My Top Secret Diet Weapon


Green Monster Spinach Smoothie is packed with good-for-you ingredients — it’s my favorite way to start the day! 

Continuing the theme of my post-vacation shape up, I went home and drank my veggies for lunch in the form of a Green Monster Spinach Smoothie!

Green Monster Spinach Smoothies are one of my top secret diet weapons, because although they’re packed with baby spinach, which make my skin, hair, nails, and overall self feel totally great, they do not taste healthy at all. I repeat, they do not taste healthy at all.


  • Spinach is fat free, cholesterol free, low in calories, and very low in sodium
  • Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin A, C, K, iron, fiber, folate, and lutein
  • Leutin is an antioxidant that promotes good eye health, and may help prevent cancer of the liver, ovaries, colon and prostate, and even dementia.
  • Dole lab tests found spinach juice has twice the chlorophyl, eight times the calcium, six times the magnesium, 10 times the potassium, 15 times the vitamin C and 43 times the vitamin A of wheatgrass juice!

Are you convinced yet? Well channel your inner Popeye and get to blending already!

First add 1 sliced frozen banana, and 1 Tablespoon peanut butter in a blender. Tip: PEEL and SLICE your bananas before you freeze them, or you’ll be sorry!

Next add bulking agents for staying power, like protein-packed vanilla Greek yogurt, and creamy unsweetened vanilla almond milk. You could use any kind of milk you want – cow’s, rice, soy, etc.

PS I started calling cow’s milk, well, cow’s milk, after I stopped drinking it last year in favor of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze, and it freaks. Ben. out. So hysterical.

Fill the blender the rest of the way up with baby spinach. I think I fit about 4 cups in there today!

Start the blender on “high blend” until everything’s mixed up, then switch it over to “liquify” to get the Green Monster velvety smooth.

Pure green gold!

Green Monster Spinach Smoothie

Serves 1


Green Monster Spinach Smoothie is packed with good-for-you ingredients — it's my favorite way to start the day! 


  • 1 frozen sliced banana
  • 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup 0% Vanilla Chobani Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze (or other kind of milk)
  • 4 cups baby spinach (or more, or less)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,


Nutritional stats: 350 calories, 10g fiber, 21g protein

I almost feel guilty enjoying one of these babies, as it tastes like a sweet, indulgent ice cream shake. It’s perfect for breakfast, lunch or even a snack.

Try throwing in different kinds of greens, protein powder, and any frozen fruit or berry combo under the sun. The sky’s the limit with this ultra-healthy, not-healthy-tasting Green Monster Spinach Smoothie!

*Sources: Dole, WH Foods, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

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  1. Ceebs 01.06.2012

    This was sooo good! I mixed up ingredients a bit, but thanks so much for the tip on the spinach! Delish AND green!

    • Jessica 01.07.2012

      Can you taste the spinach in this or no?

      Looks good if I can get past the spinach part. Hehe.

      • Iowa Girl Eats 01.07.2012

        No you really can’t at all!

      • elizabeth 01.08.2012

        Not at all, it almost tastes like dessert….a good for you milkshake!!

      • Nell 01.08.2012

        The only time I ever tasted the spinach is when I saved part for later and was in frig overnight

    • SSS 01.09.2012

      I am wondering how long and much you can drink of this stuff. Can you have it everyday.. Can you have it as a protein drink..

      i drink about 52 oz of green goddess bolthouse drink a day and wondering how this compares to that.

      will you be able to see a difference right away or will it take a couple of days to see a difference..

      Things to consider..
      I am a fairly healthy person and I drink 50-70 oz of water a day and eat good fruits and vegetables with protein..

      thanks for reply..

  2. Alyssa 01.06.2012

    I’ve never been a shake drinker, but I think I may need to with my heavy work and school schedule looming ahead. And this shake has so many of my favorite things: peanut butter, Greek yogurt, and almond milk!

  3. Smoothie Addict 01.06.2012

    Definitely going to try this! But curious why you say to cut the banana in slices before freezing…”or you’ll be sorry”? We freeze bananas all the time for smoothies & have never found any reason to be “sorry” for not cutting into slices. Perhaps it’s because we have a Vita-Mix???

    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.06.2012

      Removing the peel from a frozen banana is near impossible. :)

      • Dallas 01.08.2012

        To peel frozen bananas, just run them under lukewarm water for about a minute. Then you can literally squeeze the banana out of the peel. Ta-da!

      • Sherry Lochner 01.10.2012

        I love making Spinach Smoothies. I microwave my banana for a minute before adding, open and it slides right out of the peel. :)

  4. Liz 01.06.2012

    Any idea how many weight watchers point this would be?

    • Molly Wrolstad 01.07.2012

      It is 10 points.

      • Paulina 01.23.2012

        Good to know I can totally substitute this for my usual breakfast.

  5. Smoothie Addict 01.06.2012

    Oh – ha ha! Well, we peel them before we freeze them, but we haven’t found a need to slice them.

  6. Alicia 01.06.2012

    I work in an ice cream shop and it is soooo tempting to eat shakes all the time. This would be the perfect substitute for me to try! Thanks so much for the recipe! I would definantly have to bring my own though because they wouldn’t have the spinach there for me :) I was skeptical at the very beginning because of how green the shake was. After reading the first two ingredients, all my worries went out the window. Bananas and peanut butter? Oh yea!

  7. Dawn 01.07.2012

    Thanks for the awesome recipe! Just wondering, can you suggest any dairy-free substitutions for the Greek yogurt?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.07.2012

      You actually don’t *need* to have the yogurt. I just add it in there for the additional protein and thickness. I would throw in a handful of ice to replace it!

    • Leora 01.08.2012

      Dawn…I can’t do dairy either. I drink coconut milk (lighter flavor than soy to me) and it worked fine. My recipe goes as follows: 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1 cup parsley, 1 tsp honey, 2+cups spinach, 1 banana, 1tb peanut butter and a handful of ice and I skipped yogurt completely since I’m working on lowering the calories for it while boosting the good for you parts. My next step is to see if I can omit the peanut butter (not a big fan) and see how it turns out!

  8. Donna 01.07.2012

    Do you happen to know the fat and carbs content so I can figure the Weight Watchers points on this? Thanks! It’s very tasty!

    • Margge 01.10.2012

      You could put all the ingredients into the recipe builder thingy on WW to find put the points. I love that tool!

  9. Ashley 01.07.2012

    So yummy! Just made this for my post workout with some vanilla protein powder. I also did 3/4 unsweetened vanilla almond milk and 1/4 chocolate almond milk from Trader Joes!

  10. Vicki Bruce 01.07.2012

    Green monsters have been a family favorite of ours for a couple of years. We add a spoonful of ground flax and when my daughter was pregnant with twins and having trouble gaining weight (I know … who has trouble gaining weight when they are pregnant) we added powdered protein mix. Hint … peel bananas before freezing. We also substitue frozen peaches, strawberries, mangos, etc. Be aware if you use blueberries it will turn your green monster black … still tastes great just doesn’t look to appetizing.

  11. Jean 01.07.2012

    I just made the Green Monster Spinach Smoothie and really love it. What a great way to get your spinach and enjoy the taste!

    I be will be adding this to my quick and easy lunch options.

    Thank you!

  12. Anna 01.07.2012

    Just tried this for lunch and it was DELICIOUS! Thanks!

  13. […] have read about “Green Monster” smoothies on many healthy blogs, but when Iowa Girl Eats posted color-electric photos and swore they taste like a “sweet indulgent ice cream […]

  14. Ellen 01.07.2012

    Love this! Just whipped one up with vanilla coconut milk…will be sharing this recipe with friends!

  15. Julie 01.07.2012

    Does the banana have to be frozen?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.07.2012

      It doesn’t have to be, but it helps make it thick and cold. I’d throw in ice if your banana isn’t frozen!

  16. Rachel 01.07.2012

    I also made this post-workout…delicious AND filling. Thanks for sharing!!

  17. Danielle s 01.07.2012

    Bless you, Kristin! This recipe was just what I was searching for. Threw in frozen berries and a bit of honey, too on a second try since I was out of almond milk. Love, love love!

  18. Rachel 01.07.2012

    I just made it and it’s yummy! I did feel like there was a bit of a spinach aftertaste (my almond milk is just unsweeted, not vanilla), so I added some strawberry/banana greek yogurt, 1 tsp vanilla, and a small handful of blueberries (changed the color slightly, but since I didn’t use a lot it’s still pretty green).

  19. Ashley 01.07.2012

    Could this be something made the night before and refridgerated for breakfast? I rarely have time @ 6:15 to make a healthy breakfast before I head in to work. Thanks!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.08.2012

      I’ve never tried that, but someone else pointed out that they put everything in the blender the night before, then blend it up real quick in the morning. I leave around 6:15 for my work too, and I’m thinking about trying this idea for myself!

    • kelly t 01.08.2012

      I drink spinach smoothies every morning and they don’t last longer than 45 min before they have been oxidized and change consistency and is gross. May be there is way around it?

      • Yes – don’t blend then put in the fridge, assemble and put it in the fridge and then blend it in the morning. If your refrigerator is kept as cold as it should be, there’s pretty minimal thawing of the frozen parts, but it helps your blender have an easier time with the blending, in addition to being a time-saver. Alton Brown suggests always doing it this way. Especially when you make a smoothie that has a lot of frozen fruit, frozen fruit is really dense and hard for anything that isn’t a vitamix or blendtec to grind up sometimes. Hope you find a great way to do this!

        And Kristin, thanks for sharing this! I can’t wait to try it. I have made several different types of green smoothies but this is different than my usual recipe so I’m psyched! I’m making it tomorrow morning :D

  20. Kim 01.07.2012

    Love this powerhouse smoothie!! Have been making this for a month now!! Really does make you feel like Popeye!! STRONG!!!

  21. charity 01.07.2012

    just curious, why would you give up cow’s milk and still eat yogurt?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.07.2012

      Milk upsets my stomach but yogurt doesn’t for some reason.

      • I am the same way, I often crave cow’s milk for cereal, but can’t stomach it anymore, but could eat yogurt every day with no problem…odd :)

        Love me some green monsters too, thinking I could use a bunch of them this week to get my diet back on track.

    • Leora 01.08.2012

      Not sure if you guys know this but the process used to produce yogurt strains out a lot of the lactose from the milk. Chobani brand is well known for eliminating nearly all the lactose (which is separate from the milk fat that gives it the creaminess we love), resulting in less upset. (I’m also lactose intolerant.)

  22. […] was Vince and my first time trying the “Green Monster” spinach smoothie after our morning workout.  Someone on facebook suggested this drink and I […]

  23. Ariel 01.08.2012

    Just curious…can you taste the banana in this? I’m not a fan of them at all and I was wondering if there is an alternative to put in instead of the banana.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.09.2012

      I personally don’t think they taste too “banana-y” but I like bananas. You may want to make it with 1/2 a banana, or just sub in some other kinds of frozen I fruit!

  24. Amanda 01.08.2012

    I totally just bought that almond milk to make this! Never tried it before…. can’t wait to make this!

  25. Amanda 01.08.2012

    So did you use this to lose any weight, just to be healthy, or both? If so, did you see any results? I did try it this morning and it tastes amazing! Thanks!

  26. Whitney Miller 01.08.2012

    I found your blog from Pinterest. I am a green smoothie addict! I liked your recipe. If you want more info on smoothies, their benefits and recipes check out and health

  27. Barbara 01.08.2012

    I love green smoothies! I don’t do dairy and I don’t usually add almond milk either but I do add a small handful of almonds or other nuts with water first then add everything else. I like to vary it by using blueberries (covers up the green color too), strawberries…well any kind of fruit works! I keep a lot of frozen fruit around just for smoothies! yum!

  28. Nell 01.08.2012

    I use pumpkin puree in my green monster as well as a little bit of cinnamon and sometimes a little brown sugar but not very often.

  29. Molly 01.09.2012

    You can make it for 3 weight watchers plus points…

    Banana – 0 pts
    Spinach – 0 pts
    1 tbsp Better n Peanut Butter (pb substitute) – 1 pt
    1 cup UNsweetened almond milk – 1pt
    1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt – 1 pt

    Total weight watchers points plus -3!!! :)

  30. […] would it taste like?” I wondered. Finally, after reading Iowa Girl Eat’s post sharing her recipe, I was ready to give it a try. Top secret diet recipe weapon? You’ve sold me, Iowa Girl Eats. […]

  31. Gwen 01.09.2012

    On my 2nd green monster smoothie since reading your post and they are delicious! I sliced up my bananas and froze them in individual snack bags so they are ready to go when I am…they fit perfectly in my magic bullet right from the snack bag. These are delicous~thank you!

  32. This looks wonderful – thanks for sharing. I’m worried the spinach won’t blend properly and I will have “chunks” in my smoothie – but I use a Magic Bullet (uh-maze-ing!) so I think it should do the trick!

    If you want the “sweetness” of the yogurt, but without the dairy, you could add ice for thickness and honey for sweetness. Just an idea!

  33. Charlee 01.09.2012

    About how much protein powder would you recommend adding? I went out and bought everything today, going to record my little adventure in weight loss! I also bought the frozen fruits to add, the unsweetened kind, since it would be easier and keep longer than the fresh here at my office. Do you just kind of go by taste on that or maybe do a half cup of mixed? Just wondering! Thanks!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.09.2012

      Awesome! I usually do half of the scoop that’s usually provided in the protein powder container – probably a heaping tablespoon or so. Frozen fruit quantity is totally up to you – I’d add a 1/2 cup, taste and adjust!

  34. Lindsay Silsby 01.09.2012

    I love this and definitely want to try it…I have however read that too much spinach for women can lead to increased promotion of osteoporosis, is this true?!

  35. […] made this recipe from Iowa Girl Eats. I used Cow’s milk and instead of Vanilla Greek Yogurt I used a […]

  36. Lisa G 01.09.2012

    Any suggestions for us gals with a tree nut/peanut allergy? I’ve been making my smoothies with 1/4 cucumber, 1/2 banana, a handful of frozen fruit and a handful of kale and spinach but I’d like to add something for staying power.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.09.2012

      I would try protein powder – I really like vanilla whey protein powder!

    • Emily 01.10.2012

      I have a tree nut/peanut allergy too, try sunflower butter or soy nut butter in this, it tasted great when I did!

  37. […] Green Monster Spinach Smoothie may not look appetizing to some of you but don’t be intimidated by it’s bright green […]

  38. Jodie Cotter 01.10.2012

    Just had this for lunch. It is awesome. Next stop, seeing if i can get my kids to like it.

  39. Allison 01.10.2012

    I had a “recipe fail” on this. Not sure what I did wrong, either, considering all the rave reviews. I could totally taste the spinach. I was unable to get the mix totally liquified with my blender, so maybe that was the issue. I will try making this again but will add some berries/fruit juice and reduce spinach to increase sweetness.

  40. Shannon 01.10.2012

    I made this smoothie over the weekend and featured it on my blog today. I’m eating smoothies everyday thanks to this! Keep up the great blog!

  41. autumn 01.10.2012

    Thank you for posting this recipe! I found it on pinterest..and oh my goodness. My kids even LOVE it. We didn’t have any pb for our first round but it still tasted great without it. When the kids are done with school, this is the snack they ask for. We split it 3 ways and everyone still gets full ;) thanks again

  42. Bethany Scofield 01.10.2012

    I wouldn’t call it GOOD, but it’s not BAD at all… After I added an extra banana to sweeten it up more. The kids ate some too and I made the extra into popsicles. If they don’t eat the popsicles I’ll just use them in the future in other smoothies. Thanks for the recipe! Perfect for my little one that won’t eat much and needs to gain weight.

  43. Sarah Robinson 01.10.2012

    I have shared with all my friends. Thanks so much for this great and healthy recipe. You have fans all the way in Alaska. :)

  44. Jessica 01.10.2012

    I am going to try this. Thank you for sharing.

  45. Deb 01.10.2012

    This sounds great. Any idea how many carbs total are in one of these? I am trying to figure out if I can use one as a meal replacement and I need 30-45 grams of carbs after the fiber grams are removed.

  46. Kourtni Callaway 01.10.2012

    What exactly does this taste like? I am really curious to try it, but I don’t want to be completely grossed out. I eat most fruits so any recommendations would be appreciated.

  47. so I pinned this…tried it for lunch today, and LOVED it!! It seriously just tastes like bananas and peanut butter…can’t taste the spinach at all!! I am now hooked :)

  48. Anne 01.10.2012

    Anyone ever tried oatmeal in this as a sub for the yogurt? I put quick cooking oats in a lot of my smoothies to boost fiber and I can’t taste it… sounds delicious!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.13.2012

      Yes! Thank you for reminding me – I have made this smoothie with 1/4 cup old fashioned oats many times and it’s great!

  49. […] Such as Kristen’s Green Monster Smoothie. […]

  50. Jessica Kendrick 01.11.2012

    This smoothie is amazing. I’m a dietitian and I’m telling EVERYONE to try it (and sending them the link to your website, too). Great idea! Esp for kids who won’t eat veggies. ;)