Green Smoothie Madness

Recently, I’ve been obsessing over something over than cupcakes: Green smoothies.  Now, I’d have to say, I wasn’t a believer of this crazy concoction at first.  But, being introduced to the health benefits of clean eating over the summer, I decided to give this drink a try.

If you’re not a fan of of spinach, don’t worry.  This smoothie is so delicious you wont taste any of the mighty greens at all!  This is packed with antioxidants, protein, calcium, and tons of fiber.  I’m absolutely addicted because I’m getting all the nutrients from a salad in a yummy smoothie.  I mean, really, who likes eating salad all day?  Not me.  But a smoothie?  Heck yes.

Green smoothies are made to be customizable.  For a sweeter and much more refreshing approach, try adding pineapple and mango to spinach and kale.  But today, I’d like a thicker and richer drink to add to my afternoon snack.

You may have heard of the green smothie’s sister:  Green juice.  To make green juice with a blender, just run your mix through a fine mesh sieve to extract the liquids.  You can even use a Vitamix, or a juice machine.  But, I like getting the mixed vegetables in my smoothie for some added texture.  Of course, you’re the boss of your smoothie/juice, so do whatever you’d like.

I’m just using a Cuisinart Blender in this tutorial because really, it’s the only one I have available on me right now.

Ingredients:

  • 5 Cups of SpinachDSC_0563

Here, I’m using just organic baby spinach from Sprouts.

  • 3 Green ApplesDSC_0568

Make sure to wash your apples before you use them!  You can use any type of apple that you would like, but I’m keeping with the green theme for my smoothie here.

  • 1 AvocadoDSC_0574

Not just one avocado, use THE avocado 🙂

  • 2 BananasDSC_0566

If you like your smoothie to be more on the sour side, use greener apples.  But, I like my bananas to be ripe, so I’m using yellow bananas with just a touch of brown spots.

  • 4 Cups of Almond Milk

DSC_0601

I prefer my Almond milk to be sweetened, rather than unsweetened.  I feel like the sweetened almond milk has a lot more flavor than unsweetened.  Unsweetened almond milk tastes like regular milk.  Almond milk has a plethora of benefits, like significantly less calories than regular milk, 50% more calcium, no trans-fat,  or saturated fat.   Plus, it has a nutty flavor of toasted almonds.  (Delicious!)

Directions

1.  Wash your spinach and place it at the bottom of the blender.  Now, if you’re not using a particularly powerful blender (like mine), this is crucial.  You want your spinach to be blended first, before everything out to get the smoothest smoothie possible!  Then, place your peeled bananas on top.

DSC_0577

2.  Cut your apples.  You can cut your apples any way that you would like.   I prefer to cut mine in smaller bits just so it’s easier for my blender to handle.  Make sure you remove the seeds!  And also, peeling them is not necessary.

DSC_0581DSC_0585

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Stack the apples on top of the banana.  Now, this step is optional, but you may want to press all of your ingredients down with a spoon (or with your hands) for some extra room for the milk and avocado.
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3.   Cut your avocados.  I didn’t get too many pictures of this because my hands were simply too dirty to handle my camera.   But if you’re unaware of how to cut an avocado, I’ll try to write is as visually descriptive as I can so you guys don’t cut off your fingers.  Start by placing your knife lengthwise on the avocado.  Cut along the seed to break the fruit in half.  The avocado should look like this when you’re done.

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Remove the seed simply by pulling it out of the crater.  You can throw it away, or, you can plant it in your backyard for an avocado tree!  To remove the fruit from the peel, just take a spoon and scoop the avocado out.  If you like your avocado slices to look like a decorative garnish on a tostada bowl in a Mexican restaurant, then take your knife and make about 3-4 slices on the fruit lengthwise.  Then, peel off the avocado peel to remove it from the fruit.  Your slices should still be stuck together.  To separate your slices, go through them one more time with a knife, and it should result in pretty avocado pieces!  Add your avocado on top of the apple.

4.  Pour your milk to moisten the mixture.  I’m always afraid that the machine will overwork itself if there is no liquid in any smoothie that I make.  It’s like the trash disposal in your sink.  I always spray a little water down the drain before I turn the trash disposal on.  Now, my sister is just terrible at pouring milk, so a mess did occur after this picture was taken.  I forgot to squish my ingredients down, so I placed a lid on my blender and removed the cap.
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5.  Completely secure and tighten your lid and cap on your blender.  You do not want any accidents to occur, trust me.  I remember, I was watching Cut Throat Kitchen on Food Network an a contestant blended her sauce without the lid.  Hot spaghetti sauce got all over her face and she dropped the blender into the trashcan in surprise.

I wanted to get a shot of the blender before everything is mixed up into a jungle of health and tastiness.  DSC_0614

6.  After making sure that everything, I mean everything, is fitted on safely and fully, turn on your blender and let it rip!  I hold onto the lid of my blender in precaution.  But today, I decided to take a risk and snap a few photos without holding onto the lid.  Surprisingly, nothing spilled/squirted out!    I turned on my blender at a low speed at first.  About a minute in, a stopped it, removed the cap, and gave everything a swirl with a long spoon.  Then, I proceeded to turn it onto high!  The higher the power of the blender, the less likely you are to get bits of spinach and apple peels at the end that are unblended.  DSC_0617 DSC_0619

7.  When all the dark green flecks of spinach, or any other vegetable that you’re using has disappeared into your wicked concoction, your smoothie is finished!  (Basically, if it looks like everything is blended, you’re done!)  The smoothie should have a consistent look to it, with no random pieces of vegetables or anything.  This smoothie is made to be thick, so if you’re going to place it through a sieve, good luck my friends.  If you’d like a thinner consistency, just pour more milk and stir it in.
DSC_06228.  Finally, pour your smoothie into a pretty (or plain) pitcher and you’re done!  I found that this smoothie can keep well up to 4 days in the refrigerator.  After the first day, if you find some brown bits floating to the top, don’t panic.  It’s just the ripe banana displaying it’s action on top.  Simply stir the smoothie to get the consistency and color back to normal.

This delicious drink is perfect for a snack, or even a nutritious breakfast!  It is best served cold, and not only is it so beneficial and healthy, it’s so delicious.  I’m ecstatic about the fact that I can get all the nutrients and benefits of a boring salad in a fun and portable smoothie!

There are hundreds of variations that can be found online.  For me, this is my go-to recipe.  If I have any kale available, I’ll be sure to throw a huge amount of that in.  (Kale is so bitter)  The fruit and the milk mask that pungent and medicine-like taste of the kale.  During the summer, I like to add fresh pineapple, mango, and cucumber to my smoothie.  You can add any fruit that you’d like.  Just to be careful though, adding any red fruit will turn your smoothie into an ugly brown color.  Why?  Because red + green = brown.  Fun fact:  To make the perfect brown colored frosting, if you need it to pipe on a dog, or a face, just mix together equal parts of red and green into white.  Although I’m sure adding strawberries will make the smoothie even more delicious, I’m afraid the color will be a bit un-appetizing.DSC_0643

A fresh and delightful green smoothie Photo by Kristie Hoang
I thought using the spinach leaves as “mint leaves” to garnish the cup added a cute effect

Have fun, and good luck baking everyone!

-Kristie

PS:  Did anyone notice anything different about the pictures?  Feel free to guess in the comments below!

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2 thoughts on “Green Smoothie Madness”

    1. Nope! That actually wasn’t intentional, it was just a different angle. Try comparing the pictures of today’s post with my others posts. Nice try though.

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