Your ultimate guide to green smoothies for gorgeous skin, right here.
What are green smoothies? Why can’t I just have a normal coloured smoothie?
Green smoothies are a delightful little concoction that can have a whomping effect on clearing acne because they’re packed full of easily absorbable nutrients that your body can use easily to repair and heal your skin.
Basically, you get some fruit. You get some liquid. You blend it up in the blender. You with me so far? Sounds like a pretty standard smoothie?
The trick though is that you also add a bunch of leafy greens to it – like spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, swiss chard, collard greens, etc. Or, say, mint or parsley.
Leafy greens are incredibly nutritious and full of nutrients that are amazing for the skin, however… it’s tough to get enough of them into your diet. They aren’t always all that fun to eat, and you only absorb a small fraction of the nutrients in them when you just chew them. Put it in a smoothie though, and the blender breaks them down for you so that you can easily absorb all the nutrients, on a mainline straight to your skin!
The good news is that the fruit in your smoothie will actually mask the flavour of the greens and you’ll hardly know they’re there! Well, aside from the bright green colour. Don’t mind that.
What else do I love about green smoothies?
- They’re fast to make. Five minutes and you have an incredibly nutritious breakfast
- There’s endless combinations of things you can put in them, so it won’t ever get boring
- Super easy to take with you on the go
- They’re pretty popular now, so people won’t think you’re weird for drinking what appears to be bright green sludge (well, maybe a little)
Let’s get down to it… how do you make one of these babies?
First thing you need is a blender. Everything else in green smoothies (aside from having something green in there) is negotiable, but a blender is not. Something’s gotta do that chewing for you!
Some of the cheapest blenders can be extremely frustrating when trying to make green smoothies, especially if using a tougher green like kale. It won’t truly make it smooth, and you’ll be left with chunks.
However, if you’re new to green smoothies, I wouldn’t just jump into a really expensive blender like a Vitamix right off the bat. I currently use a pretty heavy duty blender called the OmniBlender which makes the smoothies delightfully smooth, but I worked up to that after my cheaper blenders kept breaking one after the other.
See if green smoothies are for you before you jump into an expensive purchase. Start with a blender that is less than $100 but more than, say $10. Look for reviews online to find one with decent blending prowess.
Next step…. choose some fruit
Next step is to choose two or three pieces of fruit to add to your smoothie! This can literally be any combination of fruit that you desire. The possibilities are endless. See recipes at end of article for examples.
I do tend to lean towards adding a banana to most smoothies though as they do well to mask the tastes of the greens, add energy and calories, and give the smoothie a nice creamy texture.
I also like to prepare some fruit in advance and freeze it (like just unpeeling bananas, chopped roughly, and frozen), or use some frozen berries in there. I personally just think smoothies taste a lot better when cold, so this is why. If you don’t have any frozen fruit on hand, just add a few ice cubes when you blend.
Also, definitely feel free to not only stick to fruit – you can also add vegetables like carrots, cucumber, etc.
Next, choose your greens
Now, in order to alkalize the fruit in your smoothie and keep your blood sugar even, you want the volume of greens in your smoothie to match or exceed the amount of fruit.
It’s a delicate balance because you also don’t want the greens to compromise the taste at all.
When you’re a newbie, you can start off with less than 50% greens and start slowly working your way up as you get used to the taste. You might notice the greens a bit at first, but I find that you get used to them pretty quick and soon you don’t really notice. I also highly suggest starting off with either spinach or romaine lettuce, as these are very mild tasting and will give you an easy transition.
After that, you can jump into playing around with kale, collard greens, chard (all with stems removed), and possibly other lettuces, although I personally don’t like the taste of lettuce in green smoothies at all, except romaine.
You can also try out herbs like cilantro, mint, and parsley, although these are quite strong tasting and you will be adding them to create a unique flavour in the smoothie and may need to use a smaller amount to not make it overwhelming. Add some extra spinach to round it out if desired.
Anyway, it’s a good idea to rotate greens and not just eat the exact same one day after day after day. Each green has its unique properties and could create a minor imbalance if used relentlessly, so mix it up a little.
Next… choose your liquid!
You’re gonna need some liquid in there or this baby ain’t blendin’.
You can just go for water in a pinch.
- Dairy free milk alternatives (no soy, and make sure it’s unsweetened), such as coconut milk, hemp milk, rice milk, almond milk, etc. You don’t want to go for actual milk, as dairy is heavily linked to acne
- Coconut yogurt
- Coconut water
- You could use real fruit juice, but this may increase the sugar content of the smoothie a bit too much, so be cautious
Just use only as much as you need to get it to blend, otherwise it could end up more like a chunky juice than a smoothie. Start off small and add more as you go (like if it’s too thick or won’t blend). Soon you’ll get an eye for how much is necessary.
Next… add any extra goodies you like!
There’s a ton of different stuff you can add to your smoothies for extra nutrition, to change the taste, or to add more calories and “staying” power so it will fill you up longer.
- Flavour changers: lemon, lime, ginger, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, a few coffee beans, dates
- Fibre: chia seeds, psyllium husk
- Healthy fats or proteins for staying power: coconut flakes or meat, nuts, seeds, hemp seeds, avocado (my personal favourite to add calories & creaminess), unsweetened and unflavoured protein powder (such as pumpkin, pea, or hemp – not whey or soy based)
- Nutrition boosters: feel free to add any superfoods or supplements that you want
Blend, Baby, Blend!
Okay here’s where the magic happens. It’s blender time.
My suggestion, especially if your blender isn’t that good (and even if it is) is to add the liquid first, and one or two pieces of fruit, and then blend. You will end up sadly frustrated if you try to just throw it all in there at once and hope for the best!
Keep adding ingredients one by one until it blends, and then blend for a minute or two until smooth.
Some sample green smoothie recipes to get you started!
Here’s a few green smoothie recipes that are good for beginners. After you get used to it, you can start experimenting and getting wild!
- 1 banana, frozen
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1.5 cups spinach
- 1 cup (approximately) unsweetened coconut milk (or dairy alternative of choice)
- 1 cup pineapple
- 1 small banana, frozen
- 1.5 cups spinach
- 3 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup (approximately) unsweetened coconut milk
- Optional: 1/2 avocado
Raspberry Pear Delight
- 1 ripe pear
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 1 banana
- 2 inch piece of cucumber
- 1.5 cups spinach
- 1 cup (approximately) unsweetened almond milk (or dairy alternative of choice)
- Optional: 1/2 avocado
Start getting green, my friend, and ditch those breakouts! 🙂
Get extra skin boosting recipes
If you’re feeling inspired to lose the acne and get the skin you really want by upping your diet and nutrition, check out my Naturally Clear Skin Bootcamp program – you get 100s of recipes in 6 weekly meal plans, includes tons of green smoothie recipes, a demo video, ongoing support, and so much more.
See you there 🙂
Lots of love,
I love me some green smoothies. I’ve noticed when I have a green smoothie or a fresh juiced veggie juice every morning my skin looks amazing.
It did take me a couple years to figure out what was causing my acne so I must post a warning about dairy substitutes like almond milk, coconut milk, etc. They often use carrageenan as a all natural emulsifier, and for some people this can cause problems with digestion overtime, and for me massive breakouts as well. Since I have avoided carrageenan for the past 6+ month my skin is now completely clear. Instead I use home made nut milks, coconut water, or just plain old delicious water.
Hey Lyssa, how did you figure out that it was the carageenan specifically that was causing you to break out?
It started a couple of years ago. At the time I probably had a mild hormonal acne but I was committed to clearing my skin completely. That is when I stumbled upon your blog and a couple other beauty blogs. Speaking of which, you did help me to understand my body and skin so much over the past couple years and I found your site very comforting when my skin got much worse. Thank you!
Anyways, long story short, well somewhat short. I cleaned up my diet a ton, and started heading towards cleaner, healthier living. Understanding now that acne is often times a result of what you eat and how you treat your body in general. I had noticed often that if I consumed ice cream on a special occasion I would get extra breakouts and a belly ache. So due to that I assumed dairy was causing my mild acne, and therefore I started cutting dairy out and adding dairy substitutes. I would have green smoothies everyday with Almond Milk, and my skin would get much worse. A new acne than I had never experienced. Instead of small pimples that would last a couple days on my chin or forehead, it became large cystic acne that would stay for months, around my jawline, hairline and cheeks. I would switch to coconut milk, or rice milk but my skin would just continue to get worse. It was heartbreaking knowing I was taking better care of myself but my skin would just get worse and worse. Then when I would fall off the wagon and start drinking cows milk instead of milk substitutes my skin would improve. Then I would see some kind of new brand of almond milk and pick it up at the store only to get more breakouts. It took me almost two years to notice the trend and finally I realized, ‘maybe its something in the almond milk that was causing me troubles’. One of the final clues was when I had been back on dairy for a couple months and my skin cleared up almost completely. I had bought a bunch of yogurt not looking at the labels and after eating them for a couple days straight I noticed my stomach would hurt a lot and I was getting new breakouts. So I did some research and found a lot of information on carrageenan and how it can cause digestive issues for some people. My acne and stomach problems would always go hand in hand so I decided it would be beneficial to avoid this substance. After that I have avoided carrageenan like the plague, and my skin has stayed clear ever since. Carrageenan is used as an all natural emulsifier, made from sea weed or red algae. It is often found in dairy substitutes as well as all commercial ice cream, and some dairy products (heavy cream, chocolate milk), deli meats, and various other products that require a thickening agent.
Like you say, everyones skin is different and some people experience different sensitivities. I’m so glad I finally found mine. I had healed my self after years of abuse with a healthy diet and good exercise but still continues to be terrorized by my skin until I figuring out avoiding this one food sensitivity was the final key to good skin for me. I have also had great improvement in my digestion as an added bonus. Someday when I have time I will write down my story in more detail for you. I just wanted to share this as a food sensitivity since it caused me so many problems.
Thanks Tracy, you are wonderful!!
Interesting! Thanks for sharing your story Lyssa! Acne is so confusing isn’t it? Especially with the food sensitivities. And it’s hard because it’s very individual and you don’t want to go around making everyone scared and paranoid about every food. I’m really happy you managed to listen to your body and figure it out and found your solution!! I am really happy for you! 😀
I used to love green smoothies! My favorite blend was of spinach, kale, banana, and pineapple. However, I noticed after taking a round of antibiotics last year my gut has radically changed and I can no longer tolerate strong amounts of raw veggies. Vegetables with lots of fiber in them like spinach, kale, etc don’t sit well with me.
After doing some research, I found out sometimes these smoothies, albeit loaded with a lot of good stuff, are really hard to digest with some people. My gut is now starting to heal but for now I’m just sticking with cooked vegetables rather than having them in large raw amounts.
Oddly enough, I have no problem with having a completely fruit based smoothie. I buy them frozen and throw in a little almond milk. Pretty good 🙂
Hi Eddie, that’s true, sometimes it can be difficult for those with really rough guts… but maybe once you heal up you can have smoothies again 🙂
Hey Tracy! I apologize if you have addressed this somewhere else, but what do you use for body care, for the skin on your body as opposed to the skin on your face? Do you use or have any recommendations for body washes, lotions, sunscreens, washcloths, etc? Thanks
Hi Ann 🙂
I use Dr. Bronner’s as body wash / shaving cream. Deodorant.. I just pat some baking soda under there, or I use Thursday Plantation’s tea tree oil stuff. Sunscreen, I use one made by a local store so I can’t offer the brand, but it’s a zinc based one made with natural oils. I only wear if if I’m going to the beach, not every day. Live Live is a brand that I’ve used before. Also google ‘The Love Vitamin sunscreen’ and you’ll find an epic natural sunscreen article. That’s about all I use on my body. If you like body lotion, use an oil.. like coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
I am glad i found ur website and m really excited to have this green smoothie!it sounds interesting 🙂
My only concern is bout my weak digestive system and gut because of which i suffer from acne and pimples.So before trying it i actually wanted to confirm dat wheather my body would accept n digest it or will it worsen my acne!please suggest
Most people have no problems with green smoothies and it definitely helps with acne! Give them a try for a while and see how they agree with your stomach
I tried ds smoothie n it was pretty gud bt my mom keeps sayng dat i need to see a dermatologist and a gastrologist for digestive issues..which means havng more antibiotics n more issues 🙁 what shud i do?
I’m just getting started and purchased your Naturally Clear Skin package about a week ago – yay! And this is the beginning of not only my journey to clear my skin naturally but also improve my asthma which I’m assuming are both heavily tied into my diet and the other things I might be putting in my body.
Anyway! I just came back from the supermarket today with lots of fruits and veggies to get started on smoothies (Spinach was on sale too – yay again)! I only have one worry though – I noticed in one of the videos that came with my package that you made what looks like a lot of smoothie for just that breakfast.
Is there any special way that you store leftover smoothies so they don’t get all clumpy or foamy the next day? Do you find that certain ingredients help keep the smoothies consistency okay for storing?
Looking forward to getting started on green smoothies! Thanks, Tracy! 🙂
Thanks so much for purchasing Naturally Clear Skin! 🙂 It all depends on how much you want to have for breakfast, but I often find I need that much to fill me up and I usually drink it in two kind of phases over the morning. Which is okay because it’s easy to bring with you on the go. But if you want to store it, it just put it in an airtight container in the fridge, the less air in it the better. You could also pop it in the freezer and just dethaw it for the next day. Good luck! x
Green smoothies are delicious and so easy to make!
(More satisfying than making a boring salad XD)
anyways, I know that you were using Milk Thistle and Burdock Root before, and thought adding them in powder form to your green smoothie concoction would be perfect!!
I personally hate taking anything by pill form lol
I found some here on Amazon >>>>
Burdock root> http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002DXVFSS/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3J0VJNZDELA1Z
Milk thistle> http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002DXU0TI/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3T99GUOTQLWJU
going to give this a try! Hope for the best
Oh and im also doing the caveman regimen! Excited to finally heal myself inside and out c:
My body is needing a little tlc
I know you are a busy busy gal, but when you have the time please reply! I’d love your input!
Hey Kayla, I think adding them to a smoothie is a great idea!
I’ve been doing green smoothies for a couple of weeks now. I looked in the mirror the other day and could barely recognized myself. My natural skin tone was back after a couple of years of intense stress and depression. My husband will be pleasantly surprised when he comes back from deployment! Now, I get maybe 1 cystic pimple every two weeks and it goes away quicker and 2 white heads a week (probably because of the intense heat where I live… constantly sweating and wiping it away). Big difference from before. I wasn’t prepared for how fast my metabolism would speed up though. Even though I add lots of fibre and healthy fats to my smoothies, I’m still hungry! It’s a better problem to have than having an unhealthy diet but still… I don’t know how to heal with my intense appetite now.
This is the website I’ve been using to help with this new green smoothie life style: http://simplegreensmoothies.com/
They are an incredible resource, just like this website 😉
That’s awesome Anna 🙂
Hi if you receive this HELP i am an old woman and my face looks like yours did! So i have got a bullet thing to do smoothies with I will attempt to follow your food diet which shouldn’t be a problem. At this time my face is sore very sore and its a bit pussy so i think this will help; I am sick of going back to the doctor for more antibiotics In NZ we have a green called silverbeet it grows wild and i can eat it raw in smoothies and in salads i will give your smoothes a try because lunch has always been a problem for me and i will change my bread thanks so much
Awesome! Free wild greens! Up here we call that “the ditch prescription”. Anyway – hang in there, everything will get better. And make sure you get on some probiotics if you haven’t already!
Hi Tracy 🙂
I have one question, how do you wash your vegetables and fruits properly ?