Here are five natural, healthy, super yummy ways to make your smoothie green for St. Patty’s Day… or any day!
St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, so I thought you and I should make a recipe or two to celebrate. There are many Irish sorts of things we could make… soda bread, corned beef, Irish cream. Buuut I’m going to be completely honest with you. I don’t have the ingredients for any of those things, and I’m also too intimidated to buy corned beef. For one, I’ve never made it before (I think my mom has?). And two, you have to buy so much at once! Like, what if it’s too heavy for me to carry out of the store? What if I ruin it? What if I don’t even like it? (A thing about me: I tend to internally dramatize things I’m afraid of that aren’t actually a big deal. Can you tell?).
So I was thinking perhaps something green would do for this year, and then I thought, green smoothies. It’s always the right time for a green smoothie! Secretly, I had homemade healthy Shamrock Shakes in mind (hence the mint), but just in case you don’t have all of the ingredients for that on hand, you can be festive (and healthy!) with a green smoothie in any of the following five ways.
Five Healthy Ways to Make Your Smoothie Green
- Start with a light-colored base. There’s a time and a place for berries, beets, Battle Star Galactica (OMG please tell me you got that reference which was also weirdly mixed with a pun. I couldn’t help myself as I was typing. If you didn’t get it, go start watching The Office right now, and then we’ll talk.), cacao powder, chocolate milk or protein powder, etc., but let’s be real. You’re going to get a straight up brown smoothie, even if you mix in any of the green ingredients I’m about to suggest. Your base should include lighter-colored ingredients that won’t compromise the integrity of your green ingredients. Try any white milk (dairy or non), coconut water, plain yogurt, cottage cheese (seriously, it’s actually really good in smoothies! This is a judge-free zone, right??), vanilla or plain protein powder, coconut, frozen bananas, frozen pineapple… anyone try frozen mango? I haven’t, but I imagine it’ll maintain the green. Let me know if you’ve tried it! Once you have your light-colored base, try any of the following…
- Add Avocado. Avocado adds a ton of richness and creaminess to smoothies. It’s so good! Plus extra healthy fats = serious bonus points.
- Throw in some fresh mint. I love mint! Toss a handful into your smoothie and blend it up well. Adding some mint to a vanilla-flavored smoothie base sort of reminds me of mint chocolate chip ice cream, which is my favorite flavor (vanilla is a close second…almost tied. I take after my dad on that one). Except this is way healthier, and I can have it for breakfast 🙂
- Any greens you like. Kale, spinach, any of the leafy greens! Probably the milder the better (you, know, because peppery arugula? Hmmm… I’d say at your risk on this one).
- Matcha Green Tea Powder. Because it’s green and it’s so good for you!
Even better if you combine all five ways. Oh and if you’re in a painting mindset, you can adjust your ingredients to obtain different shades of green. Want a super bright green? Go with kale and throw in some frozen pineapple. Or how about like a pastel green? Yogurt and milk with spinach and avocado… maybe? (Nerd for life.)
In any case, here’s a small tip: when you’re blending up leafy greens or herbs in smoothies, it works best when you have a high-speed blender. Otherwise you get little bits and pieces of greens left in there… and sometimes that weirds people out. It sort of weirds me out unless they’re super tiny. So, if chunks (and we’re not talking about the occasional raspberry seed) bother you and you don’t have a high speed blender, you can try one of two solutions:
- Just let the blender run longer than you normally would (several minutes). That usually does the trick. It’s going to feel longer than you think, but your patience will be rewarded with a completely chunk-free smoothie.
- Buy a high-speed blender. If you’ve been thinking about it for a long time, DO IT. It’s soooo worth it, especially if it’s something you use frequently. You deserve the best results in your kitchen endeavors! At least that’s how I justify it when I treat myself to a nice kitchen appliance 😉 For years I used this Magic Bullet and really liked it for most things, but I had trouble when I tried to blend ice into smoothies, or make pesto. Maybe I just didn’t let it run long enough? Maybe I used the incorrect blade? I don’t know… I tried, but I never quite figured it out. In any case, now I use this Ninja blender. It’s really powerful and less than half the price of its suitable alternatives, like this Vitamix. Don’t get me wrong, I fully believe that Vitamix makes high-quality, amazing blenders, which are highly recommended by so many food bloggers/health-conscious people/smoothie-lovers/everybody. I’ve just never honestly used one and wanted to let you know which one I genuinely recommend based on personal experience ;). But if you’re feelin’ a Vitamix, go for it!
Or just leave out the leafy greens, and go the avocado or matcha green tea powder route. It will still be awesome and ultra healthy.
How do you make your smoothie green? Do you make any recipes to celebrate St. Patrick’s day? Let me know in the comments below! Doesn’t have to be green 😉
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