FAQ’s

FAQ’s

I know how overwhelming it can be when getting started with green smoothies. It’s totally normal and I promise it’s actually really really simple! You can get the answers to common green smoothies questions below:

What type of blender do you use?

Jen: I believe that any blender will work when making a green smoothie. So start with what you have and work your way up when the time is right. When I first started blending green smoothies, I used a Waring blender that I got for my wedding. It was a $70 blender that worked okay. It turned my produce into a smoothie, yet it did leave chunks of spinach in my smoothie and it was very loud. Yet it got me started and I made my daily green smoothie with it for over a year. When it finally died and I went online and bought a refurbished Vitamix 5200 for $329. It came within a week and blends like a beast — no spinach leaf is left unblended when this bad boy is done. Best decision I ever made when it comes to green smoothies. I love my Vitamix so much!

The SGS Team: Our other team members use a variety of other blenders. You can find our comprehensive Blender Guide here. Some us are Team Blendtec. Some of us are Team Kitchen Aid. Others are all about the Vitamix. (We just love our blenders!)

 

Need a cheap blender?

We polled our Green Smoothie community and found some AWESOME affordable blenders that will help you if Vitamix and Blendtec are a tad pricey for you at the moment. Check it out: Best Blenders under $120.

How many servings do your recipes make?

Our smoothie recipes make about 4-5 cups (32oz – 40oz). Some of us drink at least 2 cups (16 oz) everyday in the morning as a breakfast meal replacement. Jen drinks hers for lunch or sometimes as a mid-morning snack. Since green smoothies are full of fiber, they keep us full for awhile. If we need an afternoon pick-me-up, we have been known to make another green smoothie later in the day instead of drinking a caffeinated beverage.

 

Do I have to follow the recipe exactly, or can I switch out an ingredient or two?

Of course you can change up the recipes! All of our recipes are meant to inspire you to eat and live healthy, not to burden you with fruits/veggies that you can’t get your hands on, you don’t like, or are allergic to. Some recipes are made for specific purposes (i.e. detoxifying, immunity boosting, etc.) and need more specific replacements, but most are made to simply taste great and give your body access to fresh and raw ingredients. If there are adjustments that would make our recipe work better for you, then go for it!

Can I store my green smoothie in the fridge?

Some people say you have to drink it “right away” to get the optimal nutrients from each blend. But if left in the fridge overnight for one to three days, the taste and satisfaction is still there. You also may want to add a small amount of lemon juice to preserve and keep the smoothie blend as fresh as possible. Your body is still reaping the benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables even if it is not consumed right away.

 

What are chia seeds and where can I get them?

We are obsessed with these tiny little crunchy seeds. We sprinkle them on top of smoothies, or put them inside our oatmeal with almond butter and almond milk. Many people ask what are the health benefits of chia seeds? Is there a difference between black chia seeds and white chia seeds? And where can I buy chia seeds? We have answered all your awesome questions right here: 6 Reasons Why We Love Chia Seeds.

 

Do you have a good recipe for weight loss?

If you want to burn fat, you want to include plant-based smoothie ingredients that have the following weight loss effects:

  • jump start your digestion
  • burn excess fat
  • reduce and expel bad cholesterol
  • provide energy for your cardiovascular system
  • detox and hydrate your body
  • promote healthy bowel movement
  • decrease your appetite for processed foods and sugars

The Kiwi Berry Punch is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense smoothie recipe that combine the best fruits and veggies for an optimal approach to healthy weight loss.

The best part about a green smoothie–  you can use a smoothie as a low-calorie meal replacement because they are full of fiber which keeps your body feeling fuller longer. And if you want to take your health to the next level, we recommend checking out our Fresh Start: A 21-Day Cleanse (click the link to learn more).

 

Does adding leafy greens make the smoothie taste bitter or weird?

As long as you follow the 60/40 formula (60% fruits; 40% leafy greens), you should not be able to taste the green veggies in your smoothies. The fruits naturally mask the taste– and bananas are the perfect natural sweetener for any green smoothie packed with spinach, kale, or other leafy green.

 

How do I make my smoothie “smooth” without leafy chunks?

If you have a high-speed blender, you will always have a perfectly smooth smoothie. But don’t let that stop you from making green smoothies if you have a regular blender. Healthy lifestyle choices can be made on any budget. My favorite tip to share about green smoothies is to blend your leafy greens and liquids first (water, almond or cashew milk, or coconut water) until you get a juice-like consistency. You should be able to achieve this texture in 30 to 60 seconds. Once you have blended all of the leafy greens, then you can add the remaining ingredients. Let me know if this works for you.

 

I’ve got a sweet tooth— can I add a sweetener to my green smoothie?

We find that using whole fruits as natural sweeteners is the best way to sweeten your green smoothies. If you like the taste of bananas, you can add an extra banana or two whenever your smoothie is not sweet enough. Other natural sweeteners are dates and figs, which provide nutrients and fiber as well as a super sweet taste to your smoothie recipe. Some other alternatives are 100% fresh squeezed fruit juices, raw honey and 100% maple syrup.

Although you may add these sugar substitutes to your recipes, you will find that we do not add any sugars or sweeteners to our smoothie recipes unless it is a natural whole fruit. And please stay away from “0 calorie” sweeteners, they are made of artificial ingredients like aspartame which is so toxic to your body.

This smoothie is perfect for your sweet tooth: Almond Butter and “Jelly”

 

How do I clean my blender?

The easiest and fastest way to clean your blender is to immediately give it a quick rinse with warm water after use (a tiny drop of soap is optional). If you are in a hurry, fill your blender with water, until you are ready to wash it. If you are in a super duper rush, and you let your blender sit with no water, fill your blender 3/4 full with warm water and soap and give it a nice scrub on the insides. Place it back on your blender stand and turn the blender on for 30 seconds— It’s like a mini-dishwasher.

 

I’m on a tight budget— how can I get inexpensive produce?

If you are new to eating a lot of fruits and veggies, your grocery bill may be a little shocking with the extra fresh and frozen produce purchases. Over time, you will eliminate a lot of processed food items which will in turn bring your grocery bill back to normal. But here are a few quick tips to saving money on produce.

  • Make a shopping list: making a weekly meal planning list that covers what you will eat on a daily basis will help you only buy what you need. Make sure to include snacks in your meal plan and shopping list too.
  • Buy seasonal fruit and veggies: purchasing produce is in season is typically cheaper. And if you see a good deal on fresh fruits and veggies, purchase in bulk and freeze for future smoothies.
  • Buy out of season fruits frozen: Costco and Sam’s Club sell large bags of organic frozen fruit at good prices. If your freezer can accommodate bags in bulk, take advantage of making these purchases.
  • Buy from local fruit stands, farmer’s markets and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture): For the tastiest and most fresh organic produce, buy locally. Not only has the produce been grown and harvested close to home, but buying locally also helps our environment buy eliminating the time and resources needed to deliver. Visit, www.LocalHarvest.org to find your local farm, farmers markets, and other local food sources.
  • Follow the EWG’s Dirty Dozen: this list will help you know what is worth getting organic and what you can buy conventional.

“Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it.” —Josh Billings

Where can I buy those mason jars you use?

We adore mason jars for our green smoothies, feel free to visit our Amazon shop for mason jars, cups, cool lids, and other smoothie essentials by clicking here.  And don’t forget you can always wash out a spaghetti sauce jar for green smoothie mason jars too— that’s Jen signature move.

 

I am allergic to bananas (or pineapple, or mango, or…) what can I substitute with?

Got an allergy or an aversion to some fruits? Swap it out with a fruit that you love and adore. Can’t eat bananas? Switch it with more mango, peach, papaya, pear or an apple to sweeten it up. Or an avocado to make it thick and creamy.

Can’t do pineapples? Double up another ingredient already in the smoothie. If something calls for 1 cup of something you just can’t eat, swap it with 1 cup of a fruit you can eat. Mixed berries and mixed fruit bags that are frozen are a great replacement ingredient.

The best part is playing mini-chef with your blender. Not one smoothie will please everybody, but we promise over the next 30 days you will find a recipe that is your go-to smoothie. It will be the one you make for your friends and family and make them a green smoothie lover too. So explore, experiment, and smile!

Check out these yummy banana-free green smoothie recipes!

 

878 comments

Melissa 2.12.2013 - 12:59 pm

what if i drink a different smoothie recipe every day (i try different fruits or vegetables), is it wrong or i should really try one recipe for a week long ?

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Jen H 2.14.2013 - 7:41 am

Hi Melissa. We definitely recommend changing up your smoothies! You can have a different one every day of the week— the point is to just pack in those fruits and veggies so that you are getting enough every day. And rotating your greens is very important— so make sure to use a variety of leafy greens like kale, spinach, romaine, arugula, bok choy, etc.

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Allison 2.6.2013 - 7:37 pm

Thanks for the helpful info. I’m trying to drop the “last 10 pounds” after my third child. Getting older is not fun…
A safer option to the tofu could also be nonfat, plain Greek yogurt, right? And do you drink a green smoothie in place of a regular meal, or do you drink the smoothies AS your actual meals? Some sites have cautioned against combining a green smoothing with protein (from a main meal) a the fruit/fat combination could cause quite a bit of bloating. I’m experiencing a fair amount of bloating in these first few days of this new lifestyle, but am certainly feeling more energy and at Starbucks today I didn’t even want the brownie that would typically shout out my name.

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Jen H 2.8.2013 - 12:50 pm

I totally get it Allison. I have two kids and still not what I used to be 🙂

You could definitely use Greek yogurt— yet dairy is another iffy food topic due to food allergies and sensitivities. We try to stay away from dairy since me and my daughter are both sensitive to it. And I drink 2 cups for green smoothie every morning for breakfast and then somedays I will have it for dinner. This helps with weight issues for me. I haven’t noticed any bloating when using hemp protein or almond butter in my smoothies for a protein boost. It’s honestly a lot of trial and error in figuring out what works for your body, since we are all different. And I love that they brownie left you alone today at Starbucks– that’s so funny.

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Allison 2.5.2013 - 6:30 pm

Started drinking green smoothies for dinner about 3 days ago. Usually, my husband and I ALWAYS ended our day with a little dessert after the kids went to bed. Ice cream, a cookie (or two or three), split a slice of pie, etc. But tonight I just didn’t want it. It’s four hours past my smoothie and I still feel semi-full.

Just wondering if anyone uses organic silken tofu in their recipes to increase protein levels. Why or why not? Thanks so much! Also, for weight loss are there less caloric-dense options you would recommend other than the kiwi strawberry recipe?

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Jen H 2.6.2013 - 6:52 pm

Hey Allison! I love your date/dessert with your husband, so sweet! You can definitely add tofu to your smoothie to increase the protein levels. Just be careful though, soy is really not as good for our bodies as it once was thought to be. More than 90% of soy beans grown in the US are genetically modified. This article is pretty interesting here (it brings in two experts to discuss the whole soy debate): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/23/soy-healthy_n_1823052.html

As for weight loss, I would recommend using low glycemic fruits (berries, oranges, cherries, peaches, pears, apples, etc) and adding hemp protein to your smoothies to boost your protein intake. Using water as your base will also lower your caloric intake. As long as you do 2 cups leafy greens/3 cups fruits you will have a pretty yummy tasting smoothie. So have some fun and experiment!

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Caitlin 1.23.2013 - 9:41 pm

Hey there if i want to do the challenge now (24th of Jan) could i get all the weekly emails emailed to me so i can still do the challenge or is it too late?

thanks 🙂 x

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Jadah S 2.9.2013 - 7:41 pm

Hi Caitlin, sorry I missed this. The challenge is live. We are hosting another live and free challenge April 1st. Sign-up here: http://www.simplegreensmoothies.com/30-day-challenge-april-1

We also have our 30-day green smoothie challenge eGuide on sale for $5 if you want to get started earlier: http://www.simplegreensmoothies.com/30-day-challenge-guide

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Caitlin 2.10.2013 - 5:50 pm

Thanks so much 🙂

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Michelle 1.20.2013 - 5:26 pm

Hello, I’ve recently started making green smoothies pretty consistently when your 30 day challenge started and I love it! It seems as though its changed people’s lives health wise, why do they say that blending your veggies kills the nutrients? I don’t get it…I still love them, either way this is the only way I’ll get this much veggies and fruit into my body 🙂

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annette 1.15.2013 - 4:07 pm

Hi, first day for challenge will be tomorrow, better late than never. I was wondering your opinion of the nutra bullet.

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Natasha 1.14.2013 - 4:58 pm

Thank you Jen! My mom made some cabbage the other day and left a few pieces out for me, said “here, blend that up” LOL! I’ve been giving her a shot of green smoothie a day till she can get to a half cup at least, lol! Gave my aunt a shot today…told my family we’ll all be green soon. Have a great day!

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Natasha 1.14.2013 - 4:59 pm

Also, it’s day 3 for me and I’m feeling the alertness…usually by 5pm, I need a nap! Excited to reap the benefits of what the green smoothies are sowing!

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Jen H 1.15.2013 - 8:48 pm

Haha. I love it! Thanks Natasha.

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Natasha 1.14.2013 - 1:25 pm

I haven’t seen cabbage as a leafy green veggie to try in smoothies, is there a reason for that?

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Jen H 1.14.2013 - 4:34 pm

Great question Natasha. I have used cabbage in a green smoothie— it’s high in antioxidants and that appeals to me. Yet you have to be careful with how much you use— it can turn the flavor south very fast. I recommend using half cabbage and half spinach if you want to introduce cabbage to your green smoothies.

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Dee 1.7.2013 - 12:10 am

This is great information for me to start out. I have a health condition where I can’t eat spinach. Can you recommend other vegetables as a replacement where the recipe calls for spinach? And will this change the true taste or nutritional value of the altered smoothies? Thanks so much for the guidance!

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Jen H 1.7.2013 - 8:35 am

Hi Dee. Spinach is the most mild tasting green, and a great beginner leaf for smoothies. Yet we are BIG advocates of rotating greens so feel free to swap the spinach out. Some other leafy greens we use regularly are: kale, romaine and arugala. You can also try:

beet greens
bok choy
celery
collard greens
dandelion greens
kale (red, green and black)
lambquarters
lettuce, all kinds
mixed baby greens
mustard greens
sprouts
swiss chard
turnip greens
herbs (basil, cilantro, mint, parsley)

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Alisa 1.6.2013 - 6:16 pm

I have been having a green smoothie for breakfast for a while now…but I usually put greek yogurt in mine. Is there a reason you don’t put dairy in your smoothies? Also, is it bad to have the same smoothie all the time or should we be mixing up our veggies/fruit constantly to ensure we get all the essentials? Thanks, love your site!

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Jadah S 1.6.2013 - 8:37 pm

Hi Alisa, many people add dairy/yogurt to their smoothies. Dairy doesn’t always digest well in people’s bodies, so we avoid it here, but don’t stop anyone else from doing so. We try to make our recipes focused on a plant-based diet avoiding animal products. I usually have the same smoothie everyday. I mix it up every now and then– especially since people want more recipes on the site 🙂 It’s important to rotate your greens. We will talk about that this upcoming week for our challenge. Are you signed up for it? Join us if you can. It’s free and easy to follow along: http://www.simplegreensmoothies.com/30-day-challenge

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