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

Miranda 3.29.2013 - 12:26 am

I think I am allergic to Kale. Can you tell me what other vegetables I can use as a substitute?

Reply
Barbara 3.26.2013 - 5:20 pm

I am hypoglycemic and am unfortunately unable to consume as much fruit in one sitting as the majority of your recipes recommend. Are there recipes with less fruit and more veges?

Reply
Jen H 3.26.2013 - 8:07 pm

Hi Barbara— we are working on this. As for now, feel free to but down your fruit measurements and increase the leafy greens. You can also swap out high sugar fruit with those that are low glycemic— like berries.

Reply
Adina 3.27.2013 - 1:53 pm

Hi Barbara! I just watched this video with FullyRawKristina the other day where she talks about hypoglycemia. I think you will find it interesting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bge-OkyN3E
Kind regards, Adina

Reply
Lisa 3.26.2013 - 3:16 pm

Hi Jen and Jadah,
Im totally excited to start the 30 day challenge coming up on 4/1. I have already blended a few of your recipes to get me started and drinking 32oz for breakfast everyday. One concern I have is that Im doing this without my Dr OK. Im prediabetic and have some hypo thyroid issue and was advised to stick to a low carb diet which I have been. Of course with drinking smoothies and the 60/40 fruit to veggie ratio im getting a lot of sugar albeit it natural. Ive tried several times to come up with some versions of smoothies with less fruit but have not tasted one that I liked. Do you happen to have any that you have not posted on your site? Im afraid of what my blood glucose level would be when I get my blood drawn on 4/25. Im hoping its not bad and that all the fresh stuff Im putting into my body will balance things out.

Reply
Jen H 3.26.2013 - 8:09 pm

Hi Lisa— we actually recommend you only drink 16 ounces for a serving. Most of our smoothie recipes make 32 ounces (which is actually two servings). So feel free to cut back your consumption, and store the extras in the fridge for a afternoon snack. This should help stabilize your blood sugar too, because yes— our green smoothies have fruit in them which can boost the sugar content.

Reply
Kalli 4.2.2013 - 10:20 pm

I had gestational diabetes and had to follow a strict low carb diet for a few months. I really missed my green smoothies during that time! But after a few weeks I finally got sick of eating eggs for breakfast every day and made myself a smoothie with 1 1/2 cups of organic vanilla soy milk, 1/4 cup raw almonds, and 1 heaping cup frozen fruit. It tasted like a milk shake and was very satisfying! I didn’t think of adding spinach or other greens to it, but I should have! My blood sugar was always perfect after one of those smoothies, as the protein content in the soy milk counter-balanced the glucose in the fruit. You could try it with a high-protein Greek yogurt too, like fage. I noticed that as long as I had a good amount of protein with my fruit, my bg levels were great. Give it a try and see how you do!

Reply
Blen 3.19.2013 - 5:39 pm

Howdy!

I usually try and drink water 30 minutes before and after a meal. Can I drink water along with the smoothie or treat it like a do a meal?

Also I read somewhere that smoothies should be consumed at room temp. Is that so? I like mine cold 🙂

Thanks in advance!

Blen

Reply
Jen H 3.19.2013 - 6:22 pm

Water is totally fine with a green smoothie! And you could probably drink it at room temp, but I don’t think it would be as enjoyable as if it was slightly chilled.

Reply
Shelon 3.16.2013 - 7:35 pm

Hi! I would like to use smoothies for 1-2 daily meal replacements, but I’m worried that I will still be hungry. Do you recommend adding a protein powder like soy, hemp or whey? Or, should adding Chia seeds or maybe oats help to make me feel full? Thank you.

Reply
Imogen 3.16.2013 - 4:51 pm

Can you say some more about alkaloid buildup? I’ve been using spinach as the base for my smoothies then adding a different green as well (like kale, romaine, box choy) but there’s always spinach in there. Is this a problem? Thanks!

Reply
Rebecca 3.9.2013 - 5:18 pm

Hi Jen and Jadah, thanks so much for putting together this site. I’m super-excited about the 30 day challenge. I live somewhere with fairly limited veggie options though – it’s a very hot climate so we don’t see leafy greens very often. Is there any problem with substituting one leafy green for another? I might be able to get spinach but kale is just not available here. I still want to do the challenge, just looking for ways to make it work for me.

Reply
Jen H 3.10.2013 - 5:19 pm

Yes— you can totally substitute one leafy green for another. I do it all the time to recipes depending on what I can get fresh. Yet you will want to change it up a few times during the challenge (too much of one leafy green can cause alkaloid buildup) and it’s simple to avoid…just rotate your leafy greens. I do spinach 60% of the time and then switch between kale, romaine, celery tops, and some other random greens I have on hand. Hope you join us Rebecca!

Reply
Rebecca 3.11.2013 - 11:33 pm

Thanks for that info. I’m signed up and raring to go! I bought a green yesterday to start me off. No idea what it is – the grocer said it was “like spinach” 🙂 I will see how it goes. Can I use parsley as a green? I can get that fairly reliably. Also rocket (arugula) but I can’t imagine that would taste that nice since it is such a strong flavour.

Reply
Jen H 3.15.2013 - 10:09 am

I’ve used arugula a few times— not my favorite but not horrible. Parsley would be a great addition too! I say use what you can get your hands on easily— you want this to be a lifestyle change and not to have to go out of your way every week too much or it won’t stick.

Reply
Deyci Alexandra 3.8.2013 - 5:12 pm

Hi I signed up for this challenge, now I just wanted to see how this works. I am very new to this, I have never done this before. On April1, do we receive a recipe for a smoothie for day 1? And then another recipe for Day 2, etc? If you could please fill me in on this this would be great ! Thanks

Reply
Jen H 3.8.2013 - 6:50 pm

Hey Deyci— we will be sending you emails in the coming weeks to help you get ready for this. But the gist is that we will send you a weekly email that has the challenge, recipes for the week we suggest you try out and a shopping list to make it easier for you. So you will have all the knowledge and supplies ahead of time and be good to go for the entire week of each challenge (there are 4 challenges, one a wee during the month of April). Hope that helps and glad to have you here asking questions— we truly love it!

Reply
Yoselin 2.25.2013 - 10:36 pm

Hey 🙂 just got introduced to your site by a friend who’s absessed with the green smoothie phenomenon.. I have heard that green smoothies can help with acne.. How true is this? And if it is are there specific fruits and vegetables I should be blending?

Reply
Nadine 2.20.2013 - 4:05 am

Hi Jen!

How are you supposed to do this challenge if you want to lose weight? Simply by replacing one meal with any of your smoothies?
How does it work? 🙂

Thank you!

Reply
Jen H 2.20.2013 - 5:59 pm

Hi Nadine. Jadah replaced 1-2 meals a day with green smoothies and lost some excess pounds and managed to keep it off with switching to one green smoothie a day (now for breakfast). Our smoothies yield about 4-5 cups, which is about 2 serving sizes. So feel free to have 2 cups for breakfast and 2 cups later in the day as a snack or meal replacement. The fiber in raw vegetables will help you stay fuller and the nutrients will truly nourish your body so you won’t have as many bad cravings. Make sure you are adding protein and healthy fats to your smoothies too, if you are using them as meal replacements for a long time. We talk all about that in the 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge guide. I would also consult a dietician to make sure you are adding the correct nutrients that your body needs— everyone is different and we are just sharing what has worked for us personally. Hope that helps and best of luck! —Jen

Reply
1 2 3 4 5 43

Leave a Comment