We love Green Smoothies! Easy to make and extremely delicious. Great for any digestive issues as well as being a great aid in weight loss.
What's a Green Smoothie? Fresh fruit like bananas and blueberries, juice, and a handful of leafy greens liquified in the blender. Doesn't get any easier than this!
Excellent book on the subject: Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko published in 2005. Victoria's book has lots of yummy recipes.
Book description on Amazon:
"In search of the perfect human diet, Victoria Boutenko compares the standard American diet with the diet of wild chimpanzees. Chimpanzees share an estimated 99.4% of genes with humans, but their diet is dramatically different from ours. The most glaring difference is that chimpanzees consume significantly more green leaves than humans. Victoria developed a series of greens smoothies that enable anyone to consume the necessary amount of greens in a very palatable way."
[YEA] 04/05/2011: Carol from Boston, Ma: "I would like to comment on blenders I purchased a waring commercial blender from webstaurant much more affordable than the vitamix which I think is overrated when purchasing a blender the main concern should be HP so you will get all the health benefits from your greens you want one that has over 3hp the waring has a heavy duty 3.5hp I purchased MX1000XT I am very happy with it and cannot beat the price less than 300. Dollars and is made very well, I do not work or have any investment in any of these products this is my opinion only."
[SIDE EFFECTS] 03/26/2013: Captain Red from Green Acres: "I have been working on a natural protocol to overcome my autoimmune condition. Things were not really changing and then I started Green smoothies (vegetables in a vitamix) and I then developed an immune reaction to contact lenses. Could this be an autoimmune flare or a healing crisis. Has been going now for 6 weeks."
[YEA] 04/22/2010: Tamara from Fort Collins, Colorado: "I just wanted to sing the praises of green juices and smoothies. Awhile back, when Lisa was posting about the mini beet protocol and then switched over to greens in general, I too got into the "green revolution". Then, in December, I got a fantastic new top-of-the-line blender, which I highly recommend (but I'm sure many out there will do), and started blending greens with fury, thanks in part to Lisa's fantastic and encouraging posts. At first I saw many great benefits; I lost weight, minor skin conditions cleared up, my immune system soared (the biggest for me), and I started craving greens! But then winter really came into force here in Colorado and I just didn't want to do it anymore. I think I remember Deidre posting about this as well, that greens just weren't as appetizing in the winter as in the spring/summer.
But guess what? The sun is shining and the birds are telling me its spring, and I'm doing those greens again. I love the mix-and-match-ability of all the fruits and veg, but sometimes I like to keep it simple. Some of the easiest I've found are: 1 mango and 1-2 cups kale, or 1 mango and romaine lettuce, or 1 mango and collards... you get the idea (add a cup of filtered water to each). Instead of using the same veg each time, I think it is common sense to switch up your greens daily or every couple of days. Each plant has different nutrients and different ratios and different patterns of absorbability, as well as anti-nutrients that you want to cycle through. I also love, love, love the simple mix of watermelon and the greens du jour. Other days I add cilantro (boy do I love cilantro for everything) or parsley for the detoxification of metals, or tomatoes, or whatever I've got in my fridge like celery or carrots or broccoli or avocado... whatever. I can make the smoothie creamier by adding banana or avocado, colder by adding frozen berries or ice, sweeter by adding more fruit (I don't like adding juices- too much sugar), sourer by adding lime or lemon juice (I love limes), or change it up further by adding cinnamon or flaxseeds or coconut milk (which I also make with my blender from scratch), etc. and etc. There are tons of possibilities. I use some recipes from my blender's recipe book, others from online by searching for smoothie recipes (easy-yummy-smoothies.com is a great one), Victoria Boutenko's books and website, and most I just make up as I go. I started with the 60/40 ratio of fruits to greens to get used to the taste of the greens, but have found that my taste buds have adapted to the 60/40 ratio of greens to fruit or sometimes even more greens than that.
I highly recommend the blending of greens because of the fiber and other nutrients that remain in the smoothie rather than being thrown out with the pulp that a juicer spits out. The fibers helps to keep your blood sugar from skyrocketing, keeps your insides clean, keeps your appetite sated, as well as keeping the smoothie with all of its enzymes and antioxidants as fresh as possible for longer than fresh juice. At the same time, fresh juice from a juicer is very beneficial, especially for detoxing and quicker integration of nutrients into the body (the fiber obviously slows that down). But I prefer blending the greens to get the most out of them.
Green leafy veg are the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet but have the toughest "packaging" (the cellulose, or cell walls) to get through in order to get to those vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibers, flavonoids, polyphenols, anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties, and omega-3s. Yes, greens have omega-3 fats, those wonderful fats we're all suppose to increase in our diets. Blending is hands-down the easiest way of getting all of those nutrients into your body, in my opinion, especially if you have a good blender. It breaks up that cellulose just as if you had sat there and chewed that bite of spinach or kale for hours. I couldn't agree more with Lisa when she says that greens have changed her life around, and for me, blending green smoothies makes it easier than ever to include those raw, green, leafy, vitamin-bombs in an appetizing and enticing way."
04/22/2010: Noelle from Minneapolis, Mn Usa replies: "Tamara, what blender did you get? I've been looking for a good juicer, but if there's a blender that makes good green smoothies I'd like to try it. If you aren't allowed to tell me the brand, could you tell me where you got it, or where to look? Thanx! -- Noelle"
04/23/2010: Lee from New York, New York replies: "Hi Tamara, I've been juicing for a while, and wanting to purchase a blender for green smoothies. Can you let us know which blender you use? It sounds wonderful and there's nothing like a recommendation from a satisfied owner. Thanks for your very enthusiastic post. I have also been inspired by Lisa.
EC: We're going to guess it's a vitamix blender.
04/23/2010: Lisa from Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa replies: "Personally, I'm thinking it's either the Vitamix or Blendtec which are both heavy-duty, amazing blenders! We use the vitamix and love it but I have heard great things about the blendtec as well. You might want to do a comparison on the internet.
Also, keep an eye out at your Costco- I'm assuming you have one considering where you're writing from- because they are often running some pretty amazing specials there on both of these. Another suggestion I have for those of you who want a vitamix but the cost on the new ones are too high is that you consider one of the older models which you can find brand new on ebay for a lot less than the newest models. The vitamix company is known for its quality and power and that really has not changed for many years so the old models are really just as powerful and good.
Just a suggestion, Lisa"
04/23/2010: Anita from Georgetown, Il replies: "I use a VitaMix because it truly liquifies hard vegetables and I love it!
My husband has a feeding tube and his doctor originally prescribed some canned nutrition that was soy based and full of sugar & water. When I started mixing organic veggies (mostly dark green) and organic fruits in my blender and putting the juice into his feeding tube I saw a noticeable difference in his health! His skin is clear, his urine is at a balanced pH, his bowels move regularly, no more colds, flu, etc.
I would highly recommend everyone try the raw food diet as much as you can - I only wish I had tried it sooner!"
04/23/2010: Lisa from Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa replies: "Hi Tamara and Lee,
I'm so happy you have discovered this amazing world of greens! I am loving it and crave green juices. I had tried green smoothies because of Victoria Boutenko and a lot of the raw people touting how great they are but, in the beginning, my system really had a hard time dealing with them. It has now been 6 months since I have changed my lifestyle through diet so perhaps, my system is strong enough now. I am going to try them this upcoming week and see how I do.
I too found that when it started getting cold here (LA cold- I know the rest of the country is laughing!) I could not just eat raw as we were doing. So, we would make delicious, simple soups to warm and nourish us in addition to our juicing. Now that it is spring I will return to raw soups which can be made in the high speed blender and because it is so powerful the soup actually gets heated. Try asparagus soup in it- it's so delicious. Also, fresh corn when it comes in.
Anyway, I'm glad I could inspire somebody! Here's to our health, Lisa"
04/23/2010: Robert from Martinez, Ca replies: "Regarding juicers:search the net for a independent comparitive evaluation of top selling juicers.The vitamix mentioned by EC will contain the fibers plus juice. Juice only machines should be evaluated according to the nutritional values contained after juicing. For example one juicer might render 50% of nutients after juicing with the balance being lost in the waste. The more efficient by high percent rating the more expensive, usually. Spending money on organic vegies & fruits only to throw away half the money in waste through inefficient juicing is money lost. I usually search out a bonifide nutrition site which also sells appliances & they have already done their homework searching out the best device, & then I will check the net for quality & price comparisons.Clean-up is a major item in juicing. I have found that many will end up storing their expensive juicer due to the cleaning hassle. I bought a nice, fairly new, expensive juicer at 1/10 the price from a flea market because the owner was tired of the clean up.Also consider the quality & power of the motor & availability of parts. I mostly use a food processor which is versatile & will make a salsa with the more nutritious greens such as kale, parsley, avocado, lemon or cider vinegar, real salt, tomatoes in season,garlic, lecithin to emulsify fat,olive oil, & season with turmeric & cayenne to taste, Turmeric is great for health & needs fat to absorb in our system. The cayenne will potentize turmeric's absorption by as much as 400%! I also add an apple,(I prefer green), to the above to balance the flavor.The 'recipe' is adaptable with other items so be artistic/creative to have fun! Do not overload on high sugar items like carrots & beets. Beets are great for gallbladder issues. A very pleasant juice is celery & green apples. Always remember digestibility when using fats such as olive oil or avacado by adding digestive aids such as lemon, cider vinegar and/or lecithin."
04/24/2010: Tamara from Fort Collins, Colorado replies: "Yes, you are right, its a vitamix. I just didn't want to violate the rules of EC by promoting it so, although I think it is the best out there. I saved for awhile to get it, but I don't want the price of the blender to be a barrier to entry into the world of raw green smoothies! Lisa's right, they do have refurbished models online and deals at costco that can help with the price, as well as amazing customer service and warranty. But I just want people to try green smoothies or green juices in whatever way they can! Good luck, all!"
04/24/2010: Francisca from Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France replies: "I wish my husband and I shared your love for green smoothies..... but we don't! We try once in a while but we really find them disgusting. Funny how the human body reacts differently..... I have tried quite a few different combinations but we barely manage to drink them. One warning..... we use a masticating juicer because as it turns quite slowly it keeps enzymes and vitamines alive and if you keep pushing the pulp through a few times you do get quite a bit of the fibers too. Those machines which warm up the juices or soups seem to kill most of the good stuff, at least that is what I have often read."
04/24/2010: Rob from Manhattan, Ny replies: "great info! thanks!"
04/24/2010: Lisa from Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa replies: "Hi Francisca, Actually, the vitamix and blendtec are both highly- prized items in the raw food world because of the fact that they do not destroy the vitamins and enzymes and yet they are so powerful they can blend almost anything! Of course, you only keep it on until the soup is warm, not hot. In addition, a dehydrator is often a part of a raw kitchen with one of these blenders. Nothing should be heated above 115 degrees to preserve the enzymes.
Take care, Lisa"
04/24/2010: Lisa from Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa replies: "Hi Tamara,
Well, today I tried a green smoothie! After what you wrote I thought I should give it another go. We kept it simple with some wild lettuce and sow thistle from our yard, romaine from our garden, spinach and two dates with some water. We didn't have any mangoes on hand which sounded good. Anyway, it was delicious! And I had no reaction as I did several months ago when I tried having them. No bloating whatsoever which is a real relief. I am so excited because now we can add those to our cache of healthy foods! Thanks for the prompting.
Take care, Lisa"
04/25/2010: Carolyn from Hobbs, Nm replies: "Boy, I certainly agree with Robert on using a Vitamix to make our green smoothies. I have a wonderful juicer which I rarely use but I use my Vitamix every single day. We need the fiber and the nutrients that are expelled in a juicer. Yes when you juice it goes directly into your system but you are also hungry in 30 minutes. When I make my green smoothie for breakfast every morning in my Vitamix, I don't get hungry until lunch or after. We need that fiber in our diets so why throw it out???
Thanks and God Bless,
04/25/2010: Carolyn from Hobbs, Nm replies: "Lisa, we would love to have some of your recipes that you make in your Vitamix. I would love the asparagas soup.
04/26/2010: Lisa from Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa replies: "Well, here's my Asparagus soup:
3 cups cashew milk (blend 1 c. soaked nuts w/3 c. water)
3-4 cups tender upper parts of asparagus spears
2 stalks celery
chopped chives or leeks
pinch of sea salt or to taste
Blend cashew milk, 3/4 of asparagus, celery and avocado until smooth.
Put remaining asparagus in bowls then pour liquid over and garnish with chives or leeks.
P.S. I'm one to play around with recipes which I encourage as we all have different tastes."
04/28/2010: Carolyn from Hobbs, Nm replies: "Lisa, is this asparagas soup supposed to be served cold or warmed?
04/28/2010: Lisa from Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa replies: "Hi Carolyn, I like it warm- just let it blend on the vitamix longer until it warms up. Now that the weather is warming though I will probably eat it room temp. I don't take anything cold on the recommendation from my Traditional Chinese Medicine dr. It is not good for the digestion. It puts out the stomach "fire" needed to help the food in the stomach. Hope you like it! Lisa"
[YEA] 05/30/2011: Azuresea from Singapore replies: "I got to agree that green juicing does help. 7mths ago, I had red spots breaking out over my body, a swollen thyroid, massive headaches, stinky feet, thinning skin and BO and general lethargy even if I had enough sleep. I rated my health at 1/10. I literally had to drag myself to work everyday.
I bought myself a cheap blender and began to blend vegetables with an apple or some other fruit every morning. Occassionally I add chorella powder which I bought from i***b. I also cut down on wheat and sugar as I was breaking out with red spots every time I had a wheat binge. At the same time, I also did OP with coconut oil & drunk tumeric honey for my swollen thyroid as it was obvious my immune system was severely compromised.
At first, I tried all sorts of vegetables- however now, I do avoid cruciferous veggies and pears as they seem to trigger a lot of gas in me. Within 2 mths of doing this, I was not getting sick so often. I tend to rotate basic vegetables with an apple, carrot or pineapple and some ginger on cold days. Cucumbers are especially refreshing, although a little diuretic so not recommended for those with IBS. I do enjoy a little citrus fruit like oranges now and then, but can't take it often as I rather not drink too much acidic drinks. I also managed to lose around 3kg during this 7 mth period without trying to.
One caveat is that if you are not buying organic, try to soak your vegetables & fruits in apple cider water for a while to remove some of the pesticides and dirt before juicing.
Blended smoothies are quite filling. Also I would recommend not adding any nuts oils sugar or milk so that your body can digest the raw nutrition from veggies fruits.
My immune system seems to have stablised around 5/10 in recent months but has not improved further as I have been taking a bit of wheat again. However, I no longer have BO, stinky feet, swollen thyroid or lethargy. I was thinking of doing green smoothies both for breakfast and dinner for a few mths to give my immune system a boost, as I still have lingering skin itching and red spots issues which could be candida or fungal issues.
I'll check back and let you know in a few mths how it goes..."
10/09/2012: Al from Alvena, Sk., Canada replies: "Azuresea, my wife was having problems with itchy red spots from eating wheat products. She got tested and we found out that she had Celiac disease. I was talking to an organic farmer here in Canada and he told me that the old varieties of wheat can not only be eaten by people with Celiac disease but that they can cure the problem. I bought a bag of "Red Fife" flour from him and we started using that exclusively. Six months later she had no symptoms of Celiac disease and can again eat bakery products containing the new varieties of wheat without any problem."
[YEA] 09/10/2009: Annie from New York, Ny, Usa: "Green Smoothies Helps To Tightened Gums, Alleviates Constipation & Improve Skin Complexion
Drinking 16 to 32oz of green smoothies nearly every day helped tightened my gums within a month. Previously, my teeth were feeling loose and supplementing my diet with the blended fruits and leafy greens improved their condition. The ingredients used in making the green smoothies are nothing special because they are components of a good diet. Instead, it is the combination of the two with the sweetness from the fruits helps temper the bitterness of the leafy greens, making it more easier to consume their important nutrients.
Green smoothies has also helped with digestion. It has alleviated my mom's constipation and increased bowel movements and made them bulkier.
In addition, it has made my brother's skin complexion noticeably clearer."
EC: Thanks for the reminder! We've been meaning to add a new page on Green Smoothies for weeks now and kept forgetting!
09/11/2009: Carolyn from Hobbs, Nm replies: "How do you make the green smoothies? Thanks, Carolyn"
09/11/2009: Annie from New York, Ny, Usa replies: "The typical guidelines for making green smoothies is a 60:40 percent ratio of fruits and vegetables with enough water added to suit your tastes.
Personally, I use 5 fruits and 3-4 cups of leafy greens with 4 cups of water making 8 cups of green smoothie. Typically, I use 3 bananas and 2 apples with a type of leafy green. Victoria Boutenko advises to rotate the greens used on a weekly basis to maximize and diversify nutrients.
When you are starting out, it is advisable to start out with milder greens such as spinach and use only a handful or two. It is important to destem the greens with large stalks such as collards, kale, etc so it would not be as fibrous. Bananas make the smoothie creamier. Some people may be averse to the green color of the smoothie, so dark colored fruits such as blueberries could be added to make it a purplish color. There are also creative names that green smoothies are called by to encourage children to drink it."
11/23/2012: She from Richmond, Virginia, United States: "The best smoothie ever is combining 2 cups raw baby spinach, 1 banana, 1 cup fresh pineapple, 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 tbslp flaxseed, 1cup frozen blueberries and a little water. Its great and healthy!!"
11/16/2009: Belladonna from Toronto, On: "My favorite smoothy
There are several posts regarding beet protocol, raw food, greens health benefits ...Maybe somebody will find my recipe useful :
Put in a blender:
*** 1 small beet cut into 1 inch pieces
*** 1 cup any greens
*** 1/2 cup frozen or fresh berries ( if you are using fresh berries add 2-3 ice cubes)
*** any sweet fruit ( I prefer banana)
*** cup of water
Blend all ingredients for 1 minute - Enjoy! You will surprised how tasteful the smoothy is."
11/18/2011: Gail from Branson, Missouri, Usa replies: "This has been a real winner, it's filling refreshing and most importantly it just tastes like banana even with the greens :) You CANNOT taste the "green" and is a great place to start for those who do not have a juicer
Put in this order in the blender:
1 cup of Almond or Coconut milk (I do not advise soy or cow milk)
1 peeled banana
1 spoon of almond butter or any nut butter besides peanut butter (you can skip if you don't have any)
a few cubes of ice
approx. 2 cups of baby or regular spinach (fill to the top)
blend and Enjoy!
(I often add in Chia seeds)
You can add in blueberries or any other fruit you like- you can also add in Chia Seeds, Flax seeds etc for your Omegas, Maca powder etc any health supplements / powders you may use. You can use kale or any other green."
[YEA] 09/11/2009: Deirdre from Earth Clinic: "We've been making green smoothies since June, after reading Victoria Boutenko's book. Below is not a recipe from her book, we simply had these ingredients on hand at the beginning and started using them. This drink is so delicious, my husband and I have been making it just about every day, changing the type of fruit from time to time depending on what's in season at the market. Buy Victoria's book (it's excellent) or search online for more green smoothie recipes. I am sure there are hundreds of them!
Sorry, not exact measurements. Add more or less depending on how many people you are planning to serve. Because frozen ingredients drop my body temperature too much, I like to use ingredients that are either room temperature or refrigerated.
Organic Mixed Greens (handful)
Orange or Grape Juice - 1/2 cup or more (any juice works as long as it does not contain corn syrup, sugar or artificial sweeteners... naturally sweetened is best)
1 Tablespoon of Organic Flax Seed Oil (optional)
Blend the greens and juice first, then add the fruit. Liquefy and enjoy! You can store any extra in the fridge for a day if necessary.
Warning: be careful with the amount of greens you add to your drink for the first few days. Too much fiber and you can get a stomach ache!
P.S. You can freeze fresh bananas, strawberries and blueberries if they get too ripe. Bananas do great in the freezer if peeled and then wrapped in aluminum foil.
P.P.S You can try adding water instead of juice, but the two times I added water (without juice), I ended up with a mild case of acid reflux. Weird!"
01/17/2011: Joyce from Lansdowne, Pa replies: "I use fresh orange or grapefruit juice for my smoothies. I would love to have a Blendtec or Vitamix blender but I find the Tribest personal blender to do a very good job. I have two 16-oz cups, which I use to blend smoothies for my husband and myself. I can drink The smoothies right out of these cups and cleanup is a breeze. So if one cannot afford one of the very expensive blenders, a Tribest or Oster Fusion are comparable to the expensive ones."