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Drinking Greens Can Be Fun

By Christine O'Connor, June 18, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Christine O'Connor

I am a first-time Mom on a budget. In this ongoing blog series, I explore ways to create healthy, organic foods that appeal to both my baby and husband. I’m having fun sharing my trials and tribulations of trying to cook healthfully and economically, while at the same time pleasing my family. I started out simple by turning mashed up baby foods into soups, like creating a vegetable soup out of a pea base and a carrot ginger soup from locally grown carrots. I even turned one of my purees into a zucchini pesto. I have experimented with finger foods, too. Today, I will make a green smoothie. When I was growing up, there were things that my mother always said to me, such as, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” At dinnertime, she would say, “Eat your greens” and “You can’t have dessert until you clean your plate.” Now that I am a Mom, I find myself saying some of the same things to my son. But I’ve changed the rules. At my house, you can have your greens and dessert all in one. With green smoothies, I’ve convinced both my husband and my son that eating greens can actually be fun. Not sold yet? Well, I challenge you to drink your greens. Dark leafy greens are abundant in a multitude of nutrients, particularly when compared to their caloric content, making them just about the most nutrient-dense food we can eat. Your family’s worth it, right? And this smoothie is so sweet and delicious that you don’t need any added sweeteners. Give it a try! Ingredients:

  • 2 organic pears, peeled
  • 1 large organic banana
  • 1 handful of organic strawberries
  • 1 organic orange
  • 3 large handfuls of spinach
  • 1 ½ cups of water

First, start by inviting your baby into the kitchen with you. I have found that if I provide my son with a few kitchen gadgets (like measuring spoons and pots), that he enjoys making music while I prepare the food. Just be careful to make sure that your baby is far enough away from you while you do the chopping. (Now, I really sound like a Mom, don’t I?) Peel the pears. Then quarter them and cut out their cores (just like you would with an apple). Place these pears into the blender. Peel your banana, cut it in half and place it in the blender as well. Now you are ready to add some strawberries. Fresh or frozen ones will work, but I prefer frozen for the smoothie because it adds a bit more texture to your drink. Now, take an orange and cut it in half. Then simply, squeeze the orange juice into the blender. This citrus fruit will add some zing to your smoothie. Now that we have added all of the fruits, take 3 large handfuls of spinach leaves and wash them in a colander. I like spinach because it is soft and blends well. But kale, collards, chard and other greens work as well. Then place the greens in the blender on top of the fruits. And finally, add 1½ cups of water. At this point, I pick up by son and hold him while he presses the button on the blender. He loves to watch the fruits and vegetables spin around. My blender has a special smoothie button that lasts 60 seconds. But you can simply puree or whip the smoothie to the consistency that you prefer. And voila! We have a healthful, delicious green smoothie. What fun! My family has discovered an exciting way to drink the wonderful vitamins and nutrients that green vegetables offer and the taste is amazing! In fact, when I present this “treat” to my baby and husband, they both guzzle it down. Yum!




Anita says ...
Hi Christine, Your green smoothie sounds delicious and I'm excited to try it! I just had one question, perhaps I missed it. About how much does this recipe make? Thanks for sharing! Anita
06/18/2011 8:23:12 AM CDT
Sara Svoboda says ...
I'm a long time green smoothie drinker and I think they're wonderful! I will say that if you blend all the fruit first and then add in the greens afterwards, it is easier on your blender.
06/18/2011 9:55:32 AM CDT
Katherine says ...
Love the way you're including your small one early on. I'm backtracking with older kiddos, which can be more challenging since they've been exposed to fast food and more unhealthy habits. One thing you can also do is to add the darker (high ANDI score greens...kale, collards) along with the spinach. They will never know the difference since you have lots of sweet fruit already in the smoothie. I chop up kale like parsley and add it to everything. I figure even adding a little helps. I'd say you're doing great as a first time mom !!
06/18/2011 10:22:07 AM CDT
Pam B says ...
Christine, My partner got in a rather serious bike accident and hasn't been able to chew for a week. So, I've been making him and I breakfast and lunch smoothies (soup for dinner) and he's loving it! Not only is he getting a filling delicious meal in liquid form, he's also getting all the vitamins he needs to heal as quickly as possible. We may just continue doing this for fun cuz its so easy and delicious! Thanks for sharing.
06/18/2011 11:50:35 AM CDT
Bobby Hawley says ...
@Anita: The recipe make 2 glasses full of smoothie. Thanks
06/21/2011 2:02:37 PM CDT
Marsha S says ...
May I suggest using ORGANIC spinach as it is heavy contaiminated if it is not organic. We make Dr Oz's green drink: organic spinach, celery, parsley, cucumber, 1/2 lemon (peeled & seeded), 1 apple (seeded), 1/2" fresh ginger & 1+ cup water. Blend & serve. 2+ servings Would not suggest those ingredients for a child or baby.
06/22/2011 3:33:19 PM CDT
Liz says ...
As a vegan diner, I have found little I can eat at Girl Scout events. So, I brought my own 'green smoothie' to day camp and let a few folks sample it. They were astounded at how good it tasted!
06/22/2011 3:47:54 PM CDT
Gen says ...
I recently purchased a Vita Mix blender and have begun making green smoothies for breakfast. Every day is a new experiment, but I'll have to try this recipe - it sounds great! I would highly recommend the Vita Mix - it is worth every penny! It makes the smoothest smoothies ever and so much more!
06/22/2011 3:51:20 PM CDT
Barbara says ...
Yummm! I love to freeze bananas when they are super ripe and always have them on hand for smoothies. Love the way they thicken the smoothie and make it rich and creamy. Thanks for your recipe.
06/22/2011 5:40:27 PM CDT
Lori says ...
This is so incredibly good! I didn't have pears but I have lots of organic pink lady apples. I picked our own spinach too so I know it is better than organic! Thank you for sharing! I have so much energy now and normally I am ready for bed by 9:00. Perhaps it will be a morning drink or I need to have something to do at night! Thank you. Lori
06/22/2011 10:45:43 PM CDT
Chris says ...
What kind of blender would u recommend?
06/23/2011 8:36:32 AM CDT
Bernard says ...
Must you drink this all in one day or can you refrigerate it and use it later? thanks
06/23/2011 10:32:04 AM CDT
Ginny says ...
I add almonds, cinnamon, carrot, flax seeds etc. The possibilities are endless.
06/23/2011 12:03:39 PM CDT
Bobby Hawley says ...
@Bernard: Just to be safe, we recommend no more than 2 days in the fridge.
06/24/2011 12:49:23 PM CDT
Chere says ...
Thank You for publishing this recipe. I have been looking for green smoothies. My husband has gone through months of radiation and chemo. We have to get his health back. We must get the body to prim Please, tell me how to get the nutrients of green into my husband. We can not have as much fruit as you because of the sugar. We need berries and citrus. Thank You Cherie
06/25/2011 8:09:53 AM CDT
Bobby Hawley says ...
@Chris: Any standard blender should work fine. However, a high-powered blender like VitaMix will have better ability to liquefy leafy greens.
06/27/2011 12:10:31 PM CDT
cornelia m. says ...
I've been smoothing for a few months now, and never tried the pears... I will now. And in the morning will get my 2yr. Old to flip the buttons on my vita mix... I hope that helps to get him to try the drink.... Thanks
09/26/2011 6:46:53 PM CDT
Kaytie says ...
Montel Livewell Blender!! It's the best blender I've ever used and can puree whole fruit -- fresh and frozen! Makes AMAZING smoothies :)
01/01/2012 6:08:30 PM CST
Tabitha says ...
Hi, Christine! I was just wondering what blender you use. I also make a lot of smoothies with my little boys and make my own baby food. I'm also on a budget, so I'm trying not to spend too much. Then again I have gone through 3 blenders in the last 8 years, so maybe it's time to shell out! :)
01/04/2013 5:17:49 PM CST
Anita Speisman says ...
10/19/2014 5:29:20 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@ANITA - Most of our stores will offer a demo for Vitamix blenders. Check with your local store to find out when their next demo will be!
10/20/2014 1:09:10 PM CDT