Learning to love green smoothies has been a bit of a journey for me. A couple of years ago, I wouldn’t touch them – we actually had a Booster Juice on campus at my undergrad university where I could use my meal plan, and I drank a looooot of smoothies during those years. And literally always had the same flavour, every time. (Pomegranate passion, in case you’re curious. Still stand by it as delicious).
But I was still stuck in my comfort-food loving vegetarian days, meaning I was more focused on eating things I liked rather than things that were good for me. Ideally you’d sit somewhere in the middle in that Sweet Spot of delicious healthy foods.
“Foods that are good for you” typically don’t change that much. We know pretty well what ingredients are going to make us feel good in the long term. But “foods you love” can and does change all the time! So that’s where we can try and make little changes in order to make food choices in the sweet, sweet middle spot.
Anyways, green smoothies. It took me a while but I learned to love them. Mostly this is thanks to the Green Machine smoothie that they serve at Pete’s Fine Foods in Halifax and in Bedford. It’s the only one I get there, and it started because I wanted to find a dairy-free smoothie. And thanks to the pineapple and apple in this one, I learned to love the greens.
That particular journey inspired my own green smoothie recipe. Pineapple is some sort of miracle fruit, honestly. It’s the perfect sidekick for bitter greens, whether that be spinach, kale, or whatever else you’re using.
I’ll admit, this recipe is pretty simple. I honestly make this several times a week and can’t really find a way to improve it further – sometimes I add some banana, but only in order to use up old bananas. The texture and taste is already great even without it.
In terms of adding a little liquid, I’ve really come to love using lemonade. I’m lazy and bought a bottle of it from the organic section at the grocery store and this turned out to be a great use for it. However, in it’s place I would also recommend apple juice, or pineapple juice, or even just plain water. It’s important in order to give the blades of the blender something to work with, and to help dissolve the protein powder.
Oh, and if you’re not into protein powder, you can leave that out. But if you have it, why not throw it in? I always find plain flavour works best.
Finally we come to toppings. I didn’t include them in the recipe, but if you’re enjoying your smoothie in a cup with a lid or if you’re just not a fancy pants, then toppings are unnecessary. But if you’re having it in a bowl, or want to show off your nice green smoothie on IG, then toppings are a must.
My recommendation for this particular smoothie is to make a tasty raw granola, and I’ve got a couple different recipes for that! But there are a world of other toppings. Some of my favourites for a green smoothie are:
- kiwi slices
- chopped nuts
- hemp hearts
- chia seeds
- banana slices
- orange segments
- bliss balls
Be creative, and make sure not to overload the bowl with toppings. A minimalist approach looks good but is also a sensible way to make sure it tastes good.
Green Pineapple Smoothie
- 1 packed cup spinach
- 1 cup frozen pineapple
- 1/2 cup frozen mango
- 1/3 cup organic lemonade
- 1 scoop green protein powder
If your blender isn't super powerful, let the fruit sit out for 10+ minutes to soften slightly before blending.
In your blender, add the spinach, pineapple, and mango. Add the scoop of protein powder on top, then the lemonade.
Blend on high until completely smooth. Serve in a bowl or glass.