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Tips for Making Green SmoothiesTips for Making Green Smoothies


Tips for Making Green Smoothies

Green smoothies have gained popularity because they help you easily add fruits and vegetables to your diet, and they can taste great. They are easy to make, but you need to know a few tips to make the most delicious and nutritious shake possible.

The type of blender can make a difference.

Most smoothie recipes are tailored to high-powered, professional-style blenders with multiple blades. These blenders finely chop greens and pulverize fruits like berries and bananas for a super smooth shake. If you plan to make smoothies often, these blenders can be worth the investment. Some also come with single-serve cups that make it easy to take your drink on the go. These blenders aren’t a requirement for smoothie-making, but without one, you may need to blend longer and stir the ingredients often to get the right consistency.

Beware of bitterness.

Greens add a slight bitterness to smoothies that is pleasant when paired with naturally sweet ingredients, but too many vegetables might make your smoothie unappetizing. If you try a green smoothie and dislike it, don’t swear them off for good. Experiment with the recipe and try adding fewer greens or more fruit until you get a flavor you enjoy.

Use what you like, then experiment with ingredients.

If you don’t enjoy eating a specific vegetable, you may not magically like it once it’s added to a smoothie. The sweetness from other ingredients can help, but starting with a small amount of greens you enjoy is best. Try a mild-flavored green like spinach. Once you find a combination you like, then start experimenting. Kale, chard, or a small amount of mustard greens or parsley can all be delicious when you strike the right balance and don’t overdo it.

Get the right consistency.

Everyone has preferences when it comes to smoothies. Some want it completely pureed, and others don’t mind tiny pieces of greens or seeds from berries. Start with about 1 cup of greens and 1 cup of liquid. Leafy greens work best in smoothies because they are tender enough to puree. The liquid can be all milk (such as dairy, nut milk, or coconut milk), 100 percent juice, water, or a combination of the three. Begin by blending the liquid and greens together until the greens are pureed. You can then blend in bananas, pineapple, additional greens, herbs, or protein powders.

Try frozen ingredients instead of ice.

Ice can thicken and chill your smoothie, but it can also reduce the creaminess and leave it watery. Freeze fruits ahead of time. Frozen bananas, pineapple, or mango create a thick and creamy smoothie and eliminate the need for ice.

Add some protein.

Leafy greens and unsweetened fruits will provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but if you want your smoothie to be nutritionally balanced, add some protein. Milk, yogurt, nut flours, bean flours, seeds, nut butters, and protein powders are all ways you can increase the protein of your green smoothie.

Lori Rice, M.S., is a nutritional scientist and author with a passion for healthy cooking, exercise physiology, and food photography.
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