As someone who tests carb-heavy recipes frequently, I rely on green smoothies as an easy way to get more fruits and vegetables into my body. When I was testing the pineapple bun recipe several weeks ago, I ate at least one of those buns a day. My stomach was so full from the bread, and I could feel in my body that I needed to eat more fruits and vegetables to balance everything out. This green smoothie came to the rescue.
For those of you who are just starting to experiment with adding different vegetables to your smoothies, this is a great place to start. I’ve used easy-to-find ingredients for this green smoothie recipe. Feel free to play around with the ingredients to suit your taste!
WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE GREEN SMOOTHIE
LIQUIDS: ORANGE JUICE & OAT MILK
I always use juice as a base for my smoothies because they provide natural sweetness. Most often, I use orange juice, apple juice, or carrot juice. Even though these juices contain natural sugar, I try not to go overboard by adding too much juice into my smoothies. Otherwise, I’ll be consuming a lot of sugar at once.
To add more volume to the smoothie, I often use non-dairy milk, such as oat or almond milk. You can also use soy milk or even filtered water for this smoothie.
I often use salad greens for my smoothies. In the photo, the greens are a mixture of baby spinach, baby chard, and baby kale. You can substitute that mixture with baby spinach or any other type of salad green. If you are using bunched kale, I recommend using slightly less (maybe 1 large handful) because they have a stronger earthy flavor.
Sweet bell peppers are great for smoothies because they are slightly sweet. In my photo, I have yellow bell pepper, but orange and red varieties work, too. You’ll want to use about 1/4 of a large bell pepper.
Adding half an avocado to a smoothie is one of the best ways to thicken a smoothie and to make them more filling. Even if your avocado is looking a little brown (because you left an open half in the fridge for several days), they’re still usable for smoothies.
Almost all of my smoothies have ginger in it because I love the zingy flavor. When I’m using very fresh ginger, I usually add slices of ginger straight to the blender. However, when I’m using ginger that’s been sitting in my fridge for a while, I grate the ginger first. Ginger that’s a little dried up tends to be fibrous and not pleasant to swallow in a smoothie. Grating the ginger helps to get rid of those dry fibers.
LEMON JUICE & ZEST
I also use lemon juice to brighten up my smoothies. A lot of the lemon flavor comes from the rind, so I use a microplane zester to grate the zest for my smoothies. You can also use limes instead of lemons.
To give my smoothies a spicy kick, I usually add a bit of cayenne pepper. You can use less or leave it out completely.
Veggie-Packed Avocado Green Smoothie
- 1 1/2 cups orange juice
- 1/2 cup oat milk, can substitute with almond or soy milk
- 2 large handfuls mixed greens, about 3 1/2 cups, loosely packed
- 1/4 large sweet bell pepper
- 1/2 large avocado
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated ginger, or a few 1-inch slices
- zest from 1/2 lemon, about 1 1/2 teaspoons
- juice from 1/2 lemon, about 1 1/2 tablespoons
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
- 4 to 5 ice cubes
- Add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender.
- Cover the blender with the lid and turn it on low speed. Once the ingredients start mixing, gradually increase the speed to high. Blend until you no longer see any small chunks of salad greens floating in the blender.
- Serve the smoothie in two 16-ounce glasses.