Green Smoothies and Other Drinks I Eat


Okay kids.  Ask for my kale smoothie recipe and you shall receive!  Last year, I published a sidebar called “Kale is the New Bacon,” where I explained Green Smoothie basics.  While there is an actual kale smoothie recipe with “measurements” in that piece, truth be told I never measure ingredients when I make smoothies.  Or when I whip up a big batch of sweet, sweet love.  I have heard many people say they are worried they’ll screw up a kale smoothie, which seems like such a silly concern, considering said people are not worried about SPAM screwing up their entire body, beginning with their souls.  But I want everyone to be successful, so here are a few potential problems and solutions:

1.  You use too much kale (and didn’t remove the bitter stems) and/or other greens, and can’t handle that “I just mowed the lawn with my mouth” taste.  Sometimes even I get excited and overdo it on parsley, which I can only remedy by making a guttural “KKKKKAAAAHH” sound after every earthy sip.

SOLUTION: Pour half of your smoothie FAIL into a mason jar and refrigerate it, and use it as a base for tomorrow’s smoothie.  Then rebuild your current smoothie FAIL using more fruit, juice and ice.  Add more sweetener if necessary and keep adjusting to taste.

2.  You don’t pulverize the kale into a smooth near-liquid.

SOLUTION: Reblend.  Ideally, invest in a Vitamix and your body will thank you forever.

3.  You added mango and you’re allergic to mango.

SOLUTION: Eat more mango, your existence is making evolution really hard for the rest of us.

Anyway, please feel free to let me know any other ways your green smoothies aren’t working out, and I shall happily provide tech support!

This is my kale smoothie recipe as published in the Hawaii Women’s Journal:

  • 1 cup fruit juice
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup organic blueberries
  • As much kale as you can handle, stems removed
  • A gentle squirt of agave or honey
  • 1 Tbs almond butter
  • 2 handfuls of ice

For my personal smoothies, I start with Mega Green Juice, but most 100% fruit juices work well:

Also, I don’t use agave or honey, and instead use one Medjool date (pitted).  I use only 1/2 a banana and a very small handful of different fruits each time: papaya, pineapple, cherry, blueberry, pear. The goal is to drink more greens and minimize the sugary stuff.  Or maybe your goal is to become a lawyer, I don’t know, but my goal is to see how green I can go, because even though I like to pretend I am the pinnacle of vegan health, according to my doctor and his little doctor tests, I consume way too much sugar.

I also do not add almond butter since I eat raw almonds as a snack.  Additionally, I always throw in Green Vibrance and different vegan protein powders–my current favorite is Hemp Protein.  When I use lacinato kale, blueberries and double up on Green Vibrance with hemp protein, my smoothie turns into a dark, sludgy mess of superfood.  Kimmy calls it, “Baby’s First Poo.”  BFP is a much more hardcore green smoothie, so for now start with the basics and slowly reduce the fruit and increase the greens.  I also occasionally use Emergen-C, raw beets, or carrot chunks as smoothie add-ins.  Make sure you vary your produce and fruits–because while you have to “eat the rainbow” to be healthy, what no one tells you is that you have to eat a different goddamn rainbow every day.

Why yes, all this does fit into my giant jar of awesome:

Green Vibrance for extra GREEN MAGIC AND WONDER:

My sister’s favorite green smoothie is her brilliant “Piña Kale-ada” creation:

Piña Kale-ada

  • Kale – as much as you can handle–start with one leaf, stem removed
  • Organic Lite Coconut Milk – splash
  • Frozen Pineapple – 5+ chunks
  • Banana – 1/2 to a whole banana, depending on banana size
  • Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice, or Coconut Water
  • Ice

If you like piña kale-ada…

In conclusion, to begin a green smoothie revolution in the intimacy of your own body:

  • Start with a juice base
  • Add a generous, gorgeous pile of greens–kale, spinach, parsley, chard and/or beet greens work well.
  • Add 1/2 a frozen banana
  • Add a small handful of your favorite fruits and/or berries
  • Add a sweetener: 1 date, agave, or honey

I know what you’re thinking–green smoothies seem expensive.  A bunch of kale or other greens from the farm closest to my house is $2.50.  One bunch of greens will probably last you at least six smoothies.  (For me one bunch lasts two smoothies.)  I buy organic spinach from Costco–$7 for a massive container.  A bag of frozen organic blueberries at Costco is $10, and this usually lasts me a month.  The other fruits I simply stock up on when they’re on sale, chopping and freezing some.  You can also dilute juice with water and get more sweet bang for your buck.  High quality supplements are more expensive if you choose to use them, but in general I think a big jar of green awesomeness is cheaper than heart disease.  At Kale’s Natural Foods we even get CHILDREN–yes, CHILDREN–to drink kale by tricking them.  Our “Keiki Shakey” is a classic strawberry banana smoothie with a big leaf o’ kale.  Instead of sneaking high fructose corn syrup into your child’s breakfast, we sneak kale.

As for other lifechanging beverages, I have been recently obsessed with this Cherry Chia Juice recipe by Bakery Manis.  I’ve been putting chia seeds in my kale smoothie, on my toast, in my oatmeal, under my pillow–but drinking cherry chia juice, with chia as the main attraction, has taken my chia love to an inappropriately intense level.  (However, be aware that three tablespoons of chia does contain 12 grams of fat–important omega-3 fatty acids, but still something to keep in mind if your daily recommended fat intake is 50 grams.)

For my more sporty days, or extra long kitchen days–I soak a bag or two of Guayaki Yerba Mate Greener Green Tea in a jar with coconut water overnight.  Hydration plus a little caffeine jazz is very win-win in my book of win-win type things.  (I got this yerba + coconut water idea from Thrive Fitness: The Vegan-Based Training Program for Maximum Strength, Health, and Fitness).

Bottoms up!

For more green smoothie ideas and inspiration:

Joy the Baker

Elena’s Pantry

A Grateful Life

Healthy Green Kitchen

Raw Family


6 Responses to “Green Smoothies and Other Drinks I Eat”

  1. I have seen a few other talk about their spinach smoothies….maybe I will have to make a Kale smoothie and wash it down with some salt and pepper kale chips.

  2. Yum I want to get me some of this green goodness. Wish you lived closer. And could be my natural foods chef for when I don’t want to cook or have OD’d on charcuterie.



  3. I love this entry. I have read it an inappropriate number of times, though, because I keep checking back, hoping for fresh words from you.



  4. 4 Veronica G

    Mmmm, I just read this. I too am trying to get more greens and less sugar in my smoothies. Happily though, it’s come to the point where I won’t make a smoothie unless I have something green to put in it. It jut tastes better that way!

  1. 1 eat your greens: sandwich edition « bakery manis
  2. 2 Drink Your Greens | Kale's Deli

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