By Team Dirty
Jan 13, 2023,
Smoothies are often touted as super healthy, but the truth is they can run the gamut between good-for-you and basically-a-milkshake. Sadly, the tastier smoothies tend to be on the less healthy side of the spectrum. But what if you don’t want to choose between healthy and tasty?
You don’t have to! If you’re looking for an ultra-simple smoothie full of whole fruits and greens that’s also delicious, look no further than our dairy-free Beginner Green Smoothie. This baby is yummy, versatile, has only six ingredients (including water), and it’s kid-friendly! What more could you ask for?
Beginner Green Smoothie ingredients
Kale: this is where the “green” comes from, of course. You can use any variety of kale. Given its reputation, we probably don’t need to wax poetic about how healthy kale is. Just know it’s an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients, as well as a great source of calcium. If you’re not a huge fan of the taste, we recommend you give this smoothie a try as-is—you may be surprised—but substitution ideas are below if needed.
Bananas: these add a creamy texture and sweetness to your smoothie. Plus, they help support your digestion and heart health thanks to fiber and antioxidants. We recommend you use very ripe bananas (at least 60% brown), and for an even colder smoothie, keep your bananas in the freezer. Pro tip: peel and chop just ripe bananas (mostly yellow with some brown spots but no green) and pop them in the freezer for at least two days before using—their sweet flavor will continue to develop and deepen without becoming mushy. Freeze in a single layer and then transfer to an airtight container to prevent them from sticking together.
Frozen blueberries: these tiny morsels of sweet nutrition can be found year-round in the frozen aisle. Blueberries are full of antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, and they’re also high in potassium and vitamin C. Feel free to use fresh blueberries if that’s what you have, but you may want to throw in a handful or two of ice to keep things nice and cold.
Avocado: let’s get even creamier and up the nutrition even more. Avocado is a perfect whole-food source of fat (which our bodies need to function), it’s heart-healthy, and packed with vitamins and minerals. Freezing avocados for future use in smoothies is a great solution when you won’t be able to use your avocados during their three-minute and 22-second window of ripeness. 😂 You can buy frozen avocado at the grocery store, too—it tends to be cheaper than fresh, and it’s perfect for smoothies.
Ground flax seeds: you won’t taste this addition, but it dials up the health factor even more. Ground flax seeds are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as phytochemicals. Smoothies are a great way to include more healthy seeds in your diet.
A perfect blend
Remember when we said this smoothie was super simple? We meant it! To make the Beginner Green Smoothie, all you need to do is toss all of your ingredients into your blender, turn it on, and blend until creamy and smooth. That’s it! Pour into two glasses and enjoy.
If you have a high-powered blender, the actual blending will only take 30–60 seconds. But if all you have is a regular low-speed blender your Great Aunt Edna gifted you for your wedding ten years ago, no worries! You can still have a deliciously creamy smoothie, you just may need to blend it a little longer. If it’s super thick and not blending well, add water a quarter cup at a time and give it a little stir with a spoon (while turned off, of course) and try again. If your blender is really struggling, you may want to start with just the frozen ingredients and the water. Then, once they’re pretty well blended, you can throw in your fresh ingredients and blend until smooth. (If you’re in the market for a blender, read the 411 on blenders for our honest breakdown by brand.)
- 3 cups water (710 ml)
- 2 cups kale, packed (70 g / any variety)
- 2 medium fresh or frozen very ripe bananas (200 g)
- ½ cup frozen blueberries (70 g / can use fresh)
- ⅓ cup fresh or frozen avocado (75 g)
- 1⅓ tablespoons ground flax seeds
- Place all of the ingredients into your blender and blend until totally creamy and smooth.
- Pour into two glasses and enjoy!
Beginner Green Smoothie substitutions
The best thing about this recipe is its versatility. You can use it as a blueprint to create a different healthy smoothie every day. So don’t be afraid to experiment. If you don’t love a combination, take note, and try again the next day.
Water: feel free to switch out the water for an unsweetened non-dairy milk of your choice for extra creaminess. Non-dairy milk with higher fat content, like coconut (from the carton not the can) and almond milk, will make extra silky smoothies.
Kale: substitute this with spinach, beet greens, or another leafy green. Since those flavors aren’t great in smoothies, you’ll want to make sure any greens you use aren’t super bitter or peppery (like watercress and arugula). Baby greens tend to be a bit more tender and lighter in flavor. Pro tip: here’s the best way to prep your leafy greens so they last at least seven days.
Bananas: use fresh mango or pineapple, cooked sweet potato, or add extra avocado if you’re not a fan of banana. The best substitutes will deliver both a smooth texture and some sweetness.
Frozen blueberries: swap these for practically any other sweet frozen fruit. Strawberries, mango, and pineapple are our top choices.
Avocado: either leave out completely, and start with a little less liquid, or substitute with an extra banana. One of the banana swaps listed above will work here, too.
Ground flax seeds: substitute these with chia, sunflower, or hemp seeds. For a bit of a flavor change, you can even use nut butters like peanut or almond if you add a little more liquid to the blender. Frozen strawberries go especially well with peanut butter.
A smoothie a day…
Smoothies packed with real fruit, greens, and nutritious seeds are a perfect way to start your day or to perk you up during that 3 pm slump. Blend up a Beginner Green Smoothie and take it with you on your afternoon walk or create a fun tradition of making a daily smoothie with your kids.
This recipe is a fantastic way to introduce smoothies into your life. You’ll wonder why you didn’t try them sooner.
Has our Beginner Green Smoothie helped you incorporate more fruits and greens into your diet? Let us know in the comments below.
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