Has spring sprung where you live yet? I’m in a semi-permanent, open-arm twirling state thanks to 70 degree temperatures, smelling suntan lotion in the air at the grocery store the other day (pack me in your suitcase, spring breakers?) and welcoming early morning bird songs back to our tree-filled backyard.
I feel like I’ve been trying to hide the fact that I’m a morning person my entire adult life because smiles are generally frowned upon in our “don’t talk to me before my first pot of coffee!” culture. But, I’M A MORNING PERSON (whee!) and nothing puts me in a better mood these days than ripping open the back door at 6am, smelling the fresh spring air (forget Mary, there’s something about Midwestern spring air – and I’m not talking about high pollen counts,) and listening to the birds chirp like the 80 year old person I am inside. I even have this print hanging in our dining room (which is the only thing in the room…how long have we been living here?) to remind me that even on the darkest of mornings during the season that shall not be named, the birds will eventually come back.
What am I talking about again?
Oh right, spring is here! Even if we get another snow storm, it’ll melt within days, and I’m officially looking forward to eating lots of light and healthy meals over the next 6+ months. I was looking at the “popular recipes” grid on the sidebar of IGE the other day and every single one was a different shade of…brown. Delicious, but I’m craving more. More freshness, more feel-good, more COLOR, like my Best-Ever Green Smoothie!
You’ve probably seen 1,001 green smoothie recipes on the interwebs, and I have a couple here on IGE, but I’ve officially found the most delicious one yet. I can’t take credit though because the combination comes from a new-to-me smoothie joint that Ben, Lincoln, and I visited last weekend. We trekked inside, glanced at the menu, and it was all I could do to prevent a Ben-shaped hole from appearing in the doorway because the smoothies were EIGHT DOLLARS a piece. I could buy, like, eight semi-useful things from the Target $1 bin for that kind of cash!
Needless to say we got one smoothie to split between the three of us, but it ended up tasting so unbelievably delicious that I accidentally drank more than my share and made Lincoln cry because he loved it so much. Can you say Mother of the Year?
I got back in my baby’s good graces the following day when we recreated the smoothie at home for a fraction of the cost, and it ended up being a dead ringer for the $8 one. I mean, we nailed it!
Just four ingredients – kale, baby spinach, frozen mango, and apple juice – are blended until brilliantly green, and silky smooth. If you are a green smoothie skeptic, promise me you’ll try this combo. Lincoln sucked. it. DOWN. and has had one every single day since Saturday. I mean, a salad in a glass that tastes like a tropical drink? Heck yes!
Normally I would never put juice in a smoothie – I prefer to eat my calories vs drink them (except when they’re in fermented grape form, of course) – but for me the pros outweigh the cons in this case. Loads of healthy, dark leafy greens more than make up for using 100% apple juice as the blending liquid, plus the taste is just so gosh darn good. That said, if you want to cut down on sugar you could try using coconut water in place of some of the juice. I tried water and it tasted a little bland.
We’ve been drinking Best-Ever Green Smoothies in the morning or after nap time for a boost of healthy greens, but it’d also make a great pre-workout drink. Pair it with a couple scrambled eggs or piece of peanut butter toast for a well-rounded breakfast, or even replace your nightly fermented grape juice with this smoothie instead. Who am I to tell you when and how to drink it though – just go for it!
Oh! This green smoothie makes great smoothie packs. Stuff the kale, baby spinach, and mango into ziplock baggies then freeze. When you’re ready to drink, pour the contents into a blender, add the liquid, and then blend!
Start with 1 cup packed chopped curly kale. I am counting down the days until our farmer’s market opens so I can use mountains of local kale in here! If you are thinking about starting a vegetable garden this year, consider planting kale. It’s super easy to take care of and grows well into the fall.
Add the kale plus 1 cup packed baby spinach into a blender with 1 cup frozen mango chunks. I have a Blendtec (<< affiliate link) and absolutely love it. Kale can be a bit tough, but it’s blended to smithereens in this high-powered blender.
Finally add 1 cup no sugar added 100% apple juice.
Pop the lid on top then blend until silky smooth. NO color editing here – the smoothie really is this bright green, but doesn’t taste like it!
Pour the smoothie into glasses then add a straw. The recipe makes 16oz so you could split with a partner, or keep the whole thing for yourself!
free email bonus!
5 Day Clean Eating Guide
Fresh and craveable recipes + healthy eating tips!
Best-Ever Green Smoothie (For the Green Smoothie Skeptics!)
4-ingredient Best-Ever Green Smoothie is gluten, dairy, and banana-free, and is the best-tasting green smoothie EVER! If you don't want to eat your dark leafy greens - drink them instead!
- 1 cup packed chopped curly kale
- 1 cup packed baby spinach
- 1 cup frozen chopped mango
- 1 cup no sugar added 100% apple juice
- Combine ingredients in a blender in the order listed then blend until very smooth and serve.
- This smoothie makes great smoothie packs! Combine kale, spinach, and mango in baggies then freeze. When ready to drink, dump contents of one baggie into a blender, add juice, and then blend until smooth.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
Bright, fresh, healthy, and 100% delicious. Just what I need to head into the spring season. Enjoy!
More Smoothie Recipes You’ll Love!