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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


I know how overwhelming it can be when getting started with 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 smoothies (that taste great too!):

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. When it comes to making a health green smoothies, it’s really important to make sure you’re consistent with it. 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.

 how to make healthy smoothies with raw, fresh ingredients like kale, cacao, berries and tomatoes

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 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 healthy smoothie–  you can use it 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) when trying to make a healthy smoothie, you should not be able to taste the green veggies. 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 to make healthy smoothies “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!

Smoothie Shop with Mason Jars

Where can I buy those mason jars you use?

We adore mason jars for our green smoothies, feel free to visit our 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 my 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!

Need more help to learn how to make healthy smoothies?

Leave a question below and we’ll help you out!

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  1. Brianna

    October 12th, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Hey! For the October challenge am I allowed to use any of the shakes that are posted on you guys website?

  2. SGS Rawkstar

    October 12th, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Hi Brianna,

    Of course! Our goal for you is to add one (16oz) green smoothie to your day! Pull recipes from our challenge emails, website or create your own!

    Thanks for blendin’ with us!

  3. ron

    October 12th, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Can I locate smoothies with a specific ingredient, like cocoa, coffee, etc?

  4. SGS Rawkstar

    October 12th, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Hi Ron,

    We’re currently looking into adding a search feature to our website, which would give you that option. In the meantime, we don’t have any recipes with coffee, but if you’re looking for a caffeine boost our green tea recipes are a great option…

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/green-smoothie-recipes/simple-green-tea-smoothie

    And here are our favorite recipes with cacao…

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/green-smoothie-recipes/red-velvet-green-smoothie

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/Recipes/chocolate-covered-cherry-smoothie

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/green-smoothie-recipes/skinny-mint-green-smoothie

    Looking for any other ingredients? We’d be happy to point you in the right direction!

    Cheers 🙂

  5. Keria

    October 12th, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    I have been reading that it is not a good idea to mix fruits and vegetables, you should eat fruits with fruits and vegetables with vegetables, the exception being apples and carrots. What are your thoughts on this?

  6. SGS Rawkstar

    October 12th, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Hi Keria,

    We are not professional nutritionists, but all the research we have done suggests that blending fruits and veggies together is no different than eating fruits and veggies together–like a salad! Hope this helps!

  7. Sue Perkins

    October 14th, 2015 at 8:13 am

    I ve only succeeded with weight loss with low carb. Are there tasty smoothies that are low carb?

  8. SGS Rawkstar

    October 14th, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Hi Sue,

    Yes! Check out our post on low-sugar fruit options. Swap them into any of our recipes to meet your weight-loss/dietary needs!

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/low-sugar-fruits

  9. Sasha

    October 14th, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Hello! I just wanted to say ‘hey’ and that I love you ladies for introducing me to yummy green smoothies! I’ve been doing the beginner’s luck smoothie with my little rawkstar (she’s 4) for a few weeks now since it’s the only way she’ll have her greens. I’ve increased the greens content from 2 to 4 cups, and rotate every few weeks.

    My question is, I’ve been feeling a little queasy after having a green smoothie (despite the delicious taste), is this a symptom of detoxing? It’s not enough to go to the doctor, but just something I have noticed. I’ve been drinking these smoothies for about 4 weeks now, and it is something my daughter and I look forward to everyday. We race to see who can finish first 😉

    Anyway, thanks for a wonderful and informative website, and keep doing what you’re doing. Congratulations on all your ventures!

    S.

  10. SGS Rawkstar

    October 14th, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Hi Sasha,

    Thank you so much for reaching out! We love having you + your daughter blendin’ with us! This can be a common symptom if your body is not used to drinking or eating lots of fiber. Green smoothies are high in fiber which is great for digestion, but for newbies, the high fiber can shock your body. Bumping up your leafy greens from 2 to 4 cups before your body becomes accustomed to all of that leafy goodness may be to blame. Make sure you drink lots of water to help flush things out. And if you’re new to green smoothies one serving a day is enough, which is 2 cups (16 ounces).

    Cheers 🙂

  11. Sasha

    October 16th, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Thanks so much – I figured as much but at one point my body probably had a delayed response to the shock of healthy drinks 😉

    Have a great weekend!
    Sasha

  12. SGS Rawkstar

    October 19th, 2015 at 6:37 am

    Hope you had a great weekend, Sasha! 🙂

  13. ron

    October 15th, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Vanilla appears to be a powerful flavor. Maybe dominates anything else? Is vanilla best added with extract or powder?

  14. SGS Rawkstar

    October 15th, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Hi Ron,

    We love to add vanilla extract. And start small, you can always add more!

    Cheers 🙂

  15. Emma sanders

    October 16th, 2015 at 3:34 am

    Hi I have been following you green smoothie challenge and have enjoyed making them. I am in the UK so Is there any way I can buy the books or sign up for the 21 day challenge but by paying in Pounds.

    I look forward to hearing from you

  16. SGS Rawkstar

    October 16th, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Hi Emma,

    We love our SGS tribe, so we try to make sure all of our products are available outside of the US. You can purchase our Fresh Start 21 Cleanse through our website, and here is the Amazon UK link for our upcoming book…

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Simple-Green-Smoothies-Jen-Jadah/dp/1623366410/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1445009381&sr=8-1&keywords=simple+green+smoothies

    Cheers 🙂

  17. Barbie

    October 20th, 2015 at 7:06 am

    Hi there! This is my first time on your website. I love it! I have been eating clean for almost 2 years now, but just started really understanding about blending vs juicing. I did not want to juice because I felt that was a TON of instant sugar to my body without all the good pulp and fiber. However, most of your recipes do contain a lot of fruit which again concerns me a tad. I appreciate the blending aspect and thereby consuming the entire fruit. My question is “Do you not find that this is too much sugar? You both look to be in wonderful shape, so I am assuming this does not cause weight gain.” 🙂 Thank you for addressing my concern.

  18. SGS Rawkstar

    October 20th, 2015 at 7:19 am

    Hi Barbie,

    Thanks for the message. We’re so glad you found us in this busy internet world. Our smoothie recipes make about 4-5 cups (32oz – 40oz). Each smoothie has 3 cups of fruit in it, and it is recommended that an adult has 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit a day. When you drink 16oz of our green smoothie recipe you will be meeting, or just under your daily intake for fruit. If you feel like that is too much fruit, feel free to do 2 cups of fruit in each smoothie with 3 cups of leafy greens. Hope that helps. 🙂

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/low-sugar-fruits

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/fruit-and-vegetable-nutrition

  19. Adhiti

    November 2nd, 2015 at 10:00 am

    I am going to start the 30 day challenge (a month late!) but I wanted to only make these recipes for one as I see they are all for 2 servings – do I simply half all the ingredients? If so – will the smoothies still taste good?! Thanks so much! looking forward to trying this out.

  20. SGS Rawkstar

    November 2nd, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Hi Adhiti,

    YAY! We love to hear you’re starting your own 30-Day Challenge. You’re right, all of our recipes are for two-servings. Just blending for one? Simply cut our recipes in half. I have a NutriBullet and half all of our recipes, and they’re just as delicious!

    Cheers 🙂

    P.S. Keep us updated throughout your challenge!

  21. ylwrose

    November 4th, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Dear SGS Rawkstars –
    I’m on day 6 of my own personal smoothie challenge and I have to admit that I have felt a difference in just this short time! I wake up easily now, as opposed to having to drag myself out of bed (and fighting to keep myself from going BACK to bed!) and I think the daily cherries have really helped my joint pain. I even shocked myself this morning by opting for a smoothie rather than tacos for breakfast! But the best thing I’ve seen happen thus far is that some of my children have taken a liking to the green leafy lettuce (MUCH different than iceberg!) AND 2 of them even packed fresh watercress in their lunchboxes today, all on their own! Wow! I got one of my daughters to taste my cherry smoothie but she’s not ready for a whole cup – YET! I’m still struggling with bloating and gas but I think my body will adjust in time. Thank you SGS!!! Keep those recipes coming!! 🙂

  22. SGS Rawkstar

    November 4th, 2015 at 8:12 am

    Hi Ylwrose,

    WOW! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story. We love hearing how green smoothies have changed your life + we love hearing that your children are getting in on the leafy love! We’d love to hear more, share your story here…

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/share

    Bloating and gas? Both normal symptoms, we love green smoothies, but if you’re body is new to all of that green goodness, the added fiber can be tough on your digestion. We suggest sticking with one (16oz) serving + drinking plenty of water until your body becomes accustomed to the added fiber.

    Cheers 🙂

  23. Joelle

    November 21st, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    I have been trying the smoothies which are delicious but I’m not tolerating the greens. I can’t seem to tolerate iron rich vegetables but have no issues with meat. Do you recommend continuing to make the smoothies but eliminate all the greens?

  24. SGS Rawkstar

    November 23rd, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Hi Joelle,

    Thanks for reaching out! While we love our leafy greens, it’s all about finding what’s best for you + your body. If your body is having trouble digesting the greens, but you still want to fuel your body with fresh fruits, go for it!

  25. Friedrich

    November 25th, 2015 at 12:38 am

    Hello

    Very nice website. With a lot of great informations. I hope, that even more people knows, the important things of a good an attentive life.

    Go on.
    good luck from Austria
    Friedrich

  26. SGS Rawkstar

    November 30th, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Thanks for the leafy love, Friedrich! <3

  27. Shawn

    December 1st, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Hello, Can I use coconut water in place of water?

  28. SGS Rawkstar

    December 2nd, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Hi Shawn,

    Of course! We love switching up our liquid base options! Check out our favorites here…

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/liquid-base

  29. ron

    December 1st, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Is there a smoothie using V-8 juice as a liquid?

  30. SGS Rawkstar

    December 2nd, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Hi Ron,

    We don’t have any recipes that use V-8, but we love trying new liquid bases. Check out our favorites here…

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/liquid-base

    Looking for a veggie packed smoothie? Check out our Veggie Cocktail recipe here…

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/green-smoothie-recipes/veggie-cocktail

  31. ron

    December 5th, 2015 at 9:10 am

    Has MAQUI berry been used here. Just came across it from an article on dry eyes. It’s from South America and might be the highest antioxident berry on the planet. Its available as a powder from alot of sources. Never heard of it before, wondered why.

  32. SGS Rawkstar

    December 5th, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Hi Ron,

    Thanks for reaching out! I personally haven’t tried Maqui Berry, but would love to hear more! Please share!

    Cheers 🙂

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