This green smoothie is truly delicious – I promise, you’ll actually look forward to eating it and your body will thank you for it! This green smoothie is packed with spinach and even cucumber, but balanced with the two things bitter greens need most: fat and sugar. Bananas, pineapple, apple, and mango add vital sweetness and tons of nutrition, and a little avocado adds a vibrant green color as well as healthy fats.
Since splurging on a Vitamix blender, I can’t seem to stop making smoothies. And these green smoothies are my favorite kind to make – I’ve been having one in the morning every day for the past couple weeks and I can’t tell you how energetic and healthy it makes me feel! The boost of energy is similar to having a cup of coffee.
My secret to the BEST green smoothie ever: fat and sugar. Bitter green veggies NEED them. It’s why I roast brussels sprouts with bacon and maple syrup, and why I massage kale salad with a sweet maple and olive oil vinaigrette. Fat and sugar balance out the bitter flavor of green veggies. And when you’re enjoying a smoothie, bitter is the last thing you want!
Don’t let the beautiful bright vibrant green color of this smoothie fool you- yes, it’s packed with good-for-you-greens, but it’s balanced beautifully with sweet yellow fruits (that won’t take away from the color), as well as a little avocado for some healthy fats to take away the bitter flavor and balance acidity (while keeping the smoothie completely plant-based/vegan). The result is a super smooth, sweet-but-not-too-sweet, healthy, and delicious smoothie.
So grab that blender and let’s get to it!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Baby spinach – I prefer baby spinach for its mild taste and that it usually comes pre-washed at the store. You can use other greens or a mix – mature spinach, kale or baby kale, or even lettuce, if you like.
- If using kale, be sure to check out this guide on how to prep kale, including how to tame its bitterness a bit.
- Cucumber – just a few slices, you can omit if you like. No peeling needed. It adds nutrition and a refreshing, cool taste.
- Apple – I used fuji for its sweetness. Any will work, and a red peel won’t affect the color at all.
- Frozen pineapple and mango – or any combination of yellow fruits, which won’t muddy down the color of the green smoothie. Frozen is great because it makes for a cold smoothie without having to add ice. The cold also helps make any lingering bitter taste a little less so. Fresh or canned pineapple or fresh mango can also be used (here’s how to peel a mango easily!).
- Red fruits aren’t too bad in a green smoothie. Stay away from blues, which will give the smoothie an unappetizing brownish concrete color.
- Bananas – two of them, preferably very ripe, will add a lot of natural sweetness to the green smoothie. Frozen or fresh is fine.
- Avocado – you can use fresh or you can usually find frozen chunks with the other frozen fruit in your grocery store. Fat is essential in my opinion – you can use whole milk yogurt, a nut butter, or even a little coconut oil to achieve a similar bitter-balancing effect.
- Water – I like water as the base for green smoothies but you can use a plant-based milk or whole milk if you like (which will also add some fat and protein to the smoothie), or juice (pineapple juice is great in this, especially if you are using canned pineapple, just toss the juice in!).
How to make a Green Smoothie
- Add all your ingredients to your blender.
- Pour water in.
- Start the blender on low until all the ingredients are blended up. Tamp down as needed or pause to scrape down the sides of the blender.
- Blend on high until the smoothie is very smooth (about 30 seconds).
- Pour into glasses and serve!
I love my Vitamix blender. It’s quite pricey, but very powerful. The version I have (Ascent series) has an automated setting, including one for smoothies, so you can turn it on and it goes automatically.
A more budget-friendly option is a Ninja Blender. Really, any blender will work for this smoothie- just let it go for a little longer for an ultra-smooth texture!
Other healthy fruit and veggie breakfast ideas
- Banana Pudding Smoothie Bowl
- Strawberry Chia Seed Pudding
- Spinach and Cheddar Microwave Quiche in a Mug
- Crustless Spinach, Tomato, and Feta Quiche
- Olive Oil Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes and Feta
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A Truly Delicious Green Smoothie
- 2 cups baby spinach or other greens, see notes
- 1/2 small avocado
- 1 small apple cored, or 1/2 large apple (I like fuji because it's sweet)
- 1/2 cup sliced cucumbers about 1/4 of a medium sized cucumber
- 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks see notes
- 1 cup frozen mango chunks see notes
- 2 bananas
- 1 cup water see notes
- Add the spinach (2 cups), avocado (½), apple (½ small, cored), sliced cucumbers (½ cup), pineapple (1 cup), mango (1 cup), and bananas (2) to your blender. Pour in the water.
- Turn your blender on low until the ingredients combine well, tamping down as needed (or pausing to scrape down the sides). Then, turn your blender on high until the smoothie has blended thoroughly (about 30 seconds).
- Pour into two – four glasses and enjoy!
- This smoothie recipe is good for 2-4 servings, depending on how much you want, but the nutrition information is estimated at 2 servings.
- Baby spinach is easily accessible, has a mild taste, and usually comes pre-washed at the grocery store. Other greens can be used – mature spinach, kale, lettuce, etc., but keep in mind the more mature the greens the more bitter the taste. Read more about preparing kale here, including tips to remove some bitterness from the greens.
- Pineapple and mango add sweetness to the smoothie without muddying the green color. Other yellow fruit can be used – peaches, for example. A red peel on an apple won’t muddy the color down in this smoothie.
- Frozen fruit is great because the cold temperature of the smoothie helps balance any bitterness from the greens. I usually use frozen pineapple and mango, and fresh bananas, but you can use frozen bananas and frozen avocado if you like.
- Avocado adds healthy fats to the smoothie as well as enhances the green color. The fat also helps balance any bitterness from the spinach and cucumber. Whole milk yogurt, nut butter, or even a little coconut oil, will achieve the same effect.
- Instead of water, you can use milk or plant milk (which will also add some fat and protein to the smoothie) or juice (for a sweeter smoothie – if you happen to use canned pineapple here, the juice it’s packed in works great!)
- I love serving these in stemless wine glasses with a reusable bamboo straw.
Nutrition Information Disclaimer
The provided nutrition information is my best estimate and does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. I use an automatic API to calculate this information. Feel free to calculate it yourself using one of these tools: