Sweet but nutrient-packed, this delicious and easy green smoothie is refreshing, satisfying, and nourishing. It makes a great complement to any plant-based breakfast but is a tasty treat any time of day.
This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for details.
Hey Internet, this green smoothie is my new favorite thing. After being sick for months, and having antibiotics wreak havoc on my digestive system, I needed a new healthy habit. Enter green smoothies.
I’ve never been a juice person, but I do love smoothies. There’s something about the satisfying feeling a big smoothie gives you.
And while the term green smoothie can be a little scary at first (what am I doing, drinking a salad?), it can actually be super delicious. Follow my formula for a delicious vegan green smoothie and it might just become a staple in your morning routine too.
I’m not going to pretend I’m a dietitian or a health coach. I did get a certificate in plant based nutrition, but that doesn’t give me the authority to tell you what to eat.
So I’m going to say this now and then I’ll be quiet about it and give you the recipe: Please consult with your physician/doctor before making any changes to your diet. This recipe is not intended to replace any meal nor am I giving you any health or medical advice. I’m simply stating what has worked for me and that I enjoy this recipe just like every other recipe on my site.
Whew. Okay, let’s talk about green smoothies now.
Why This Recipe Works
This vegan green smoothie in particular has a lot of different stuff going on, and it’s also very customizable. I’ll talk today about a formula for green smoothies that should help you.
I’ll also provide modifications you may want to make to this recipe based on your experience with green smoothies.
Why am I talking about experience? Because if you’re not used to green smoothies, and you put too much green stuff in there or not enough sweet ingredients like fruit, you may make a smoothie that doesn’t taste good to you. And nobody wants that.
So, if you’re used to green smoothies you can err on the side of less fruit and more greens.
Likewise, if you’re new to green smoothies, please err on the side of more fruit and less greens. Or use greens like spinach which are less assertive than greens like kale and collards.
The formula (which is very basic) goes something like this:
- Liquid (water, juice, non-dairy milk, coconut water) - a decent amount
- Greens (spinach, kale, collards, micro greens, even herbs, etc.) - a decent amount
- Fresh or frozen fruit (pineapple, mango, apple, grapes, melon, etc.) - a small amount
- Seeds (ground flaxseed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, etc.) - an even smaller amount
- Ice (to make it cold), but you may want to skip this if you do not have a high speed blender or you know your blender can’t handle ice
Which of these you pick is up to you. And it’s pretty fun experimenting and finding the combinations you like best.
I definitely recommend writing down your favorite things about your smoothies, so you can find what works best for you.
For example, I’ve found that I do not love plant milk in my smoothies. I’d much rather have water or juice. But people differ!
And while every smoothie is different, if you follow the basic ingredients above
In my experience and opinion, you need a few things to really take your smoothie from blah to amazing:
- Fresh or frozen ginger - I loved to use the frozen cubes of ginger but you are also good to just use a small knob of fresh ginger. You don’t even need to peel it if you have a high speed blender—just chuck it in.
- Citrus of some sort - my favorite is to add a small amount of fresh orange juice in with my water (and that’s what you’ll see in my recipe below), but lemon, lime, and fresh orange segments are also great
- Herbs, specifically fresh mint - I don’t know why, but I’ve found that a small handful of sweet mint leaves (be careful, their flavor can be very intense) really balances out the assertive (even bitter to some) flavor of those darker leafy greens like kale and collards. I have a high tolerance for mint, so I do somewhere between 14 and 20 leaves, but I’d start with a lot less and go from there.
Anyway, as stated above, you can really experiment and have a lot of fun with your smoothies.
Today’s recipe is really one of unlimited potential combinations. But it’s my favorite, so I hope you’ll give it a try.
Never miss a recipe! Join my mailing list to receive a free copy of my e-book on my go-to plant based recipes as well as vegan tips, NEW recipes straight to your inbox. I promise to NEVER spam you or sell your information.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- 1 ¼ cups cold filtered water (or substitute all juice, non-dairy milk, or even coconut water)
- ¾ cup orange juice (or use 2 cups water and add a peeled & seeded lemon, lime, or fresh orange segments)
- 1 cup chopped kale (about 2 large leaves) (stems and all if you have a high speed blender)
- ½ cup chopped collards (about 1 large leaf) (stems and all if you have a high speed blender)
- 1 small handful fresh sweet mint leaves to taste (use less if you don’t like mint. You can also use either ¼ or ½ teaspoon mint extract) (or omit if desired)
- 1 medium apple, chopped or 1 cup green grapes
- 1 - 2 teaspoons fresh or frozen ginger
- ¾ cup frozen pineapple or mango chunks (fresh also works)
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (or substitute chia seeds, hemp seeds, etc. You could even use 1-2 tablespoons of nut butter but this will alter the flavor.)
- ½ to 1 full cup of ice (if you do not have a high speed blender, you may want to skip this)
How to Make a Green Smoothie
- Add your water, juice, or whatever liquids you’re using to the blender first.
- Next, add your washed greens. If they’re not chopped, just rip them up a little bit and stuff them in there. Throw the mint in too at this point.
- Add your fresh and frozen fruit next along with your ginger.
- Finally, add your ground flaxseed and ice (if using).
- Blend at high speed for 60 - 90 seconds. You may want to stop the blender halfway through and stir (or use a tamper if your blender has one) to make sure everything is blended and nothing is caught below the blade.
- Blend at the lowest speed for 10 seconds. This breaks up any bubbles created by the blending process and makes a much smoother drink.
- Pour and serve! We like to drink these smoothies with reusable straws which saves your teeth from too much sugar (even the natural sugars in fruit) and saves you from getting any particles in your teeth.
- While a smoothie will last 1-2 days in the fridge, it can start to lose nutrients or separate. If I do have leftover smoothie, I like to pour it in an ice cube tray. Then the next time I feel like a smoothie, I’ll throw those cubes in my blender with some water or juice and it’s still tasty!
Did you know I have books? Visit my shop page to see the various e-books I have available. My best seller is Plant-Based Jewish Recipes, and I’m in the middle of a second volume of that as well as a new book in the works that focuses on one of my favorite gluten-free vegan proteins.
Frequently Asked Questions
It depends. If you’re putting any sugar (non-fruit sugar, I mean) or other high caloric things in there, then that makes green smoothies a little less good for you. And some plant-based doctors out there want you to chew your food. That is, you can get less fiber from a smoothie (than chewing the ingredients themselves) because the blender does that work for you. However, if you’re also eating salads and a wide variety of plant based foods throughout the day, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a green smoothie as part of that healthy diet.
Spinach is by far the LEAST “green-tasting” leaf out there to put in your smoothie. You almost can’t taste it at all. But, you should vary your greens to get the most nutrients. Kale is also a great choice. Collards and swiss or rainbow chard are a little bit more assertive in flavor, but I’ve learned to really enjoy them. The trick is to pair them with sweet fruits to mask the bitterness.
Yes! Frozen greens are a great way of adding some greens to your smoothie. If you can’t eat all your salad greens in the week before they go bad, toss them in a freezer-safe container or reusable food storage bag and freeze them for your next smoothie.
You should consult your doctor because I don’t want to tell you what to do. But I personally drink green smoothies every day (and so does my husband since my recipe makes two 16-ounce servings) and it makes me feel great. I quit caffeine and I have much more sustained energy from drinking them. These smoothies are also rich in antioxidants, vitamins K and A, and iron. If you use citrus you’re also getting some great vitamin C too. The flaxseed are great for omegas as well.
You can! You definitely don’t have to, but you can. If you don’t want to alter the flavor much, try adding an unflavored protein powder.
Pro Tips for Success
- Add your liquid first so the blender is less likely to get ingredients stuck in the blades
- If you have a less-powerful blender (than say a Vitamix, try pausing halfway through and stirring with a long spatula.
- Taste and adjust! Stick a spoon in there when the blender is done and try your creation. Not sweet enough? Add a bit more fruit or juice. Taste a little flat? Try some citrus and more ginger.
- Make your prep easier and prep individual bags of your smoothie in the freezer with all the pre-measured ingredients. Then in the morning just add it to the blender with water or juice and blend!
Other Things to Try in Your Green Smoothies
- Microgreens for even more nutrients
- Mild-tasting vegetables like cucumber, zucchini, cauliflower, or yellow squash
- Berries (keep in mind that mixing red and green ingredients will make your smoothie appear brown but it will still be delicious!)
- Herbs like mint, basil, parsley
- Spices like cinnamon
- Protein sources like a bit of silken tofu, white beans, or your favorite protein powder
More Super Healthy Recipes
If you’re here for the super healthy stuff, try some of the below recipes:
- Vegan Goat Cheese Salad with Strawberries and Pecans
- Vegan Chicken Salad
- Avocado Salad
- Vegan Waldorf Salad
- Vegan White Bean Salad with Cucumber and Dill
- Avocado Pesto
- Tofu Poke Bowl
- Tofu Buddha Bowl