Dr Oz’s Green Drink, Made Bearable!

This smoothie is GREEN!  🙂

dr oz smoothie

I’ve really gotten into green smoothies in the past year or so.  I’m known at work as the girl who always brings a jar of “green sludge” for breakfast.  I’ve found that if people don’t see the smoothie and they taste it, they really like it, but the green color just turns people off– reminds them of swamp water or water from a swimming pool that hasn’t been tended to in a few years.  I get that, but I personally love the beautiful, bright green color that most of my smoothies turn out to be.

I recently came across all the internet hype over Dr Oz’s “green drink,” which in fact, is a smoothie, not a juice or whatever else a “drink” would insinuate.  I noticed that it had a lot more veggies and herbs and a lot less fruit than I typically use.  I put equal amounts of fruit and greens in my smoothies and tend to avoid really potent flavors like celery and parsley.  I know these things are good for you, but I prefer them cooked or in cooked foods (in the case of parsley).

Still, I’m a pretty advanced green smoothie drinker, after all, I’ve used greens like dandelion, chard, and collards, so I’ve advanced past the beginner stage!  I decided to try Dr O’s “drink,” which he claims his kids drink every day and love. Oprah called it “a glass of fresh.”  Fresh is good!

The recipe, which seems to vary by what website you happen to be looking at, basically calls for cucumber, spinach, parsley, mint, carrot, apple, celery, lemon, lime, and ginger.  I made the recipe as-is and have to admit, the celery and parsley were all I could really taste.  After a few sips, I thought, “This isn’t great, but it’s tolerable.” I really wanted to pour it out halfway through. By the end of the jar, I felt sick.

So now I have all these ingredients in my fridge and I need to use them. I decided to try again, this time my way, and see if I could make it taste better.  I really enjoyed what I came up with.  Adding in pineapple (which is great for adding a lot of sweetness) and a baby banana somewhat evened out the fruit to veggie ratio.  I also added more lime and lemon juice since it’s really good at cutting through the “green” flavor and brightening the whole thing up.  I hope you like it 🙂

Serves 1 (about 16 oz)

1/2 cup cold water
1 big fistfull of fresh baby spinach
1/4 of a large cucumber
sprig of mint (about 8-10 leaves)
small handful parsley (about a palmfull, maybe?)
1 stalk celery
1/2 carrot (a piece about 3 inches long)
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1 frozen baby banana (or half of a regular banana)
1/2 cup ice  (if your fruit is not frozen, add more if you like your smoothies really cold)

Add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender in the order listed.  Blend on high until smooth and enjoy!


Purple Power Smoothie

Purple is my favorite color, so I love the way this smoothie looks, plus it’s yummy! Cabbage is one of the veggies you won’t taste in a smoothie, so don’t be afraid. It’s loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants!purple power smoothie1

Feel free to add greens to this, as always, but it will change the color. Spinach is another veggie that you won’t taste in a smoothie (and I actually added some to mine, so it isn’t as purple as it would have otherwise been.)

1 container of mixed berry, strawberry, or blueberry yogurt (5 oz or so, usually)
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup purple cabbage
3 large strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1 cup of ice (omit if using frozen berries)
1 cup water
few drops liquid stevia, if desired

I also added a couple tablespoons of hemp hearts to mine, for protein and omega 3.

Blend on high until smooth.

purple power smoothie

Peanut Butter Green Smoothie

I love peanut butter. Perhaps a little too much. When I have late-night cravings, it’s almost always a spoonful (or two) of peanut butter that I’m craving. It goes with almost anything, even spinach! This is the perfect beginner green smoothie (the delicate taste of spinach vanishes in smoothies). It’s great for a post-workout shake (some fat, protein, potassium, calcium, vitamins, etc) or as a snack or breakfast shake.

green smoothie

Serves 1

1 frozen banana
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 cup plant-based milk
large handful spinach
a few drops liquid stevia or 2 medjool dates
1 cup ice

Blend until smooth and enjoy!

PS For a peanut butter cup dessert smoothie, add in 1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder!

Strawberry Pie Smoothie (Or Perhaps, Strawberry ‘Nog?)

I love happy accidents, especially when it comes to recipes. Your mistake is somehow transformed into creativity (or at least that’s how I chose to see it).
I had planned on having a cashew banana smoothie this morning with cinnamon and nutmeg (sort of like a frosty egg nog), so last night I went ahead and put my dry ingredients into the Vitamix. When I got up this morning, I realized the bananas sitting on my counter were still too green to use and I didn’t have any frozen.

I did find a bag of organic strawberries hiding in my freezer (under bags of frozen beans and veggies… I really need to organize my freezer, but it is a little like a treasure hunt in there!). I decided to just make a strawberry smoothie. I didn’t think about the fact that I had already put cinnamon and nutmeg into the blender. I poured the strawberries in and then thought, “Oh… this is going to taste weird.” Not wanting to waste anything, I just went ahead with it, and it turned out really yummy! It sort of reminds me of strawberry pie.

I threw in a little green (as I always do), but that’s completely optional. You should try it though; you don’t taste the spinach at all!

1 1/2 cups almond milk
3 deglet noor dates, pitted
10-12 whole frozen strawberries (if you use fresh berries, toss in a cup of ice cubes)
1/4 cup cashews
1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 big handful of spinach

Blend everything on high until creamy and enjoy!

Cherry Pie Green Smoothie

This smoothie recipe was the result of having some cherries and a handful of spinach that needed to be used, and the bad 80’s hair band song that was stuck in my head this morning for some unknown reason. It tastes just like cherry pie!

I beg you, for the love of all that’s good and holy, do not use maraschino cherries! Read about the horrifying way they’re made here. Gross!

About 20 frozen dark sweet cherries (about 1 cup)
1 cup almond milk
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large handful spinach
1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional – they don’t affect the flavor but add nutritional benefits)
5 drops liquid stevia (or whatever sweetener you like)

If you have a Vitamix, add everything in and blend on high for about 30 seconds.

If you have a “regular” blender, blend the spinach and milk first, then add the rest of the ingredients and blend on high until smooth. Here are some tips on how to acheive a good green smoothie without a high-powered blender.

Rise and Shine Green Lemonade

When my dad used to wake me up when I was little, he’d throw open the bedroom door, open the blinds, and sing “RISE AND SHINE!” Irritating, no? Well now I really do want to rise and shine. I want to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day, and drinking my greens helps me feel that way. Drinking your greens cleanses your body from the inside out and makes you feel amazing!

green lemonade

I’ve seen a lot of recipes for green lemonade out there, all of them slightly different. Most of them require juicing or straining, and in the morning, I like to keep it simple. I want something quick and easy. Some recipes consist of only green vegetables and lemon. I like a little sweetness. Some have celery (ick). Some have very little lemon, as in only 1 slice, which is a shame. When I want lemonade, I want to taste bright, cheery, zippy LEMON!

I came up with this recipe on my own a couple of mornings ago, not having found recipe online that satisfied me. I just used what I had, so you can do the same. If you don’t have kale or don’t like collards, use spinach or whatever you like. Cucumber would be a nice addition too. I just kept it basic.

I wanted this to be more like a juice than a smoothie, so I used more water than usual. It turned out perfect!

2 cups water
1/2 apple (granny smith would be good, but I had gala)
1 large collard leaf, stem removed
1 large kale leaf, stem removed
1 lemon, peeled but with the white pith on (get those seeds out too!)
7-8 deglet noor dates OR 3-4 medjools, depending on how sweet you want it (I soaked the dates overnight in coconut water and used a bit of the resulting “syrup” that formed as well, but that’s optional if you have a high-speed blender)

Blend everything on high and chill. If you want to drink it immediatley and want it cold, just add some ice in when you blend or pour it over ice. If you don’t have a high-speed blender like a Vitamix, you might want to pour this into your glass through a mesh strainer.

Rise and shine! 🙂

A note on de-stemming your greens. With a high-powered blender you can totally leave the stems on. My Vitamix will liquefy stems, no problem. However, removing the stems cuts down on the “green”taste a little, so that’s why I do it.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Smoothie

This is a great, filling breakfast smoothie that satisfies my sweet tooth without sugary cereal or instant oatmeal. It takes like a cross between apple cinnamon compote on oatmeal and an oatmeal cookie, but is actually a healthy green smoothie!

1 banana (fresh or frozen, if it’s fresh, add in about 6 ice cubes)
1 apple
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup rolled oats (uncooked)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of cardamom (about 1/8 teaspoon or so)
2 kale leaves
a handful of baby spinach
1 cup non-dairy milk

Put everything into a high-powered blender and blend on high until creamy.