once, in the order given. We did have to use the tamper, but not for long .. the Vitamix gobbled up everything after a few ‘tamps’.

    I got my husband to ‘reluctantly’ agree to try some … He was on his second glass before I had finished my first!!

    :-( Unfortunately it did exactly what I had hoped it wouldn’t.. I have Diabetics 2 and I avoid a lot of fruit at one time… I had 2 glasses and my blood sugar jumped 110 points in about an hour and a quarter. Not good, but worth it. I’ll try much less when I make it for my now hooked hubby.

    Do you have any suggestions for one made with less carbs?????

    1. Hi Nina, actually my name is Tori– the commenter above is a reader. :) Yes, you can cut the natural fruit sugar significantly by cutting out the pear and the grapes. We often make it with only the green apple, and it tastes great, plus it cuts the sugar by almost 2/3.

  21. Sorry about the name mistake Tori. Do you use all of the other ingredients, only omitting the pear and the grapes? Can you a red apple instead of the green if up want?

    Any suggestions for making it thicker?

    I am so surprised that we both really LOVED it…. thanks again.

    1. No worries! To thicken, try using a little less water. It should be pretty thick on its own, though. A red apple will work fine, but I think the green apple has slightly less natural sugar (I could be wrong about that though– I’m not a nutritionist). So happy you love it! I’m going to convert the whole world to the Greenie, one drink at a time!! 😉

  22. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    What a fanstastic recipe! I’ve been adding chia seeds (which fills it out and they’re great for you) and I’m completely addicted!

  23. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Wow! This look so delicious, I’ve been trying different “green smoothie” recipies for the past few months.

    Nothing has looked this good though :)

  24. I will try this out on my teenage boys tomorrow for breakfast :) Grapes freeze beautifully, which I discovered years go on this nutty diet where you would eat only fruit, and only one type of fruit at that, a day. I was in college, and loved the grape days as my girlfriends and I rationalized that frozen grapes in sauvignon blanc made a fine dinner.

  25. Just wanted to see if this greenie juice was all that and more. Wow, was I surprised, I made it and gave some to my grown son and we both loved it. Thank you it was awesome, this is a keeper in my recipe book.

  26. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Wow, had this today, very, very good. I forgot to add the cinnamon and still tasty. Next time I may try without the stevia. Thanks!!!!

  27. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Wonderful taste–specifically the cinnamon but one question. It seemed very gritty. Is that what it should be like? I thought maybe it was the mint or the cinnamon making a gritty.

    1. Hi Susan– it is likely the kale that is making it taste gritty. You need a great blender to really pulverize those big stalks of kale. You can try blending it longer, or next time try using baby kale, which is more tender and easy to blend. Glad you liked the flavor!

  28. Hello, I am a Breast Cancer Survivor as of April of 2015 and I have been juicing since my chemotherapy, but now my question is how much is too much? I am drinking one cup a day, but want to boost it up to two a day, is that too much? And I am eating healthy..

    1. Hi Dora, I would love to help you but that is probably a question best answered by your doctor or a nutritionist. I would think two per day is probably fine, however you should definitely double check with your doctor to be sure!

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