It’s day 30 of the April Green Smoothie Challenge. We made it! I’ll be posting a recap of the last week with an overview of the challenge later this week but for today’s post I wanted to give you my tips for making green smoothies that look pretty and taste great.
Some of the complaints/struggles I hear regularly about green smoothies include:
– My green smoothie is always brown.
– My green smoothie tastes like nothing.
– All I taste is the green.
– My green smoothie is chunky.
– My green smoothie is too thick.
I haven’t always been a smoothie lover for many of the reasons listed above. I have definitely made my share of brown, tasteless smoothies but through tons of trial and error I have smoothie making down to a science. You might remember that I even won a smoothie challenge when I visited ALDI.
Here are my tips for making amazing GREEN and DELICIOUS green smoothies!
1. Pick a theme and keep it simple. This is absolutely essential as step one. If you open the fridge/freezer and throw everything you have in the blender, chances are it’s going to either taste not great or like nothing. Think about what direction you want to go with your smoothie and choose ingredients based on that. For example, when I’m making a tropical green smoothie I’m going to use ingredients like banana, mango, pineapple and coconut milk. It would be weird to add things like blueberries and peanut butter. (Have you ever had a pina colada with peanut butter? That sounds gross.) On a related note, keep it simple. Some of the best smoothies I make have a short ingredient list. It’s just important that the flavors compliment each other.
2. Be cautious with adding berries to avoid the brown smoothie. Berries are the #1 cause of the brown smoothie. I really never use blackberries or raspberries in my smoothies (especially not blackberries because of the seeds) and I use strawberries sparingly. If I add them, it’s only 3-4 and I make sure to add lots of green to compensate for color. One exception here is blueberries, they make a pretty purple smoothie and I use them frequently, especially in my favorite PB&J smoothie.
3. Don’t add ice. I never add ice to my smoothies. I find that it really waters down the flavor and makes the texture too slushy like. If I do add ice, it’s just a few cubes. I prefer to use frozen fruit instead of ice. I also like that my smoothies are not so, so cold when I don’t use ice. I am really cold natured and usually have to drink hot tea with my smoothies to avoid freezing.
4. Add a natural sweetener. Make sure that there is something in your smoothie to sweeten it up a bit. My go-to choices are bananas and dates. Other options include lightly sweetened almond/coconut milk or honey and recently I’ve started using coconut water as a way to sweeten up my smoothies while adding good hydration benefits.
5. Give it a little kick. I like to add something tart to balance out the sweet. I use plain Greek yogurt more than anything else (note, I usually avoid flavored yogurts due to the sugar content) but recently I’ve also enjoyed playing around with lemon juice, lime juice and ginger.
6. Keep the greens mild. The whole appeal of the green smoothie is that you don’t taste the green part…especially when you’re first getting started with them. My number one tip here is to use baby greens such as spinach, kale and chard. If you’re using something like full-sized kale, dandelion greens, beet greens, etc. go 50/50 with spinach. And whatever you do…don’t use arugula or spring mix. No beueno!
7. Blend, blend, blend! Give your smoothie some time to do it’s thing in the blender to get it to the right consistency. Your smoothie needs to blend longer if you still see hunks of green and fruit. I start at a low speed and work my way up to a pretty high speed and let it go for about 1-2 minutes. I am frequently asked for blender suggestions. I received this Vitamix for Christmas and it is life changing but I also really, really like this Kitchen Aid blender as a lower cost alternative.
8. Give them some staying power. The biggest complaint I hear about smoothies for breakfast is that people are hungry right after having one. This is where protein powder, nut butters, dates, avocado, Greek yogurt, etc. come into play. Alternatively, you can leave these things out and have your green smoothie alongside your normal breakfast as a “green juice” kind of option. This is my favorite smoothie for that.
Let me know if you have any tips you’d like to add or questions.
More green smoothie recipes and resources:
My Base Green Smoothie Recipe
Seven Days of Green Smoothie Recap with Seven Recipes
Blueberry and Date Green Smoothie
Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie
Chocolate Peanut Butter Green Smoothie
Tropical Green Smoothie
Glowing Green Ginger Power Smoothie
Banana-less Coconut Water Green Smoothie
Green Smoothie April Challenge Week 1
Green Smoothie April Challenge Week 2
Green Smoothie April Challenge Week 3