Thursday, February 10, 2011

Green Smoothie Tips, Tricks & Substitutes

Green Smoothie Tips, Tricks & Substitutes


1.) Clean your glasses, blender and any utensils used right away—especially if you used berries of any kind. Clean up is always easier before the ingredients are dried.

2.) If you like creamy smoothies make sure you add at least one banana, some avocado or yogurt.

3.) When I have recipes that call for “cubes”, it’s because I have some puréed produce that is molded into ice cube sized portions. Substitute accordingly.

4.) The amount of liquid is subject to your consistency preference (I like mine pretty thick), and your blender’s performance. Some blenders require a fair amount of liquid to properly blend some of these ingredients.

5.) The amount of ice is also subject to your consistency preference (I happen to like my smoothies super cold). The more frozen ingredients you include in your smoothie, the fewer ice cubes you will need.


1.) Freeze your greens. That’s right; you can stick crisp greens into the freezer and use them in your smoothies. This is a great way to save money. Freeze salad that would other wise go bad. Freeze greens you harvest from your garden, or buy bagged salads when they’re $1/bag at the first of the year and stick them in your freezer.

2.) If you really want to hide your greens, blend the liquid and greens first, for as long as it takes to get it thoroughly blended, then add remaining ingredients.

3.) If you don’t like the color green, or want to mask a strong flavor, add berries of any kind. Berries go a long way to dominate the flavor and color of any smoothie combination.

4.) Use the skin (and drink the greens)! A great deal of nutrients are found in the skin of produce. Keep the skin on lemons, pears, peaches, etc. Consider keeping the greens on carrots, strawberries and other produce.
5.) Start out using a small percentage of greens and work your way up to smoothies that are 40%-50% green. Spinach and kale are pretty mild as far as taste goes, so these are great starter greens. Note: Greens are defined as green, leafy vegetables, as opposed to peas, green beans, broccoli, etc.


1.) You can use any kind of liquid that you desire. I often put coconut or almond milk in my smoothies because that’s what I have around. But you can easily substitute water, milk, goat’s milk, rice milk, soy milk, orange juice, apple juice, cranberry juice, yogurt… you get the idea, right?

2.) You can always substitute the amount of berries in a recipe with any kind of berry you have on hand. Some good choices are strawberries, blueberries, marionberries, boysenberries, raspberries, huckleberries and blackberries.

3.) You can substitute any leafy green you have on hand in any of these recipes. Good choices are kale, spinach, collard greens, romaine lettuce, or any other kind of leafy green. I personally don’t care for spring mix lettuce though, it’s quite bitter. You can always use a mixture of greens too!

4.) You can sweeten your smoothie with honey, stevia, agave, just plain ole table sugar or sugar substitute. I rarely feel a need to sweeten any of my smoothies though, especially the ones with berries in them.

5.) You can add in all sorts of healthy (or somewhat healthy) ingredients. Oatmeal, nuts, seeds, flax seed, protein powder, Ovaltine, peanut butter, etc. Whatever suits your fancy! When you get really adventurous you can add things like grass, dandelions, weeds, thistles, etc.—though I recommend doing some Google research first, I am no expert on exactly how to add the eccentric ingredients!

Feel free to leave a comment and add any tips, tricks or substitutes that you’ve tried. Now, go—drink your veggies!


beachbirdie said...

Thanks for all the great smoothie tips!

I need input now! My blender is 35 years old and starting to protest the heavy labor of thick smoothies.

Any ideas on blender brands that can do the hard work for my next 35 years?

What brand is yours? I love the blender jar.

Anonymous said...

Also you shouldnt add sugar or splenda and dont ruin a healthy smoothie with garbage like peanut butter or ovaltine. check out greensmoothiegirl .com