Hooked on Green Smoothies + The Green Elvis

by on June 14, 2012

Hi friends. I hope your Thursday is off to a great start.

Today I want to talk about green smoothies, how I’m officially hooked on them and how amazing they are for you! If you follow me on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been consuming a lot of them lately…

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If the thought of drinking kale, spinach, collard greens and swiss chard makes you cringe, please don’t leave just yet! I promise that you can make them taste good and they’ll make you feel good too!

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I’ve always liked green smoothies but never tried drinking them on a regular basis until recently.

It all started when about two weeks ago I stumbled upon Amiee Dufresne’s, 10 Day Green Smoothie Challenge and decided to join. I was already following the TIU Beach Babe nutrition plan which includes a lot of smoothie recipes and recommends having one as a mid-afternoon snack so all I really had to do is start making sure all my smoothies had some sort of green. Easy peasey! The 10 Day Challenge has come and gone (it ended June 7th) but Aimee decided to continue it to 30 days and I was more than happy to continue incorporating them in my diet. I’m still going strong with having a green smoothie everyday.

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It’s been amazing! I’ve made a a bunch of different green smoothies over the past two weeks and I’ve been feeling awesome. I used to be one of those people who couldn’t have “just a smoothie” for a meal or snack. I needed something more… something to chew on. However, since incorporating the green smoothies into my daily routine I’ve noticed that I can have a smoothie for my afternoon snack (around 3) and not crave anything else, or become hungry again until dinner time, which varies from 6:30-8:00 depending on what I have planned after work. Another added benefit = I’ve lost a few of those pounds I mentioned back in April! I know it wasn’t just the green smoothies that did this as I’ve also been following the TIU Beach Babe plan and did the 5 Day Slim Down, but I definitely think the smoothies have helped.

The main point of all this = leafy greens are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat and putting greens in your smoothie is super easy and it doesn’t taste bad!

Greens are high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K. They are crammed with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals. I recommend buying organic greens whenever possible, but also remember that eating non-organic greens is better than not eating any greens at all!

Some of the benefits of eating dark leafy greens:

  • Blood purification
  • Cancer prevention
  • Improved circulation
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Promotion of healthy intestinal flora
  • Promotion of subtle, light and flexible energy
  • Lifted spirit and elimination of depression
  • Improved liver, gall bladder and kidney function
  • Cleared congestion, especially in lungs by reducing mucus

A few tips for getting started with green smoothies:

  • Start by adding a handful or two of baby spinach into your smoothies then work your way up to adding a larger amount of spinach or different greens that are a little more pungent like collards and kale.
  • Use frozen fruit! Frozen bananas and mango add a nice sweetness, great texture and cover up the taste of the greens really well. <– Just make sure your bananas are ripe and that you peel them before freezing. I like to break them in half and put them in freezer bags or tupperware containers before placing in the freezer.
  • I recommend using a high-powered blender. If you don’t have one you can still make green smoothies, but you’ll probably have to deal with pieces of un-blended greens. Just be sure to check your teeth. ;)
  • Remember that green smoothies don’t have to be green. When you include other colorful fruits (like berries) into the smoothie the color isn’t always pretty.
  • I’ve been using vanilla brown rice protein powder (Sunwarrior or Perfect Fit) in my smoothies. Both of these are sweetened with stevia and that definitely helps to make the smoothie taste delicious.

At some point I want to do a full post with green smoothie recipes but for now I’ll share one of my favorites as of late.

The Green Elvis Smoothie

Drinking a green smoothie out of a pint glass = classy!

5.0 from 1 reviews

The Green Elvis Smoothie
 
Prep time
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This is a great green smoothie to start out with because banana and peanut butter combos never disappoint! And, I promise you won’t taste the spinach. :)
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • ½ of a large frozen banana
  • 1-2 Tablespoons PB2 or peanut butter
  • 1 scoop vanilla brown rice protein powder
  • ¾ cup cold unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other milk)
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach
Instructions
  1. Blend until smooth and enjoy.

This is a great green smoothie to start out with because banana and peanut butter combos never disappoint! And, I promise you won’t taste the spinach. :)

I hope this post will inspire you to try a green smoothie, if you haven’t before and if you have, perhaps it will be a friendly reminder to add a green smoothie or two back into your routine. Drink up and enjoy all the great benefits!

Some Green links:

Lastly, I’ve had quite a few people trying out my recipes and posting photos on Facebook and Twitter – which I love! I want to do a post soon where I share photos/reviews of EBF recipes so if you’ve made one of my recipes and would like for me to feature it, please send me a photo and what you thought of the recipe (eatingbirdfood@gmail.com). I’ll compile a post with the reviews and link back to you if have a blog or website. I can’t promise that all the photos and reviews will be posted, but I’ll try my best.

{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

Faith June 14, 2012 at 9:13 am

Yum, these sound great. I love greens but never find enough ways or time to cook them.

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Living, Learning, Eating June 14, 2012 at 9:24 am

The green elvis is genius. Sheer genius.

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Katharina June 14, 2012 at 9:52 am

Ooo girl those green smoothies are my favorite color ;D the recipe you shared sounds awesome! I’ve been having smoothies for breakfast, and I was like you… Thought I couldn’t have a smoothie as a meal. But it’s nice because you can add whatever or take out whatever you want depending on your appetite or just how you’re feeling :) not to mention it’s a great feeling knowing that your body is probably leaping for joy when you drink it!

Cheers :)

Also, I’ll email you about being included in that post you want to compile

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Jess @JessCantCook June 14, 2012 at 9:55 am

I’m easing into the green smoothie thing, I’ve just been adding a little spinach to my regular smoothies, increasing the amount each time. I’m up to about a handful of spinach and it’s not even noticeable, color wise or taste wise! I’m not sure I’ll ever go full-green smoothie like you, but I definitely see the benefits of adding in a little greens here and there :)

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Traci June 14, 2012 at 10:21 am

I tried out your black bean burgers recently. I didn’t have any breadcrumbs on hand, so I ended up crumbling 2 ends of whole wheat bread instead, and they came out great! I’d send you a photo, but they are half devoured, so next time!

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Eating Bird Food June 17, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Awesome! I’m so glad you enjoyed the bean burgers Traci!

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Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers June 14, 2012 at 10:52 am

I wish I could bring a blender to work so that I could have an afternoon smoothie for lunch or snack. That’d be a wonderful pick-me-up!

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Robin June 14, 2012 at 10:54 am

Curious, why do you peel the bananas before freezing? I always throw mine straight in, skin on.

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Eating Bird Food June 17, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Hey Robin. I don’t eat the skin of bananas. I know they are technically edible but they taste bitter to me.

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The Blissful Baker June 14, 2012 at 10:56 am

I love anything peanut butter so this smoothie looks fantastic! :) Thanks for sharing! Be sure to check out my latest recipe-bean salad-Cowboy Caviar @ bakingblissful.blogspot.com

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Claire @ Live and Love to Eat June 14, 2012 at 11:02 am

I had a green smoothie for breakfast almost every day the month before my wedding – great to know you’re getting your greens and fruit in at the beginning of the day!

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Sarah June 14, 2012 at 11:13 am

Mmm! I’m a fan of green smoothies- especially with Sunwarrior these days. This post decided it for me- I’m going to have one for a snack today!

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Eating Bird Food June 17, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Isn’t Sunwarrior the best?

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Angela June 14, 2012 at 11:29 am

I had a green smoothie for breakfast and it was the first one I’ve had in quite awhile! I need to get in a habit of having on for a snack. I’m the same when it domes to meals or snacks I like to chew something!

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Liz June 14, 2012 at 1:00 pm

It’s funny, the recipie that you shared is almost exactly the same one that I have nearly every day! I am loving the PB2 in smoothies! Sometimes I thicken mine up with a little 1/2 t of guar gum and 1/4 t of xantham gum from Bob’s red mill, which helps to give it more of an ice cream like consistency.

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Eating Bird Food June 17, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Good idea! I have some xanthan gum that I use in smoothies every once in a while. I’ll throw that in next time. :)

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Gabby @ Gabby's Gluten-Free June 14, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Green smoothies are the best. Definitely know what my afternoon snack is going to be today :)

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Dawn June 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I need to eat more smoothies – this one looks amazing! I love my greens too and now that I’m eating Mila it will be a perfect vehicle!

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Carolyn Zeltner June 14, 2012 at 2:33 pm

When I first added green smoothies into my diet, the first thing I noticed was that they reduced my cravings for sugar!
I love your article, and really appreciate your comment about eating veggies that are not organic. I agree with you 100%. It’s so much better to eat greens, even if they’re not organic, than to not eat them at all. Not everyone can afford all organic foods, but fruits and veggies are so loaded with goodness that we should never give them up. Naturally, organic is preferable, but all greens will benefit our health. Also, I love your glass with the picture of the pooch! It rocks!

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Nicole June 14, 2012 at 2:35 pm

I find that it’s helpful to juice the kale/collards with celery, cucumber, lime and/or a green apple before adding it to the blender. Once the greens are juiced, add the frozen banana and other additions as you would normally.

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Merry Thornsburg June 14, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Thanks for the recipe! Hubby and I bought a Vitamix on New Year’s Eve this last year and love it! We have been making smoothies ever since….we always put in 2 handfuls of organic spinach and 2 handfulls of broccoli, and 2 carrots, along with our fruit…we also add greek yogurt and 2 Tbsp. of Flaxseed meal….yummy….can’t taste the green veggies at all….love it! We also use frozen strawberries and frozen tripleberries…love how we feel….we’re in our 50′s!
Merry

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Heather June 14, 2012 at 2:37 pm

@Robin – Skin-ON bananas? Really?! I have a Vitamix, but I never considered putting bananas in with skin-on. I do use stems of kale, tho.

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Eating Bird Food June 17, 2012 at 7:47 pm

I feel the same way Heather. Banana peels are technically edible, but they are so bitter!

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Cheryl Norman June 14, 2012 at 3:18 pm

I make green smoothies often and will try the green Elvis. Thanks for the link to Aimee DuFresne’s blog. I don’t know what she uses for juicing, but my Vitamix is a lot easier. Takes up less room, too. However we make the green smoothies, count me in for the ten day challenge!

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Eating Bird Food June 17, 2012 at 7:49 pm

I use my Vitamix as well. It’s awesome!

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Vickie June 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm

I have a green smoothie every morning as my breakfast. Great way to get in a couple of veggies and several fruits at one time and it keeps me full till lunch. I now carry my Vitamix with me when I go visit my parents so I can continue my morning smoothie. I have been looking at IIN and sitting on the fence about it but the more and more people I see who have been through the program I’m thinking it is the right thing to do. Saving now so I can pay for it!

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Kelly June 14, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Umm I need this in my life ASAP. Amazing!

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Keith June 15, 2012 at 1:34 am

My wife and I have a green smoothie almost every morning for breakfast. Today I decided to actually measure the ingredients. Here’s our current favorite recipe (serves two):

4 cups unsweetened almond milk
Two servings matcha green tea powder
Two servings whey protein powder (we use Jay Robb’s)
3 cups spinach
1.5 cups kale
1/4 cup arugula
1/4 cup frozen homemade broccoli sprouts
Several sprigs of fresh mint
One frozen cucumber
One banana
One tablespoon unrefined coconut oil

Yum!

I’m looking forward to seeing more green smoothie recipes here. Thanks for the info!

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Renee June 15, 2012 at 2:26 am

Hi! I’ve been lurking for a little while, but I wanted to say that those green smoothies look soooo refreshing:) Question: I just moved to the UK and for whatever reason, it seems really hard to find fresh greens right now. Have you ever experimented with frozen spinach in a smoothie? Cheers!

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Eating Bird Food June 15, 2012 at 9:29 am

Hi Renee! I’ve never tried using frozen spinach but I think it world work best if you defrost it and make sure to squeeze out all the liquid before putting it in the smoothie. Although, maybe it would work well frozen too. Let me know if you experiment with it. :)

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Ryane June 15, 2012 at 11:06 am

One tip, especially when using spinach in a smoothie, is that heating/cooking the spinach releases more of its nutrients!
I will put some water in a bowl and stuff a huge handful spinach and nuke it for 30 seconds. Then put it in the blender WITH the water too! : )
I’ve also noticed that the slightly wilted spinach blends a little bit easier. My blender is almost 10 years old and manages it okay!

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Xiomara @ Parkesdale June 15, 2012 at 11:19 am

Hi! I’ve been drinking smoothies for years now, and lately I can’t stop reading about these “green” smoothies. So, I finally tried one at home this morning. I followed your recipe (couldn’t believe I had all your ingredients!). And oh my! Why have I been so anti green smoothies?!?!? It was wonderful! :) You’ve made me one happy green smoothie drinker today!

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Shannon June 15, 2012 at 11:47 am

I am making the Green Elvis this weekend. It will by my first EVER green smoothie!

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Adrienne J June 15, 2012 at 8:15 pm

If I have my green smoothie instead of my other breakfast option (granola, banana, and yogurt), I feel SO much more alert in the morning. I think those micronutrients in the spinach help a ton!

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Anna June 15, 2012 at 11:16 pm

I haven’t tried putting peanut butter and spinach in the same smoothie before, but now I want to! My toddler loves smoothies, so it’s a great way to sneak some veggies into him. :)

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Valerie @ Anthonylovers.blogspot.com June 16, 2012 at 12:22 am

Love love love green smoothies! I haven’t tried that combo before…sounds yummy!

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Organic Cafe Perth June 16, 2012 at 1:41 am

That juice looks so delicious and healthy. I wanna try that one. I am thinking to be a vegitarian. This one is perfect to start with.

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Jenn June 16, 2012 at 11:00 am

I love green smoothies! I have a hard time getting all my veggies in so making a smoothie with a couple handfuls of spinach is a great way for me to boost my leafy greens intake. I like making them with a banana + a bit of peanut butter + almond milk. Delicious!

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Sara June 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I haven’t made a green smoothie in a while because I have been on an Ellwood’s green juice kick, but I definitely need to reincorporate them back into my life. Wish I could whip them up at work as a 3PM snack! Maybe I will pre-make and store them in our office freezer??

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Lauren @ vegology June 16, 2012 at 11:34 pm

Classy, lady! I love drinking smoothies out of pint glasses, so you’re not alone. They feel extra fancy out of Belgian beer glasses!

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Melissa June 17, 2012 at 2:46 am

I love green smoothies, although i always have the same one: spinach, banana, almond milk. so delicious!

I would much rather have them as an afternoon snack, but I work until 5. Do you have any recommendations for smoothie-drinking at work?

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Liz @ iheartvegetables June 17, 2012 at 6:54 pm

That Green Elvis recipe is like what I have for breakfast every single day, unless one of my roommates is sleeping.. and I don’t want to wake her up with the sound of my vita mix ;) haha

I love the idea of having one as an afternoon snack. I wish I could take my blender to work!!! haha

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Eating Bird Food June 17, 2012 at 7:20 pm

I’m not sure if a smoothie would last all day in the fridge, but I make my smoothies at home on my lunch break (around 12:30) and they keep in the fridge until around 3:30 or so. Some hold better than others – I think frozen fruits definitely help. Maybe you could try it one day and see…

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Kristina June 18, 2012 at 9:59 am

I had my first green smoothie for breakfast the other day and I was shocked by how long I stayed full! Definitely not “just a smoothie” :) It’s such a convenient way to get more servings of fruit/veggies into your day.

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Whitney @ Whit Likes Fit June 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm

I love green smoothies! I make them every morning for breakfast. We do blueberries, spinach, almond milk, flax, protein powder and sometimes greek yogurt.

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KathyG June 18, 2012 at 2:51 pm

I love green smoothies too! I know bananas are good for you, but the sugar content worries me.

So I sub in 2 TBS of oatmeal soaked overnight in 1 cup almond milk (or usually 24 hours, I put one in when I take one out), and a bit of ice. It thickens it up very nicely!

You’ve got to experiment some more with these, please! I’ve read about ones with sweet potato that sound awesome! But still “green” with spinich or kale.

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Elizabeth June 18, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Love the recipe! When you say 1-2 Tablespoons of PB2, is it mixed with water or just the straight up powder?

Thanks!
Elizabeth

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Eating Bird Food June 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm

1-2 Tablespoons of the powder. :)

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Lisa @ Exercise Eat Repeat June 19, 2012 at 9:42 am

You have inspired me, Green smoothies here i come!

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Emily**Bird Food Newbie June 20, 2012 at 11:47 am

Had this guy for breakfast this morning with PB2 and Chocolate protein powder. It makes the color kind of not good but the taste was amazing! All you can taste is Banana, Peanut butter, and chocolate! It’s like having a treat for breakfast!

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eatingRD June 23, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Yum! I’ve been having a green smoothie every morning for breakfast for several months now and sometimes as a pre-dinner snack. I thought I would get sick of them, but my body craves the greens! Tastes really refreshing too. I’ve been loving coconut milk in mine which makes it like a ‘milk’ shake. Can’t beat the pb banana combo :)

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Lynn July 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm

I found your blog from Tosca Reno’s blog! I just made the green Elvis smoothie, my first ever greenie..all I can say is Oh. My. Gosh. Hands down best smoothie EVER!!!!

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Danielle August 2, 2012 at 7:44 am

I LOVE your website and receipes :D
xx

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Lara September 1, 2012 at 5:26 pm

How many teaspoons or tablespoons is 1 scoop vanilla brown rice protein powder? Thanks in advance.

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Eating Bird Food September 6, 2012 at 9:56 am

About 2 rounded tablespoons. :)

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Brianna October 2, 2012 at 10:32 pm

The Green Elvis was delicious! Couldn’t even taste the spinach! I added a little bit of Kale in mines! Thanks for the recipe!!

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Jack January 3, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Here is my green smoothie recipe that i’ve been using every morning for the last 5 years. I guess I should switch it up, but it tastes so good!

Ingredients:
2 large chard leaves
handful of spinach
1 banana
1/2 apple
1/4 cup frozen or fresh berries of choice
1/2 cup orange juice or water
3 tablespoons Raw Organic Whey protein (raworganicwhey.com)

Bend it all in a blender and it’s an amazing way to start the day.

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Brittany Mullins January 3, 2013 at 6:34 pm

This sounds really good! I’ll have to try it sometime. Thanks for sharing.

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Layla March 12, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Instead of adding juice or almond milk I add coconut water to my smoothies to sweeten them up. love your site!

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Elena March 13, 2013 at 5:50 am

I make green smoothies every morning. Darn energizing and nutritious! It helps me to lose 40 pounds. Now I have 110 pounds. Love it!
click here

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Brandon Frye March 23, 2013 at 11:58 pm

Green smoothies are the best!! Thanks for your article. I’ve been thinking about throwing some peanut butter in mine. Didn’t know if it would be good. Here’s a link to my recipe. I drink one every morning!
<a href="http://forkstofeet.blogspot.com/2013/03/green-smoothie-recipe.html

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Rhonda March 30, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Hi-Just found your blog here – I tried to find the 5 day slim down you mentioned, but could not – can you reference that for me, please? Thanks!

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Brittany Mullins March 31, 2013 at 9:42 am

Hey Rhonda, the 5 Day Slimdown is part of the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan (http://www.toneitupplan.com/).

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CR May 9, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Hi really liking your blog. I am big smoothie enthusiast. I was just wondering why you recommend freezing fresh bananas and using them? Is it just for coldness and texture or is there another reason i’m missing? Thanks!

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Hana July 26, 2013 at 1:58 am

To CR:
I personally use frozen bananas mostly because I don’t want them to go bad over the period of time, but when they’re frozen, you can skip the ice step sometimes and it really doesn’t change the texture. I can assume that with non frozen bananas, it will be a tad more creamy, but when I use frozen bananas, it pretty much leaves the same texture.
I hope this helps!

- Hana

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Brittany Mullins September 7, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Yup – frozen bananas give smoothies the best texture!

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trekdigest September 7, 2013 at 10:44 am

Thanks for a lovely blog. One question, what is the measurement for a scoop, is that a tablespoon? Thanks!

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Brittany Mullins September 7, 2013 at 12:33 pm

I usually use the scoop that comes with my protein powder to measure protein powder, but I think it’s about 2 Tablespoons. :)

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Caitlin October 14, 2013 at 11:36 am

It’s official. I am obsessed with your blog! I’m a second year grad student and have very limited time to prepare food on my own that isn’t frozen, but with a little bit of time and effort I have made a few of your recipes this weekend, and I feel SO energized that I will definitely keep continuing! It’s so worth it :) I literally feel 10 times more energized!

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Hillary V February 15, 2014 at 2:20 pm

This green smoothie is life changing! I am very new to smoothie making but this one tastes amazing:) I really can’t believe that you can’t taste the spinach at all! This is a great alternative to eating salads all the time.

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Teri March 11, 2014 at 10:19 am

Thank you for such wonderful info! Working on getting more green into my smoothie, and you have been a great inspiration. Know I want to find these bean burgers…

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Louise March 17, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Is a pint of green smoothie enough to have for lunch? I had a pint of my pint about an hour ago and I was full at the time but now I’m hungry again. I love spinach and I wonder if eating the food in the smoothie would be more filling than drinking it.

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sandy hammobd April 12, 2014 at 12:05 am

I add a shot of instant coffee granules (decaf) and WOW! Yummy!

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