I’ve written previously about how to make green smoothies taste better. Green smoothies are bad enough in that they’re called “green smoothies”. It doesn’t help that you pack them full of a ton of spinach, kale, or other leafy greens. But if the green smoothie tastes horrible to boot, or it tastes fine on day 1, but makes you gag by day 5, then this makes the entire concept of green smoothies useless. But I’ve never been a fan of having to add artificial flavoring and sugar to a green smoothie in order to make it palatable. It’s like a vegan having to add a steak to a salad in order to get the salad down. Adding fruit punch mix to cover up the taste of the green smoothie is like putting cheese on broccoli–it helps you get the broccoli down, but at a cost. In January of 2011 my sister passed a new recipe along to us that we started using, and after almost an entire year of drinking this smoothie almost every day, I am declaring it the ultimate green smoothie recipe. Not because it has the widest variety of ingredients, but because it has some good core ingredients, and most importantly–I can drink it every day without getting sick of it.
The green smoothie recipe I’ve become hooked on is quite simple:
1. Two cups water
2. One cup apple juice (juice or concentrate)
3. Several large handfuls of raw, fresh, washed spinach leaves (we buy the large bags from Costco)
4. A healthy helping of frozen blueberries (again, we buy the large bags from Costco)
5. A few large, frozen strawberries
6. Other frozen mixed berries
7. Some pineapple if you like (fresh pineapple or fresh frozen taste best)
It’s almost as important to know what to leave out as what to include. Don’t include bananas, carrots, nuts, or wheat germ. Well, include them if you like, but if the taste doesn’t work for you, leave it out. I’m not sure exactly what was making me gag before, but it was one of those above ingredients. I suspect the bananas. I love bananas, but somehow combined with the other green smoothie ingredients it made drinking the smoothie every day unsustainable.
Another note, I think the smoothie tastes better once it sits and thaws a little. When it’s really frozen the cold numbs certain of your tastebuds and the taste is quite bland. But if it thaws a bit then it becomes very sweet and tastes as good as anything from Jamba Juice or any other smoothie joint.