This healthy green smoothie recipe is a quick and tasty way to make breakfast or brunch! Simple green smoothies boost immunity, health and weight loss.
This breakfast smoothie recipe is exactly what you’re looking for! Are you ready to learn how to make a green smoothie? Let’s do this!
Healthy Green Smoothies
Now this is not the usual breakfast or brunch recipe you might see here at Kitchen Divas—there is no melted cheese, icing sugar or chocolate!
Recently, I started working with a nutrition coach, and healthy green smoothies is the first thing she recommended to me after hearing about my very busy schedule (and lack of green veggies in my diet!).
Since I started using this simple smoothie recipe most mornings, my energy has increased (even during these stressful days!), I’m staying full longer and don’t crave mid-morning carbs.
If you know anything about me, you know my approach to recipes is to keep it simple and stress-free, while still creating incredible dishes. I believe in home cooking that makes you feel good.
My nutrition coach has a similar philosophy, but focuses a little more on the health aspects of tasty, easy meals.
I’m going to let her take over this green breakfast smoothie post so she can share more nutritional information about healthy green smoothies, green smoothie ingredients and why you are going to want to add them to your breakfast smoothie recipe collection.
Green Smoothie Recipes for Beginners
For all of my clients, I always encourage SLOW, SMALL changes to health and nutrition so that they become habits and actually last.
How many times have we vowed in January to start eating healthier only to find we have slid back to our usual eating patterns by the end of February?
How many quick fix diets have we been on over the years, dropping a few pounds, but almost always gaining them back and more when we stop the restrictive diet and go back to real life?!
So the first change I encourage my clients (like Karin) to make is to ADD something healthy to each day, rather than start with restricting food. Like a delicious, nutritious low carb green smoothie.
Who likes feeling deprived?! I know I don’t!
I love green smoothie benefits and drink one at least five days a week to help keep up my energy and immunity as a busy personal trainer and nutrition coach.
green smoothies for weight loss
Healthy green smoothies for weight loss use ingredients that increase metabolism and make it possible to lose unwanted pounds and body weight.
Research shows that meal replacements, in a liquid form just like this green smoothie are beneficial and assist with weight loss. They take little time to prepare and are healthier than a fast food kind of breakfast.
Green smoothies are not only great for weight loss they make it possible to get your daily recommended serving of fruits and veggies. If you eat better you will feel better.
Smoothies need to be a part of your healthy living strategy and permanent weight loss not a sweet, calorie and sugar filled dessert to drink every morning to start your day!
Nutritionists agree that consuming a daily smoothie reduces hunger from their filling fiber and protein. Green smoothies assist with weight loss but are not a magical solution by any means.
There are always other factors that must be addressed as well before starting a weight loss journey and it might be helpful to talk with a medical professional before starting any weight loss plan.
Just in case hormones, sleep or another medical condition could be an issue. Otherwise, get out your blender, wipe it off and get ready to make the best green smoothie EVER!
And, if desired, lose a few unwanted pounds too because using green smoothies for weight loss is always an excellent idea!
Green Smoothie Benefits
Green smoothies are delicious liquid meals that save time, nourish and satisfy.
And they don’t need to be simply a breakfast smoothie recipe! Simple green smoothies for weight loss or not can be a quick, healthy breakfast, or lunch or snack!
Another bonus is low carb green smoothies are easily carried in the car or backpack and full of the nutrients your body needs. Green smoothies are a healthy, tasty meal in a glass!
Breakfast Smoothie Recipes
Most people are familiar with traditional breakfast smoothie recipes that require just fruit and liquid. But in my opinion that’s just not enough for a healthy snack or meal replacement. And, frankly, why stop there? Once you have your blender out for the fruit, the rest is easy! Why not try adding some nutrient-dense vegetable fillers like sweet potato, cauliflower, zucchini or cucumber. These vegetables don’t affect taste and contribute to a creamy smooth texture.
The best part about making a healthy green smoothie of any kind is that it is totally customizable to suit your personal tastes or dietary needs.
It’s so easy to include ingredients that make a wonderfully creamy, thick, totally healthy green smoothie!
Plus, green breakfast smoothies taste amazing! Start with the breakfast smoothie recipe below and then customize to your heart’s content.
Now, we know that there are tons of stores and juice bars springing up all over, offering breakfast drinks. But honestly, these store bought and juice bar type shakes and smoothies are often barely better nutritionally than a fast-food milkshake.
They’re typically sweetened heavily with sugar, contain minimal or low-quality protein sources, and are missing many of the nutrients found in whole foods.
On the other hand, this breakfast smoothie recipe, and other homemade healthy green smoothie variations, is packed with good stuff like veggies—especially nutrient-packed GREEN veggies, fruits, high-quality protein and healthy fats.
In addition to the quality nutrition it provides, the healthy green smoothie meets your need for simple, easy, high-quality food that you can make and drink quickly and easily.
So whenever you need a high-quality meal, but can’t make a full, whole food plate for yourself, try out this breakfast smoothie recipe. So easy and nutritious, you’ll wonder why you didn’t try healthy green smoothies sooner!
Top 10 Reasons to Add a Healthy Green Smoothie to Your Day
Here are Jill’s top 10 reasons to add a heathy green smoothie to your day.
1. Immunity Support
Leafy greens are much higher in vitamin C than other vegetables. Vitamin C is known to support the immune system, fight infection, and help maintain healthy cellular function throughout our bodies.
Healthy green smoothies are rich with chlorophyll, which some natural health experts say enhances the immune system, purifies the blood and rejuvenates the body. It is one of the many reasons why these delicious drinks are touted by experts as being an excellent source of energy for the human body.
2. Helps to improve Mental Clarity and Focus
Leafy green vegetables are full of antioxidants and carotenoids, which boost your brainpower and helps protect your brain. They are also also full of B-vitamins, which are proven to help your memory, focus and overall brain health and function. They are also rich in folic acid, which improves mental clarity.
3. Assists with Digestion and Overall Metabolic Function
The insoluble fiber in leafy greens helps food to pass through your digestive system, reducing issues like diarrhea, constipation, and bloating. Fibrous foods also help you to feel fuller for longer, which can aid in meeting weight-loss goals.
4. Lower Risk of Chronic Disease
Not eating enough vegetables and fruit is one of the major causes of chronic or non-communicable diseases including heart disease, stroke, cancers, respiratory diseases, diabetes and obesity. A diet rich in veggies and fruit can reduce your risk of these diseases. Canada’s Food Guide recommends that adults eat seven to 10 servings per day, yet about 60% of Canadian adults eat fewer than five servings per day. See why healthy green smoothies are so amazing? You can pack your nutrients for the day into your blender and enjoy the amazing taste at the same time.
Leafy greens are high in antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamin C, which help to prevent and may even reverse oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals occur naturally but increase due to lifestyle and environmental factors, and the damage they cause to our cells is linked with chronic issues like inflammation, heart disease and cancer.
Healthy green smoothies are a quick and easy way to get your vegetables and dark, leafy greens without tasting them. The fruit masks the flavor, so even though all you taste is fruit, you are still consuming a healthy dose of spinach, kale, cucumbers, and any other vegetable you add.
5. Increases Bone Strength
Leafy greens like kale and spinach are a great source of vitamin K1. Research has documented that people with a high intake of vitamin K1 are at a decreased risk for bone fractures, osteoporosis, and decreased bone mineral density.
6. Improves Mood and Helps Fight Depression
Green veggies contain lots of folic acid which is a natural antidepressant. The folate contained in greens helps fight memory loss and increases serotonin levels which results in improved moods.
7. Promotes Natural Weight Loss
Healthy green smoothies for weight loss are packed with nutrition and are very low in calories. Well, I suppose that depends on what extras you add! This breakfast smoothie recipe contains the vitamins, minerals, healthy carbohydrates, fiber and low fat whole food that you need to lose weight quickly, safely and effectively without starving yourself. They are also low in sugars found naturally in fruit and fruit juices making them a healthier option than traditional fruit smoothies and natural juices.
8. Clearer Skin
Great skin starts from the inside-out.
Clearer, radiant skin is an often-reported benefit to eating healthier. Easy green smoothie recipes are high in fiber and allow your body to eliminate toxins the right way instead of through your skin. The vitamin E found in green leafy vegetables works with vitamin C to keep skin healthy as you age. Much cheaper than those expensive moisturizing creams!
9. Increased Hydration
Drinking healthy green smoothies is not only a great way to trick yourself into eating your vegetables, it is also an excellent way to ensure you get the water your body needs. One of the main reasons many people don’t drink the recommended six to eight glasses of water daily is they simply don’t like the taste of plain water. If that describes you, add more water to the mix as you prepare your breakfast smoothie recipe. You’ll be drinking more liquids without even noticing it.
10. Lower Cholesterol
Leafy greens naturally contain compounds (bile acid sequestrants) that are used in medicine to lower cholesterol. Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels keeps fatty deposits from building up on your artery walls, reducing your risk of heart disease.
Are there any potential cons to drinking healthy green smoothies?
While leafy greens are naturally low in calories and fat, it’s possible to add too many sugars, carbohydrates or fats when adding other ingredients to your breakfast smoothie recipe.
If you are watching your weight and/or watching your blood sugar, keep your added healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocado, nut butter) to a single thumb-size portion per serving and watch how many fruits or additional sweeteners such as dates, you add to your healthy green smoothies.
Pro tip: You don’t need a whole banana and berries and apple and cherries!
Fruits contain fructose, and while whole fruits are very healthy, they are naturally high in sugar. You wouldn’t eat that many whole fruits in one meal, so stick with about one fist-sized portion of fruit per serving.
Many green apple smoothie recipes call for added dates or maple syrup, honey or stevia to help sweeten, but I find the berries or other fruit provide enough sweetness and never add extra sweeteners.
*Also for people with certain medical conditions who take blood thinners (anticoagulant drugs), the potent vitamin content in leafy greens could reduce the effects of the medication. While people taking blood thinners do not need to avoid vitamin K, they should still talk to their doctor about how much they should consume.
Scroll down for our basic breakfast smoothie recipe to get you started.
Simple Guide to Customizing Your Own Healthy Green Smoothie*
*Note: You don’t HAVE to follow all of the steps listed here.
You can choose to add in a protein source or not.
You can add in some healthy fats, or not.
It’s up to you!
For your breakfast smoothie recipe to be a healthy green smoothie though, you do need to include some greens.
Experiment and have fun with figuring out new flavor combinations!
How to Make a Green Smoothie
Step 1. Choose a liquid
Aim for about one cup per serving. (Think of it this way: more liquid = thinner smoothie, less liquid = thicker smoothie).
Pick your favorite OPTION: My favorite is a combo of water and soy, almond or oat milk.
- Cow’s milk
- Almond milk (unsweetened)
- Soy milk (unsweetened)
- Cashew milk (unsweetened)
- Coconut milk
- Hemp milk (unsweetened)
- Oat milk (unsweetened)
- Coconut water
- Iced green tea
Step 2. Choose your protein source
Aim for one scoop of protein powder* per serving (20-25 grams of protein) OR ¼-1/2 cup of yogurt, Skyre, cottage cheese or silken tofu.
Green Smoothie Protein Options
- Whey protein powder
- Egg White protein
- Greek yogurt or Skyre (unsweetened)
- Cottage cheese
- Casein protein
- Pea protein
- Rice protein
- Hemp protein
- Other proteins or protein blends
- Silken Tofu-plain (great in puddings AND in smoothies!)
*Be sure to check ingredient lists. Some protein powders contain added sweeteners, making them more like having a milkshake in sugar content!
Also watch for thickeners, which will increase the thickness of your shake. Find a protein supplement that you digest well and enjoy the taste of.
You can also use plain Greek yogurt, Skyre, silken tofu or cottage cheese instead of protein powder, or boost your protein and smoothie consistency by adding a couple of protein options.
Experiment and find what works for you!
Step 3. Pick a vegetable (or two or three…) to go with your greens of choice
Aim for a large handful of the leafy greens and one fist-sized portion of other veggies per serving.
- Dark leafy greens: Spinach*, Swiss chard, kale, collard greens, swiss chard, watercress, beet greens, celery, carrot tops or even romaine lettuce (I find frozen, chopped kale very convenient to toss in!)
- Pumpkin/sweet potato
- Beets/beet greens
- Powdered greens supplement (one scoop)
*Spinach is usually your best bet when first trying greens as it is virtually flavorless in your healthy green smoothie.
Honest! You can’t taste it!
I almost always use both fresh baby spinach (a big handful!) and frozen, chopped kale in my smoothies. (Just a tablespoon or two.)
Keep reading for nutritional and health benefits of various vegetables you can add.
Step 4. Choose a fruit
Aim for one cupped hand-sized portion per serving.
- Apple—simply remove the core and slice into wedges
- Banana—Toss in a banana to give the shake an excellent consistency & a boost of potassium
- Berries (my absolute favorite are blueberries, but raspberries, strawberries and blackberries are also delicious!)
- Dates—Dates are very sweet so use sparingly and don’t forget to remove the pit!
*You can use fresh or frozen fruit. Frozen mixed berries are very convenient to add!
Step 5. Choose a healthy fat
Aim for 1 to 2 thumb-sized portions per serving.
- Avocado—although they are a Fruit, nutritionally, they count as a healthy fat (buy fresh or frozen in chunks)
- Ground Flax Seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Chia seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Peanut and nut butters
When blended well, nuts and seeds give the shake a nice, rich consistency. And taste so good too!
Although healthy and delicious, remember that these are higher in fat so limit your portion size if watching your calories and fat content.
Based on a personal story with chia seeds, I feel I need to give you dear readers a CAUTION about Chia Seeds! 😉
Pro tip: Be careful adding in chia seeds!
Once, when using chia seeds, I used more than usual and also over-filled my green breakfast smoothie cup when blending. I set it in the fridge and had my shower, and then when I tried to open it, the lid was completely stuck!!
Even though I used all my hand strength, tried running it under hot water, cold water, grippers…nothing would move it!
I relented and finally asked my partner to try. Honestly, I hate asking a man to do this kind of thing! Even HE couldn’t make it budge!
We tried using a clamp and muscling it but even two very strong personal trainers couldn’t break the will of the mighty chia seeds binding the cup lid.
After Googling how to unstick blender cup lids, we tried the first option of letting the smoothie freeze overnight and then ran the lid under hot water. The quick temperature change allowed us to FINALLY pry that lid off so I could drink my delicious healthy green smoothie!
After that day, I always make sure to allow extra space in the cup for the smoothie to expand when using chia seeds.
By the way, I still love and use chia seeds in my simple green smoothie recipes every day!
Step 6. Choose a topper/add-in
- Shredded unsweetened coconut (¼ tsp)
- Cacao nibs/dark chocolate shavings/cocoa powder (a sprinkle)
- Oats/granola (add in if you need some extra carbs)
- Cinnamon to taste (great with vanilla and fresh pumpkin!)
- Ice cubes (if using fresh fruit)
- Herbs and spices like *ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, lemon or mint
*I personally toss in a small chunk of fresh, peeled ginger in most of my green smoothie recipes.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, may help with weight loss, decreases indigestion and nausea, can decrease osteoarthritis symptoms, lowers blood sugar levels, improves various heart disease risk factors for people with Type 2 diabetes, can help relieve menstrual pain, may help lower cholesterol levels, may have protective effects against cancer and may even improve brain function and protect against Alzheimer’s disease.
So many great reasons to give this little nutrition powerhouse a try! Not to mention, it adds a delicious taste to green smoothies too!
Green Smoothie Benefits—Additional Information and Helpful Prep Tips
Full of vitamins and minerals, and a rich source of fiber, sweet potatoes add a natural sweetness to your smoothie and help make your final result creamy. Super easy to bake a few sweet potatoes, cut into chunks or mash and freeze in desired portions or use an ice cube tray.
That being said you could easily steam or boil your sweet potato chunks too before freezing.
Sweet potato works well with mango, ginger, carrot, banana, dates, cinnamon, orange and almond. Think sweet potato pie, YUM! Who knew HEALTHY could taste SO good?!
Beets as you might expect add an incredible color to your smoothie. Gotta love the bright pinky purple color that beets bring, especially to simple green smoothies!
Beets are a good source of nutrients, fiber and many plant compounds. Their health benefits include improved heart health and enhanced exercise capacity. Their natural sweetness blends in beautifully in healthy green smoothies!
I prepare my beets exactly as I prepare sweet potato. I usually bake them inside the oven but you can also steam or boil chunks of beet too. Whatever works best for you.
Freeze either in chunks or blended and portioned for you to store inside your freezer.
Fair warning! Eating beets may cause your urine to become pink or red, which is harmless, but often confused for blood.
A good source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium and antioxidants, carrots are considered a healthy addition to any diet if possible. They are a weight-loss friendly food and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health. And carrots have a sweetness to them that goes perfectly with smoothies!
Using an ice cube tray to portion your cooked carrots for freezing is super convenient. Adding a little water while blending will also make carrot juice which can easily be added to your smoothie or frozen too.
Pumpkin, Acorn or Butternut Squash
Squash is a nutritionally power-packed veggie! It’s high in vitamins A, B6 and C, folate, magnesium, fiber, riboflavin, phosphorus and potassium.
It’s also a great alternative to bananas as they are much lower in sugar, somewhat sweet and oh so creamy. I’m not a banana fan myself, so I love using pumpkin instead. Although I do love banana bread! Go figure!
You can use cooked, fresh squash or pumpkin in chunks or as a blended puree that is either fresh or frozen. To cook squash or pumpkin you can bake, steam or even boil it.
I portion control it using an ice cube tray or small freezer bags until needed.
That being said don’t forget about a can of pumpkin puree. Adding some to your smoothie every morning could not be easier! Personally, that’s the easy route I take with pumpkin.
With it’s fairly mild taste, squash blends beautifully with ingredients like dates, turmeric, orange, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla. See which combinations work best for your taste!
Cauliflower is truly one of those really healthy foods that no one talks about.
It is an excellent source of antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals, containing some of almost every vitamin and mineral your body needs! It also contains unique plant compounds that may reduce the risk of several diseases including heart disease and cancer.
It’s also high in fiber, which is important for digestive health, keeps you feeling full longer, and may reduce the risk of several chronic diseases.
With its long list of nutritional and health benefits, this easy to include veggie will hopefully be included in some your smoothie creations!
Cauliflower does have a specific flavor to it but overall is mild enough to be hidden in with the other ingredients, and will be a great creamy addition to your green breakfast smoothie. I have never included enough cauliflower that it altered the flavors of the smoothie at all.
I doubt you will either.
Before I use cauliflower in my smoothies, I steam, boil or bake it. Then I freeze it portioned in cooked chunks inside my freezer or pureed in ice cube trays or freezer bags.
If you’re concerned about cauliflower’s stronger flavor, add extra sweet fruits like mango, blueberries, strawberries or pineapple.
Although very low in calories, cucumbers are high in many important vitamins and minerals. It is known for being extremely hydrating with its high water content.
Eating cucumbers may aid in weight loss, may lower blood sugar, could promote regularity (think digestion…) and is so easy to add to your diet!
Use fresh or frozen, with or without the peel, this low calorie addition will make you feel fuller without adding many extra calories to your smoothie.
Cucumber works well with watermelon, pineapple, lime, apple, mint, kale, mango.
Also packed with nutrition, fresh or frozen zucchini add a mild, somewhat sweet, creamy flavor and almost no calories at all to your smoothie, with or without their skin removed.
Some prefer the extra fiber and vitamins from the peel and for some leaving on the skin becomes an issue of texture.
As always the choice is up to you!
Healthy Green Smoothie Prep Tips
Freezing your fruits and vegetables into individual portions limits food waste and makes smoothie making so much easier, let me tell you.
Try blending fruits and vegetables like spinach or kale with a tiny bit of water until mixture can be portioned into small freezer baggies or ice cube trays.
After frozen into cubes, place into freezer baggies or air tight containers.
This way you can add your desired portion to your smoothie easily.
Your other option is to freeze chucks until needed.
It’s never easy to stay (or get!) healthy with a busy schedule.
Believe me, I know!
There really are no quick fix ways to get healthier. Sad, but true!
I have worked hard to figure out simple systems that work best for me and for each of my clients. It takes time to get really healthy, but there are many things you can do to kick start your health today.
Like adding a healthy green smoothie for weight loss or not to your day!
Looking for more easy, yet healthy, recipes to help kick start a healthier 2021? Check out these recipe links
How to Make a Healthy Green Smoothie
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Green Smoothie Ingredients
- ½ Avocado
- 1 banana
- 1 apple (green apple of choice)
- Spinach, one cup loosely packed
- 1 cup milk of choice or water
- ½ lemon
- ½ Teaspoon vanilla
Peel the avocado and place half of it in the blender. Slice the apple and place the pieces into the blender. Place the banana, spinach, milk (or water) of choice, vanilla, and juice of half of a lemon into the blender.
Blend on high for 1-2 minutes and serve.
- There are a lot of variations to this smoothie
- You can add an orange, or dates
- You can use any milk of choice or water works great as well
- The avocado does not have much taste but adds creaminess
- The spinach also does not have much flavor and is covered by the apple and the banana
- If you want to add a little “kick” to it then you can add a little cayenne pepper
Have fun with it and enjoy!
How to Make a Green Smoothie
- ½ avocado, ripe and pitted
- 1 banana
- 1 apple, green apple or apple of choice
- 1 cup loosely packed with spinach
- 1 cup milk or choice or water
- ½ lemon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Peel the avocado and place half of it in the blender. Slice the apple and place the pieces into the blender. Place the banana, spinach, milk (or water) of choice, vanilla, and juice of half of a lemon into the blender.
- Blend on high for 1-2 minutes and serve. Enjoy!
- oranges, dates, any milk or water, cayenne pepper or see above for all of our suggestions
- Have fun with it and enjoy!