I make green smoothies pretty often.
I have been on kicks where I will make one every single day for weeks.
Any great green smoothie begins with three ingredients:
I prefer to use unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze. I am not a fan of overly-sweet foods, so this unsweetened option works well for me. It also reduces the calorie count significantly over sweetened options, as well as other types of milk (ie. dairy or soy).
For the basic green smoothie, I use 8 ounces of almond milk.
When I make a variation of a green smoothie that contains more than the three basic ingredients, I find that I need to add more almond milk.
Generally, for each half cup of frozen fruit added, I will add another half cup of almond milk. If you like your smoothies looser, add more. If you like them extra-thick (and have a blender that can handle that), add a little bit less.
I stick with baby spinach or kale, because I find the taste most palatable. You can try other greens, but these blend well. Kale tends to need a bit more blending time than spinach, however.
Lately, I have been buying large bags of cut, pre-washed greens. I will buy at least two at time and keep one in the refrigerator for salads, and toss another in the freezer for smoothies. It is a tremendous time-saver.
For the basic green smoothie, I use about two cups of greens (not packed).
There is some debate over whether to blend the greens and milk before adding additional ingredients. I frankly do not think it is necessary to do this. However, if your kale is a little gritty, breaking it down a bit into the milk before adding additional ingredients may yield a slightly smoother smoothie – though the difference really is slight.
This may be the surprise ingredient, but I add bananas to every smoothie I make.
When I buy bananas, I always buy two bunches. I leave one out for snacks, and I peel and chop the bananas from the second batch and then pack them in to a freezer bag.
I tend to add the equivalent of 2/3 of a frozen banana to each smoothie.
When bananas are frozen, they develop a creamy consistency. The addition of frozen bananas creates a very smooth, satisfying smoothie.
Here are some ways to build upon the basic green smoothie:
Basic Green Smoothie + 1 serving vanilla protein powder + 1/2 cup fresh or frozen (slightly thawed) strawberries + 1/2 cup extra almond milk + dash of cinnamon
Basic Green Smoothie + 2 tbsp PB2 + 1 tsp maple syrup
Basic Green Smoothie + 1 serving chocolate protein powder + a few sprigs of fresh mint