In need of greens

Photo via

Yesterday was Election Day, which always means a huge potluck at my office. I ate my weight in See's Candy, and threw in some doughnuts, deviled eggs, pulled pork and curry chicken. Does that sound like a recipe for disaster? What am I, eight years old? Well, I  had a massive tummy ache last night and could not wait to have a green smoothie this morning. Ah, already feeling better. And, now I've got a big salad, cottage cheese and hard boiled easter eggs for lunch. My body, and tummy, are thanking me.

What is a green smoothie, you may ask?

Right about the time that my acupuncturist suggested I try to get more greens and vegetables into my breakfasts, a friend posted a link to something called the Green Monster Movement. The idea is to make breakfast smoothies that include greens like spinach, kale, chard and collards. I usually get into a smoothie kick each spring and summer, but I had never thought of adding the greens. Great idea! I've been experimenting with some combinations lately, and I've had some great breakfasts!

In-a-Hurry Green Smoothie

Add in this order to the blender:
1 T Flax Seed (or peanut butter)*
1 scoop protein powder - optional!**
2 cups of pre-washed, bagged spinach - about one big handful
1 banana
1/2 cup frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, etc.)
1 cup milk or soy/almond milk

Blend until smooth. Add 4-6 ice cubes, if you'd like. I now leave out the ice cubes.

Fabulous Green Smoothie

This is what I went for this morning!

Add in this order to the blender:
1 T Flax Seed (or peanut butter)*

1 scoop protein powder - optional!**
2 cups of spinach (or kale, chard, collards) - about one big handful
1/2 banana
4-5 fresh strawberries
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
5 frozen cherries
1/3 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup milk or soy/almond milk

Blend until smooth.

* I had never had flax seeds before I started making these smoothies. I get them in the bulk aisle at grocery stores. My naturopath said it's good to have them in there, but you could certainly leave them out, substitute them with a nut butter, or just forget the nuts/seeds altogether!

** Protein powder is another new product to me. I proudly described my morning smoothies to my naturopath recently, and then she promptly told me that although they're great, they're probably  not giving me enough protein. Good point! So, she suggested I add a scoop of protein powder. It certainly doesn't improve the taste of the smoothie, but you can hardly tell it's there. I found mine at Whole Foods.

A few last notes: 
The bags of pre-washed spinach are definitely the easiest green to use. You just grab a handful and throw it in! Other greens are great, but involve more prep with washing and cutting.

A don't like raspberries or blackberries in smoothies because of all the seeds! Just my opinion, though.

Rinse out your cup and blender right away, or you'll come home at the end of the day with some hard-wash-dishes. (And, blenders are especially annoying to wash.) I rinse out my blender right away, and then let it soak during the day with a little dish soap.

I use organic spinach and strawberries, since those seem to be ones that are always recommended to buy organic.

If you're growing greens, those early little leaves that are starting to pop up are perfect for smoothies. I used some of the small chard leaves from our garden this morning!


  1. Good thing you let me try a little of your green smoothie (not sure which it was) I can testify to its tastiness!

  2. This post was the inspiration for my afternoon smoothie snack today!