This green juice smoothie makes it easy to get a nutrient-rich meal or snack when time is tight. Make one for breakfast, after-work or as a pre- or post-workout recovery meal.
Busy. Busy. Busy. Some days I feel like life is in fast forward. Being busy isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can make eating right a challenge. When time is tight, making a nutrient-rich beverage or smoothie is a quick and convenient way to get some nutrition on the go. The key is making one that meets your needs, and tastes good, too.
How To Make This Green Juice Power Smoothie
Most people cringe at the idea of putting kale or spinach in a smoothie. I’ll be honest – I prefer my salad greens on a plate over a blender, too. But somedays, that’s just not possible. Making a green smoothie is a great way to pack in vital nutrients you might not otherwise get. That’s the purpose of this power juice.
I’ve made this smoothie at employee wellness events many times and also demonstrated it during presentations for running clubs and other fitness workshops. I choose to demo this green smoothie for a reason – it tastes good. The combination of fruit masks the bitter taste of the greens. That’s really important because let’s face it – taste trumps! I don’t expect anyone to drink something that doesn’t taste good.
The carbohydrates come from a combination of green apple, green grapes and pineapple. The spinach contributes some carbs, too. Pineapple has a strong flavor profile and adds sweetness to the smoothie – that’s important any time you incorporate greens. Green apples have a unique sour flavor that also contributes lots of flavor. Those three fruits together help balance the bitter taste of the spinach.
If it’s your first time adding greens to a smoothie, give your taste buds a chance to adjust to something new. This smoothie is super crisp and refreshing, but is does have spinach in it. Don’t expect it to taste like a shamrock milkshake, because it doesn’t. The recipe incorporates 1 ½ cups of baby spinach, but you can start by using ½ cup and increase as you get familiar with the taste. It’s better to decrease the amount of spinach then to keep adding more fruit.
Add the fruit, spinach, Greek yogurt, hemp seeds, water and ice to a high-powered blender and process until completely smoothie. I want to emphasize the need for a high-powered blender here. A typical blender is usually not enough to completely demolish the greens. I personally refuse to drink pieces of green leaves in my smoothie. I haven’t tried all of the blenders on the market, but I can say that the Vita-mix and Nutri-Bullet Pro work well. I have and use both when making this smoothie. The amount of water you use depends on how thick you want your beverage. I have this smoothie in my book, Fueling Young Athletes, and I went back and forth on whether to call it a juice or a smoothie. I couldn’t decide, hence the name green juice smoothie. To make it a juice, use more water and less ice. To make it a smoothie, use more ice and less water. You decide!
Pre-Workout Green Juice Power Smoothie
The carbohydrate content of this smoothie, combined with the small amount of protein and healthy fats, makes it a great pre- or post-workout smoothie, especially if you don’t tolerate solids before activity. If you’re a morning exerciser, make one as soon as you get up, and give yourself an hour before starting your workout. Liquids generally leave the stomach sooner than solids, so that gives your body some time to digest before you start exercising. The exact amount of time you should wait before eating/drinking this smoothie and exercising depends on you. Some athletes are ready to go after 30 minutes, while others prefer to wait longer for their stomach to empty. It just depends on you and how you feel.
Post-Workout Green Juice Power Smoothie
This green smoothie also makes a great post-workout beverage. It has a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein, which is perfect to begin the recovery process. The carbohydrates will help replenish muscle glycogen stores after strenuous exercise, while protein helps to repair and rebuild muscle tissue.
A green juice power smoothie is also a great way to start your day. It contains fewer calories than I typically recommend for a morning meal, but the 270 calories that is does have are high-quality. It provides 14 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, 30% of the daily value for calcium and 30% of the daily value for iron. That’s a lot of nutrition for one meal, and it’s a great way to start your day.
After-school / After-work Snack
I always say never leave work hungry, but if you do, whip up one of these to curb your hunger before dinner. Make it as soon as you get home, so you have something nutritious to sip rather than raiding the pantry for snacks.
This juice smoothie has all three macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein and fat. It is a great source of fiber and provides a wide of variety of nutrients and phytonutrients. It’s only 270 calories and super high in nutrition, so there’s really not a wrong time to have it.
Green Juice Power Smoothie
- 1.5 cups Fresh Spinach
- 1/2 Green apple
- 1/2 cup green grapes
- 1/3 cup fresh or frozen Pineapple chunks
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, nonfat
- 1 Tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 cup ice
- Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender and process until smooth. Enjoy!
- Recipe Makes 1 Smoothie or Juice Drink
- Nutrition Facts (per beverage): 270 calories, 45 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 14 grams protein, 4.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 95 mg sodium, 15% DV for calcium, 30% DV for iron, 10% DV for potassium
- Meal Planning Servings: 3 CHO; 2 PRO; 1 FAT
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