Green smoothies are my new favorite grab-and-go breakfast. My blender has been getting a serious workout over the last several months as both Robert and I have been hitting the smoothie train pretty hard. We started making them a lot back in the summer, but honestly it’s been slow-going for me to find my groove with them. I’m not a huge fan of bananas so I get sick of smoothies with them pretty quickly; I have to be in the mood for the ones with peanut butter, and I get stuck in a rut of making the same few recipes over and over again. It can be hard to get creative with your smoothies when you’re just trying to throw something in the blender that will taste good so you can run out the door with it.
I was recently sent a copy of the Simple Green Smoothies cookbook, and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. I was drowning in a smoothie rut. This book got me excited about smoothies again, and I started to try a ton of different combinations with new ingredients and flavors. Sometimes I enjoy flipping through it before bed to pick out what I’m going to make in the morning. It makes everything more efficient, and it’s nice to know that you can try something new, but with a recipe that’s been tested over and over. So you can embark on a new flavor profile with your smoothie, but also be pretty certain that it will turn out well.
Simple Green Smoothies has become the only cookbook to actually live on my kitchen counter, right between the cereal boxes and my jar of oats. I can have an idea of what I’m in the mood for, and then flip through the book to find a recipe that uses those ingredients. This book is a wealth of knowledge with best practices for smoothies, how to freeze fruit, meal replacement and workout recovery smoothies, smoothie bowl recipes, and lots of info about different things you can add to your smoothies. If you’re looking to get started on green smoothies, this is your bible.
The lovely company behind the cookbook hosts a free 30-day green smoothie challenge a few times a year, and I just tried out their January one. Even though I had the book, it was nice to follow along with a pre-set schedule, buy everything I needed at the beginning of the week, and be “forced” into trying new smoothies that I might not have chosen on my own. Some of them I loved, some not so much – but it was a learning experience! Now I know more about my smoothie profile. If the cookbook seems too daunting to you, this program is a great place to start. It’s totally free, and they send you everything you need to know in weekly emails. You can sign up to join their next one here, and then maybe after that you can use this cookbook to take you to the next level.
During the challenge I had an exciting and money-saving revelation: I love smoothies that are made with plain old water. To me they taste cleaner and brighter, and they allow the flavors of the fruit to really shine compared to the ones that use (dairy or non-dairy) milk. They’re also super hydrating, and as a chronically dehydrated person, this is a major win for me. I love my smoothies on the thinner side, to be more like a juice, so the water ones work well for this. I drink mine out of a thermos on the way to work, so I like them to be more sippable. It grosses me out to drink really thick beverages unless I’m using a straw – is that just me?
I had another smoothie discovery, which should not have come as a surprise – I like my smoothies how I like my cocktails: on the sweeter side with a tart punch. Now when I’m making a smoothie and I feel like it needs something, I add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice and that usually fixes it for me. Have you ever made a smoothie with grapefruit? Those are some of my new favorites.
This cranberry pineapple one was a part of the January green smoothie challenge I did, and it was instant love for me. It falls into that sweet/tart, almost-juice category for me, and then the lime juice pushes it into margarita territory. I’m so tempted to add a shot of tequila to this one on a weekend morning when I feel like getting a little crazy and having one of those detox/retox situations.
Another great thing about this smoothie is that it’s kind of like a “pantry smoothie,” in that I could most likely whip it up at any given moment. I always have baby spinach or some kind of green on hand, I keep my freezer stocked with frozen cranberries and pineapple, and the lime juice can easily be swapped for lemon, which I absolutely always have. (BTW – if the “green” part of green smoothies freaks you out, don’t worry. Once it’s all blended up you can’t even taste them, it helps to keep your smoothie from being a sugar bomb, and your body will love you for it. Trust me!) So this is a perfect year-round smoothie. What’s not to love?
It’s light and refreshing, so I like it for a morning when I didn’t work out or on a slow weekend morning. To beef it up a little you could add some hemp seeds for protein, or maybe a fruity protein powder of your choice. If I have this one I usually plan to eat something with a little more heft later in the morning, like a protein bar or a handful of nuts, to hold me over until lunch.
On that note, I’m trying to find some smoothies I love that pack more of a filling punch. I’m on the hunt for a protein powder I like (both in regards to taste and how it treats my body), preferably plant-based. Do you guys have any recommendations?
If you’re intrigued by this whole green smoothie thing, then you’re in luck because Simple Green Smoothies is giving away a signed copy of their cookbook to one lucky reader. To enter, simply leave me a comment about a smoothie combination of your dreams. The giveaway will end on Friday, February 12, 2016 at 11:59pm.
- 2 cups fresh spinach or kale
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup cranberries, preferably frozen (can be substituted with pomegranate seeds or any type of berries)
- 2½ cups pineapple, preferably frozen
- juice of 1 lime
- Blend your greens and water together until smooth.
- Add the other ingredients and blend for another minute or two until smooth.
- Enjoy! (This can be saved in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. Just give it a good stir again before drinking, as separation will naturally occur.)
If you're looking for only one serving, just cut the whole recipe in half. However, most blenders won't be able to handle more than this batch of two servings, so if you're making more you'll have to take turns.
Recipe from Simple Green Smoothies