overhead shot of several different leafy greens, all of which you can be added to your next smoothie

The Ultimate Guide to Leafy Greens

9.15.2020

The shining stars of green smoothies are the leafy greens— chock full of phytonutrients, protein, vitamins, antioxidants…the list goes on

Share the recipe


The shining stars of green smoothies are the leafy greens— and today I’m taking a deep dive into my love for greens and why you should love them too.

What are Leafy Greens?

Leafy greens are super important for a healthy diet. They’re nutrient dense, green veggies that provide tons of vitamins and minerals. According to research by the US Department of Health and Human Services, a daily serving of leafy greens can lead to slower age-related cognitive decline.

Greens can be found as the tops of other plants (here’s looking at you, carrot tops), or as plants in their own right. Leafy greens come in all shapes, sizes, textures, shades, and seasons. They aren’t even all in the same plant family. If your taste buds have ever balked at something dark green and leafy, never fear! I’ve got some great new options for you to blend.

The leafy greens list

circle of dark leafy greens listed with labels of each type: Bok choy, kale, cabbage, chard, arugula, carrot tops, romaine, collard, beet tops, spinach

I often talk about rotating your greens. This is because greens come from all different plant families, each offering different health benefits. Yet if spinach is your jam, no worries! Your body will tell you when it’s time for a leafy green change-up. Read on to learn about some different types of greens, as well as my fave options in each family.

Crucifers

Kale
Having a health issue? Kale can help with that. Seriously, kale is at the top of the superfood chain. With 684% of the recommended daily value of vitamin K, 206% of the RDV of vitamin A, and 134% of the RDV of vitamin C, this dark leafy green packs a health punch. The National Library of Medicine states that kale has the highest level of antioxidants when consumed raw, yet does retain some health benefits when cooked.

Collard
Like their other cruciferous family members, collard greens are great cancer fighters. They are also pretty good at helping your body digest foods properly with all the fiber inside. They are most popular as a steamed, dark leafy greens, but adding them raw to your smoothies will provide greater health benefits.

Cabbage
Cabbage is yet another example of a cruciferous cancer-fighting leafy green. This veggie can actually be purple, red, white, or green, but is definitely still considered a leafy green. I love using cabbage as a plant-based taco shell, or blended in a smoothie. Loaded with fiber, folate, vitamin B6, and antioxidants which help fight inflammation.

Bok Choy
This unique green vegetable is typically grown and harvested in China. Full of vitamins A and C, bok choy ranks high for nutrient density as well. All parts of the plant can be used: shredded in a salad or ramen, cooked in soup, or blended in a smoothie.

Arugula
More than just a garnish, this leafy green has a peppery taste and a full nutrient profile. 1 cup contains 27.7% of the RDV of vitamin K. It has a stronger flavor than other cruciferous greens on my list, yet is fun in salad, pesto, or as a pizza topping on my incredibly delicious plant based pizza recipe in Simple Green Meals.


ceramic bowl filled with raw baby spinach leafy greens

Amaranth:

Spinach
It’s hard to beat spinach when talking about nutrient packed greens. Just one leaf contains a sampling of more than 20 different nutrients. The list of benefits is nearly as long as the amount of nutrients:

  • cancer fighting
  • blood pressure lowering
  • bone strengthening
  • cardiovascular helping
  • brain boosting
  • skin smoothing
  • vision improving
  • inflammation reducing
  • energy increasing

Beet Greens
I recommend branching out and trying beet greens for your next smoothie! They include a wide variety of nutrients, and can easily be substituted in any recipe with spinach, kale, or chard. Our friends at Epicurious will kickstart your love for dark leafy beet greens with some of their fave recipes.

Chard
Looking to put a pep in you leafy green step? Chard is a colorful, dark leaf known for its ability to regulate the body’s blood sugar. Translation? If diabetes or maintaining blood sugar levels is a concern, then add this veggie to your regular rotation. Perfect for the afternoon smoothie pick-me-up!


Asteraceae:

Romaine Lettuce
Romaine lettuce is good for the heart and low in calories. The vitamin C and beta-carotene content help to lower cholesterol and prevent build up on artery walls, which reduces the risk of heart attack. Not a fan of salads? Then use romaine as a food wrap with some hummus + fresh veggies!


Apiaceae:

Carrot Tops
Who knew those frilly greens on the tops of carrots could come in handy? #nofoodwaste Filled with chlorophyll, which can fight against tumor growth and acts as a cleansing agent, carrot tops are the perfect addition to smoothies. If you really want to boost your next smoothie, toss in the carrot + its top.

just washed dark leafy greens on a cutting board

How often should you rotate greens?

Most of the smoothie/meal recipes I create use kale or spinach. That’s because these are the most easily found + affordable leafy greens available at the grocery store. Plus, they are in different leafy green families, so it makes rotating my greens easy peasy.

Alkaloid Build Up

Why is it important to rotate through this leafy green list? All greens have small amounts of toxins. If you only consume greens from one family, your body may start to experience alkaloid build up. This is very rare, and easy to avoid. Just try a new/different leafy green every once in a while. I recommend rotating your greens once a week. This way, your body doesn’t get too much of a good thing in one leafy green family, and you get the chance to reward your body with new nutrients from a different green family.

Basically, by rotating greens on a regular basis, you avoid building up the toxins from one leafy green. And, this gives you a reason to try that new fun green you’re always eyeing at the farmers market. While our green smoothies are super easy to swap out one green for another, I’ve also got a meal planner full of plant based recipes. Rawk the Year makes finding new recipes a breeze, and helps you incorporate the whole rainbow into your week. This meal planner also equips you with the kitchen skills to change up your veggies with ease!

Freezing your leafy greens

Ever wonder how to use up all that beautiful produce you just bought, before it starts to wilt? Even though I make green smoothies daily, I still find that my greens never stay fresh as long as I need. To lengthen the shelf life of those leafy greens, and make rotating your greens as easy as opening your freezer, I came up with a way to freeze your greens. This way, you can have your greens and eat them too! Since I typically buy spinach and kale at Costco, I found that freezing them in ice cube trays then storing in freezer containers is the perfect solution to maximizing the freshness. Plus, frozen greens can really help keep that smoothie cool.

big stalks of curly kale leafy greens on wooden table top

The Ultimate Green Smoothie App

Our amazing app, Daily Blends, has 100s of recipes ready for you to work your way through the leafy greens list! Click here to get it.

What are your fave leafy greens? Drop a comment below and let me know if this list has inspired you to try a new ingredient, or if you’ve got a new green for me to try!

COMMENTS
600

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Adam Gilles says:

    Since I was in mexico I love making a green smoothie using Nopales (cactus leaves) is this a ok substitute for spinach and kale? I am rotating these greens. Thanks

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie says:

      Hey Adam.

      We have not tried using cactus leaves, but if that is something you already enjoying eating, then go for it! 🙂 We love all sorts of leafy greens! 🙂

  2. May says:

    I am new on smoothies and need help too make the best smoothie too fight against cancer.
    Anyone who can help me??

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie says:

      Hey May.

      Thanks for the question. Since we are not doctors or nutritionist we can’t medically suggest a green smoothie that is good for fight against cancer. My suggestion would be to ask your healthcare provider to point you in the right direction of which fruit and veggies have been studied to help fight cancer. Once you have those answers, just us know and we can find a green smoothie that is great for you and delicious. 🙂

  3. mary says:

    Is it OK to use frozen spinach? Fresh spinach is sometimes hard to find in the local grocery and I’m not familiar with other available greens.

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie says:

      Hey Mary.

      Thanks for the comment. Yes, you are more that welcome to use frozen spinach if it is easier to find at the local grocery stores. 🙂

  4. Max says:

    Hello everyone! I made smoothies for a week and a half using kale, collard greens and two kiwi. The problem is I also take plavix. About 5 days later I have seen big bruises on my arms. I think I’m consuming too much kale. What are your thoughts.

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie says:

      Hey Max.

      Since we are not doctors or nutritionist the best advice we have is to consult your healthcare provider. 🙂 They will know you best and help you best understand why you are seeing bruises.

  5. Aisha says:

    Is there a difference when using baby varieties of veggies? Baby spinach, kale, etc?

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie says:

      Hey Aisha.

      We have found that baby spinach and baby kale is more mild in taste. Great for beginner green smoothie drinkers. 🙂

  6. Alice says:

    I use often Spinach,Pok Choy Carrot Tops and Beets Tops.Since last week we have again Kale in the Market,but I love most Spinach and Beet Tops

  7. Deborah says:

    So glad you posted this. I have been just using spinach in my smoothies and only kale occasionally.

  8. joyce says:

    I am really curious to know if that giant collard leaf is really digestible raw. It just looks so tough. Kale, collard, and cabbage sometimes hard to digest? And is it best to keep the proportion small?

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie says:

      Hey Joyce.

      Here are some tips to help blend.

      1. Tightly pack 2 cups of leafy greens in a measuring cup and then toss into blender.
      2. Add 2 cups of water and blend together until all leafy chunks are gone.
      3. Add 3 cups of fruit and blend again until smooth.
      4. Pour into a mason jar (or cute cup of your choice).
      5. Gulp or sip like a rawkstar!

      Hope that helps.

  9. Julie says:

    Just joined your site yesterday. Fantastic level of information. Just had my first green smoothie and looking forward to stuffing myself with all those lovey leafy greens that I don’t tend to get round to having as part of regular meals. Thanks girls x

  10. Debra Wallace says:

    I have recently read the article by the juice ladies about foods that affect our thyroid. Are there any other greens besides these that I can eat?
    Dandelion greens
    Romaine lettuce
    Celery
    Carrot tops
    Spinach
    Beet greens
    Chard

    Thank you,
    Deb

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie says:

      Hey Debra!

      Have you tried any of our detoxing herbs? https://simplegreensmoothies.com/plant-based-diet/how-to/green-smoothie-detox-herbs

      Cilantro & Kale are great options as well.

      We believe if you rotate you preventing alkaloid build-up. When rotating, keep in mind to go from family to family. You may have to experiment with a few different greens from each family to find out what you like, and what has the best benefits for you, but the benefits are worth it! Once you know what you like you can find staple recipes that go well with each green. Rotating is good for you, keeps things fresh, and simple. Cheers!

      Hope that helps.

  11. terri says:

    I had kale and spinich most days in my smoothie and became very I’ll with severe stomach cramps one evening I had to go to the hospital for tests. They found nothing and couldn’t explain it so I did my research and put it down to kale poisoning. Crucifiable veg needs to be semi cooked before hand as its very hard to digest. I as in severe pain for about 2 months!!!

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie says:

      Hey Terri!

      So sorry to hear you haven’t been feeling well. Hope you are feeling better. All the best to you in the future. 🙂

      • Rachel says:

        Hi, I have been having kale and spinach green juice for about 2 years now and have never heard of kale poisoning. I also have many friends that also now dring it and they are all fine. I also raised my eldest son on raw vegies (the only way he would eat them) and he is now a strong healthy young man. I wonder if maybe you just had a bug? 🙂

  12. Joanneh says:

    Do you have a link to a chart showing the different plant categories?

  13. Joanneh says:

    Are these the only greens families that should be used? Or are they the best tasting to blend with fruits? Does rapini (broccoli rabe) fit in, or mustard greens? Where would mizuna fit?

    Thanks for taking time to answer questions!

    Today was my first attempt at green smoothies, I had kale at breakfast and beet greens for an afternoon snack. Feeling great!

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie says:

      Hey Joanneh!

      You can use any kind of leafy green you prefer. These are suggestions. 🙂

      Wonderful to hear that you are feeling great!

  14. jen says:

    I found a paleo smoothie recipe that actually was VERY good. handful of spinach, handful of kale, about 1/2 a cup of pineapple, 1/4 avacado, 350ml coconut water and 4 icecubes. It is actually extremely good! and you can add more pineapple if you want more of a pinacolada taste. Enjoy!

  15. Tony T says:

    I tried bay leaves in my smoothie, but the taste is too strong and tends to overwhelm the smoothie.

    so no more, or possibly single leaves on occasion.

  16. Tony T says:

    New day today, so had a strawberry, blackberry (frozen mix) and banana smoothie, with a handful of curly kale and a few sprigs of lemon balm.

    I also added a few overnight soaked cashews to keep it silky smooth and add extra omega 3. Then also added a sprinkle of agar agar powder to add natural iodine.

    Very nice .. set up for a busy day.

    Now I am planning my garden vegetable plot with greens in mind …

  17. Tony T says:

    Hi, in my garden i have lots of lush bay leaves, young ones.

    any comments on using them in a smoothie?

    i like to try use what is already growing in my garden.

    i also had a parsley and banana smoothie this morning, nice. got loads in the vegetable plot.

    i have also picked some mature strawberry leaves, and use them sparingly.

    all frozen in singly portion bags, as i am in my pyjamas in the morning … lol

  18. ESR says:

    First, I would like to say that I’m on day 7 of the green smoothie challenge and I am amazed at how energized I feel! I’ve pretty much cut out my caffeine, drinking more water and having a smoothie every morning and maybe in the afternoon for a snack. I’m not dragging during the day even after chasing a toddler around.

    That being said, I tried the piña colada smoothie today. I didn’t have any spinach on hand, plus had been eating it for the past week, so in order to “rotate” I bought arugula. Not loving it, but still got it down. I could eat spinach every day! But if I need to rotate, what would be the best leafy green with a mild taste like spinach? Romaine, I’m guessing? How do you feel about a spring mix?

    Thanks!!!

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie says:

      Have you tried Baby Kale, ESR?

      • ESR says:

        I might give it a try again but I thought I’d had it before and didn’t like it. Maybe it was just kale??? Anyway, went to the store again today and bought more spinach and some romaine. I tried the melon berry smoothie today and added unsalted almond butter for protein. Loved it. I’ve even managed to talk my hubby into letting me make one for him for breakfast tomorrow!

      • SGS Rawkstar Jessie says:

        Awesome ESR! Maybe try baby kale, it is a lot more mild than full grown kale. 🙂

      • Dave says:

        Great suggestion on using baby kale! Do you know if baby kale has the same level of nutrients as full grown kale?

      • SGS Rawkstar Jessie says:

        I am not completely sure, Dave. Full grown or baby Kale will have great nutrients either way, one might have a little more. 🙂

  19. Sarah says:

    So if I eat all from one family, eg spinach, then beet greens, then spinach, etc. is that not considered rotating? Just making sure I’m following.

    • Beth says:

      Good questions Sarah. Following.

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie says:

      Hi Sarah! That is correct. Try eating from different families of leafy greens. i.e. APIACEAE, ASTERACEAE, CRUCIFERS

      Hope that helps. 🙂

  20. Christi says:

    Like the article. I started to eat much more healthy since last week. I eat 3 cups of veggies for lunch, about 2 green, green beans and broccoli or baby marrow. And one cup of carrot or yams. For dinner I will eat half of my plate with mixed leafy greens, and small piece of meat. But I read on the internet that spinach and kale block the absorption of calsium 🙁 Now I don’t know if it’s such a good thing to eat so much spinach and kale every day.

    • SGS Rawkstar Dan says:

      Hi Christi!
      Spinach and kale are great for your body. Could you give us the link where you read that they block calcium? We don’t normally eat leafy greens with EVERY meal, but they are great to have for one to two meals a day!

    • ghostaliaz says:

      Don’t believe that, Kale & spinach does not block the absorption of calcium or anything else for that matter. Don’t let anyone especially the medical industry or pharmaceutical companies stop you from eating greens or any veggies & fruits because, they keep making up rumors so people will stop eating healthy & start getting sick & then whats next? Purchasing there killer Prescription Medicines. Don’t believe the hype because they will say anything to make a sell. All Veggies,Fruit’s, nut’s & seeds aka(plant based diet) are the healthiest things on earth to eat & do not let anyone stop you from feeding your body healthy food like all veggies,fruit’s, nut’s & seeds. A plant based diet is the healthiest diet for any & every one’s body no matter what anyone lie’s & says. Do not believe them because all they want is for all of us to get sick, so they can sell us more & more killer prescription drugs &as far as I’m concerned they can keep all of there processed foods (Lab Foods), lab made drugs out of my body. Let thy food, be thy medicine. Eat to live, not live to eat people.

    • Vicky says:

      False, kale is one of the best sources of calcium available, aside from oranges, arugula (rocket) and sea vegetables. On the other hand, meat and other animal products strip you body of calcium to neutralise the acidic phosphorus and sulphur found in them.

      • Liz says:

        Vicky, a balanced diet is what is important. Excessive protein intake will create excessive ash that needs to be neutralized, i.e., leeching calcium from bone. This does not happen with a balanced diet that can well include animal products. A good source I used for my masters in Nutrition program was Krause’s Food and Nutrition Therapy and Devlin’s Biochemistry texts.

      • SGS Rawkstar Jessie says:

        Thanks for sharing Liz.

  21. ck says:

    Hi Ladies, I’m a lazy and busy person so I find it easier on weekends to buy different leafy veggies (my reg. choices are kale, swiss chard, romaine & spinach) & fruit. I clean, chop up, & mix (all leaves together) and I do the same with fruit in another container. I then take small bags, place a mix of fruit, ginger, turmeric; then leafy vegetables in them and freeze. Every morning I take out a small bag from the freezer and place in blender along with goji berries, chia and/or hemp, I have enough to start and end my day, each day. Should I rethink my practice of mixing?

    • SGS Rawkstar Dan says:

      Hi ck!
      It sounds like you have a good system down. I might recommend keep the different types of leafy greens separate instead of mixing them all, but that’s about it 🙂

    • Sarah says:

      You don’t sound lazy to me! 🙂

  22. Aubergine says:

    For those concerned about the effect of cruciferous veggies on thyroid…

    Short answer: get enough iodine and you shouldn’t have any problem.

  23. Birte says:

    Hello Jadah and Jen,

    some greens are not “mild” like kale or spinach, but a little … don’t know the word… (sharp/harsh/acrid/…?).
    It just happened yesterday… It is a flavor that I experienced from adding perhaps too much of the stem of bok choi? Or perhaps the green of turnip cabbage or savoy cabbage or others. Or batavia lettuce? Or too much romaine lettuce? I’m a bit lost…

    Question: Which ingredient counter-balances that?
    Question: Which greens can be used in “cup-fuls” like kale and spinach, which should only be added in smaller amounts due to their strong taste?

    Idea: Perhaps you could help a little and put the greens in two categories “main-green” vs. “side-green” (like main and side dish).

    Or you add a little advice such as green x leads to flavor y and is best combined with type z fruits (e.g. citrus fruits // berries // bananas // …)

    As they seem to delist frozen kale during summer and fresh kale is only rarely available, I need new “main greens”… and some of my own attempts to substitute your greens in your recipes went … ahem… not so well.
    Thanks
    Best regards
    Birte

    • Vicky says:

      Some people have a “bitter gene” that makes certain vegetable taste bitter to them. Try baby leaves, and try different kinds of leaves to find some that suit your taste. I personally find that red-leaved varieties usually taste less bitter. Remember to disguise your greens with lots of sweet fruit and ensure it’s blended thoroughly in a high quality blender 😀

      • Birte says:

        Thanks, Vicky!

        Yes, harvest time for baby leaves is coming up (if I keep finding the slugs before they find my baby leaves…). Problem solved 😉

        Bitter (as in endive, dandelion,…) is fine with me, it’s more the fiercness (a very specific acridity) of cabbage I don’t like that much in a smoothie.
        (I like nibbling raw turnip and other cabbages and I find that taste very good then)

        I must say it is more a problem of “winter/spring smoothies” – I try to buy regional and seasonal and the variety of green leaves in winter is basically down to lamb’s lettuce and cabbage.

  24. Conny says:

    Hi there, thanks for the clear explanation of rotating the greens. I’m used to take my green smoothie every morning, but I’m really stuck on one favorite smoothie. Spinach, banana, some peanut butter, cacao and almond milk. I always use deep frozen spinach. Here in the Netherlands we have deep frozen spinach in little cubes, so it’s easy to throw 3 or 4 cubes of spinach into my smoothie. Makes my smoothie cool and fresh. But I’m not sure if it’s o.k. to use deep frozen vegetables?

    • SGS Rawkstar Dan says:

      Should be fine, Conny! Fresh is always best, but frozen is good, too.

      • Rebecca says:

        Hi – This is a really helpful guide to the various families of leafy greens, and thank you for compiling it for us! I am wondering about the calcium content of dandelion greens… You list that a “healthy dose” contains almost as much calcium as a serving of cow’s milk, yet one cup raw of this green has only 10 percent of avg daily calcium needs… which is still a nice amount, but only a third of that in milk. Did you mean that a healthy dose would be three cups of dandelion greens?? Or was the amount of calcium you listed taking into account the bioavailability factor? Thank you!

      • Rebecca says:

        Also I wanted to say that sometimes frozen veggies are actually fresher than “fresh” greens in the supermarket, which you cannot be certain as to how long they’ve been sitting there… Sometimes I go to buy greens and none of the bunches look as healthy as I’d like, a bit wilted. But usually when greens and other veggies are frozen and packaged for consumption, they are “flash frozen” which does preserve the nutrients very effectively! They also tend to be a bit more economical for those of us for whom that might be more of a concern.

      • SGS Rawkstar Dan says:

        Hi Rebecca!
        We suggest using at least two cups of leafy greens in each smoothie, which would make it close to the calcium content in dairy milk. Hope this helps!

      • Vicky says:

        Rebecca – cows milk takes out more calcium from your body than it puts in, because your body has to strip calcium from your bones to neutralise the phosphorus and sulphur in the milk. This is why countries with the highest milk consumption have the highest levels of osteoporosis. The dairy industry propagandizes milk is being high in calcium for sales purposes. It is an easy sell, because milk and dairy are white or yellow like teeth and bones, so it is easy to form associations in people’s minds. Most people don’t even realise that calcium is a grey shiny metal.

        Many leaves including dandelion greens have much more calcium than milk per 100 grams, but one cup of dandelion greens is probably only about 30 or 40 grams whereas one cup of milk is about 200 millilitres. Officially, to count as one of your portions of fruit or veg you need to eat 80 grams.

        Cruciferous vegetables are higher in calcium than dandelion leaves though.

    • Birte says:

      Yes, it is ok!
      I always have kilos of that organic, frozen spinach (in cubes) in my freezer. My understanding is that its vitamin level is even better, as they directly process it after harvesting it.

      And unfortunately most greens pretty quickly lose their vitamin levels.
      (But some stuff even grows on a balcony/in a small garden!)

      Maybe the German cubes are smaller, but I guess I use at least 15-25 cubes per (2-pers.) serving 😉 maybe I need to count again…

      Best regards
      Birte

      PS: But 2 cups (as in the recipes) really almost equals 1 pack of frozen spinach (450 or 500 g). It really is a lot!

  25. Dawney says:

    Do you have any thoughts on possibly adding edible seaweed to a smoothie? I’m trying to figure out a methodology for nori. Maybe soak and then blend? Any ideas?

  26. christine says:

    This is great news. I’d like to know if you could still use a mixture of beetroots and carrots as the vegetable? Just a thought because you haven’t mentioned them anywhere.

  27. twinkle says:

    Do you peel cucumbers?

  28. Jeannelle says:

    This is such GREAT information ladies! Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together…very clear and concise! I will DEFINETLY be rotating my greens!

  29. dina says:

    Great Jadah & Jen …. on the whole level just great !
    and, i drink about one liter of a smoothie during the morning and its energy lasts for hours. sometimes it takes till two or sometimes even four o’clock p.m., till i am hungry again. i dont know if that is maybe too unilatterally and should i perhaps drink less smoothie and eat some more different things during a day ?i am not quiet sure. and i am not really going vegan or raw. i love salats, yes, which i use to eat at late afternoon. but i like cooked food once in a while, as i love to go to the pizzeria with friends sometimes and once a day i do drink coffee too, not with cowmilk, but other like almond or haver. but my question ….. if you only drink one smoothie in the morning, do you have something else for breakfast also ? and what do you eat during the rest of the day ? and do you do sports once a day or once per week, or something ? i am really curious about that. thank you so much and keep the good spirits up ! xxxx

    • Hi Dina!
      We recommend drinking about 16-20 ounces for breakfast, and not eating anything else with it. It would be totally fine to workout, play sports, or anything active with just having a green smoothie for breakfast. They are packed with nutrition that will fuel your body!

  30. Gisselle says:

    Hello, i signed for the live 30 Day Challenge that starts in April, but i am starting with some of the recipes you have. I live in the Dominican Republic and kale is not that easy to find. When the challenge starts and i don’t have Kale, can i use another green? I bought baby spinach and that is what i am putting on my smoothies.

    • Ces says:

      I’m in Mexico, and I have had Kale for the first time ever just last week (they just started selling it at the local supermarket a couple weeks ago). I’m taking a guess but “La Española” island 🙂 is quite warm, so greens like Kale or chard do not grow (they turn bitter if exposed to warm temperatures). But I believe you can find cabbage, celery, beets (for the tops), or lettuce? You can use all of them!

    • Sounds like Ces has some great options for you Gisselle! You can use any of the leafy greens above in any smoothie, too!

  31. Natalie says:

    I have an underactive thyroid and my nutritionist said to cook any cruciferous vegetables to get rid of the goitergens. She that with a thyroid issue if you eat too many raw cruciferous vegetables you risk getting a goiter. When I use greens like spinach, kale, collard, greens, etc. I usually steam them a little. Do you think this has an effect on the smoothies?

    • Hi Natalie!
      It definitely takes out some of the nutrition, but please follow your nutritionist’s orders!

    • Maria says:

      Natalie, I have found out that when I eat too much it sends me into hypothyroidism. Hate that because I love spinach kale and arugula. I have also read that this can happen if your iodine levels are low. Have you heard that? I asked my doctor but he thought I was crazy. he put me on thyroid meds. I did not take them. I just changed what i ate. Now I went back three months later and he said the meds are working. I laughed and told him no I just changed my diet.

  32. Ces says:

    Hi! I’m venturing to assume that, when you use greens for your smoothies, you use the stems (if they are not de-stemmed as it happens when you buy spinach or chopped kale by the bag). When you use greens with thick, fibrous stems like Celery or Bok Choy, do you chop the stalk and count it towards the cup, or how do you measure it?

    • Hi Ces! For celery and bok choy, we just trim a small piece off the end if it’s dry at all and for the other greens, if it has a thick stem (like that of fresh kale not already pre-chopped, we cut that out and just use the leafy green part. And we measure the entire thing. 🙂

  33. Katelyn says:

    Hi I’ve been interested in the idea of the Green Smoothie Challenge for a while now but I’m still in the process of researching more about it. So, this might be a ignorant question but could asparagus be used as one of the greens in the smoothie?

    • Hi Katelyn!
      We like to use one leafy green per green smoothie, and the rest is filled with fruit/vegetables. Asparagus would be one of those vegetables, but not technically a leafy green. We’ve never made a recipe with asparagus, though!

  34. Adriana says:

    Hello I have a 8 and a 5 year old whom are starting to like the smothies I make at home. I want to know is it “kid friendly” and if so is there any recipes you might have for them to sip on. Thanks for your help!!

  35. Deb says:

    I have a question about cruciferous veggies and the thyroid. Should you avoid raw cruciferous veggies and greens if you have a thyroid condition?

  36. Stephanie Hamilton says:

    Hi! My husband and I have literally just started the green smoothie thing yesterday! It wasn’t as bad as we though thank goodness, we found its a huge mental thing rather than taste. My question is we are only using spinach at the moment for our green, and I must admit quite nervous to try other green, any recommendations for a beginner who is at this stage only having spinach, what would a good next step be in terms of a new green to add in the mix?
    Thanks!

    • KC says:

      I use spinach almost exclusively, but I also use romaine and bok choy rather than kale because, though I have a good blender, I still can sense the weird texture of kale. Cilantro and celery are strong, but if you like them, go for it. Cabbage isn’t too strong, so you may want to try that, too.

    • Vicky says:

      Try lambs lettuce, also known as “corn salad” – it’s tastes exactly like spinach but is in a different family. Also, try rocket, also known as arugula, but be sure to choose the “salad” or “cultivated” variety rather than the “wild” sort, which is incredibly peppery and should be used as a herb, not a salad leaf. (It’s also not actually wild, that’s just what it’s called). Also, try generic salad leaves, they are often polycress or some related green.

  37. KC says:

    Thanks! I’ve started using bok choy and romaine instead of kale because I don’t like the texture of kale. But spinach is my favorite! Can’t believe how many greens I get per day!

  38. KC says:

    So, if we are supposed to rotate our greens, why, in your 30-day green smoothie challenge, have the first 3 weeks been exclusively kale and spinach? Why haven’t you given us recipes with romaine or bok choy, etc.?

    • Hi KC!
      Great question! Kale and spinach are in different “families” when it comes to leafy greens. Switching back and forth between the two is adequate rotation, but we also use just these two for this challenge because there are lots of new people joining us. We want to ease them into green smoothies, and keep it simple. Feel free to rotate as widely as you’d like!

  39. Brittany says:

    I can’t have lettuce (I can’t digest it and I get sick). I don’t think I’ve ever had kale before but spinach doesn’t bother me. Is Kale something that I could have an issue with if I have an issue with lettuce?

  40. helen says:

    I use nutribullet and use handful spinach, Apple, cucumber, blueberries, frozen fruit with no added sugar, celery. I also use maca powder and spirilina. Can I use a protein powder and what protein powder do you suggest?

  41. Tamela Motsinger says:

    Just a quick question…after doing the green smoothie today I am feeling a little gassy and bloated. Does this go away in time or is there certain Veggies and fruits to watch out for?

  42. Liz says:

    Hey! I just started drinking green smoothies a few days ago and I love them so far and already feel more energized! Question — I started freezing my spinach as well, just to keep it longer and add more chill to the smoothie. Is there any reason not to do this? Thanks!

  43. cheryl says:

    Do you have any suggestions for low calorie, good tasting smoothies!

    • Hi Cheryl!
      Not sure about low calorie… We aren’t big fans of calorie counting. We’d rather focus on all the positive nutrients we’re adding to our bodies 🙂

  44. Melissa says:

    I was wondering about Turnip greens? Is there a reason you left them out of your greens?

    • Not really 🙂 There are so many fantastic greens that we didn’t add, but we couldn’t list everything. Turnip greens are great!

      • Sheri says:

        what family would turnip greens be in? What is your source for finding ‘family’ and nutrient information. I would really like to have that kind of resource.

        I am really happy to know about ‘beet greens’ having tryptophan, my husband has a very hard time sleeping. He wakes up several times a night. About a year ago I was going crazy trying to find a source of tryptophan I finally gave up. Do you have any other sources besides turkey. this is the first time I’ve been to your website, you have great information. Thanks so much.

      • Vicky says:

        This reply is to Sheri (for some reason the respond button isn’t showing on your post)

        Turnip greens are in the Cruciferous family. To find out what family a veg is in, you have to look up it’s Latin species name, then the genus and it’s other classifications. Amazingly, kale, collard greens, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, calabrese, kohlrabi and turnips are different varieties of exactly the same species, Brassica oleracea. They’ve just been bred to have different shaped leaves, different shaped stems, edible unopened flower buds (that’s what you’re eating when you eat broccoli or cauliflower) or big edible roots.

        From the highest to the lowest, apricots, raisins, lychees, avocados, prunes, persimmons, all sapote varieties, guavas, figs, kiwi, plantains, peaches, elderberries, apples, dates, grapes, bananas, cherries, oranges, grapefuit, plums and starfruit are all fruit sources of tryptophan.

        Vegetable sources: soya beans and stuff made from them, peppers, chives, shallots, onions, leeks (the last four are the Allium family – see if you can guess other members!) – tomatoes, potatoes, butter beans, cow peas, haricot beans, mung beans, broadbeans, kidney beans – all beans basically, turnip greens, mushrooms, parsley, broccoli, laver (Atlantic nori), Brussel sprouts, pumpkin leaves, beet greens, cauliflower, kale and all other Brassica oleracea varients, spinach and sweet potatoes.

        All the vegetable sources are much higher than the fruit sources, especially the beans and the alliums. If he’s a raw foodie, he could try eating sprouted beans 😀

  45. Rachel Gentzsch says:

    May one use the baby greens or is the mature green preferable?

  46. Kaz Green says:

    Hi there,
    You talk about rotating, but for the last seven months I have been using most of the leafy greens you mention, every day in my lunchtime “Green Goo” as I call it. This has been a Juice rather than a Smoothie, but lately I have been combining the two, by liquidizing the spinach to get the full affect of its awesomeness, and then adding it to the Juice of the other items. One question…our local farmer is growing Rape – the leaves of which are from the cabbage family. Would they be ok to put in my daily Green Goo?

    • HI Kaz, We’re totally not sure about the juicing parts as neither Jen or myself (Jadah) juice. We do rotate our greens regularly so you might want to try doing that as well. 🙂

    • Vicky says:

      Rape leaves will be edible, but only before the plant has started trying to flower – after that they will very bitter

  47. Andrea says:

    What part of romaine can be used? I used chopped romaine from a bag today and had to strain the smoothie to make it drinkable. I’m wondering if that is because there was not enough leaf and too much towards the bottom of the romaine.

    • Hi Andrea!
      It really comes down to personal preference and blender type. Some blenders may have a harder time blending the stalk, and that’s ok! This just means that you should use more of the leaves and less of the stalk. Also, if you don’t like the bitter taste of the stalk, then you should use less of it 🙂 Hope this helps!

  48. Amphrianda says:

    How many cups of leafy greens should one consume daily?? How much is too much on a daily bases? I drink a whole blender full a day with Spinach and Kale and like, 15 different fruits….plus herbs and spices

    • Hi!
      It really varies for each person. We are content with drinking one green smoothie a day, which is about 1 cup of leafy greens. Some people would do well to drink 2 or 3 a day, too.

  49. Carol Bean says:

    Do you peel mangos? What other fruits do you peel or not peel?

  50. Andrea Manor says:

    Just wanted to comment that I developed some seriously large kidney stones from high oxalate foods. I was juicing quite a bit before that. My urologist did blood work and urine and stone analysis. We discovered that the juicing is likely causing the stones to develop. Anything with an oxalate level over 50mg. should be strictly limited: Collards-74mg, Spinach-600mg, Beet root-675, Swiss Chard-645. anything under 50mg. should be limited to 4 oz per day. Celery- 20mg, Kale-13 mg. I still want to juice and was looking for alternative greens to juice. Thanks for the ideas, I will try arugala, cabbage, bok choy, romaine lettuce, cilantro and carrot tops.

    • Hi Andrea! Thanks for sharing this with us! One thing to keep in mind is that we focus primarily on blending, and not juicing. Blending requires you to use a smaller amount of leafy greens than juicing does because you use the whole leaf. This helps to reduce the oxalate levels 🙂 Again, thank you for sharing your story!

    • Vicky says:

      Oxalates do not cause kidney stones. The only thing that has been found to cause kidney stones is meat. No study has ever shown oxalates to cause kidney stones, much to the meat industry’s chagrin. In fact, fruits and vegetables create urinary citrates which have been proven to reduce the risk of kidney stones, with vegetables having an even stronger effect than fruit. If you have kidney stones it’s either a) because you eat meat, or b) because you’ve only recently given up eating meat. He’s trying to convince you to stop eating vegetables because without out them you’re more likely to develop stone again, thus more money for him. Also, doing stone analysis sound like quackery – all stones are made out of calcium oxalate.

  51. Pam says:

    On Nov. 4, 2013 you commented that you could replace plain water with green tea in a smoothie. Is it OK to use a cup of plain water and just use a 1/2 to 1 tsp. of dried green tea in the smoothie? Will you receive the same “goodness” of a cup of green tea, that has not been hydrated in hot water?

  52. Reebs says:

    Great article on the greens. Any recommendation on what types of fruits to mix with the non spinach options? What can I blend with cilantro? arugula? or beet greens? Thank you for this site. =)

  53. Danielle says:

    I am trying to start adding a green smoothie to my daily diet. However, I’m allergic to coconut and so many of the recipes are enhanced with some form of coconut. Is there a viable alternative that’s affordable and easy to find?

    • Hi Danielle:

      Coconut milk? Almond milk works great.
      Coconut water? What about regular water or green tea as a replacement?
      Coconut oil? Try using a similar portion of avocado.

      Hope this helps!

  54. Jill says:

    Started having smoothies daily for diagnosis of MS, question though, should I be peeling veggies and what about ginger?

    • Azure says:

      Hi Jill, I usually don’t peel veggies or ginger. In my opinion it doesn’t make a difference and is a waste of time. The only think I can think of to consider peeling are beets. Hope this helps!

  55. Katie says:

    I enjoy blending spinach, kale and parsley together every day, and changing the fruit (sometimes bananas, sometimes mangos, sometimes apples, etc.) and liquids (sometimes almond milk, sometimes coconut water). Will this create alkaloid buildup?

  56. Kerry says:

    O-oh, I have been having spinach every day in my smoothie after being told I should avoid cruciferous vegetables due to an overactive thyroid. I will have to try and alternate with romaine and others. Thanks for the tip!

    • Hi Kerry!
      If you’ve had a physician tell you to avoid them, then please listen to them! This article is not written specifically for someone with an overactive thyroid.

  57. Vijaya says:

    Great info.love drinking these smoothies everyday.thanks
    Vijaya

  58. Bree says:

    What’s the best way to measure the greens? Should it be 2 cups packed like brown sugar? Or loosely like flour?

  59. Megan says:

    I just want to start by saying I love this website and following you ladies on IG. I have a Ninja blender and this week I have been adding Curly Kale this week to my smoothies. Yesterday, I added 1 leaf and today, I added 2 leaves of the Kale. Today I felt like I was constantly chewing the Kale. And I ended up blending it a second time to get the Kale smaller but I was still chewing it. Any suggestions on how to blend the Kale better? I blended the Kale w/ frozen blueberries, a handful of strawberries chopped, greek yogurt and added water. I also added additional water to try to assist with the blending of the Kale.

    • Great question, Megan. 🙂
      You definitely want to always blend your greens and liquid base first until it nice and smooth. Then add the remaining ingredients and blend agin. This post should also help:

      https://simplegreensmoothies.com/green-smoothie-101

    • Matt Jones says:

      Try a better blender, my Vitamix Professional 750 has no such problem, silky smooth smoothies every time

      • Jess R says:

        Im sure the Ninja is perfectly suitable. (A definite contender for the price!!) even some vitamix users will say to blend the greens with water/liquid first. I’m just starting out, with a Ninja might I add, & so far so good as long as I blend those greens first 🙂 (with spinach I’ve had plenty of success without pre blending as well)

  60. Megan says:

    I’ve been making green smoothies for the past week and I love them! I have only tried spinach. I have a picky eater on my hands. Ironically, it’s not my toddler. It’s my husband! I was wondering. Have you ever tried mustard greens? Are they very strongly flavored? My husband doesn’t really mind the spinach but I’m nervous that he won’t want to drink a smoothie with any other greens. Thanks!

  61. Anneri says:

    Thanks for the long list of greens!
    I wouldn’t have thought of using cabbage…
    I was wondering if putting herbs in was ok? I guess it is – just adjust according to taste?

    • You sure can put herbs, Anneri 🙂 We would prefer to still use about two cups of regular leafy greens and using a handful of herbs. They can be pretty strong compared to leafy greens!

  62. jheng says:

    Im a lactating mom..can i take green smoothie..i would like to use cucumber,celery,lemon and some apples..and how often can i take green smoothies..

    • In most cases it is a good thing to eat healthy foods while breast feeding (i.e. leafy greens, fruits, veggies) so green smoothies could totally be beneficial to you and your little one. Try not to eat anything 30 minutes before or after your green smoothie to allow the fruits to digest in your body quickly. But to be on the safe side, we would recommend speaking to your personal health care provider to see if they recommend any foods to avoid. We like having 16 ounces (or two cups) per day! Hope that helps! 🙂

  63. Joy says:

    I love to rotate my Veggies or mix them up in my green smoothies! The one that I dislike most (for blending) is Mustard Greens … The taste was way too intense!

  64. Diana says:

    Hi, I been drinking green juice for over two months and I notice what you mention tingling on my fingers. My base for liquid is always cucumber, celery, carrots, and then I add leafy greens, kale, beets, parsley, cilantro what ever greens I have. Do I need to stop drinking them please help, I do suffer from thyroid , please help.

    • Hi Diana,
      The best thing we can recommend is to see a nutritionist or doctor. Neither of us are qualified to diagnose you, and it is always better to have an in person consultation. Please let us know what your physician says if you do go!

  65. Ellen says:

    I have been making a blender full of green smoothie every morning, having a glass and putting the rest in mason jars in the fridge. I have another smoothie around lunch and MAYBE one around dinner. My green smoothies have a blender full of greens (usually spinach or kale), liquid, fruits, and veggies. Is drinking them as often as i do dangerous in any way? Basically, I have about 3 mason jars of green smoothie a day. I love them!

    • Hi Ellen!
      There are two main suggestions we would make:

      1) Make sure you are using a variety of fruits, veggies, superfoods, liquids, etc. Having a variety will give your body the variety of nutrients it needs 🙂

      2) Make sure to switch your greens up every now and then. There shouldn’t be too much to worry about, but build-up can happen if you use the same greens every single day for months at a time 🙂

  66. Blanca says:

    I tried the beginners luck smoothie today and I have to say I was surprised, it’s actually not so bad. Can’t wait to try some different stuff, although I might stick to spinach a little longer. I can’t find kale in my area, so I might just substitute it with what I have.

  67. Rochelle says:

    Hi Girls! I’m up to day 18 of the challenge YAY!! But the last few days I’ve felt a bit squirmy in the stomach and just a bit sick and tired. I don’t think it’s a virus so do yu think it could be an alkaloid build up? I have spinach most days but have had the occasional kale or broccoli base.

    • It probably isn’t alkaloid build-up. Try to be drinking lots of water. If you haven’t had a high intake of leafy greens before doing the challenge then it can take your stomach a bit to re-adjust 🙂

    • Cheryl says:

      I just wanted to say “You Rock”! I am so happy for you and that is really so awesome that you are up to day 18. You are an inspiration to myself and I am sure many others. Keep up the Great Work Rochelle.
      Thank you for sharing this with us!
      Cheryl …

  68. Elena says:

    My grocery sells an organic spring mix that contains the following: Tango, Lolla Rosa, Red and Green Romaine, Red and Green Oak, Red and Green Chard, Spinach, Mizuna, Radicchio, Frisee, Beet Greens, Arugula, Tatsoi, and Red Mustard.

    This spans several groups of greens and has things that aren’t even on the list. If I stick with this every day (I really like it), can I avoid rotating greens? I would seem like an easy solution. Most salad mixes aren’t very green, but this particular seems to pack a lot of punch.

    • It would probably be better than sticking with just one green constantly, but we still think the best idea is to rotate through different greens one at a time 🙂

  69. Stefanie says:

    Hey Grirls!
    I’m joining the 30 Day challenge. Today I found savoy cabbage St my farmer. Any Suggestionen for it? Can I use it for my smoothies?
    I’m a little afraid of bloating up… You know… ahem…
    Nice greetings from Germany!
    Stefanie

    • Jen H says:

      Hey Stefanie! I’ve added cabbage to my smoothies before– try to do 1 cup spinach with 1 cup cabbage to help keep the taste mild. 🙂

      • Stefanie says:

        That`s what I did! Thank you for answering my question!
        I love the challenge, though all people around me can`t understand why I`m drinking ugly, disgusting greens drinks… I love them!

  70. Marilyn M says:

    What’s your take on wheatgrass? I’m going to buy a tray today. Also, what about green vegetables? Like broccoli which is also cruciferous.

  71. Nerissa says:

    Just wondering what’s the best way to freeze greens? Thanks!

  72. Arlyna says:

    Hi!

    I bought the e-book. It is correct that challenge #1 would be week 1? So it is alright that in that week I only have spinach right? I see on challenge there are more veggies variety.

    Final question, can I still go on the 30-day live challenge even if I’m only halfway on the 30-day challenge of the e-book?

    thanks.

  73. Kathy says:

    I recently bought some vegetable protein powder to add to my smoothies. It caused me to be nausea until I ate lunch. It’s definately not fun to be too alkaline. I love making smoothies without any type of protein powder. Just getting my nutritional needs from fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables makes me feel so much better.

  74. Sol says:

    Jadah any recepie that contain Romaine instead of spinach or kale. I’m new to this so I’m trying to varie my greens w/my smoothies based on your recepies.

    • Sol,
      You can substitute romaine lettuce into any of your green smoothies! You do not have to keep the exact same greens that are in our recipes 🙂 Use our recipes as inspiration to create something that you love!

  75. Elise says:

    I appreciate you guys writing about this! When I would try to look up new recipes for the green smoothies, I would come across articles of how bad green smoothies are for you. That started to freak me out a little since my husband and I have been drinking them for a month. But that’s not going to stop us. We love green smoothies! My husband never eats kale till now thanks to you guys! He fell in love ever since I made one of the recipes shown in this website. Our skin is glowing and we do not crave junk food anymore, very surprising since my husband loves burgers! Thank you! 🙂

  76. Gaby says:

    Hi Jen: I’ve been having a daily green smoothie for 8 months now and I look and feel great! But like 2 months ago I started losing huge amounts of hair (I notice it clearly when I’m showering) and suddenly started freaking out I might have an iron overload, because the base is always spinach and kale. I’ve been also cutting out animal protein, although I still consume it, it’s only once every 2 weeks or so. Everything else in my health seems perfect, but the hair loss is shocking.

    • Hmm… Most of the time green smoothies give nutrients that are good for hair growth and skin. We would suggest seeing your local doctor about this :-/ Please let us know if everything is ok!

      • Michael says:

        Hair can fall out from a protein deficiency, and/or over cleansing – something that happens to people who are heavily into juicing/raw. Probably better to reintroduce more animal products, especially if your diet is now highly cleansing! Sometimes the hair issue can turn around in a week or two, so give it a shot!

  77. Nicole says:

    I was wondering with the pineapples do they have to be fresh are can I use the cans of pineapples.

  78. Maria says:

    I blended a mix of greens together (spinach, kale, bok choy, romaine). Will using the mix be considered the same as rotating?

  79. Kristine says:

    I love the 30days challenge! I have joined my boyfriend and my dad, and they both are craving the green smoothis, me as well!
    I cant find any other greens at the marked around here, so im starting to use sprouts, any better then others? Thanks 🙂

  80. JoJo says:

    hi jadah & jen 🙂 jo here from oz again……….do you have any tips on whats fruit & veg you can freeze and not freeze!?? i freeze most of my greens when they are starting to wilt, but i have found celery isn’t the best to freeze 🙁 also with your leafy greens like spinach & silverbeet is it best to freeze them as is or should we slightly sautee them & freeze?!?? when i have too much fruit i usually blend them up & put in ice trays for storage & that way they never go bad 😉 would appreciate any freezing tips you have, do’s & don’ts 😀

    much love xo

    • Jen H says:

      Hey Jojo: I freeze raw kale, spinach and pretty much any leafy green. I wouldn’t freeze melon, celery stalks, apples or cucumbers — they have so much water that freezing them just weirds them out. Berries freeze great, grapes as well and even peaches, mango and pineapple.

      I also recommend wash produce first to avoid pesticides. Once you freeze it you can’t really wash and clean it.
      Great questions Jojo!

  81. Lis says:

    So I started the the smoothie challenge, which I’m loving! But I noticed that I a started breaking out is that normal?

    • It is pretty normal for people to experience some changes with their body while starting a challenge like this. When our bodies aren’t used to taking in the nutrients that they are craving on a daily basis it tries to flush out all the bad stuff that has been piling up inside us for a while. Hope this helps!

  82. Adriane says:

    Jen, the smoothies are delicious and I’m liking the energy from them. I drink them in the morning, however, I find that I’m hungry before lunchtime. Have any recommendations?

  83. Annette says:

    When you say to rotate outer greens, is it by family group? Would one use a few greens from one family group for a few days or so then switch to a few greens from another family group? I have been doing spinach, kale, parsley, celery, zucchini, cucumber, apple, pear and at times also add some ginger and a squeeze of lemon. I add a cup of water and a scoop of unflavored protein powder as well. If I have a glass of lemon ginger water in the morn then I leave these out of my smoothie. This wk I haven’t had celery so haven’t been using it and then I usually use the topless kind. I guess I gotta get the ones with tops. I also use a vitamix. Thanks for sharing all that you both do!

    • Jen H says:

      You got it— we broke down the leafy green families so you can see the best way to rotate is outside of the same family.

  84. Mel says:

    Hi there, a bit of a slow start for me… didn’t realise that the recipes were down further. Had my first smoothie this morning YUM ! I am in New Zealand & some things, like cherries are hard to get hold of as the season has been & gone (can’t get them frozen either) What is a good substitute. Also tricky getting mangoes (nice ones) … just wondering if canned mangoes & pineapple is okay xx

  85. JoJo says:

    thaaank you soo much, great information 🙂 i pretty much switch between spinach, kale & some cabbage already but i think i will be adding some lettuce & chards to that mix when my newly planted veggie garden is ready to harvest (got some bok choy in there too) pretty excited eek

    i have been into the green smoothie movement for about 6 weeks now & it really does change your life, habits & health 😀 thank you for your blogs they are helping me fine tune my smoothies & are a great place of nutritional info & recipes all in the one place 🙂 i love the banana in a blender kisses the bitterness goodbye….and thanks for the tip on celery i have not been able to handle too much of it in my smoothies as it overpowers everything else & was ready to toss it for good, but i will try some strong fruit next time to mask the taste, thank you x

    green smoothies have stopped my cravings & stopped me from eating empty carbs & processed foods all day long, i actually crave smoothies & healthier meal choices, i have more energy, great moods, healthy hair, lost 5kgs (with exercise of course) they even helped heal a fungal toenail (ewww i know) but nothing from the chemist worked for months & within weeks of having a smoothie a day it was cleared right up!!!!

    thanks again am loving your april challenge 🙂

    congrats & keep up all the RAWking work x L♡VE your blog, IG & fb xo

  86. Christine says:

    Is silverbeet and baby spinach leaves ok? Can’t always get spinach, but can get kale ok. What’s the best combo to achieve clear skin?

    • Jen H says:

      Hey Christine— I use baby spinach and silver beet (chard) a lot around my house (we bought from a local farmer and froze tons of it). These are all great leafy greens to help boost your nutritional intake and reap the benefits of phytonutrients, chlorophyll and fiber. Elimination is key to healthy clear skin— so make sure you are eating foods that are easy to digest and getting plenty of fresh fruits and veggies.

  87. Callie says:

    Hey ladies,

    Hope this is not a silly question: but parsely is considered a “green”, right?!?! I love parsely in my smoothies and I know yall said this list wasnt exhaustive! But it would be nice to see what family it falls in (I’m sure I could always google it too, lol!).

    Thanks in advance!

    • Jen H says:

      Hi Callie— great question! It’s actually in the APIACEAE family (with its buddy cilantro). Please share one of your fav parsley smoothies— we are always looking for inspiration!

  88. Adriane says:

    Jen, Are mustard greens or turnip greens used in smoothies? I’ve never cooked with either & have only eaten turnip greens at Cracker Barrel.

  89. Walladah says:

    This was a very helpful guide, btw. Thank you. 🙂

  90. Walladah says:

    I’m curious to know why parsley wasn’t included in the list?

    • Jana says:

      I wanted to know the same thing as well. What about organic lettuces? I know that most don’t include a lot of good stuff, but I like to buy those big plastic cartons of the herb salads. I love those and kale, spinach etc. I have tingling in my hands but I was also diagnosed with carpal tunnel from doing doggie and cat dentals for 25 yrs.,.
      And I LOVE my Nutribullet!! Most affordable alternative to a Vitamix, which I still want someday…
      J

      • Jadah S says:

        Alkaloid build-up is very mild. You may have symptoms for a day or two and then it’ll go away. Nothing to freak about. 🙂

    • Jadah S says:

      Parsley is great too– especially for bad breath. It just didn’t make our list of favorites to use in green smoothies. 🙂

      • Jana says:

        Parlsey is a superfood too! Full of vitamins and chlorophyll! It isn’t just for bad breath. It has a lot of vitamin A in it as well as the same vitamins that kale has in it.
        Poor Parsley wasn’t a favorite. I LOVE the taste of it raw. I eat it off of everyone’s plates at restaurants. Not the whole place, mind, you, just those at my table… ahem….

  91. Adriane says:

    I’m joining a local farm for local produce and one of the items listed is pac choy. What is this and can it be used for smoothies?

    • Jen H says:

      Sounds like a typo— it should be bok choy. It’s a sweet tasting leafy green— and we talk about it above. 🙂 And yes— add it to smoothies. We actually have a recipe that includes it this week in Challenge #1.

    • lisa s says:

      pak choy is very similar to bok choy, only 1 has green stem the other has white. nutritionally i would think they would be very similar & you could use it in any way that you use bok choy 🙂

  92. rob says:

    The liver detoxifies blood all the time. I don’t believe this should be a reason to rotate. Does that mean you should avoid a CSA? You will get bags of the same things as long as it is in season. Breakfast is a lot faster if you make a pitcher of smoothie the night before. In fact it is a time saver to make a couple of day worth.

  93. Wendy H says:

    Thanks for the helpful information. ‘m also curious to know how often we should rotate our greens – daily? weekly?
    How would we know if we have Alkaloid Buildup, what are the symptoms and can it be treated easily?

    • Jen H says:

      You can start to feel nauseous after drinking a smoothie once you have alkaloid buildup. I personally rotate a few leafy greens throughout the week: usually between spinach, kale and collard greens. Spinach is definitely my staple, but I take breaks form it just to give my body a break. I have never experienced alkaloid buildup yet— hope that helps!

  94. jane says:

    Same question here. I juice kale,spinach,celery,beets , carrots ,cucumber together everyday. Should I be rotating days?

  95. Mary says:

    I have been doing green smoothies for a month and use parsley, cucumber, celery, spinach and kale altogether. Any problems there?

  96. Sheila says:

    This is great information. I’ve been using Kale & spinach, but I noticed in Whole Foods that they have some combined Kale, collard and chard. So I will be purchasing them as well.

    My question is how would you know if you have alkaloid buildup? Are there any symptoms?

    Okay, well I’m waiting for April 1st for my challenge.
    Thanks again for the very informative information, you’re the best!!

    • Jadah S says:

      The pre-mixed greens are always helpful. As far as alkaloid buildup, we say in the article that some symptoms are: naseau, tingling in finger tips and fatigue. It’s very mild and if you feel these symptoms, take a break and reintroduce green smoothies. Sometimes your body just needs a break or is looking for a change.

  97. Hye Yung says:

    I am starting the 30 Day Challenge for the first time but I have already started making my own green smoothies prior to knowledge of the challenge – I would also like to know the answers to Kimberly & Nisha’s question since I have been using guesstimated handfuls of spinach … Is it important to measures out the ingredients if you aren’t using the recipes you’ve supplied?

    • Jadah S says:

      Feel free to use as many leafy greens as you like. We provide measurements to make our recipes super beginner-friendly. You can rotate your leafy greens weekly, or even throughout the week. But if you read my story above, I made the exact same smoothie with spinach in it almost everyday for months before changing it up and I’m fine.

  98. Nisha says:

    Woooah Ive been on a Spinach only kick as well… same question as Kimberly… Is this a daily or weekly rotation and how do you know if you have buildup already?

    • Jen H says:

      Hey Nisha and Kimberly— you would feel nauseous, not have much energy and could even have tingling fingers if you had alkaloid buildup. You should rotate your greens throughout the week— so do spinach for a day or two, kale for a day or two, etc. The point is to give your body a break and allow it to absorb something different. Hope that helps!

  99. shantoya says:

    Thank you! this is very informative because I have only been using spinach. The time I used kale it made my smoothie taste horrible! But I shall try it again not that I know I need to rotate.

    • Jadah S says:

      Shantoya, feel free to try out other leafy greens if kale is not your friend. Or next time try 1 cup spinach and 1 cup kale along with a banana to sweeten it up. 🙂

  100. Kimberly says:

    How often should greens be rotated, in order to prevent alkaloid buildup? What if you already suffer with alkaloid buildup?

    • Jadah S says:

      It’s very rare for someone to be affected by alkaloid build-up. Just listen to your body. If your body usually loves green smoothies, and then all of a sudden, you don’t want them, it’s time to change it up. Add some cilantro to refresh your taste buds and you’ll be fine.

1 2 3
popular recipes
The BEST Green Smoothie Ever?

Yep! The #1 rated green smoothie recipe according to Google & our rawkstar community is this green gem! Kids, adults, dogs, chickens, and grandparents have all taste tested it and agree: it's the best.

HAVE YOU TRIED...
01
Top 7 green smoothie recipes ever!
02
HOW TO MAKE A MEAL REPLACEMENT SMOOTHIE
03
DIY FREEZER SMOOTHIE PREP ON A BUDGET
Let us know what you think!

@simplegreensmoothies

follow along on instagram

 
7 DIY NATURAL REMEDIES
get my go-to

Our go-to natural remedies to boost your immune system, crush your next cold and help ease congestion quickly.

Artboard 3

IT'S FO'
FREE!