Green smoothies are my absolute favourite breakfast. If it’s a work day, I blitz it up and pour it into a mason jar to take with me. On weekends, I’ll thicken it up and sprinkle goodies on top for a leisurely smoothie bowl.
I add different things to my smoothies every day, but I have a go-to base that I always share with people who are just starting to explore the world of veggie smoothies instead of the more traditional fruit-packed ones.
Why green smoothies over fruit smoothies? It’s simple: less sugar. Regardless of whether or not you’re adding additional sweeteners into your fruit smoothies, fruit has sugar, and sugar spikes your insulin, making you get hungrier more quickly. An all-veggie smoothie with plenty of fibre and healthy fats should keep you full throughout the morning so you aren’t reaching for your lunch two hours later (and then you’re out of food and starving before you leave work). I’m not against fruit at all, and for some, green smoothies take some getting used to, in which case I do recommend starting with a little bit of fruit in there to ease the transition. Over time, your taste buds will adapt to a less sugary morning and you’ll probably find you don’t need the fruit. In this recipe, I do use coconut water, which has some sugar and is more than enough sweetness for me; sometimes, I just do regular water.
In addition, getting in plenty of leafy greens is super-important, as mentioned in my post about kale chips. You should be eating vegetables with every single meal and making a large portion of them dark and leafy. Bonus? Getting in lots of fibre first thing in the morning will keep you regular, sans a giant mug of coffee. I like to use a combination of dark leafy greens, like kale or spinach, and light leafy greens, like romaine or leaf lettuce, to balance out the green flavours.
With a lot of the ingredients in this smoothie, I do recommend going organic. Things like leafy greens, celery and cucumber are on the dirty dozen list and tend to be laden with pesticides. I know it costs a little more, but who wants to start off their day with a glass full of toxins? I will often buy frozen organic kale and spinach when it’s on sale to save money. The nice thing about frozen veggies? Since they are frozen right at the time of picking, it means they can be harvested when they’re actually ripe and retain more of their nutrients than some of the fresh stuff you buy that’s been shipped halfway across the country (if not farther).
For the protein piece, I like to use a combination of hemp protein powder (I really like this one, since it’s water soluble) and grass-fed collagen peptides (like this one, which is on sale!). They are both clean sources of protein and the collagen gives a good nourishing boost to your gut, skin, hair and more. If you have something you already use and love, or you’re vegan and can’t do collagen, feel free to replace what I’ve suggested.
If you find this recipe to be too “green” for you when you’re starting out, here are a few things you can add to help it go down easier:
- Cinnamon and/or vanilla; both are natural sweeteners without any sugar
- A knob (about 1 cm) of fresh ginger
- The juice of half a lemon
- Half of a pear, apple or banana
- Fresh parsley
I will definitely be sharing more of my smoothie recipes in the future, but for now, here are a few things I like to add in to mix things up:
- A knob (about 1 cm) of fresh turmeric (or dried, if you can’t find fresh), with a pinch of black pepper to help absorb the curcumin
- A spoon of nut butter, coconut butter or coconut oil
- Chia, hemp and/or ground flax seeds
- ½ to 1 tsp of maca
- ½ to 1 tsp of spirulina
- A few florets of frozen cauliflower
- 1 Tb of cacao nibs (right at the end) for a healthy chocolate chip shake texture
This smoothie recipe is pretty rough and flexible. If you find you like more of one thing and less of another, feel free to play around with it. I find this one always tastes good to me, but then again I pretty much always add something different each day. Drink up!
Everyday green smoothie
- 1 handful about 1 cup, packed spinach or kale
- 1 handful about 1 cup, packed romaine or leaf lettuce
- 1 celery stalk
- ½ avocado
- 1 chunk of cucumber approximately 5 cm long
- 1 scoop protein of choice I like 2 Tb hemp protein & 1 Tb collagen peptides
- 1 cup coconut water
- Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender.
- If it’s not coming together, pour in a little filtered water until it gets smooth.
- If you’re still not loving the flavour, see my list of recommended add-ins above. If this isn’t substantial enough to keep you full, add in a spoon of nut butter, coconut oil and/or seeds.
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