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I’m Jen Hansard, mom of two, ultra runner and lover of green smoothies, coffee & tacos. I took my family's health into my own hands while broke and without health insurance...and have helped 1 million+ other families along the way.

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How to make healthy smoothies

how to make healthy green smoothies

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! Here’s answers to common questions and tips on how to make healthy green smoothies:

What type of blender do you use?

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!

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!)

Blender healthy smoothies

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. I drink mine 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.

Ingredients healthy smoothies

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. Here’s some tips on prepping green smoothies ahead of time.

chia seeds healthy smoothies

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).

leafy greens healthy smoothies

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. Here’s a list of 13 of our favorite leafy greens.

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.

sweetener healthy smoothies

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. Here’s a video showing you how to clean your blender.

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

This 7-day green smoothie challenge is an expensive way to drink green smoothies for a whole week!

mason jars healthy smoothies

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!

COMMENT BELOW: What other questions can we answer to help you learn how to make healthy smoothies?

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  1. adetutu

    June 19th, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    hello
    am not new here, i follow up everyday and i love your page on Instagram.
    am opening a smoothie shop far away in nigeria, but am confused on the type of blender to buy.
    although am in love with the blendtec and vitamix blender because thats what you guys use, am getting it for sure but what type of it will you recommend for me to purchase.
    and also i will need you to recommend a juicer also maybe kenwood or any better choice.
    expecting a reply.
    my email again is adetutu.femi@gmail.com
    thank you.

  2. SGS Rawkstar

    June 20th, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Hi!

    Thanks so much for reaching out! We are in love with both Vitamix and Blendtec (here are our reviews on both!):

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/blendtec-vs-vitamix

    However, since you’ll be using your blender in a commercial setting, I would recommend speaking to both companies to see which one would be best for your business :). As for juicers, here’s a link to our article on juicing vs blending, which includes some of our favorite juicers!

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/juicing-vs-blending-whats-the-difference

    Hope that helps! Cheers + Best of luck!

  3. Linda Dunning

    June 27th, 2016 at 8:49 am

    I’ve been on your one a day smoothie plan for two weeks -and love it! However, this morning I am suffering with what I think is a kidney stone. I’ve never had one but all the symptoms are there. When checking causes I find that foods high in oxalate like spinach can cause stones. What do I do now? I’m currently flat on my back with frequent trips to the bathroom.

  4. SGS Rawkstar

    June 27th, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Hi Linda,

    So sorry to hear that! Definitely call your doctor. They will be able to confirm your symptoms and come up with the best course of treatment for you.

    Sending you lots of love + get-well-soon vibes!

  5. Melissa

    June 27th, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    Hi,

    I recently purchased your Thrive program, but I have not received anything via email. Help!

  6. SGS Rawkstar

    June 28th, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Hi Melissa!

    Thanks for reaching out + letting us know! If you don’t see anything in your email (be sure to double check your spam, junk, and promotions folders!), send our team a message and we’ll get you your product ASAP :).

    simplegreensmoothies.com/contact

    Cheers!

  7. Shundra Johnson

    June 29th, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Hello,
    I’m preparing for the upcoming 30 day challenge and I see each recipe is for 2 servings. I need just 1 serving. Do you recommend cutting the recipe in half, having the second serving later in the day, or storing for another day?

  8. SGS Rawkstar

    June 29th, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Hi Shundra!

    Thanks so much for reaching out! Feel free to do any of the above :). You can absolutely halve the recipes, store the extra serving in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days, or share with a friend/family member. It’s all about making it work for you!

    Hope that helps :). Cheers!

  9. Beau

    July 1st, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Yes, I’m in….. because I’m making smoothies since January and I’m getting slowly stronger and more healthy again in my fight against breast and metastatic liver cancer.
    Let’s start this challenge!!!!

  10. SGS Rawkstar

    July 2nd, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Hi Beau!

    So happy to have you join us! Thanks for being a part of our community :).

    Cheers + Happy Blendin’!

  11. Sandy

    July 14th, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Hi ladies,
    I just wanted to tell you that every time I go on your site, I feel
    happy : ) You have done an excellent job. I love how you keep it so simple and short. It’s clean and bright and just cheery so good job ladies!
    Sandy

  12. SGS Rawkstar

    July 15th, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Thanks so much for your kind words, Sandy! We’re so happy to have you as part of our community :).

    Cheers + Happy Blendin’!

  13. Janelle

    July 19th, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Hi there! I’m allergic to almonds. Do yiu have any recommendations of what I can substitute the almonds and almond milk with? Thank you!

    -Janelle

  14. SGS Rawkstar

    July 19th, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Hi Janelle!

    Thanks for reaching out! For almond milk, feel free to use any liquid base you love :). Here are some of our favorites!

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/liquid-base

    For almonds, you can use any healthy fat and protein :). Here are some of our favorite combos!

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/green-smoothie-meal-replacement

  15. Betty Greger

    July 26th, 2016 at 7:10 am

    Hi I love green smoothies, drank a lot of them, but I developed an infection in the lining of my stomach, had to take antibodies to cure, what did I do wrong, too many green?, didn’t wash my green enough/, my blender not cleaned good enough? any advice would be helpful and I want to drink them again, but am afraid to do so.

  16. SGS Rawkstar

    July 26th, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Hi Betty,

    Thank you so much for reaching out. We’re green smoothie lovin’ rawkstars all right, but we’re not doctors or nutritionists. We suggest you talk with your doctor about any health concerns— I’m sure they can help you decide what is best for you and your body.

    Cheers to health + happiness!

  17. Gary Berkebile

    August 2nd, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Hi

    I am allergic to avocados – what can I use as a replacement?

    Thanks!

  18. SGS Rawkstar

    August 3rd, 2016 at 6:10 am

    Hi Gary,

    Allergic to avocados? For their creaminess, swap in bananas. Want to reap the same healthy fat benefits found in avocado? Try adding coconut oil, nut butters, or flaxseed to your green smoothie!

    Learn more about our favorite healthy fats here…

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/healthy-fats

  19. Gary Berkebile

    August 4th, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Thanks SGS Rawkstar! I will try your suggestion in my next green smoothie!

  20. Keith

    August 18th, 2016 at 6:10 am

    How do you properly measure a “cup” of spinach or kale? It seems like there can be a lot of variation. I think I’m ending up with too much which affects the taste. Thanks.

  21. SGS Rawkstar

    August 19th, 2016 at 8:05 am

    Hi Keith,

    Great question! We suggest tightly packing your leafy greens. Curious how Jen + Jadah measure their greens? Check out this video of them blending here…

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/blendtec-vs-vitamix

    Want to be even more exact? Check out our conversion chart and measure your greens by weight…

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/conversion-guide

  22. Keith

    August 20th, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Thanks! Exactly what I needed!

  23. VIC COMPTON

    August 19th, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Does your book include nutritional information

  24. SGS Rawkstar

    August 22nd, 2016 at 7:10 am

    Hi Vic,

    We personally don’t focus on numbers or calories, so we don’t include them in our recipes at this time. You’ll find that when you consume more nourishing whole fruits and veggies, you will not only feel full longer, but you’ll also have lessened cravings for high-calorie, nutritionally empty foods. So in the end it balances out. But we know many people would like to have calorie + nutritional info. Three great resources for tracking calories are Self Nutrition Data, and the phone apps: My Fitness Pal and Lose It.

  25. Linda

    August 22nd, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    My family likes the really cold smoothies. How can I convert the amount of water to include ice when I don’t have frozen fruit? Example – if the recipe calls for 2 cups water, can I use 1/2 c water and 1 cup ice??

  26. SGS Rawkstar

    August 23rd, 2016 at 7:03 am

    Hi Linda,

    YAY! We’re so excited to have you + your family blendin’ with us. When I don’t have frozen fruit on hand, I keep the recipe the same, add enough ice to cool it down, and then add additional liquid base to ensure everything thing blends smoothly.

    Hope this helps!

  27. Kristen

    September 28th, 2016 at 8:52 am

    I’m allergic to nuts especially almonds. What can I replace almond milk and almond butter with?

  28. SGS Rawkstar

    September 28th, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Hi Kristen,

    Allergies? We’ve got you covered! Swap out almond milk for another plant-based milk or liquid base you enjoy. Learn more about our favorites here…

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/liquid-base

    And for almond butter, swap in a seed butter your allergies can tolerate (we love sunflower butter).

    Hope this helps! And for more substitution ideas, check out our Rawkstar Substitution Guide…

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/substitution-guide

  29. Shayla

    September 30th, 2016 at 1:10 am

    Hi! Hubby and I starting the 30 day challenge tomorrow and super excited! I live in Thailand and wondering what to use for substituting pears, peaches, and cherries? Since these are expensive imports here. Also spinach is here off and on, so can I substitute bok choy or Chinese kale? These are easily available and cheaper. Thanks!

  30. SGS Rawkstar

    September 30th, 2016 at 7:47 am

    Hi Shayla,

    We’re so excited to have you and hubby blendin’ with us. Our recipes are here to inspire you, so please don’t feel like you need to follow them to a T. Substitute ingredients available and local!

    Learn more about our favorite swaps in our Rawkstar Substitution Guide…

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/substitution-guide

  31. Thelma Galloway

    October 2nd, 2016 at 6:41 am

    I purchased the 21-day cleanse for the $47 before the deadline. When will i receive my materials that comes with the program?

    Thanks

    THelma

  32. Christine Henry

    October 2nd, 2016 at 9:56 am

    I also purchased the 21 day cleanse and have not received my materials.
    Christine

  33. SGS Rawkstar

    October 3rd, 2016 at 6:27 am

    Hi Christine,
    Hi Thelma,

    Oh no! We’re so sorry your purchase hasn’t reached your inbox! Our emails have a habit of ending up in your spam or promotions folder. No where to be found? Please send a quick message to our team at the link below and we’ll get your materials to you right away!

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/contact

  34. SGS Rawkstar

    October 3rd, 2016 at 6:25 am

    Hi Thelma,

    Oh no! We’re so sorry your purchase hasn’t reached your inbox! Our emails have a habit of ending up in your spam or promotions folder. No where to be found? Please send a quick message to our team at the link below and we’ll get your materials to you right away!

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/contact

  35. Howard T. Orr, Jr

    October 3rd, 2016 at 2:37 am

    I just started. I bought a bunch of vegetables today: Kale, lettuce, spinach, banana, blueberries, raspberries. Put them in a blender with water. It looks like a green smoothie.
    My problem: It gave me heartburn. Have been up all night taking Prilosec. How long before this is no longer a problem?

  36. SGS Rawkstar

    October 3rd, 2016 at 6:30 am

    Hi Howard,

    Oh no! We’re so sorry to hear you’re dealing with heartburn. If you’re sensitive to heartburn, sometimes citrus or too many berries can get your body out of whack. So, try limiting those fruits and use things like mango, banana, apples, etc and see how that works.

    Another idea would be sort of an elimination of the fruits that are suspect and reintroducing them back into your green smoothies one by one to see if there’s any heartburn associated with the particular fruit.

    As always, if you continue to experience heartburn we suggest reaching out to your personal physician to see if the ingredients in our recipes are the right choice for you + your body.

    Cheers.

  37. Dunja

    October 3rd, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Dear Jen & Jadah,

    I just started the 30-day challenge, I am a bit off the schedule, but I will try to keep up with it (with some delay). I was wondering when should be best to drink the smoothies suggested by the challenge?

    Btw, I am loving your positive energy! 😉

    Cheers,
    Dunja (Croatia)

  38. SGS Rawkstar

    October 3rd, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    Hi Dunja,

    Thanks for reaching out! Any time, is a great time, for a green smoothie! Just a quick FYI – our recipes give you a great energy boost, similar to a cup of coffee, in case you’re planning on enjoying yours around bedtime.

    Cheers!

  39. Skylar Williams

    October 7th, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    I liked your tips about blending the greens with the water first to get that smooth consistency. I have always had problems with chunky smoothies, I hope this works. When I can’t make them at home I’m always on the hunt for good smoothies to buy.

  40. SGS Rawkstar

    October 11th, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Hi Skylar,

    YAY! We’re so excited to have you blending with us + love hearing how our tips are helping create delicious smoothies free of leafy chunks. Looking for a good go-to while away from home? We love Pressed Juicery!

  41. Sandy P

    October 20th, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    what protein powder do you recommend? also, why/when would you choose almond milk over coconut water?

  42. SGS Rawkstar

    October 21st, 2016 at 6:57 am

    Hi Sandy,

    We love reaching for plant-based protein powders like pea or hemp, especially from brands like Nutiva. You can find Nutiva’s Hemp Protein in our Essentials page here…

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/essentials

    Also, check out our post on our favorite plant-based proteins!

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/protein

  43. Carol

    November 6th, 2016 at 9:46 am

    When recipe calls for “one lime”, does that mean pulp, zest and all or do I peel it first. Thanks.

  44. SGS Rawkstar

    November 7th, 2016 at 6:18 am

    Hi Carol,

    Great question! We suggest peeling your lime prior to blending. But don’t leave all of the zest and peel out of your smoothie. Citrus peels are high in antioxidants! But because the peel is flavor packed, and too much may upset your stomach we suggest starting small.

    Learn more about our favorite peels to add to your green smoothie here…

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/peel

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