Green Smoothie – Oops… I didn’t finish

So… It has been a while since posting about my green smoothie challenge. I really enjoyed it, and had fun trying new things. However, we ended up not finishing the challenge. My bad.

Part of the reason was because of my 3 week funk I found myself in. Part of the reason was because our real lives got absolutely insane. So insane that right now I’m wondering if I didn’t already write this post. Let me go check and I’ll be right back….

Ok, see, right there… I accidentally published my partial draft when I went to check. I can’t quite get my head on straight. Until I do I’m going to pretend I haven’t posted this and am going to continue with my thoughts.

First things first… A green smoothie every day is a lot. It is doable, it gets a little expensive and gets a little time consuming. Part of the expense is that we started with none of the required ingredients and double (and triple) purchased a few frozen fruits. Nothing crazy but 3 big bags of organic strawberries adds up. If your budget is tight you need to pay more attention than we did and it still might be a lot. Time is a bigger factor in our lives, and the extra trips to the store and extra 5-10 minutes every adds more effort to our day (really my day) than I was prepared to put forth. I’m confident that if I didn’t get into my funk this wouldn’t have been an issue, but I did and it was.

That said, green smoothies are good (most of them anyway). They are an excellent way to get a daily boost of nutrients without resorting to multivitamins or suppliments.

While we were doing this challenge I really felt better. I had more energy, my skin wasn’t doing weird things, I didn’t have tons of cravings. It was surprisingly awesome. I miss it.

I don’t plan on continuing a daily green smoothie because that is a lot of pressure on myself right now. I do plan on incorporating green smoothies into our regular diet however. I think we can easily do three a week. We might even be able to do more some weeks (by might I mean definitely can).

Don’t let me dissuade you from trying something like this yourself. It is definitely worth trying. Just don’t be quite as hard on yourself as I was. Relax, enjoy, and bottoms up!


photo credit: “Fail” by z Q licensed under CC BY 4.0  


Green Smoothies – Week 4

A month ago +/- I started a 30 day green smoothie challenge (see Simple Green Smoothies for more info).  I had a week long break because of a vacation… and missed a few days here and there because life happened.  However I’m happy to say that we are continuing this challenge.

This week introduced medjool dates.  These are something I had never heard of until I got my shopping list for the week, but are something that I think we can incorporate into our regular diet now that I have tried them.  They are very sweet, and have a slightly caramel-y taste.  One thing that you should pay attention to is that these have pits… don’t just toss one in your mouth and comp away.  That kinda hurts.

4 weeks in and I have to say I’m really enjoying this challenge, but I’m also ready for it to be over in some ways.  I have definitely enjoyed the challenge, and have definitely come across some smoothies I really enjoyed.  There are just times when it really is a lot to ask to make a smoothie every day.  When you are a busy family with two kids, a dog, demanding jobs, random power failures that cause your electronics to go crazy, holidays, vacations, and so many other day to day tasks… that extra 5-10 minutes to decompress is a necessity.

So moving on from this challenge… I am going to commit to 3 smoothies a week.  More if I can, no less.  That is do-able.

This week was very Autumn-y IMO.  Which was perfect because it is actually starting to feel like Autumn around here.

  • JUST PLUMMY – ?  I kept forgetting to buy plums and didn’t do this one… we replaced with Strawberry Mango instead.
  • APPLE ALMOND BUTTER & JELLY – We had a nut butter smoothie during a previous week and I substituted walnut butter for almond butter.  As I wasn’t a fan, I went out and actually got Almond butter for this one.  The flavor was good, but the consistency was still kind of pasty.
  • COCO-MINT MOCHA – Chocolate + Mint?  MMmmmm…. But not really… This one needed something a little sweeter to bring it into the yummy category.  I might try this again with a few edits.
  • PEAR-BERRY NUTMEG – I like Nutmeg and was excited to try this one.  I liked it OK, but it didn’t have that nutmeg pop I was hoping for.  My husband hated it and refused to drink his.  To be fair, he isn’t much a blueberry fan and this one has a lot of blueberries in it.  I drank his so it didn’t go to waste.  No worries.
  • CARAMEL APPLE – This one was pretty good, but the dates needed to be added to the initial leaf blend.  They didn’t quite smoothify all the way.

Bonus Recipe that doesn’t fit the theme at all.

  •  STRAWBERRY MANGO – We didn’t have all the ingredients for the recipe we were supposed to make one night so I improvised.  First… I learned something – you can put too many frozen things in a smoothie.  It was a bit too solid and I had to water it down to make it blendable and drinkable.  Second, improvisation is sometimes very good.  This was a good combo.

For Part 1 of this adventure, please check out my post here.

For Part 2 of this adventure, please check out my post here.

For Part 3 of this adventure, please check out my post here.

**Affiliate links – If you click on a product link it may be an affiliate link. I use these links to offset my cost for making this blog awesome.

photo credit: “Avocado, Mango & Spinach Smoothie” by Liz Mochrie licensed under CC BY 4.0

Green Smoothies – Week 3

Since we were on vacation last week, we are running even further behind.  We are still doing it though, and for the most part it is going really well and we aren’t missing any days.  So… for more info check out Simple Green Smoothies and keep reading.

This week we introduced another green… Swiss Chard.  Technically we got “Red Chard” but I don’t know if that would make a difference.  This was our first foray into the world of chard, and so far Dr. Google hasn’t told me if those things taste any different.  So far… I don’t think I’m a huge fan.  This was the first week where it tasted like we were drinking a plant… and there is some tart metallic taste that I don’t particularly care for.

So… if I were you and you were trying this week’s recipes…

  1. Get the right chard.  Not sure how much this will change… but if you are going to do it, do it right.
  2. Try drinking from a straw.  This helps… but I don’t always have straws at hand.
  3. Try half chard/half something else.  Maybe kale.  Kale was good.
  4. Substitute the chard all together.

I’m not writing off chard and neither should you… I’m just not going to enjoy it in smoothie form from this point forward.

Another lesson learned this week… Peel the apples.  Much like carrots they don’t ever become real smoothie consistency and you end up with chunks of apple skin.  They aren’t nearly as bad as the carrot chunks, and maybe a super high powered blender would help, but you know that there is apple peel in your smoothie.  Now… this is one of those time consuming steps that makes this challenge sort of a pain in the ass… but this is totally optional and personal preference.

The last issue with the challenge this week…. maybe we are just over-buying frozen fruits, but my freezer is FULL of partially used bags of frozen fruit.  I appreciate the variety, but I have strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mango, mixed berries, etc.  I even have multiple bags of some of these fruits because we are terrible at checking before we go to the grocery store and I’d rather have too much than too little.

Let’s focus on a few fruits and go from there, K?  Maybe some fruits that are in season so we don’t have to get bags of frozen peaches and pass up the eleventy-billion apple varieties that have invaded my grocery stores.

This week I wasn’t sure about the theme… it seemed apple-y.

  • BANANA RAZZMATAZZ – This is the first green smoothie that made me feel like I was drinking green leafy things.  I don’t think I’m a fan of chard… it is too strong of a green-y flavor and has a metallic tang to it.
  • SOUTHERN SWISS – I was afraid to try another chard based recipe but it wasn’t the chard in this one I didn’t like, it was the coconut oil.  If you aren’t used to having a lot of coconut oil in your diet… use less.  This left an oily feeling in my mouth that I didn’t love.
  • APPLE BERRY PUNCH – Hey!  An apple smoothie in apple season.  Score!  It was really good… chard and all.
  • GREEN GRANNY – This was pretty tasty, but the apple peels didn’t fully… um… smoothify?   New word.  Also… this gave us a much needed break from chard.  I vote yes!
  • PUMPKIN DRAM PIE – I was a little fearful of this one to be honest… a pumpkin smoothie?  I mean I love pumpkin spice and pumpkin pie… but drinking a pumpkin in smoothie form seemed crazy to me.  It wasn’t scary, but it wasn’t my favorite either.  I would drink a pumpkin based smoothie again, maybe not this one, but something with pumpkin in it.

For Part 1 of this adventure, please check out my post here.

For Part 2 of this adventure, please check out my post here.

**Affiliate links – If you click on a product link it may be an affiliate link. I use these links to offset my cost for making this blog awesome.

photo credit: “Rainbow Chard” by looseends licensed under CC BY 4.0

Green Smoothies – Late

With last week’s vacation and this week being a normal week with kids and jobs and stuff I’m running a little late on my challenge.

OK…. so I was already late… and now I’m a little more late.  Whatever, we are still working on it.

I’ll have a real post for you tomorrow, and my week 3 smoothie post on Monday.

OK… what I meant by Monday was Tuesday… I’m not so good at this scheduling thing.

Green Smoothies – Week 2

Another week down in my adventure with green smoothies… I tried some awesome new recipes thanks to the ladies over at Simple Green Smoothies and have learned some things.

  1. It is still something really easy to do and is not time consuming.  It is also something that it is really easy not to do.  Habits are hard to make and hard to change.
  2. My kids love most of the recipes they have tried and they make an awesome bribe.  Mommy win.
  3. Read the recipe ahead of time and see if there are any tips.  Sometimes there are steps that take longer than the 5 minutes that I have allocated myself in the morning to make these things.
  4. I am actually feeling a lot better and I might be losing weight.  Either that or I’m not super bloated.  I’ll take it either way.
  5. Many green smoothies are not green.  Most are kind of brown-ish.  Others are VERY green.

Since we started late we were able to just go ahead and start the second week over the weekend rather than repeating our favorite recipes.  We might have also skipped a day and drank some of the leftovers that started to accumulate in the fridge.  Again… whatever.  We are making it work.

Want to know something that doesn’t work?  Raw carrots in a smoothie.  Yeah… two recipes this week called for carrots… they were really, um, chewy?  I don’t know how you would describe it.  The taste was good, but the texture just wasn’t.  I’m thinking that if we had cooked them to soften them up prior to blending it might have helped.

I find that I would rather drink a few small glasses during the day than one big glass, and I am loving these little jars.  They are the perfect 8 oz half serving so I can grab one in the morning and one in the evening.  If you want to drink one big glass that is fine, too.

This week seemed to have a semi-tropic theme…. it worked.  If you didn’t try any last week, I highly suggest a few from this week.

  • STRAWBERRY CARROT PINEAPPLE – The flavor of this was was really good.  The texture not so much.  The carrots and pineapples (to a lesser extent) made this a smoothie you had to chew.  If you try this one, cook the carrot first.
  • HAWAIIAN BREEZE – This one was really yummy.  Definitely tropical.  It did need a little extra blending because many of the fruits involved are very fiber-y.
  • SHAUNA’S CARROT CAKE – Carrots… I want to like it, and I might try it again… but the carrots.
  • ORANGE JEWLS – Like orange juice?  This one is just like drinking orange juice with a little banana thrown in for fun.  Everybody knows that bananas are the life of the party.
  • CREAM MACHINE – Drinking avocado?  What?  That is crazy talk.  Well… it isn’t.  Do it.  Gives everything a wonderfully creamy texture. This has probably been our favorite smoothie so far.

For Part 1 of this adventure, please check out my post here.

**Affiliate links – If you click on a product link it may be an affiliate link. I use these links to offset my cost for making this blog awesome.

photo credit: “Green Smoothie” by latisha (herbmother) licensed under CC BY 4.0

Green Smoothies – Week 1

A handful of times of year Simple Green Smoothies has a 30 day challenge in which you are supposed to drink green smoothies every day for a month and see what happens.   They give you a grocery list and 5 recipes (you repeat your favorites on the weekends), and get to blending.  Each recipe makes at least enough for two, and most mornings we get two 16 oz servings plus a little bit for my kids to share.

Supposedly this challenge was going to start on October 1… we might be a little late to the party.  Whatever, we are doing it.

So let’s start at the top….

What IS a Green Smoothie?  Simply put a Green Smoothie is some combination of Fruit, Liquid, and Leafy Greens.  Things like Spinach, and Kale, and Romaine but also things like Mango, Strawberry, Banana, and Raspberries.   They have a pretty simple formula to follow

2 Cups Leafy Greens + 2 Cups Base Liquid + 3 Cups Fruit = Green Smoothie for 2

Does it actually taste good?  To be perfectly honest not all of them this week have been hits.  Some of them have been really yummy, and none of them have been terrible.  They don’t taste like straight up raw spinach, in fact most of them tasted like fruit.  The ones that I didn’t love were not terrible… they just weren’t my thing.

If you like this you will like green smoothies.

If you like this you will like green smoothies.

30 Days?  Really?  Yes, 30 whole days.  I promise it isn’t that bad.  Now that I’m a little over a week in, I’m more confident that this could be a permanent change in our household.  Lots of vitamins in one easy to make and tasty package?  Sure, why the hell not.

How hard is it?  I promise that if you have a decent blender this isn’t difficult at all.  They suggest some pretty high dollar blenders (Their favorites are a Blendtec and a Vitamix) and
I don’t know about you but I don’t see any reason to spend that much money on a blender.  Sorry.  They might be the most amazing blenders ever, but they are still blenders and I pretty much use my blender to… uh… make these smoothies once a day.  Yeah… my $60 blender works just fine (I actually really like my blender… watch the prices on Amazon and you can find a pretty sweet sale).

  1. Put the Leafy Greens and Base Liquid in the blender.
  2. Blend.
  3. Put everything else in the blender.
  4. Blend.
  5. Pour into glass(es) and drink or refrigerate.
  6. Wash blender.

The most difficult part is washing the damn blender.

So here is a quick review of the recipes from week one

  • CHERRY ON TOP – This was a really good introduction to green smoothies.  Tasted fruity, but think using a base other than water would have made it even better.  This was a favorite.
  • B-LIMEY STRAWBERRY – This had a LOT of lime and it was a little too tart for me.  After a few sips you got over the lime overload and it was really good.  I still ended up adding a bit of sugar to take the edge off though.  I’ll make this again with half of a lime.
  • ALMOND PEACH BLUEBERRY – Not a big fan of this one.  In fairness we used Walnut Butter rather than Almond Butter, but I don’t know if I would have liked that any better.  It was a little pasty in texture and using the ‘right’ nut butter probably wouldn’t have helped.
  • KALE ‘N CHERRY – I really enjoyed this one.  Cherries + Chocolate = Winner.
  • U-PICK ME UP – Normally I’m not a tea person and I was hesitant to try this because it uses green tea as the liquid base.   It was pretty awesome though.  This is not one you can make while getting ready to work unless you prepare the tea the night before as it needs to cool.  Learning moment.

**Affiliate links – If you click on a product link it may be an affiliate link. I use these links to offset my cost for making this blog awesome.

photo credit: “Super Hydrating Green Smoothie” by Stacy Spensley and “Fruitscape” by sea turtle licensed under CC BY 4.0