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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. Linda

    November 20th, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    I LOVE your smoothies! 🙂 Question – I’ve seen some recipes at the grocery store that don’t have greens in them, just fruit and liquid. Can I just add spinach and be ok?

  2. SGS Rawkstar

    November 21st, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Hi Linda,

    Give it a try! Just stick to our Simple Green Smoothie formula. 3 cups fruit, 3 cups liquid base, and 2 cups leafy greens.

    Cheers!

  3. Kim

    November 22nd, 2016 at 7:41 am

    My son has a nut allergy. Can I use cows milk instead of almond milk? Also, what would the substitute be for almond butter?

  4. SGS Rawkstar

    December 2nd, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Hi Kim,

    You can definitely reach for cow’s milk. Personally we try to avoid dairy for ourselves and our family. It’s the #1 undiagnosed food allergy and can be pretty tough on your digestion. That’s why we reach for plant-based milks. Some other plant-based milk options are hemp and rice milk.

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/liquid-base

    Need to avoid almond butter? Sunflower seed butter is a great option!

    Hope this helps!

  5. Jessica

    December 1st, 2016 at 3:41 am

    Do you have any tips on freezing fresh spinach or kale? I live alone and only buy for one and can never seem to use all the spinach or kale before it goes bad! I saw online something about blending it and freezing it with some water to make ice cubes of sort but I didn’t know if y’all had any better tips. Thank you!

  6. SGS Rawkstar

    December 2nd, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Hi Jessica,

    We’ve got your covered! Check out our post on freezing leafy greens here…

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/freeze-leafy-greens

  7. Amy G

    December 5th, 2016 at 6:40 am

    If I wanted to gift a friend Fresh Start 21 for the holidays, how would I go about doing that?

  8. Jeanna

    December 21st, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Hi Jen,

    I’m in desperate need of a reset in my life and excited to try your 7 day reset! My issue: I wake up every. single. night. from hunger and can’t go back to sleep unless I eat. It all started through my second pregnancy and nursing, but I weaned my daughter over 6 months ago and am still waking to eat. I am exhausted and desperate to sleep through the night. I am worried that I am going to be starving through the 7 day reset, but I will try! Wondering if you have had clients in the past with a similar issue who has gone through your programs with success. I am hopeful! Thank you!!

  9. SGS Rawkstar

    December 26th, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    Hi Jeanna,

    Don’t worry! We pack Thrive with delicious recipes + plenty of snacks to keep you + your stomach satisfied. We even have evening hunger covered!! You end each evening with our Spiced Almond Milk. The protein helps keep you full and any evening cravings at bay, while the digestive spices keep your metabolism revving.

    Hope this helps!

  10. Gemma

    January 3rd, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Hi everyone,

    How many smoothies should i have a day? 1 or 2.

    Thank you.

    Gemma 🙂

  11. SGS Rawkstar

    January 4th, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Hi Gemma,

    Our goal for you is to add one (16oz) green smoothie to your day in addition to your regular diet. Personally, I use one smoothie as a meal replacement, and keep a second serving on hand as a quick-healthy snack option during that afternoon low.

    Cheers!

  12. Krista Muir

    January 6th, 2017 at 5:58 am

    I didn’t get a recipe for day 5 of the 7 day challenge, did I miss it?

  13. SGS Rawkstar

    January 11th, 2017 at 7:58 am

    Hi Krista,

    Oh no! We’re so sorry to hear that Day 5 and 7 didn’t reach your inbox. If you haven’t already, please take a quick peek at your spam or promotions folder, as our recipes have a habit of ending up in both locations. No where to be found? Send us a quick message at the link below and we’ll get those to you ASAP!

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/contact

  14. Isabel

    January 19th, 2017 at 12:22 am

    Is it possible to get all my nutritients for the day from smoothies? (and if so which smoothies should I make).

  15. SGS Rawkstar

    January 21st, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Hi Isabel,

    When it comes to meal replacement we suggest replacing 1-2 meals. To ensure you’re fueling your body with a complete meal adding protein + healthy fats is the way to go. Check out our favorite meal replacement booster combos below…

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

  16. Isabel

    February 12th, 2017 at 3:56 am

    Thank you!

  17. Terry

    January 26th, 2017 at 3:51 am

    Hi, I love having a big smoothie every morning but was concerned about the amount of vitamin k intake. Can you get to much vitamin k with all the spinach and kale?

  18. SGS Rawkstar

    January 30th, 2017 at 4:50 am

    Hi Terry,

    Worried about your vitamin K intake? Because we’re not doctors or nutritionists we always suggest reaching out to your personal physician with any health concerns. They know you + your body best and will best determine how much vitamin K you should be adding to your diet.

  19. Kim

    February 15th, 2017 at 6:40 am

    I’m ready to start the Thrive 7-day reset but there are a lot of recipes using avocados. I am allergic to them and am not sure what to replace them with. I know coconut oil is one replacement but that won’t work for many of the recipes.
    Help please?
    Thanks

  20. SGS Rawkstar

    February 16th, 2017 at 3:43 am

    Hi Kim,

    We got you covered! Here are our suggestions for Thrive substitutes!

    Avocado – in smoothies 1 tablespoon coconut oil or 2 tablespoons cashews (pre-soaked), in other recipes add nuts, seeds, or shredded coconut to add in healthy fats.

  21. Mary

    March 9th, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Hi! I have a silly question – when it says 1 1/2 cups spinach (or any green for that matter!) how it that measured? I just grab a couple handfuls and call it a day – but would love the real scoop. Thanks!

  22. SGS Rawkstar

    March 10th, 2017 at 4:13 am

    Hi Mary,

    Any chance you’re blending outside of the US? If so, you may be interested in checking out our Rawkstar Conversion Guide for measuring your greens + other ingredients by weight.

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

    Or just not sure how we measure our greens in measuring cups. We tightly pack them! We can never get enough greens.

    Hope this helps!

  23. Vilma Rodriguez

    March 21st, 2017 at 7:15 am

    I am already a member, do I have to sing up and pay again?
    Thank you

  24. SGS Rawkstar Jen

    March 21st, 2017 at 7:48 am

    Hey Vilma!!! I miss you! The Fresh Start (spring) is a whole new program with all new recipes and weekly meal plans. We will still have the Fresh Start (autumn) available which is what you have purchased in the past. The Spring edition is brand new and would recipe you to purchase it to get access. We’re hosting a live community cleanse on April 3… would be fun to have you in the group!

  25. Laurie Andrade

    March 25th, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Is this 21 day diet good for type one diabetics?

  26. SGS Rawkstar

    March 27th, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Hi Laurie,

    Each and every one of us is different, which makes it hard to say if this cleanse is right for a diabetic or not. There are many other issues that come into play than just whether or not a person has diabetes. Cleansing and detoxing programs are not normally recommended for people with diabetes, but we suggest checking with your healthcare provider if you wish to do the cleanse.

    That being said, there are plenty of wholesome recipes within Fresh Start that you can incorporate into your diet. If your healthcare provider determines that a cleanse isn’t right for you, then you could use the lunch or dinner recipes to replace one of your meals every day!

  27. Shannon

    March 28th, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Can you provide more details on exercise during the 21 day cleanse? I workout 5-6 times per week, and don’t want to give up. Will I have enough energy to continue with the workouts?

  28. SGS Rawkstar

    March 28th, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Hi Shannon,

    You can definitely continue working out while cleansing. I trained for my first 10k post-baby during my first cleanse and was running 3-6 miles a day, and felt great + energized. You may need to cut back during Week 2 though, it’s the most detoxing, so your body will be hard at work. Feel like you need more fuel? Then listen to your body!! We’re about fueling your body, not depriving it during Fresh Start 21. If you need more energy, add a handful of nuts or extra snack to your day for an added protein + healthy fat boost.

    Hope this helps!

  29. Shannon

    March 30th, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Yes – thank-you!

  30. Carmen

    April 1st, 2017 at 7:58 am

    I am exclusively breastfeeding 5-month old twin babies. It is known that to avoid affecting your milk supply, you must eat an adequate amount of carbs daily. Would your 21-day cleanse be ok to try while breastfeeding?

  31. SGS Rawkstar

    April 3rd, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Hi Carmen,

    Congratulations!! Cleansing is not always the best choice while nursing, but there are ways to include Fresh Start 21 into your diet while breastfeeding. Because our cleanse is naturally detoxing, those toxins can pass into your bloodstream and enter your breastmilk, while they’re leaving your body. We definitely don’t want your babies getting any of that. To avoid that, we suggest enjoying Week 1 and 3, and skipping Week 2, as it’s the most restrictive + detoxing.

    Personally, for me. I have an 8 month old at home. I waited until I completed breastfeeding before completing the entire cleanse. But I still included the cleanse recipes into my diet. They’re delicious + a great way to fuel both my body + my baby’s with plant power!!

  32. Janet

    April 2nd, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Hi there,

    I’m having an aversion to some of the liquid choices. Is it ok to switch to water in this case?

    Thanks Janet

  33. SGS Rawkstar

    April 3rd, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Hi Janet,

    Of course! Our recipes are here to inspire you! So don’t hesitate to change them up!

  34. Nancy

    June 18th, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Newbie to green smoothies, trying to not only lose weight, but drop cholesterol, LDL etc.

  35. Terri

    June 24th, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Nancy, I was in your same situation. My doctor was ready to put me on cholesterol meds and I wasn’t into that. I’ve done 2 cleanses and have a green smoothie everyday. I have purchased Let’s Eat Fall and Summer which give me some great meal ideas that even my husband loves. I’ve lost 10 lbs. in a year but better than that I dropped my cholesterol by 32 points. Keep working at it. You can do it.

  36. Barry

    July 6th, 2017 at 10:01 am

    I’m interested in green smoothies for type Ok diabetics,

  37. SGS Rawkstar Amanda

    July 6th, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    Hi Barry,

    Thanks for reaching out + your interest in green smoothies! Since we are not doctors or nutritionists, we suggest that any member of community with health concerns to speak to their healthcare provider to confirm that green smoothies and the natural sugars are okay for their eating plan. We want what’s best for you, and your personal physician can help you determine what’s best for you + your body.

    In the meantime, here is a link to our favorite low sugar fruits. It may be a great resource to share with your doctor.

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

    Hope that helps.

  38. Jessica

    November 29th, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    First time mom, here! I’m 3 weeks away from my due date and wanting to start prepping some healthy freezer meals.. Can I do the same with green smoothies? If so, how long will they keep in the freezer?

    Thanks in advance!
    Jess

  39. SGS Rawkstar Amanda

    December 6th, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Hi Jessica,

    CONGRATULATIONS!! You can definitely freeze green smoothies. And as a momma too, I can tell you having quick-healthy snacks on hand after baby arrives is so important. I’ve never known hunger before, like hunger while nursing. And having blended smoothies on hand was a life saver!! We love to prep them or you can even freeze your blended smoothies.

    Here’s our prep tips…
    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/make-ahead-smoothie-prep

    When freezing blended smoothies, simply pop in the fridge the night before you’re ready to enjoy. And because our recipes are free of any yucky additives or stabilizers – separation is completely normal. Simply give your smoothie a quick shake + you’re ready to enjoy!

    Have any questions? Don’t hesitate to reach back out!

  40. Abigail F

    January 11th, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    Hello,
    my family has been making green smoothies on and off for a few years, but I really want to get into it more.
    I was wondering, for greens, if I take my 1-2 cups (depending on the serving size), and blanch the greens, will this still work as my 1 cup of greens (or whatever amount I am using) or will I need more?
    Thanks for all the info and tips!

  41. SGS Rawkstar Amanda

    January 12th, 2018 at 11:02 am

    Hi Abigail.

    YAY! So excited to hear you’re interested in blending more green smoothies! I haven’t blanched + blended before, but you should be good to use the same ratio of greens, liquid base + fruit – you see in our Simple Green Smoothie Formula. You can check it out here…

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/the-rawkstar-perfect-blend-smoothie-formula

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