3 Easy Green Smoothies Even An Unhealthy Slob Like Me Can Enjoy

I have developed three green smoothies that don’t taste green at all.
Publish date:
April 24, 2014
kale, green smoothies, blending, coconut water, flax seed oil

I am not the person one expects to start the day with a green smoothie. I am the type of person one expects to start the day with cold pizza and an aspirin.

In truth, I am both of these people.

Though my favorite breakfast is leftover pizza, I begin most days with a smoothie that contains kale, flax seed oil, coconut water, and some variety of fruit. If you are anything like me, you are thinking, “That sounds terrible!” -- because it does sound terrible. I like eating kale, but drinking kale sounds pretty revolting. Add flax seed oil, the substance my mom tried to convince me was "just like butter" when spread on Ezekiel toast, and you have something that sounds like a Claire Lower-specific nightmare.

But it isn't.

It is true that these are actually good for me. The kale is very high in vitamins A and C, coconut water is super hydrating with more potassium than a banana, and flax seed oil has all those "good fats" that you hear so much about. But healthy food doesn't help me unless I actually put it in my body, so I needed to make a smoothie that I actually wanted to consume. Out of necessity (because my diet is bizarre at best), I have developed three green smoothies that don’t taste green at all. They just look green, which allows you to post holier-than-thou Instagram photos, which is a great reason to do anything, really.

More amazing than the fact that these are tasty, is the fact that I actually make them most mornings, when my laziness is at an all-time high and the thought of chopping kale is overwhelming.

Preparation is key. About an hour of prep work on a Sunday allows for a week of very little effort.

First, the kale. You could by a bag of pre-washed, pre-chopped kale, but those bags are usually too big for me to use up before half of it goes bad. One bunch of kale is enough to get me through a week or more without any of it spoiling. My mother instilled a healthy fear of wasted food in me, so it’s pretty necessary for me to buy smaller amounts more often.

To prep the kale:

1. Rinse each leaf under running water and place on a kitchen towel.

2. Roll the towel up and press down gently to absorb most of the water.

3. Remove the stem by chopping off the end, folding the leaf half and cutting along the edge, removing the rib.

4. Tear the leaf into bite-sized pieces.

5. Remove remaining water from kale by giving them a twirl in a salad spinner. Alternatively, you could do the towel thing with a fresh towel.

6. Place about two-handfuls of kale in quart-sized bags. Place a folded up paper towel in each bag for maximum freshness.

Boom. You should have five or six bags of kale, ready to be thrown into a blender or pan at a moment’s notice. I usually use half a bag in a smoothie and the other half gets sautéed or baked or consumed some other way. I make it my goal to consume all the kale before it goes bad (about 10 days) and having it pre-chopped makes it much easier.

Another ingredient I like to prep myself is pineapple, because buying a whole one is so much cheaper than buying those little pre-chopped containers. It’s a little pokey and a little messy, but pretty easy.

There are a lot of articles and videos that instruct you on how to do this. I used this one and was rewarded with about two pounds of delicious, golden fruit.

The only other thing you need to worry about ahead of time is bananas. I used to peel and chop them before freezing, but then I realized that they only needed peeling; my blender can handle a whole, frozen banana pretty easily, and it’s one of those cheapy blenders, not a Vita-Mix or Blendtec or any of those other blenders that will change your life.

Now that everything is prepped and chopped, you are ready to blend! For these recipes I will be using exact measurements like “handfuls” because I refuse to use a measuring cup when I'm not baking.

Banana Pineapple Green Smoothie

This was the first one I started blending. The frozen banana gives it a great frosty texture and creamy mouthfeel, and the pineapple is super tasty and provides a lot of great digestive enzymes.

You will need:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 handful of kale
  • 8 or 9 pineapple chunks
  • A cup of coconut water
  • A tablespoon of flax seed oil (I usually just count to four while pouring)

There aren't really many instructions needed here, just throw it all in a blender, shout “WILL IT BLEND?” and press “on.”

Pour into a clear glass so that everyone can see that you are consuming something that is green and therefore good for you.

The remaining two recipes are prepared in a similar manner.

Mango Mint Green Smoothie

You can chop and freeze your own mango if you like, but my skin reacts very poorly to mango peel due to all the urushiol, the oily, skin-agitating compound that is found in poison ivy and sumac, and also mango. I have found I don't usually have a problem as long as the mango is pre-peeled, but sometimes my lips break out even then.


I love mango, and I love mint. Both seem so summery to me, so I will be increasing my consumption of this smoothie as the weather warms exponentially.

You will need:

  • 2 handfuls of frozen mango
  • 1 handful of kale
  • 6 or so pineapple chunks
  • 5 or 6 mint leaves
  • A cup of coconut water
  • A tablespoon of flax seed oil

Ginger Peach Green Smoothie

Oh, ginger, I love you in all of your forms. Not only do you help with my non-pregnancy perpetual morning sickness, you bring a spicy kick that helps wake me right up. (Just kidding, coffee wakes me up, but ginger is still pretty great.)

You will need:

  • 1 ½ handfuls of frozen peaches
  • A handful of kale
  • A half-inch piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 6 or so pineapple chunks
  • A cup of coconut water
  • A tablespoon of flax seed oil

Once blended, they pretty much all look like this:

That is my healthiest habit. Even if they aren't giving me more energy or better skin (I think they are, but it could be in my head), they are at least giving me the peace of mind that I'm consuming a good bit of plant matter everyday.

What do you all eat for breakfast? Is it a smoothie? Is it oatmeal? I hate oatmeal.