If you watched my video yesterday about green smoothies, you may be wondering how to make a green smoothie yourself. What fruits do I use? Which greens? How much? Be more specific, you say!

Well the beauty of green smoothies is that you can be creative. You can use any combination of fruit with any combination of greens, just have fun with it! Use what is fresh at your local grocery store or farmer’s market, depending on the time of year.

I would like to note though, that some people do have troubles with eating a lot of highly sugary fruits all together at once like this. Some people are very sensitive to sugar, even fruit sugar, and it spikes their blood sugars too high. See what you can handle – if you are someone sensitive to sugar swings, I would advise that it’s probably better for the majority of your smoothie to be less sugary fruits like berries and pears, with a lot of greens. Greens act as a blood sugar buffer. Plus, they are the component helping your skin the most, so you want to get lots in there!

My general recipes include:

  • 3-4 pieces of fruit. I’d recommend at least one banana, as they make the whole consistency tasty and smooth. Other than that, go wild! Berries are the probably the fruit I would recommend the most, but you can use apples, oranges, raspberries, blueberries, grapefruit, peaches, kiwi, pineapple, grapes, apricots, blackberries, mangoes. Anything. You can use frozen fruits too!
  • 5-6 big leaves of greens. You can work up to this amount! Although you mostly can’t taste them, you may need some time to get used to the greens. If you’re new to this, start with spinach, as it’s the most mild tasting. Then you can get into kale, chard, collard greens, romaine lettuce, beet tops, bok choy, and any other dark leafy greens you can think of. Try to get at least half your blender stuffed with greens.
  • 2-3 tablespoons of flax seeds. This isn’t entirely necessary, but it’s great for fibre and those elusive Omega 3s. Some people actually don’t feel very good after mixing fruits and fats like this, so if it gives you stomach trouble, cut it out. If it doesn’t, go for it. I find that adding the little bit of fat here keeps me full for longer.
  • 1 or so cups of liquid. You need this to blend the whole concoction or you`ll be up the creek. The easiest and cheapest thing to do is just throw some water in there. If you want it more creamy, you can try rice or almond milk. I’ll occasionally use pure fruit juice too (without added sugar! Has to be quality). However, for nutrition purposes, plain old filtered water is the best.
  • Anything else you want. Sometimes I put nutritional yeast in, other times some vegan protein powder. The occasional avocado, which makes it nice and smooth. But only if I had these lying around. Don’t worry if you don’t have these extras! The fruits and greens are the most important!

This usually makes a big batch of almost a litre. You want a large volume to get both a huge kick of nutrients and a sturdy breakfast. The smoothies are quick to make but can take a little while to drink, so I put mine in a jar or bottle, bring it to work and drink it all morning.

Here are some example recipes:

  • Berry Berry – Raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, banana, spinach, flax, almond milk
  • Purps – Blueberries, banana, kiwi fruit, grapefruit, kale, flax, rice milk
  • Tropical – Pineapple, banana, orange, collard greens, water (this is a pretty sugary one, so be careful! Add lots and lots of greens)

If you need more recipes, check out this great blog, the Smoothie Handbook, with lots of great smoothie info. Have fun and experiment!

Do you drink green smoothies? If so, what are some of your favourite recipes? Share them below!

photo by elana`s pantry