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,