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How to Make Green Smoothies: A Photo Tutorial

01/12/2011

First things first, let me explain what a green smoothie is and why you (and your family!) might want to try this. A green smoothie is a smoothie (hence the name), but it has spinach in it.  It sounds gross initially, but amazingly, the spinach does not affect the taste. So, it adds all kinds of good green veggies and it still tastes good! I will tell you that in my war to get my family and myself to consume more green vegetables, this is my big secret weapon. My children slurp these up and then ask for seconds (and sometimes thirds), completely oblivious to the fact that it is super healthy for them and contains green vegetables. In fact, I was out of spinach the other day, so I fixed them a smoothie without it in there, and they didn’t know what it was. Poor kids think smoothies are supposed to be green. :)

How to Make a Green Smoothie

Here are the ingredients and kitchen gadgets you will need: blender, frozen fruit, spinach, yogurt, banana (if desired), and either milk or coconut milk.

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Here are a few things I like to add in to boost the nutrition. These are completely optional. I will usually only add either wheat germ OR ground flax seed, not both, so the overall texture of the smoothie won’t be affected. The other items pictured are a Green Magma sample I got for free and some Tummy Tune Up. I don’t add these all the time, but I’ll add the Green Magma if we haven’t been eating many veggies or the Tummy Tune Up if one of us has been having any tummy trouble.  You get the idea. :)

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Now, put your yogurt in the blender. I am guessing that I use 13-14 oz of yogurt, which’ll make enough smoothie to feed all four of us. This is my plain homemade yogurt. (You can find the tutorial for how to make your own yogurt here.) You can use store bought plain if you’d like. I would recommend plain, though, because the added sugar from other types of yogurt really isn’t necessary in this recipe.

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Next, add your spinach. I usually fill up my blender the rest of the way with the spinach. I’ve experimented quite a bit over the last two years we’ve been making these and you have to add a LOT of spinach before the flavor is affected. So, add a little bit more than  you think you should.

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Now, blend these together on high. You may have to use a spoon to put the leaves down a bit. If you do, BE CAREFUL!! By blending the yogurt and spinach leave together at this point, you make sure all the leaves get blended up so there aren’t any noticeable leaves in your smoothie. Here is how it will look.

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Now, if you want to add in any of your healthy add ins, now is the time to do it. Add them in and then blend again to mix them all in. Today, I just added in some Green Magma.

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Next, you start adding in your fruit. I like to throw in a banana. (It can either be frozen or not. It doesn’t matter.)

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Then I add the frozen fruit. I usually fill up the rest of the blender with the frozen fruit. I wish I could tell you exactly how much fruit I use, but I can’t. Its not an exact science. Just play around with it until you get it right. :)

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I went ahead and added some coconut milk so the smoothie wouldn’t be too thick. You could add just normal milk too. I don’t always add this, either, but its pretty hard to blend up if you don’t.

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Now, BLEND! You’ll want to blend this on the highest setting. (Unless you have a Vitamix, and then I’m jealous of you. Just kidding. Kind of.)

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I want to mention that sometimes I have to kind of “help” my blender by stirring some of the top portion of the smoothie so it all gets mixed up well enough. If you’ll notice in the picture below the top part is greener than the bottom because my little blender isn’t quite powerful enough to get all of it. I just use a spoon to help it stir in. However, do this at your own risk and be very careful.

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Can you see the line between the green part at the top and the paler green part at the bottom?

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Stirring the top part. BE CAREFUL!!!

You are done! It’ll be pretty thick.

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Here is the finished product, in a nice glass, next to a flower I made. I must be feeling fancy today.

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For my two year old, I will thin it out even more with a little bit of milk. (There was an unfortunate incident where he tried to pick it up and drink it and it all plopped on his face when I forgot to thin it out for him. There was much crying from him and much laughing from me. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take a picture.)

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Here is it with the milk. As you can see, it doesn’t affect how it looks much.

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And here are my happy kids gulping this down. (Please note, that is not my normal table cloth. We had been doing crafts and this is an old vinyl tablecloth to protect my table.)

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And, as an added bonus, here is a picture of my daughter a couple years ago enjoying a green smoothie.

lily with smoothie

As always, feel free to ask any questions you have in the comments! I hope you’ll enjoy these as much as I have!

 

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20 Comments
  1. 01/12/2011 3:37 pm

    Kate! I love it! :) I personally love making smoothies & am looking for ways to be healthier myself. Your blogs are a.) funny & insightful(but of course, I’ve always found you to be awesome & funny) b.) super informative! You research so that I don’t have to…haha Again, love it. I’m going to have to go back and do a lot of reading, because I found the one below on hand soap and making your own condensed soups really interesting.

    • Kate permalink*
      01/12/2011 3:46 pm

      Hi Loni! I’m glad you are enjoying my blog. I am really enjoying writing it! Thanks for the compliments. :) Wish we lived closer so we could hang out.

  2. grace permalink
    01/12/2011 4:02 pm

    LOVE your ‘new look’ for your blog…and what a wonderful description with each step of making the green smoothies… will be trying this soon with my (dare i say this…) vitamix blender! :) for those with diverticulitis, the vitamix is a blessing! keep on blogging kate! love the links to fb too!

    • Kate permalink*
      01/12/2011 5:02 pm

      Trying not to be jealous…. :) A Vitamix is on my list of things to save up for someday.

  3. Nana Phyllis permalink
    01/12/2011 4:39 pm

    I make lots of smoothies, too!! I use Amazing Grass in mine to boost nutrition. Also use soy protein powder, when I feel like it. Sometimes eat it for breakfast in a bowl with granola sprinkled on top.

    • Kate permalink*
      01/12/2011 5:28 pm

      Fantastic Phyllis–You are a woman after my own heart. :)

  4. Carly permalink
    01/12/2011 5:17 pm

    Kate, I love making a smoothie with a bunch parsley, a little fresh ginger and blueberries – maybe add a banana and water to thin. Om nom.

    • Kate permalink*
      01/12/2011 5:30 pm

      Carly, Sounds good! I’m wondering if my kids would drink it, though. Their palate isn’t very refined, to say the least. :) I’m going to try to grow parsley this summer, so I’ll have to try it! Thanks for the idea!

  5. 01/12/2011 9:53 pm

    I especially like the fact that there was a bonus photo of the L girl as a I remember her most fondly. But the best part is that your kids think that smoothies are supposed to be green! I’m really hoping I can start my kids so young they will think the same thing! Love the new blog and format. And you’ve been so consistent thus far. Incredibly impressive! Keep it up!

  6. 01/13/2011 8:43 am

    That last picture looked more like a brown smoothie…? Did you add choc milk?

    • Kate permalink*
      01/13/2011 8:46 am

      Nope. It was a different kind of fruit– they were all red berries as opposed to the fruit I buy now which is lighter colored.

  7. Shannon Morton permalink
    01/13/2011 5:59 pm

    Kate, I really dig a step-by-step picture tutorial. I think it’s absolutely crucial to my understanding of the process. (Reminds me of The Pioneer Woman!)

    Thank you for doing this. You made it look so easy, and I’m excited about trying it. Bookmarking even now!!

    • Kate permalink*
      01/13/2011 9:30 pm

      Shannon, Glad it is helpful to you! I’m also glad you were still able to glean some information even though my photography skillz are so bad. I’ve seen your photos and you are very talented. :) Thanks for the comment and the compliment!

  8. Tiffany permalink
    01/14/2011 11:02 am

    I will have to try this sometime. I want to institute a smoothy night at our house and this would be way healthier than our sugary smoothies we normally make. My concern is more with my husband than my son. Maybe I will wait until after he tries it before I tell him what is in it. =)

    Also, I may have told you this before but strawsome.com makes glass straws that can be washed and reused. They even have a smoothy straw and you can get them in different colors and designs.

  9. 01/15/2011 1:55 am

    LOVE the header, Kate! Well done! And I’m very happy to have your green smoothie tutorial in pics. :-) Thanks!

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