Savor Summer with an August Green Smoothie Challenge

Summer Green Smoothie Challenge by Produce with AmyAugust is almost here and I would love for you to join me in savoring the last days of summer by participating in a Green Smoothie Challenge. The goal is to drink one Green Smoothie a day (using my recipes or yours) and you can post on my Facebook page, on your social media accounts (make sure to tag me), or here on my blog to help stay accountable and I will be doing the same!

I have a month’s worth of green smoothie recipes with weekly shopping lists and I tried to keep them simple and affordable by taking advantage what is fresh and ripe at our farmer’s markets and supermarkets. You can swap out any ingredients that you wish and please share your favorite combinations. 

We start Monday and here is the shopping list for week #1.

*Spinach (3 ~ nine ounce bags of spinach)
*Bananas (5-7)
*1 peach
*1 nectarine
*1 fresh pineapple
*1 avocado
*2 limes
*1 ~ twelve ounce bag of frozen raspberries (or 2 containers of fresh)
*1 ~ bag of fresh or frozen cherries
*1 bunch of parsley
*1 bunch of cilantro
*1 bunch of fresh basil
*Fresh ginger root
**Coconut water (optional ~(regular water works fine but there are many health benefits to drinking coconut water. It can often be found in the Latin food or heath food section of the supermarket. I usually buy one large can per two green smoothies…or a couple liter containers).
*Chia seeds (Optional – you may also use flax or hemp seeds)

Find the recipes, the other shopping lists for the month, and tips and tricks if you are new to green smoothies here: http://wp.me/p31v4R-Vb

╰ ☆ ╮ƸӜƷ╰ ☆ ╮Please CLICK SHARE and help spread the green smoothie love!╰ ☆ ╮ƸӜƷ╰ ☆ ╮

Greem Smoothies 3

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I. You. We Are Worth It!

“Respect your body. Eat well. Dance forever.”
― Eliza Gaynor Minden 

My nine-year-old step daughter Avalon never walks. She prances, glides, and pirouettes. Even when she runs, Avalon has the grace of a gazelle. Her little brother is her best pupil and she teaches him all of her latest dances. His jazz hands are exquisite!  😉

One of the best family purchases that we have recently made is a Bose SoundLink Bluetooth speaker (in the color red – of course). The sound quality is wonderful and it gives great ambiance to our family dinners. It is portable and easily moves room-to-room and this summer it will help with yard work and give spirit to our time in the pool and hot tub. Plus, it helps us MOVE MORE by dancing! In recent days Avie has taught me a couple of her dances and while it results in an uproar of laughter,  it is also helping me reach my step goals on my new Fit Bit Flex. The idea of spending hours at the gym on a treadmill or elliptical makes me shudder. But dancing with my step kids? Sign me up!

Can you see that dot of hot pink? Yep, that's Avalon. Watch...her...go! I think that she's my new personal trainer. She'll be shouting out cadences to me in no time!

Can you see that dot of hot pink? Yep, that’s Avalon. Watch…her…go!
I think that she’s my new personal trainer. She’ll be shouting out cadences to me in no time!

Buying a new activity monitor was a huge step for me. For months I have been grumbling about my lack of energy and the weight that crept on this winter. Now all that I can say is why did I not purchase one sooner? Last night my Fit Bit encouraged me to walk two miles after dinner so I could reach my step goal when before I would have had a hot cup of tea and relaxed. I have been using it to track my calories and water, and I will also be logging my weight every Sunday morning.

When I purchased my fitbit I made sure that I purchased a few extra bright colored bands. A girl must be fashionable too. ;)

When I purchased my fitbit I made sure that I purchased a few extra bright colored bands. A girl must be fashionable too. 😉

Speaking of weight – with reluctance I finally took the plunge and stepped on the scale. I really did not want to because I tend to get a tad bit obsessed by the number. However, I felt that it was time to be honest with myself and I need to have a measurable goal to stay accountable. I was semi-correct in my last post when I said I could tell from the way that my clothes fit that I had put on around fifteen pounds. Sadly, it is closer to twenty. The good news is that after a strong week of sticking to my healthy goals – I was able to take off 2.4 pounds. What a feeling of empowerment after many false starts and stops in the last few months. .

While I am a teacher and am fortunate that I have the ability to be on my feet and am able to walk around my classroom for most of the day, I have gotten out of my habit of walking during lunch and making sure that I move more during the day. That is an added benefit of my Fitbit since it encourages me to move at least 250 steps each hour (from 9-5). This means that I will definitely be walking during my lunch time and I will be taking a lap around the hallways in between classes (which serves double-duty since it is also a great way to monitor hallway activity). In the past it was all of these small little changes that helped me take weight off, and most importantly, keep it off (which I am determined to do again).

For the month of May I am building on the April goals that I shared a couple of posts ago. I am raising my water goal to 64 ounces a day, will continue to be moderate in my intake of starchy carbs, increase my consumption of vegetables, and I am replacing the 30 minutes of activity with 10,000 steps a day.

As far as exercise goes, I really do not have a viable excuse. The property on which we call home is stunningly beautiful and my Fitbit helped me compute that three times around our pasture is a mile. Not to mention that our four dogs guarantee that I have the best walking buddies around. Remi our German Shepherd does not let me out of his sight. ❤

Remi, Ollie, Louie, and Gracie help keep me motivated.

Remi, Ollie, Louie, and Gracie help keep me motivated. I will never tire of the view of our backyard/pasture.

I love to watch the world outside my door wake up.

I love to watch the world outside my door wake up.

The fresh air is intoxicating. I LOVE SPRING!

The fresh air is intoxicating. I LOVE SPRING!

In addition to the goals I already listed, I am also going to add breakfast into my routine. While I love green smoothies and believe in the power of breakfast – I do not always make time to do so for myself in the morning. I do a great job taking care of the others in my household, but I often put myself last.

Produce with Amy May Goals

I decided that I needed something different for breakfast and I found that our local Target now carries Vega plant-based protein powders and shake mixes. I bought the Vega Essentials vanilla shake mix and this morning threw it into my Vitamix with almond milk, frozen banana, spinach, pumpkin, and cinnamon. It was exactly what I needed and I cannot wait to create other flavor creations with what I have in the house. If you are looking for smoothie recipes, check out my smoothie tab.

I love the burst of plant-based Vegan protein this mix gives me.

I love the burst of plant-based Vegan protein this mix gives me.

In my last post I shared how a couple of weeks ago I had my eyes checked and found myself getting fitted bifocals (difficult to stomach since I have never needed glasses before). My husband picked out the frames for me because I could not even look at myself in the mirror. I do not have to wear them all of the time but they are starting to grow on me. So much that I am already thinking of what I want my second pair to look like. 😉 As several of my friends pointed out, glasses can be a cute accessory (and the fact that my husband and I each have vision insurance is a wonderful benefit).

image

I am thankful that each day (each hour, each meal etc.) gives us the opportunity for a fresh start. While I could beat myself up for putting my exercise on hold and not making myself a priority – the strides that I have made in the past few weeks is the empowerment that I need to set and meet healthy goals. Last year I made a couple huge lifestyle changes – not only did I marry an incredible man but I also became a step mom and started a new degree program at Northern Michigan University. While I am familiar with life in the rural Upper Peninsula of Michigan, I now live many miles away from town and (much to the surprise of my friends and family) I am adapting to “farm life”. As I learn how to mesh my healthy goals with a hectic lifestyle, I know that I will learn many important things on the way.

Speaking of my new lifestyle. If you have been following my farm activities, check out how BIG our ducks have gotten! They certainly are not babies anymore. Neither is Lukas! I cannot believe how much he has grown up since fall. His reading is soaring (thank you Mr. Sandell) and his two front teeth are starting to emerge.

Lukas and Daphne.

Lukas and Daphne.

I cannot believe how much Lukas has grown too! ❤

Thank you for being part of my healthy community. I would love to hear the goals that you are setting for yourself. Remember, if you feel overwhelmed small goals are a great way to achieve success. When we feel successful, it helps to create a snowball effect and we can build on our goals as we go. If you are not moving now, ten or fifteen minutes a day is over an hour of activity a week. Add in a couple of servings of fruit and vegetables a day, make sure you are hydrating yourself with plenty of water, and do not make the mistake of putting yourself last. We are worth it!

 

Top Ten Recipes of 2014

 

Top 10 Recipes of 2014 “I love the dark hours of my being.
My mind deepens into them.
There I can find, as in old letters,
the days of my life, already lived,
and held like a legend, and understood.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

As an English teacher, I always tell my students that when we write we make our thoughts tangible. Our words become our fingerprints and as we embroider paper, or the blinking computer screen, with our insight – our labor is a true act of creation. “Make sure you put the date on your manuscript,” I relentlessly remind them. Our writing serves as a time capsule and helps us chart our personal, academic, and professional growth.

Scrolling through the statistics for my blog, I am given insight into which of my posts have received the most traffic. I can see which links received the most clicks, shares, and various sites that have featured my recipes. I spend my morning reflecting on what my readers want and value and what potential recipes I can shape in 2014.

Yesterday was the two year anniversary of Produce with Amy and there are over one hundred posts that contain recipes crafted from vibrant fruit and vegetables – however, my posts also contain moments of reflection from my personal life. Truth-be-told, some of my ruminations leave me feeling melancholy because of events that have occurred in the past few months. 2015 will prove to be a year of change, growth,  and transformation. At the risk of being cryptic, I will leave it at that.

2014 was similar to 2013, in the fact that my recipes for Mason jar salads were the most popular. To reflect on the past year, and welcome a new year of discovery and health, I thought that I would share them again here.

Glowing Green Mason Jar Salad with Creamy Avocado Vinaigrette

#1 Glowing Green Mason Jar Salads with Avocado Vinaigrette Dressing

Sometimes when I get to the top there is not much room for lettuce. :) Yet, that is fine with me!

Sometimes when I get to the top there is not much room for lettuce. 🙂 Yet, that is fine with me!

#2 Mason Jar Salads: Fresh, Visually Appealing, and Versatile

Mediterranean Mason Jar Salads with Greek Vinaigrette#3 Mediterranean Mason Jar Salads with Greek Vinaigrette

Apple-a-Day Mason Jar Salads with Pumpkin Vinaigrette Dressing

Apple-a-Day Mason Jar Salads with Pumpkin Vinaigrette Dressing

#4 Apple-a-Day Mason Jar Salad with Pumpkin Vinaigrette

Harvest Rainbow Mason Jar Salads

Harvest Rainbow Mason Jar Salads

#5 Harvest Rainbow Mason Jar Salad with Creamy Pesto Dressing

Garden Fiesta Mason Jar Salads#6 Garden Fiesta Mason Jar Salad

Israeli Feast Mason Jar Salad#7 Israeli Feast ~ Mason Jar Salad (with Tabouli, Hummus, and Olives)

Confetti Salad in a Jar with Creamy Chipotle Dressing#8 Confetti Salad in a Jar with Creamy Chipotle Dressing

January Green Smoothie Challenge#9 New Year’s Green Smoothie Challenge ~ 31 Days of Printable Recipes and Shopping Lists

Sunshine Mason Jar Salad  with Mango Dressing#10 Sunshine Salad in a Jar with Kicky Mango Vinaigrette 

As I contemplate the hope and potential of a brand new year, I cannot help but be thankful for every one that has been reading and following my blog. Starting this blog has helped me stay accountable to a healthy lifestyle and I am thrilled that I can help encourage others to do the same. Thank you for sharing this journey and remember that we are worth all the hard work it takes to shop, prep, and prepare fresh meals made from whole foods. I look forward to sharing more recipes with you.

 

Summer Green Smoothie Challenge

Summer Green Smoothie Challenge by Produce with AmyRoutine is liberating, it makes you feel in control.”
― Carol Shields

On the eve of August you may find yourself scratching your head wondering how you are going to savor the remaining days of summer. I know that one of the things that I will be sad to say goodbye to – is summer fruit. The fruit bin in our refrigerator is always full of fresh peaches, nectarines, plums, and cherries. I figured what would be a better way to enjoy fresh produce then a green smoothie challenge? Thank you for joining me! The goal of this challenge is to have one green smoothie a day (either for breakfast or another time during the day). We will be incorporating more nutrients into our diet and together we will stay accountable and share recipes and ideas. This is not a fast but a way to increase our intake of greens and fruit. All you need is a blender (I used a regular blender for three years before I invested in a Vitamix) and the desire to be healthy.

To those who are new to green smoothies, my recommendation is always to start simple. My first one was spinach, banana, strawberry, and water. Spinach is naturally sweet and you won’t believe how good it tastes. When I first started drinking green smoothies I found that a frozen banana was key because it gives the smoothie sweetness and makes it creamy. I would buy a couple of bunches of bananas a week and when they got ripe I would peel and toss into a bowl or bag in the freezer. Now I find that I often do not need the banana because I tend to like more greens and less fruit. I suggest that you experiment with your favorite fruit. Over the years I have tried every imaginable combination and often toss in what I have on hand. Frozen fruit works well and makes the smoothie cold (though you can add ice as well). Brenda, my friend and Weight Watchers receptionist often encourages people to throw their greens in the freezer. She says that since she started drinking green smoothies and freezing her greens and fruit she no longer ends of throwing out expensive produce.

If you are interested in my green smoothie story, and how my husband and I started incorporating them into our meal plan after my husband suffered a sudden brain hemorrhage, you may want to read this post. 

I’m a green smoothie “purist” and normally stick with water, fruit, chia seeds, and greens. The chia seeds make it filling and are a great source of calcium, protein, and Omega-3.Though, many of my Weight Watchers members add yogurt, milk and dairy-free milks, and even healthy oils to their green smoothies to help meet their Good Health Guidelines. I do sometimes add hemp seeds, spirulina, and aloe vera juice to give an additional nutritional boost.

Green Smoothie by Produce with AmyThe smoothies are a great way to fortify your iron and since the blender breaks down the cell walls of the greens, it makes it easier for our bodies to absorb the nutrients. My husband Mike and I like to drink one for breakfast and find them  filling and satisfying.They give us an important boost of energy in the morning!

If you do not have a high-powered blender I recommend blending up the greens and liquid first and then adding the fruit (cut up in small pieces) a little bit at a time. When you freeze your bananas you will want to slice or break them into small

I love my Vitamix!

I love my Vitamix!

chunks. This may not be as easy as dumping cold cereal and milk in a bowl, but I promise that it is worth your labor! 🙂 Though, trust me, you may find yourself wanting to upgrade to a Vitamix blender. Many of my friends and Weight Watchers members have been convinced to do so after reading my posts. I saved up for a year to buy mine by wearing a pedometer and putting $1 in an envelope each day that I met my step goal of 14,000 steps. Not only did I work on building a healthy routine in the process, but my Vitamix blender is no an important anchor, or daily reminder, of what I can achieve when I put my heart to it. 

Weight Watchers members may wonder how to count the PP for the green smoothies. Personally, I do not count the PP of the fruit in my smoothies and only count the things I add that would carry a PP value (chia seeds, coconut water, avocado). Though, if you run the smoothie through the Recipe Builder, it will give you a PP value (once a fruit or vegetable is not in its natural state it is easier to over-eat). I always like to mention at my meetings that the danger of smoothies are that they may bypass our bodies hunger signals. However, I do not have this problem with green smoothies. I take a long time to sip my smoothie in the morning and it really satisfies me until I can have a morning snack at around 10:00-10:30. I attribute this to the fact that the smoothies are full of fiber and the chia seeds make them especially filling.

In my shopping list I have included spinach, kale, and turnip greens. I do warn that kale tastes much stronger and more “grassy” than spinach, so I recommend that you a little at a time. Also, if you enjoy the taste of fresh ginger root (I personally could add it to every smoothie I make).

When I started drinking green smoothies five years ago I read all that I could about green smoothie guru, Victoria Boutenko.  I highly recommend her books Green for Life and Green Smoothie Revolution. In her books, Victoria Boutenko stresses the importance of rotating our greens because of the alkaloids found in them. Read more about it here.

11When you drink green smoothies for weeks-on-end it is important to rotate your greens. While spinach is my favorite ~ I also enjoy kale, carrot tops, beet greens, radish tops, spring mix greens, dandelion greens, and turnip greens. If you look in the produce section of your local market you will be surprised how many varieties of greens there are. While in the summer I enjoy growing my own, during winter months I will often purchase bunches of beets, radishes, and carrots and lop off the tops to use in my smoothies. (Tip: if they are wilted when you purchase them you can immerse in cold water and they will perk right up).

In this post I will share four weeks of shopping lists and recipes (printable lists at the bottom of the page). I have tried to keep the lists as simple as possible, while utilizing seasonal fruit. The shopping lists (and recipes) are a guide to green smoothie flavor combinations. The amounts of fruit and greens you purchase depends on your personal taste and how many smoothies you will be creating. I would love to hear what your favorite combinations are.

Before I share the recipes that I came up with, I wanted to share the favorite green smoothie recipes of four of my readers who sent their favorite recipes for me to share with you. Maybe you will do the same after our challenge – I would love to do a follow-up post in September featuring reader’s favorites.

Brenda Aldrich

Brenda Aldrich

Brenda Aldrich is my Weight Watchers receptionist and she has been at goal Lifetime since May of 2011. She lives in Skandia, with her husband, their dog Winston and 3 cats. Winston is always willing to accompany Brenda on her walks as exercise has become essential to helping her maintain her goal weight.

Brenda heard about Green Smoothies for months before finally deciding to try them. While she loves fruits and vegetables, she just couldn’t imagine liquid greens. After hearing from some fellow Weight Watchers members how a green smoothie tamed cravings for them, she decided to try a simple one with spinach, banana, strawberries, blueberries and water and has been hooked ever since. Brenda likes to freeze excess fruit and dark greens. Frozen greens and fruit are perfect for smoothies. This method is helpful when the fruits are not in season ,and she is craving the taste of watermelon in the winter, or when avocados are not on sale.

Brenda’s favorite green smoothie recipe:
*Spinach
*1/2 banana
*1/2 avocado
*1/2 cup blueberries
*1/2 cup pineapple
*8-10 oz cooled Green tea
*Chia seeds
(Brenda said she uses frozen fruit so the smoothie is cold)

Sherene Lehman

Sherene Lehman

Sherene Lehman said this: ” I live in Mt. Pleasant, MI, where we have a small, but wonderful farm market. It is a great source of the freshest ingredients for my smoothies. The best smoothies are made Thursday mornings when I get home from the market. Ideally in a University of Michigan large Tervis Tumbler!

Sherene’ favorite green smoothie recipe:

Green Goddess Smoothie
*1/2 container Key lime yogurt
*1 cup apple juice or pineapple juice, white grape, etc. (something light-colored)
*Few handfuls kale or spinach, or both
*2 cups assorted fruit, including kiwi, honey-dew, pineapple,
*1 Tbs. agave or honey
*Scoop whey protein (optional)
*Ice to thicken
*Blend all and serve.

Heather Nayback

Heather Nayback

 

Heather Nayback lives in the U.P. of Michigan where she is a teacher.

She said this about green smoothies:
“I found out about green smoothies from Amy. As a colleague of hers through the Upper Peninsula Writing Project, we attended a training about Holocaust Education together. I was intrigued by her enthusiasm for a Vitamix and her smoothie recipes. I began that same summer using greens from my own garden. Green smoothies are my summer treats, and I try to have them year around now!”

 

Heather’s favorite green smoothie recipe:
*Coconut milk
*Sun butter
*Banana
*1/2 an avocado
*Cinnamon
*Bee pollen
*Kale or romaine
*Handful of ice
(Heather is allergic to peanuts and to spinach, so this is her variation on the Chunky Monkey Green Smoothie from A Journey to Thin. She said that her daughter used to turn up her nose to green smoothies but now demands that Heather shares. Her daughter like the addition of cacao nibs to hers.)

Heather had her favorite green smoothie today for lunch. Here is a photo that she sent me. What a relaxing spot to enjoy a green smoothie and read in the sunshine.

Heather had her favorite green smoothie today for lunch. Here is a photo that she sent me. What a relaxing spot to enjoy a green smoothie and read in the sunshine.

Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith discovered green smoothies on her quest for better health and wellness last fall. She loves trying new recipes and incorporating local produce into her menus whenever possible. Kristin and her husband live in Milwaukee, and they enjoy hiking, camping, and traveling. When not busy with work as a child psychologist and college instructor, Kristin spends time running, reading, and singing with a community choir.

Here is Kristin’s favorite green smoothie recipe:
*Spinach
*White nectarine
*Banana
*Spinach
*Coconut water
*Flax seed

Ladies, thank you so much for sharing your favorite recipes. I cannot wait to try them. If you try their recipes make sure you give them a shout-out in the comment section or on my Facebook page. 
Cover Photo August Green Smoothie Challenge

SUMMER GREEN SMOOTHIE CHALLENGE SHOPPING LISTS

(Printable lists below)

*If you do not enjoy the listed fruit or berries, substitute with your favorite. The amount of fruit and greens you put into each smoothie will vary depending on your personal taste. I recommend that those who are new to green smoothies add a small amount of greens at first and go heavy on the fruit. You will find that the more smoothies you drink the more greens and less fruit you can start blending. If you prefer more fruit in your smoothies, you may find yourself running out during the week and other may find some left that you can incorporate into the next week’s green smoothies.

I suggest that you choose the ripest bananas that you can find. Peel and cut into pieces and toss in the freezer in a bag or bowl. You may also to choose to freeze the other fruit as well.

Week One:

  • Spinach (3 ~ nine ounce bags of spinach)
  • Bananas (5-7)
  • 1 peach
  • 1 nectarine
  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 limes
  • 1 ~ twelve ounce bag of frozen raspberries (or 2 containers of fresh)
  • 1 ~ bag of fresh or frozen cherries
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • Fresh ginger root
  • Coconut water (optional ~(regular water works fine but there are many health benefits to drinking coconut water. It can often be found in the Latin food or heath food section of the supermarket. I usually buy one large can per two green smoothies…or a couple liter containers).
  • Chia seeds (you may also use flax or hemp seeds)

Week Two:

  • 2 (9 ounce bags) of spinach
  • 1 bunch of kale (or an alternate green.)
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 5-7 ripe bananas (peel and freeze)
  • 1 pineapple (unless you have some left from last week. You will need 2 cups)
  • 1 bag green grapes
  • 1 plum
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • Frozen mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries ~ or similar mix)
  • Fresh ginger root
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Vanilla extract
  • 1 can of light coconut milk (often found in the Asian food section.) Divide the coconut milk into 3 servings. I freeze coconut milk to use in green and dessert smoothies and curries.

*Optional Ingredients

  • Molasses (used as flavoring in one of the smoothies)
  • Coconut flakes (used as a garnish for couple of the smoothies)
  • Chia seeds (some people add hemp seeds or flax-seeds)
  • Coconut water

Week Three:

  • 2 bunches of kale, 2 bunches of turnip greens (or greens of your choice)
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1 peach
  • 1 nectarine
  • 1 carton of fresh blackberries
  • 1 bag of frozen raspberries (or fresh)
  • 1 bag of frozen blueberries (or fresh)
  • 5-7 ripe bananas (peel and freeze)
  • 2 plums
  • 2 avocado
  • 2 lemons
  • 3 limes
  • Fresh ginger root
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla extract

*Optional Ingredients

  • In place of the banana to sweeten the smoothie you may opt for medjool dates (or even chopped dates) or raw honey (or rotate sweeteners day-to-day)
  • Coconut flakes (used as a garnish for couple of the smoothies)
  • Chia seeds (I add these to my smoothies each day. Some people add hemp seeds or flax-seeds)
  • Coconut water (regular water works fine but there are many health benefits to drinking coconut water. It can often be found in the Latin food or heath food section of the supermarket. I usually buy one large can per two green smoothies…or a couple liter containers).

Week #4:

  • Greens (I suggest a combination of greens ~ spinach, turnip greens, kale, chard, carrot tops, beet greens, or spring mix and dark green lettuces) Since the week #4 recipes are for 10 days, you may want to buy enough for the first five-7 days and purchase more mid-week.
  • Bananas (plan for ½-1 banana per smoothie, unless you plan to sweeten with honey, dates, or another sweetener)
  • Strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 bag frozen mango (or 2 fresh)
  • Watermelon (you will need a few cups)
  • 3 kiwi
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 peach
  • 2 avocado
  • 4 limes and 1 lemon
  • Parsley and/or cilantro
  • Fresh mint
  • 1 can light coconut milk (divide in thirds)
  • Almond extract (optional)
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg

*Optional ~ chia, hemp, or flax seeds and coconut water

Summer Green Smoothie Challenge

SUMMER GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPES

*If you plan on drinking your smoothies in the morning you may prep your smoothies the night before. Sometimes when I know I am going to be in a time pinch in the morning I blend the night before. Each recipe should render  3-4 cups (depending on how much greens and fruit that you add). I often make to make extra (or leave a little) for a mid-day snack. If you are using fresh, and not frozen fruit, I suggest adding a few ice cubes or chill your smoothie in the refrigerator.

WEEK ONE:

Summer EnergizerDay #1: Summer Energizer Smoothie 

  • 3-4 cups of spinach(more or less for one’s personal taste.)
  • 1/2 a nectarine
  • ½ cup of cherries
  • ½ cup of raspberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 frozen banana (optional. I find that I do not need the sweetness of the banana with the nectarine and cherries)
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds(I add one Tablespoon per green smoothie that I am making. It is recommended to soak chia seeds. I do not soak mine since I have a high-powered blender and my smoothie often sits for  5-10 minutes before drinking. You could also stir into your smoothie before blending)
  • 1 inch piece of peeled fresh ginger(since ginger has a strong taste you might try to add a little at a time)
  • 1 cup of coconut juice (or water)

Day #2: Summer Sensation Green Smoothie Summer Sensation

  • 3 cups of spinach or greens of choice
  • 1/2 cup of pineapple
  • 1/2 peach
  • ½ avocado
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 1 cup coconut water

(I find that the pineapple is so sweet that I do not add a banana. However, you could add one or 1/2 a banana)

Cherry LimeadeDay #3: Cherry Limeade Green Smoothie 

  • 3 cups of spinach
  • 1 lime (juice & zest)
  • 1 cup of cherries
  • 1/2-1 frozen banana(more if you want the smoothie sweeter)
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • Fresh peeled ginger root to taste.
  • 1 cup of coconut water or regular water

 

 

Day #4: Nectarine and Basil Green SmoothieNectarine and Basil Green Smoothie

  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 nectarine
  • 1/8 – ¼ cup basil (add a little bit of time. I really enjoy the flavor combination of basil and nectarine. This summer I grew cinnamon basil just to eat with nectarines and put in my smoothies)
  • Banana(optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 1 cup of coconut water or regular water

Cherry & Pineapple Mint Green SmoothieDay #5: Cherry & Pineapple Mint Green Smoothie

  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup of cherries
  • 1/2 cup of pineapple
  • 1/2-1 banana
  • ¼ cup of fresh mint
  • 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 1 cup of coconut water or regular water

 

 

Day #6: Raspberry Blast Green SmoothieRaspberry Blast Green Smoothie

  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 3/4-1 cup of raspberries
  • 1/2-1 banana
  • ¼ cilantro
  • Fresh peeled ginger root to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 1/2 lime and zest
  • 1 cup of coconut water or regular water

 

Just Peachy Green SmoothieDay #7: Just Peachy Green Smoothie (or “Leftovers” Green Smoothie)

  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1/2 peach
  • 1/2 – 1 banana
  • 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds
  • Parsley or cilantro or mint or basil (or all) depending what you have left
  • 1 cup of coconut water or regular water

 

 

WEEK TWO:

Day #8:  Caribbean Dream Green SmoothieCaribbean Dream Green Smoothie

  • 3-4 cups of kale
  • 1/2 – 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup of pineapple
  • ½ avocado
  • light canned coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon Molasses (since molasses has a strong taste you may want to add a little at a time)
  • Garnish with shredded coconut, cinnamon, and nutmeg
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of coconut water (or regular water)

Berry Blast Green Smoothie Day #9: Berry Blast Green Smoothie

  • 1/3 bunch of kale
  • 1/2 – 1 banana
  • ½ cup of grapes
  • 3/4 cup of mixed berries
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro (to taste)
  • Fresh ginger root to taste (peeled)
  • 1 cup of water (or coconut water)

 

 

 

Day #10: Lean & Green SmoothieLean & Green Smoothie

  • 2-3 cups of spinach
  • 1/2 cup of grapes
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple (if it is organic, leave on the peel)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Juice and zest of one lime (1/2 if you want it less tart)
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro (to taste)
  • Optional ~ banana (if you want it more sweet. I leave it out. You could also add another 1/2 cup of grapes or pineapple for sweetness)
  • 1 cup of water

Berry Bliss Green SmoothieDay #11: Berry Bliss Green Smoothie

  • 1/3 of a bunch of kale
  • 1/2-1 banana
  • 1 cup of mixed berries
  • Light coconut milk
  • *Optional ~ ginger root to taste
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of water

 

Summer Harvest Green Smoothie
Day #12: Summer Harvest Green Smoothie

 

  • 3-4 cups of spinach
  • 1 plum
  • ½ cup of mixed berries
  • Ginger root (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ½ – 1 cup of water
  • *Optional ~ banana (depending on how sweet you want it to be)

 

Pina Colada Green Smoothie

 

Day #13: Pina Colada Green Smoothie

  • 3-4 cups of spinach
  • 1 cup of pineapple
  • ½ – 1 banana
  • light canned coconut milk
  • ½ cup of coconut water or regular water
  • Garnish with coconut

 

 

Lemon Berry Green Smoothie

Day #14: Lemon Berry Green Smoothie

  • 1/3 bunch of kale
  • 1 cup of mixed berries
  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 1/2 – 1 banana
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of coconut water or regular water

 

WEEK THREE:

Blue Boost Green Smoothie         

Day #15: Blue Boost Green Smoothie

  • 3 – 4 – cups of your greens of choice
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of blueberries
  • 1/2 – 1 avocado
  • Raw honey/dates/ or banana for sweetness
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 1 cup of coconut water/or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds
    *Garnish with shredded coconut

Day #16: Peach-Raspberry Zinger Green SmoothiePeach Raspberry Zinger Green Smoothie

  • 3 – 4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1/2 cup of raspberries
  • 1/2 peach
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • Cilantro (to taste)
  • Fresh ginger root, peeled (to taste)
  • Raw honey/dates/ or banana
  • 1 cup of coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1- 2 Tablespoons of chia seeds

Blueberry Twist Green Smoothie

Day #17: Blueberry Twist Green Smoothie

 

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds

 

Day #18: Plum-Berry Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1/2 cup of raspberries
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries
  • 1 plum
  • Fresh ginger root, peeled (to taste)
  • Cinnamon (to taste)
  • Parsley or cilantro (to taste)
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds

  19Day #19: Blackberry Charmer Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1 container of blackberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
  • Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds

 

 

 

Day #20: Plum & Blue Blue Blossom Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choicePlum & Blue Blossom Green Smoothie
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries
  • 1 plum
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds

 

 

Flourishing Green Smoothie

Day #21: Flourishing Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1/2 cup of peaches
  • 1/2 – 1 avocado
  • 1 kiwi
  • Parsley or cilantro (to taste)
  • Fresh ginger root, peeled (to taste)
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds

WEEK #4:

Day #22: Tropical Dream Green SmoothieTropical Dream Green Smoothie

  • 3 – 4 – cups of your greens of choice
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup of watermelon
  • 1/2 cup of strawberries
  • Cilantro or parsley to taste
  • 1 lime (juice and zest)
  • 1 cup of coconut water/or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Apple Pie Green Smoothie

 

Day #23:  Apple Pie Green Smoothie

  • 3 – 4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1 apple
  • ½ avocado
  • 1 banana
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • light coconut milk
  • ½ cup of coconut water or water
  • Cinnamon & nutmeg to taste
    *Optional ~ 1- 2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Day #24: Watermelon Mint Green SmoothieWatermelon Mint Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1 cup of watermelon
  • Fresh mint
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds


Strawberry Kiwi Green Smoothie

Day #25: Strawberry Kiwi Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1 cup of strawberries
  • 2 kiwi
  • 1 lime (juice and zest)
  • Fresh ginger root, peeled (to taste)
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Day #26: Peach Cobbler Green SmoothiePeach Cobbler Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1 peach
  • ½ avocado
  • Fresh ginger root, peeled (add just a little bit)
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • Almond extract
  • Light coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Mango Madness Green SmoothieDay #27: Mango Madness Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1 cup of mango
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • 1/2 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

 

 

 

Day #28: Sip of Summer Green SmoothieSip of Summer Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1/2 cup of strawberries
  • 1/2 cup of mango
  • Parsley or cilantro (to taste)
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

 

29

Day #29: Strawberry Lemonade

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1 cup of strawberries
  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Day #30: Glistening Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 green apple
  • ½ avocado
  • 1 lime (juice and zest)
  • Parsley or cilantro ~ or both (to taste)
  • Ginger root (to taste)
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Day #31: Strawberries & Cream Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Ginger root to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of almond extract
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • 1/2 cup of light coconut milk
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • 1/2 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Printable Shopping Lists: Summer Green Smoothie Challenge Shopping Lists

Printable Recipes: Summer Green Smoothie Challenge ~ 4 Weeks of Recipes

Pin the post HERE.

Make sure you stop by my Produce with Amy Facebook Page to let me know you what your favorite green smoothie combination is (either my recipe or your own). I would love to hear what it is and I would love to feature you in a follow-up post. If interested, please send me brief biographical information about yourself, a photo, and your recipe (if your recipe comes from a blog – please include the address so I can link it here). You can private message this information via Facebook or email it to me at amyslatinen@gmail.com

During the month of August if you are on Instagram – make sure you use the hashtag #gscproducewithamy to tag your green smoothie creations.

Sign up to receive email updates of my posts, follow me on Twitter Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Thank you for joining me in the Summer Green Smoothie Challenge. I lift my green smoothie glass up to yours ~ cheers to thriving together!

Greem Smoothies 3August Green Smoothie Challenge by Produce with Amy

 

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Top Ten Posts of 2013

Top 10 Recipes of 2013 by Produce with Amy“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”
― T.S. Eliot
Happy New Year

Happy New year to you and I hope that this post finds you full of renewed energy and healthy commitment for January and beyond. I always love the feel of a blank slate of a new year and have had a remarkable and relaxing two-week holiday away from work. Yet, I am ready to get back to my classroom and my routines. One of the things that my husband Mike and I decided that we had to do was try to capture a family photo. It was quite entertaining trying to get the cats to cooperate. If you look closely at the above photo our black cat Pandora is lurking behind the tabby Athena. I cannot tell you how many times one of us had to run to the camera to set the timer. I do believe that a camera remote is in the forecast for 2014.

I decided that I was not fully ready to usher out 2013 yet and decided that I needed to write a post with my top ten posts from the year. 2013 was definitely the “Year of the Mason Jar Salad” for Produce with Amy and I am excited for this recap.

The end of the school year is racing at me. I find that prepping my lunches and dinners makes healthy eating a snap. If you find yourself in a pinch at mealtime you cannot go wrong with salads in a jar.

When I first started making Mason Jar Salads I recycled spaghetti sauce jars!

#1: Mason Jar Salads: Fresh, Visually Appealing, and Versatile

Glowing Green Mason Jar Salad with Avocado Vinaigrette#2: Glowing Green Mason Jar Salads with Avocado Vinaigrette Dressing

Homemade salad dressing that is fresh and free from the chemicals and preservatives that often accompanies store bought versions.

 #3: Tangy Ranch and Zesty Avocado ~ Plant Based, Homemade, Salad Dressing

Israeli Feast Mason Jar Salad#4: Israeli Feast ~ Mason Jar Salad (with Tabouli, Hummus, and Olives)

Sweet and Savory ingredients make these Apple-a-Day Mason Jar Salads with Pumpkin Vinaigrette Dressing a seasonal hit!

#5: Apple-a-Day Mason Jar Salad with Pumpkin Vinaigrette

Mediterranean Mason Jar Salads with Greek Vinaigrette

#6: Mediterranean Mason Jar Salads with Greek Vinaigrette

Harvest Rainbow Mason Jar Salad with Creamy Pesto Dressing

#7: Harvest Rainbow Mason Jar Salad with Creamy Pesto Dressing

Garden Fiesta Mason Jar Salads#8: Garden Fiesta Mason Jar Salad

Photo by Heather Hollands

Photo by Heather Hollands

#9: Caprese Pasta Salad in a Jar

Green Smoothie

#10: Lean & Green Smoothie Challenge: Amy’s Sunday Energizer

New Year’s day was Produce with Amy’s 1st anniversary and I am so thankful for every one that has been reading and sharing my recipes. I promise to share many more healthy dishes in the next year. My journal is full of ideas, scribbles, and brainstorms and this Sunday I plan to share another Mason Jar Salad and homemade salad dressing. Thank you for reading and sharing the journey to eat more fruit and vegetables. Let’s thrive together in 2014.

22Amy Laitinen

New Year’s Green Smoothie Challenge ~ 31 Days of Printable Recipes and Shopping Lists

“Make New Year’s goals. Dig within, and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps you do your part. It is an affirmation that you’re interested in fully living life in the year to come.”
~Melody Beattie

January Green Smoothie Challenge

In December I decided to jump-start my New Year by asking others to join me in a Green Smoothie Challenge. While I was already drinking one green smoothie a day for breakfast, I was in a bit a of rut and was often drinking the same combination over-and-over. I confess that I was a bit intimidated when requests started coming in for recipes and shopping lists, but once the posts were complete, I felt a sense of accomplishment. Since I had many requests for a January Green Smoothie Challenge, here are all the December recipes and shopping lists compiled into one post.

December Green Smoothie Challenge

To those who are new to green smoothies, my recommendation is always to start by adding a small amount of greens. Spinach is naturally sweet and you won’t believe how good it tastes. A frozen banana is key because it gives the smoothie sweetness and makes it creamy. When I started making green smoothies over five years ago I would buy a couple of bunches of bananas a week and when they would get ripe I would peel and toss into a bowl or bag in the freezer. Now I do not put bananas in all of my smoothies because I try to be mindful of fruit that is high in sugar and often I drink a couple green smoothies a day. In a post dating back to June I shared how I first discovered green smoothies after my husband suffered a brain hemorrhage. Click here to read the post.Green Smoothie

Experiment with your favorite fruit. I have tried tons of different combinations and often tossing in what I have on hand. Frozen fruit works well and makes the smoothie cold (though you can add ice as well). I try to stick to seasonal fruit so my smoothies often have a completely different combination of ingredients in the summer.

I tend to be a green smoothie “purist” and normally stick with water (regular water or coconut water), fruit, chia seeds, and greens. Though in these recipes I do add some light coconut milk to a few of the smoothies. The chia seeds make it filling and are a great source of calcium, protein, and Omega-3. Though, many of my Weight Watchers members add yogurt, milk and dairy-free milks, and even healthy oils to their green smoothies to help meet their Good Health Guidelines.Green Smoothie by Produce with Amy

The smoothies are a great way to fortify your iron and breaking down the cell walls of the greens makes it easier for our bodies to absorb the nutrients. My husband Mike and I both drink one for breakfast and find them really filling and satisfying. I love them and I think they give me an important boost of energy in the morning!

If you do not have a high-powered blender I recommend blending up the greens and liquid first and then adding the fruit (cut up in small pieces) a little bit at a time. When you freeze your bananas you will want to slice or break them into small chunks. This may not be as easy as dumping cold cereal and milk in a bowl, but I promise that it is worth your labor!

Green Smoothie by Produce with AmyWeight Watchers members may wonder how to count the PP for the green smoothies. Personally, I do not count the PP of the fruit in my smoothies and only count the things I add that would carry a PP value (chia seeds, coconut water, avocado). Though, if you run the smoothie through the Recipe Builder, it will give you a PP value (once a fruit or vegetable is not in its natural state it is easier to over-eat). I always like to mention at my meetings that the danger of smoothies are that they may bypass our bodies hunger signals. However, I do not have this problem with green smoothies. I take a long time to sip my smoothie in the morning and it really satisfies me until I can have a morning snack at around 10:00-10:30. I attribute this to the fact that the smoothies are full of fiber and the chia seeds make them especially filling.

If you drink daily green smoothies I recommend that you rotate your greens to avoid theLayered Tropical Dream Green Smoothie buildup of alkaloids. Please read more about this in my Week #2 December Green Smoothie post. In this post I also discuss how fresh ginger root helps mask the grassy flavor of greens that have a stronger taste. If I desire a sweeter tasting smoothie I like to use frozen banana, dates, maple syrup, or raw honey. I suggest experimenting with different combinations until you find your favorite. Raw ginger also helps promote digestion as do parsley and cilantro (which is why I like to incorporate them in my recipes).

Here are the month’s worth of shopping lists and recipes (You will find a printable version at the end).

January Green Smoothie Challenge by Produce with AmyProduce with Amy ~ New Year Green Smoothie Challenge ~ 4 Week Shopping List

If you do not enjoy the listed fruit or berries, substitute with your favorite. The amount of fruit and greens you put into each smoothie will vary depending on your personal taste. I recommend that those who are new to green smoothies add a small amount of greens at first and go heavy on the fruit. You will find that the more smoothies you drink the more greens and less fruit you can start blending. If you prefer more fruit in your smoothies, you may find yourself running out during the week and other may find some left that you can incorporate into the next week’s green smoothies.

I suggest that you choose the ripest bananas that you can find. Peel and cut into pieces and toss in the freezer in a bag or bowl.

Week One:

  • Spinach (3 ~ nine ounce bags of spinach)
  • Bananas (5-7)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 limes
  • 1 ~ twelve ounce bag of frozen mango (or 2 fresh)
  • 1 ~ twelve ounce bag of frozen raspberries (or 2 containers of fresh)
  • 1 ~ twelve ounce bag of frozen cherries
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • Fresh ginger root
  • Coconut water (optional ~(regular water works fine but there are many health benefits to drinking coconut water. It can often be found in the Latin food or heath food section of the supermarket. I usually buy one large can per two green smoothies…or a couple liter containers).
  • Chia seeds (you may also use flax or hemp seeds)

Week Two:

  • 2 (9 ounce bags) of spinach
  • 1 bunch of kale (or an alternate green.)
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 5-7 ripe bananas (peel and freeze)
  • 1 pineapple (unless you have some left from last week. You will need 2 cups)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 1 pear
  • Celery
  • Frozen mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries ~ or similar mix)
  • Fresh ginger root
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Vanilla extract
  • Can of pumpkin
  • 2 cans of light coconut milk (often found in the Asian food section)
    *Optional Ingredients
  •  Molasses (used as flavoring in one of the smoothies)
  •  Coconut flakes (used as a garnish for couple of the smoothies)
  • Chia seeds (some people add hemp seeds or flax-seeds)
  • Coconut water

Week Three:

  • 2 bunches of kale, 2 bunches of turnip greens (or greens of your choice)
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1 bag of frozen peaches (could substitute mangos or pineapple)
  • 1 bag of frozen raspberries
  • 1 bag of frozen blueberries
  • 5-7 ripe bananas (peel and freeze)
  • Celery
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 orange
  • 1 apple (any variety)
  • 1 pear
  • 2 avocado
  • 2 lemons
  • 3 limes
  • Fresh ginger root
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla extract
    *Optional Ingredients
  • In place of the banana to sweeten the smoothie you may opt for medjool dates (or even chopped dates) or raw honey (or rotate sweeteners day-to-day)
  • Coconut flakes (used as a garnish for couple of the smoothies)
  • Chia seeds (I add these to my smoothies each day. Some people add hemp seeds or flax-seeds)
  • Coconut water (regular water works fine but there are many health benefits to drinking coconut water. It can often be found in the Latin food or heath food section of the supermarket. I usually buy one large can per two green smoothies…or a couple liter containers).

Week Four:

  • Greens (I suggest a combination of greens ~ spinach, turnip greens, kale, chard, carrot tops, beet greens, or spring mix and dark green lettuces) Since the week #4 recipes are for 10 days, you may want to buy enough for the first five-7 days and purchase more mid-week.
  • Bananas (plan for ½-1 banana per smoothie, unless you plan to sweeten with honey, dates, or another sweetener)
  • Celery
  • Frozen strawberries
  • Frozen mango
  • Bag of fresh cranberries
  • 3 kiwi
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 pomegranate (if you do not have a Vitamix or a high-speed blender you may want to buy a high quality pomegranate juice
  • 2 grapefruit
  • 4 limes and 1 lemon
  • Parsley and/or cilantro
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
    *Optional ~ chia, hemp, or flax seeds and coconut water

RECIPES:

*If you plan on drinking your smoothies in the morning you may prep your smoothies the night before. Sometimes when I know I am going to be in a time pinch in the morning I blend the night before. Each recipe should render  3-4 cups (depending on how much greens and fruit that you add). I often make to make extra (or leave a little) for a mid-day snack. If you are using fresh, and not frozen fruit, I suggest adding a few ice cubes or chill your smoothie in the refrigerator.

WEEK ONE:

Day #1: Sunday Energizer Smoothie 

  • 3-4 cups of spinach (more or less for one’s personal taste.)
  • 1/2 a cucumber
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup of raspberries
  • 1/2 cup of mango
  • 1 Tablespoons Chia Seeds (I add one Tablespoon per green smoothie that I am making. It is recommended to soak chia seeds. I do not soak mine since I have a high-powered blender and my smoothie often sits for  5-10 minutes before drinking. You could also stir into your smoothie before blending)
  • 1 inch piece of peeled fresh ginger (since it is strong-tasting you might try to add a little at a time)
  • 1 cup of coconut juice (or water)

Day #2: Sunrise Green Smoothie 

  • 3 cups of spinach or greens of choice
  • 1/2 cup of pineapple
  • 1/2 cup of mango
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 1 cup coconut water

(I find that the mango and pineapple is so sweet that I do not add a banana. However, you could add one or 1/2 a banana)

Day #3: Cherry Limeade Green Smoothie 

  • 3 cups of spinach
  • 1 lime & zest
  • 1 cup of cherries
  • 1/2-1 frozen banana (more if you want the smoothie sweeter)
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • Fresh peeled ginger root to taste.
  • 1 cup of coconut water or regular water

Day #4: Glowing Green Smoothie

  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 cup of pineapple
  • 1/2 cup of mango
  • Cilantro (to taste)
  • Banana (optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon of chia seeds
  • 1 cup of coconut water or regular water

Day #5: Raspberry & Pineapple Passion Green Smoothie

  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup of raspberries
  • 1/2 cup of pineapple
  • 1/2-1 banana
  • Parsley (approximately ¼ cup)
  • 1 Teaspoon of chia seeds
  • 1 cup of coconut water or regular water

Day #6: Cherry Blast Green Smoothie

  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 3/4-1 cup of cherries
  • 1/2-1 banana
  • Fresh peeled ginger root to taste
  • 1 Teaspoon of chia seeds
  • 1/2 lime and zest
  • 1 cup of coconut water or regular water

Day #7: Mango Madness Green Smoothie (or “Leftovers” Green Smoothie)

  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1 cup of mango
  • 1/2 – 1 Banana
  • 1 Teaspoon of chia seeds
  • Parsley or cilantro (or both) depending what you have left
  • 1 cup of coconut water or regular water

For day #7 you may want to repeat one of your favorites from the week or toss in what you have leftover in ingredients from the week.

WEEK TWO:

Day #8:  Jamaican Dream Green Smoothie

  • 3-4 cups of spinach
  • 1/2 – 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup of pineapple
  • 1/2 cup of light canned coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon Molasses (since molasses is very strong-tasting you may want to add a little at a time)
  • Garnish with shredded coconut and nutmeg
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of coconut water (or regular water)

Day #9: Berry Blast Green Smoothie

  •  1/3 of a bunch of kale
  • 1/2 – 1 banana
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro (to taste)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 3/4 cup of mixed berries
  • Fresh ginger root to taste (peeled)
  • 1 cup of water (or coconut water)

Day #10: Lean & Green Smoothie

  • 2-3 cups of spinach
  • 1/2 cup of pineapple
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple (if it is organic, leave on the peel)
  • 1/2 cucumber (if it is organic leave on the peel)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Juice and zest of one lemon (1/2 if you want it less tart)
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro (to taste)
  • Optional ~ banana (if you want it more sweet. I leave it out. You could also add another 1/2 cup of pineapple for sweetness)
  • 1 cup of water

Day #11: Berry Bliss Green Smoothie

  • 1/3 of a bunch of kale
  • 1/2-1 banana
  • 1 cup of mixed berries
  • 1/2 cup of light canned coconut milk
  • *Optional ~ ginger root to taste
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of water

Day #12: Autumn Harvest Green Smoothie

  • 3-4 cups of spinach
  • ¾ – 1 cup of pumpkin
  • 1 pear
  • Ginger root (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup canned light coconut milk
  • ½ – 1 cup of water
  • *Optional ~ banana (depending on how sweet you want it to be)

Day #13: Pina Colada Green Smoothie

  • 3-4 cups of spinach
  • 1 cup of pineapple
  • ½ – 1 banana
  • ½ cup of light canned coconut milk
  • ½ cup of coconut water or regular water
  • Garnish with coconut

Day #14: Citrus Fusion Green Smoothie

  • 1/3 bunch of kale
  • 1 orange (zest for extra flavor)
  • 1/2 – 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup of light canned coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of coconut water or regular water

WEEK THREE:

Day #15: Blue Boost Green Smoothie

  • 3 – 4 – cups of your greens of choice
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of blueberries
  • 1/2 – 1 avocado
  • Raw honey/dates/ or banana for sweetness
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 1 cup of coconut water/or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds
    *Optional ~ garnish wish shredded coconut

Day #16: Peach-Raspberry Zinger Green Smoothie

  • 3 – 4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1/2 cup of raspberries
  • 1/2 cup of peaches
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • Cilantro (to taste)
  • Fresh ginger root, peeled (to taste)
  • Raw honey/dates/ or banana
  • 1 cup of coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1- 2 Tablespoons of chia seeds

Day #17: Blueberry Twist Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds

Day #18: Spicy Apple-Berry Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1/2 cup of raspberries
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries
  • 1 apple (if organic leave the peel)
  • Fresh ginger root, peeled (to taste)
  • Cinnamon (to taste)
  • Parsley or cilantro (to taste)
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds

Day #19: Luscious Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1/2 cup of peaches
  • 1 pear
  • 1 rib of celery
  • 1/2 – 1 avocado
  • Parsley or cilantro (to taste)
  • Fresh ginger root, peeled (to taste)
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
  • Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds

Day #20: Orange & Blue Blossom Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of blueberries
  • 1 orange (and zest)
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds

Day #21: Flourishing Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1/2 cup of peaches
  • 1/2 – 1 avocado
  • 1 kiwi
  • Parsley or cilantro (to taste)
  • Fresh ginger root, peeled (to taste)
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds

WEEK #4:

Day #22: Tropical Dream Green Smoothie

  • 3 – 4 – cups of your greens of choice
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup of mango
  • 1/2 cup of strawberries
  • Cilantro or parsley to taste
  • Lime juice and zest (to taste. I like to use the whole lime but you may want ½)
  • ½ cup of light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup of coconut water/or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Day #23:  Apple Pie Green Smoothie

  • 3 – 4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 banana
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of light coconut milk
  • ½ cup of coconut water or water
  • Cinnamon & nutmeg to taste
    *Optional ~ 1- 2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Day #24: Sweet Tart Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1/2 cup of cranberries
  • 1 pear
  • 1 rib of celery
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Day #25: Strawberry Kiwi Holiday

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1 cup of strawberries
  • 2 kiwi
  • Fresh ginger root, peeled (to taste)
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

 Day #26: Citrus Sunshine Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1 orange
  • ½ or whole grapefruit
  • Parsley or cilantro (to taste)
  • Fresh ginger root, peeled (to taste)
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Day #27: Persephone’s Envy Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1/2 pomegranate (or ½ cup of juice)
  • 3/4 cup of mango
  • 1 rib of celery
  • Avocado (1/2 or whole)
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Day #28: Sip of Summer Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1/2 cup of strawberries
  • 1/2 cup of mango
  • Parsley or cilantro (to taste)
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Day #29: Sea Breeze Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1/2 cup of cranberries
  • 1/2 cup of pomegranate
  • ½ or whole grapefruit
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Day #30: Glistening Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 rib of celery
  • Avocado (1/2 or whole)
  • Parsley or cilantro ~ or both (to taste)
  • Ginger root (to taste)
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds


Day #31: Celebration Green Smoothie

  • 3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup of cranberries
  • Ginger root to taste
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • 1/2 cup of light coconut milk
  • Raw honey/dates/or banana
  • 1/2 cup coconut water or water
    *Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Printable Shopping Lists and Recipes:
New Year Green Smoothie Challenge ~ 4 Week Shopping List
New Year Green Smoothie Challenge ~ 4 Weeks of Recipes

Pin this post HERE.

Thank you so much for reading and sharing this healthy journey with me. By drinking a green smoothie a day we are giving our healthy New Year’s resolutions a running start. I plan to continue drinking them on a daily basis and I promise to share my favorite combinations. Please share your favorites with me (in either a comment on a post or on my Produce with Amy Facebook Page). Cheers to a productive and healthy 2014! Together we will thrive.

A goal without a plan is just a wish...

 

Week #4 ~ December Green Smoothie Challenge (Recipes & Shopping List)

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.  Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
―    Rumi
31 Day Green Smoothie Challenge

Congratulations to you for reading this post. There may be various reasons that you are reading it: 1. You are in week #4 of our green smoothie challenge, or maybe 2. You stumbled upon my blog because you are researching green smoothies or are looking for new healthy recipes. Regardless, I commend you for placing your health as a priority and making precious time for yourself.

As a Weight Watchers leader for the past six years, I firmly believe the adage, “Small changes can lead to big results.” Yesterday I received a message from a woman who said that for the past three weeks the only change in her diet has been swapping out her breakfast for a green smoothie and she has lost seven pounds. Maybe you have noticed results too. Do you have increased energy? Maybe your cravings for sugar and starchy carbohydrates have decreased and your digestion has improved. Maybe your skin is brighter and your hair and nails are stronger. Perhaps you notice yourself reaching for fresh fruit and vegetables as snacks because you are buying more produce.

Before this challenge I was already making my husband Mike and I a daily green smoothie for breakfast. However, since I had to design recipes for this challenge, this month I have been much more creative with our smoothies. Since I have not been just tossing together my favorite couple combinations, we have consumed a wider range of nutrients since I have been rotating our greens and fruit. So thank you to those who asked for recipes and a shopping list! 🙂

If you are interested in the previous weeks’ posts here they are:

WEEK #1 RECIPES AND SHOPPING LIST

WEEK #2 RECIPES AND SHOPPING LIST

WEEK #3 RECIPES AND SHOPPING LIST

Week #4 December Green Smoothie Challenge Recipes & Shopping ListWeek #4 Shopping List: (Printable List Below)

  • Greens (I suggest a combination of greens ~ spinach, turnip greens, kale, chard, carrot tops, beet greens, or spring mix and dark green lettuces) Since the week #4 recipes are for 10 days, you may want to buy enough for the first five-7 days and purchase more mid-week.
  • Bananas (plan for ½-1 banana per smoothie, unless you plan to sweeten with honey, dates, or another sweetener)
  • Celery
  • Frozen strawberries
  • Frozen mango
  • Bag of fresh cranberries
  • 3 kiwi
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1-2 avocado (two recipes call for avocado so it depends if you want 1/2 or a whole avocado in your smoothie)
  • 1 pomegranate (if you do not have a Vitamix or a high-speed blender you may want to buy a high quality pomegranate juice so you do not have seeds in your smoothie)
  • 2 grapefruit
  • 4 limes and 1 lemon
  • Fresh ginger root
  • Parsley and/or cilantro
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Optional ~ chia seeds, hemp seeds, or flax seeds and coconut water

Printable Shopping List: Week Four December Green Smoothie Challenge Shopping List

WEEK THREE RECIPES
*Each recipe will render approximately 3-4 cups. If you want a smaller amount reduce the ingredients. If you want to drink part of the smoothie and save the rest for a snack they will keep fresh for a few days in the refrigerator (some separation may occur but they will still be nutritionally intact. This means they can also be made the night before to save precious time in the morning). I often pack a green smoothie to sip on my 1/2 hour commute home from work.

Printable recipes posted below.

Day #22 December Green Smoothie ChallengeSunday ~ Day #22: Tropical Dream Green Smoothie
*3 – 4 – cups of your greens of choice
*1 banana
*1/2 cup of mango
*1/2 cup of strawberries
*Cilantro or parsley to taste
*Lime juice and zest (to taste. I like to use the whole lime but you may want ½)
* ½ cup of light coconut milk
*1/2 cup of coconut water/or water
*Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Day #23 December Green Smoothie ChallengeMonday ~ Day #23:  Apple Pie Green Smoothie
*3 – 4 cups of your greens of choice
*1 red apple
*1 banana
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/2 cup of light coconut milk
* ½ cup of coconut water or water
*Cinnamon & nutmeg to taste
*Optional ~ 1- 2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Day #24 December Green Smoothie ChallengeTuesday ~ Day #24: Sweet Tart Green Smoothie
*3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
*1/2 cup of cranberries
*1 pear
*1 rib of celery
*Juice and zest of 1 lemon
*Raw honey/dates/or banana
*1 cup coconut water or water
*Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Day #25 December Green Smoothie ChallengeWednesday ~ Day #25: Strawberry Kiwi Holiday
*3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
*1 cup of strawberries
*2 kiwi
*Fresh ginger root, peeled (to taste)
*Raw honey/dates/or banana
*1 cup coconut water or water
*Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Day #26 December Green Smoothie ChallengeThursday ~ Day #26: Citrus Sunshine Green Smoothie
*3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
*1 orange
*1 grapefruit
*Parsley or cilantro (to taste)
*Fresh ginger root, peeled (to taste)
*Juice and zest of 1 lime
*Raw honey/dates/or banana
*1 cup coconut water or water
*Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Day #27 December Green Smoothie ChallengeFriday ~ Day #27: Persephone’s Envy Green Smoothie
*3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
*1/2 pomegranate (or ½ cup of juice)
*3/4 cup of mango
*1 rib of celery
*Avocado (1/2 or whole)
*Raw honey/dates/or banana
*1 cup coconut water or water
*Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Day #28 December Green Smoothie ChallengeSaturday ~ Day #28: Sip of Summer Green Smoothie
*3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
*1/2 cup of strawberries
*1/2 cup of mango
*Parsley or cilantro (to taste)
*Raw honey/dates/or banana
*1 cup coconut water or water
*Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Day #29 December Green Smoothie ChallengeSunday ~ Day #29: Sea Breeze Green Smoothie
*3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
*1/2 cup of cranberries
*1/2 cup of pomegranate
*1 grapefruit
*Raw honey/dates/or banana
*1 cup coconut water or water
*Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Day #30 Glistening Green SmoothieMonday ~ Day #30: Glistening Green Smoothie
*3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
*1 kiwi
*1 green apple
*1 rib of celery
*Avocado (1/2 or whole)
*Parsley or cilantro ~ or both (to taste)
*Ginger root (to taste)
*Raw honey/dates/or banana
*1 cup coconut water or water
*Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Day #31 December Green Smoothie ChallengeTuesday ~ Day #31: Celebration Green Smoothie
*3 -4 cups of your greens of choice
*1 orange
*1/2 cup of cranberries
*Ginger root to taste
*Cinnamon to taste
*1/2 cup of light coconut milk
*Raw honey/dates/or banana
*1/2 cup coconut water or water
*Optional ~ 1-2 Tablespoons of chia seeds/flax seeds/or hemp seeds

Printable Recipes: Week Four December Green Smoothie Challenge Recipes

Thank you so much for joining me in this challenge. By drinking a green smoothie a day we are giving our healthy New Year’s resolutions a running start. I plan to continue drinking them on a daily basis and I promise to share my favorite combinations. Please share your favorites with me (in either a comment on a post or on my Produce with Amy Facebook Page). Cheers to a productive and healthy 2014!

Pin this post HERE.
December Green Smoothie Challenge