Thursday, February 10, 2011

Getting Started - Green Smoothies

I realize now that this should have been my first post. I think when we have the desire to help our family eat more healthy foods it is sometimes hard to know where to start. There are a lot of good ideas and recipes out there but it is hard to translate that into habits for our families. When people ask me where they should start I always say green smoothies. Well, in reality I am not sure how many people have asked me that but let's just pretend you asked for this advice.

Green smoothies are awesome because they contain lots of fresh, raw leafy greens, which are some of the most nutritious foods on earth. Green smoothies are also easy to make and most people like them once they have given them a shot. The only special tool you need is a blender. Now I have a Blendtec blender, which is like a $400 blender. It seems really ridiculous to spend that much on a blender. But the good news is you do not need an expensive blender to make these. I made these for a long time on my $40 blender from Target and they were great.

Okay here are the steps to making green smoothies:

1. Fill blender with 2-3 cups water. ( I like mine thin so I put in a little more than 3 cups)
2. Put in several handfuls of greens - really pack them in (When first starting with kids put in less)
3. Blend the greens and water for about 1 min,
4, Add 2 ripe bananas ( not overly ripe like for banana bread but not green)
5. Blend again
6. Add whatever fruit you like ( I usually do frozen fruit because it is convenient and we like these smoothies cold)
7. Blend again and drink up! - (I stick my husband's portion covered in the fridge and he drinks it when he gets home. He usually just stirs it up before he drinks it)

** You don't have to blend up everything seperately but I think it comes out with a much smoother consistency when you do.

**The easiest green to start with I think is spinach - it's easy to find and if you have a Sam's Club or Costco membership you can get big tubs of organic spinach for cheap. Spinach has a really mild taste that is mostly masked by the fruit. Other mild greens are:

beet greens

It's great to mix and change up your greens but for now just start with spinach till you get the hang of it.

** The choices for fruit are almost endless. I have used apples, pears, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, oranges, mangoes, pineapple, etc... Lately I have been using a frozen tropical mix from Walmart.

** There are lots of other things you can add to smoothies but don't make them too complicated at first.

** I would love to get you feedback on these. So if you try them, let me know!!


  1. Heather, we love our green smoothies. The kids too! It's definately a challenge to get kids to eat healthy things. Just getting them to drink the green smoothies is a huge benefit for them. So many vitamins and minerals and fiber! My wife has a recipe for vegan mac and cheese on her blog that they love too.

  2. I recently found your blog and am interested in feeding my family more healthy choices. This sounds like a great place to start. My big question is how much does it cost you to feed your family? We have a family of 8 and the prices of a lot of groceries can be pretty unreasonable. We are blessed to have a lot of farmers' markets near us, but that doesn't help during the off-season...Any help would be great!

  3. HI Mary! I wish I had good advice on eating healthy on a budget but I am not that great at it, as my husband will attest! The Nourishing Gourmet, linked on my sidebar, has some good tips on eating healthy in a frugal way.

    Obviously as much scratch cooking you can do will cut down your grocery bill. And if you don't buy meat or as much it will balance out some of the more expensive health foods.

    Some other advice is do some online searching for products like nuts, oils, etc that are expensive in your local health store. You can also get in on group buys. I bought bulk nuts and raw honey in a group buy with and that saved me a lot of money.