Most of us are looking for ways to not only consume more fruits and veggies every day, but also sneak more leafy greens into our diet. In the past, green smoothie recipes involved little more than blending fistfuls of kale or spinach. This, unfortunately, tasted like blended fistfuls of kale or spinach (aka lawn clippings).
Thankfully for our taste buds, green smoothie recipes have come a long way since their debut in the health and wellness arena. Besides being able to adjust the flavor and nutritional content, making your own green smoothies can also keep your food budget on budget.
Why Drink Your Greens?
While smoothies aren’t for everybody, they can be an appealing option for those who don’t have time to prepare a healthy meal (or don’t like munching kale). For instance, making and drinking a smoothie for breakfast is a nice way to get in a decent dose of your nutritional needs for the day. People drink smoothies for weight loss or management, to help control their blood sugar, as a meal replacement or supplement, or simply as a snack.
Looking for a dash or a cup of inspiration? To help get that blender revving, here are nine green smoothie recipes that are as healthy as they are tasty:
Our Favorite Green Smoothie Recipes From Around the Web
1. Banana-Green Smoothie
Enjoy a healthy portion of dark, leafy greens day or night with this delicious green smoothie recipe from EatingWell. Besides the sweet, creamy texture of bananas, this recipe includes ground flaxseed for an additional punch of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat that actually offers some pretty big health benefits. If you have leftovers, we suggest pouring the extra mixture into a freezer-pop mold to make frozen treats.
2. Pineapple-Green Smoothie
Who doesn’t like the taste of fresh pineapple? This eye-catching green smoothie, courtesy of Food Network Kitchen, is jammed with fiber, vitamin C and lutein, a powerful carotenoid that may aid in warding off vision loss (research has shown lutein can help prevent eye conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts). Lutein is considered a top-recommended nutrient for overall vision health. A quick and easy recipe perfect for breakfasts on the go.
3. Jolly Green Smoothie
This green smoothie recipe from Blendtec provides giant-sized flavor with few calories. Loaded with fresh fruit and spinach, one serving delivers half of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin C, one-third of the RDA for vitamin A and all of the RDA for vitamin K.
4. Green Goblin Smoothie
After a good workout, it can be tempting to reach for a handful (or a bag full) of chips. After all, you burned off a ton of calories, right? Well, if you’re like most Americans desperate to squeeze in more fruits and vegetables, you should consider giving the “Green Goblin” from Two Peas and Their Pod a whirl. Do not fear the green color. We promise you won’t even taste the spinach.
5. Glowing Green Smoothie
It doesn’t have to be so hard eating greens. In fact, it can be quite easy. One single serving of The Glowing Green Smoothie contains over three cups of dark, leafy-green vegetables (more than most people get in an entire week). Make a big batch of this one to save in your fridge for almost three days (just make sure it’s covered) or freeze in glass containers for an even longer shelf-life.
6. Coconut-Green Smoothie
Coconut milk gives this green smoothie recipe from Natasha’s Kitchen an added nutritional and sensational kick (with few calories). Adding frozen pineapple is inexpensive, and helps chill and thicken the smoothie. This option is a breeze to make and costs only about $5 to $6 per two servings.
Green Smoothies and Diabetes: A Good Match?
First and foremost, if you have diabetes, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before diving into green smoothie recipes. It’s true that smoothies can provide a lot of what’s good for you, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and protein. However, it’s also true they can sometimes be high in both calories and carbohydrates. That’s why it’s critical to choose your ingredients carefully and monitor the amount you drink.
Note: Be sure to check your blood sugar before and after drinking a green smoothie to evaluate how it affects your diabetes control.
For those with diabetes, here are three green smoothie recipes worth blending:
7. Raspberry-Banana-Beet Green Smoothie
Yes, even beet greens can taste great! While not necessarily green in color, this green smoothie recipe from Diabetes Forecast-The Healthy Living Magazine includes chopped fresh beet greens, frozen unsweetened raspberries, frozen banana, honey, water and plain, nonfat regular or Greek yogurt. One cup contains 27g of carbohydrate, 5g of protein and only 125 calories.
8. Super Green Smoothie
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a Super Green Smoothie! This green smoothie recipe courtesy of Mother Earth Living is a wonderful option for diabetics, as most berries are low in carbs. In fact, the American Diabetes Association named blueberries a “diabetes superfood,” so blend away! Plus, the recipe calls for only four ingredients: frozen blueberries, fresh spinach, water and fresh ginger.
9. Good Ole’ Diabetic-Friendly Green Smoothie
Type 2 diabetes has, unfortunately, become a major health issue not only for adults, but young adults and kids, too. Drinking a daily green smoothie can help diabetics because of three benefits: it can improve digestion, it can deliver more energy and it can boost weight loss. Versus juicing or juice cleansing, blending your greens into smoothies delivers a lot of fiber, which slows down the release of natural sugars into the bloodstream. Check out this flavorful, diabetic-friendly green smoothie recipe from Family Sponge to get your whole family drinking green.
Green Smoothies: Health or Hype?
If you’re someone who doesn’t like to eat their veggies, especially the dark, leafy-green ones, drinking green smoothies could be your answer. You might want to rotate your green vegetable choices, however, to help avoid the buildup of alkaloids, compounds that can cause mild discomfort and symptoms like stomach aches. Those who are at risk for calcium oxalate stones (a type of kidney stone) should also monitor oxalates in their diet (common in plant foods like raw spinach and Swiss chard). Talk to your doctor first if you have a family history of kidney stones.
You’ll also want to be cautious about adding any creams or high-fat additions to your smoothies, as this can increase calories and fat. Diabetics, as previously mentioned, should also be mindful of carbohydrate consumption (fruits and juices contain more carbs than vegetables). As a general rule, try to use more vegetables than fruits in your smoothies, as veggies have less sugar and an abundant amount of antioxidants. Blending your smoothie with Greek yogurt instead of protein powders is an excellent method for boosting your protein level, without causing a clumpy or an uneven texture.