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.

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

December Green Smoothie Challenge“Above all, challenge yourself. You may well surprise yourself
at what strengths you have, what you can accomplish.”
Cecile M. SpringerWeek #1 December Green Smoothie Challenge Recipes & Shopping List

I am thankful for the December Green Smoothie Challenge on many levels. It prevents me from falling into a green smoothie rut, it inspires my creativity and desire to generate new recipes, and it allows me to network with others to give/receive support and share ideas. If you are just joining us, you may want to read: Week #1 ~ December Green Smoothie Challenge (Recipes & Shopping List). The post contains tips and advice to those who are brand new to green smoothies and also recipes and a shopping list for the first seven days. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Also, please share your recipe reviews or your own favorite recipes in the comment section or on my Produce with Amy Facebook Page.

These margarita glasses were a gift from my WW members and were hand painted by one of my member's mothers.

These margarita glasses were a gift from my WW members and were hand painted by one of my member’s mothers.

While creating recipes, my intention is to keep the green smoothies simple and to work from a shopping list that will not be too expensive. The recipes would be easy to tweak if you do not like a particular ingredient. Also, if you have any “leftovers” from last week you may decide to make amendments to the shopping list. If you like your smoothies sweet, you may want to buy extra fruit. Bananas work well as a sweetener. If you have a banana allergy pineapple, mango, and oranges are all high-sugar fruit. Sometimes I sweeten my smoothies with medjool dates and some people add a little raw honey or maple syrup.Sunrise Green Smoothie

Most of my recipes make approximately three cups. While I drink mine for breakfast, I often make extra so I can sip on it during my half hour commute home from work. One of the benefits of green smoothies are that they can help fight food cravings and sometimes my husband Mike and I will drink one before dinner or as a post-dinner snack.

In the second week’s shopping list I have included spinach and also kale. 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)

Tart Cherry Juice from Michigan

Tart Cherry Juice from Michigan

it does a great job of masking strong-tasting greens. In the past I also purchased tart cherry juice to flavor my green smoothies. Tart cherry juice is pricey (but it tastes terrific) and a little goes a long way. Plus, tart cherries have many health benefits. 

When 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 buy 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).

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.

December Green Smoothie Challenge Week #2 Recipes and Shopping List
Week Two ~ December Green Smoothie Shopping List:
*
Shopping list is based on one Green Smoothie a day. If you are making green smoothies for two, or more, you will want to increase the amount you purchase.

  • 2 (9 ounce bags) of spinach
  • 1 bunch of kale (or an alternate green. If you are adventurous, try a variety of greens in place of the spinach)
  • 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
  • Can 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 (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).

Printable List:Week Two December Green Smoothie Challenge Shopping List

WEEK TWO RECIPES.
Each recipe should render approximately 3 CUPS of GREEN SMOOTHIE. They are so delicious you may want to make extra (or leave a little) for a mid-day snack.
Printable recipes posted below.

*If you plan on drinking your smoothies in the morning you may prep your smoothies the night before. You could even freeze ingredients in individual containers for the week. Sometimes when I know I am going to be in a time pinch in the morning I blend the night before and they stay fresh.

Day #8 December Green Smoothie ChallengeSunday ~ Day #8:  Jamaican Dream Green Smoothie
(My husband Mike and I got married on the beach in Jamaica and this smoothie transports me back to the tropics. We feasted on pumpkin soup and loved fresh fruit and frozen drinks)

  • 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 has a strong taste 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 Green Smoothie ChallengeMonday ~ 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 December Green Smoothie ChallengeTuesday ~ 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)
  • Celery (1 rib)
  • 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 Green Smoothie ChallengeWednesday ~ 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 December Green Smoothie ChallengeThursday ~ Day #12: Autumn Harvest Green Smoothie

  • 3-4 cups of spinach
  • 3/4 – 1 cup of pumpkin
  • 1 pear
  • Ginger root (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/2 cup canned light coconut milk
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of water 
  • *Optional ~ banana (depending on how sweet you want it to be)

Day #13 December Green Smoothie ChallengeFriday ~ Day #13: Pina Colada Green Smoothie

  • 3-4 cups of spinach
  • 1 cup of pineapple
  • 1/2 – 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup of light canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup of coconut water or regular water
  • Garnish with coconut

Day #14 December Green Smoothie ChallengeSaturday ~ Day #14: Citrus Fusion Green Smoothie

  • 1/3 bunch of kale
  • 1 orange (you could also zest the orange 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

Printable recipes:Week Two December Green Smoothie Challenge Recipes

Week Three Green Smoothie Challenge Recipes

Pin this blog post here.

Whether you are new to green smoothies, or a veteran blender, I hope that my posts are helpful to you. I would love your feedback on the daily thread I post on my Produce with Amy Facebook page. Please like my page so you can join the conversation. Cheers to health and thriving in 2014!
December Green Smoothie Challenge

Week #1 ~ December Green Smoothie Challenge (Recipes & Shopping List)

Visualize this thing you want. See it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin. ~Robert Collier
December Green Smoothie Challenge
First off, I want to thank you for joining me in the December Green Smoothie Challenge. 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. A frozen banana is key because it gives the smoothie sweetness and makes it creamy. I buy a couple bunches of bananas a week and when they get ripe I peel and toss into a bowl or bag in the freezer. 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).

Sláinte!

Sláinte!

For this challenge I will come up with recipes that you can follow if you would like. Please feel free to experiment with other combinations and please share your favorites in the comment section or on my Produce with Amy Facebook Page.

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.

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!

I have fresh mint growing in my garden and love to add it to smoothies, fruit salad, and even savory dishes.

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! 🙂

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.

Week #1 December Green Smoothie Challenge Recipes & Shopping List

If you do not enjoy the listed fruit or berries, substitute them with your favorite. The amount Cherry Limeade Green Smoothieof fruit and greens that you put into each smoothie will vary depending on your personal taste. I always recommend that those who are new to green smoothies should add just 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. You may want to purchase extra “just in case.” When I first starting drinking green smoothies I found that bananas were essential to giving the smoothie its sweetness (frozen are also best). If you do not like bananas (or have an allergy), you may want to add a touch of your sweetener of choice: dates, raw honey, maple syrup, or raw sugar).

  • Spinach (3 ~ nine ounce bags of spinach) For the first week my plan includes just spinach. Week two I plan to incorporate other greens. For those who are not a stranger to green smoothies, you may want to add in some other greens such as kale.
  • Bananas (5-7)
  • 2 limes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • 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 will work fine but coconut water is said to have positive health benefits. I usually buy one large can per two green smoothies or I buy a couple liter containers)
  • Chia seeds

Printable list: Week One December Green Smoothie Shopping List

December Green Smoothie Challenge

WEEK ONE RECIPES. Each recipe should render approximately 3 CUPS of GREEN SMOOTHIE. They are so delicious you may want to make extra (or leave a little) for a mid-day snack.  Printable recipes posted below.

*If you plan on drinking your smoothies in the morning you may prep your smoothies the night before. You could even freeze ingredients in individual containers for the week. Sometimes when I know I am going to be in a time pinch in the morning I blend the night before and they stay fresh.
Day #1 Sunday Energizer

Sunday ~ Day #1: Sunday Energizer Smoothie (Click here to read the original blog post)

  •   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 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)
  • 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 water or regular water

Day #2 Sunrise Green Smoothie

Monday ~ Day #2: Sunrise Green Smoothie (Click here to read the original blog post)

  • 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 or regular 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)

December Green Smoothie ChallengeTuesday ~ Day #3: Cherry Limeade Green Smoothie (Click here to read the original blog post)

  • 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 December Green Smoothie ChallengeWednesday ~ 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 #5Thursday ~ 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 1/4 cup)
  • 1 Teaspoon of chia seeds
  • 1 cup of coconut water or regular water

December Green Smoothie ChallengeFriday ~ 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

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

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.

  • 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

Printable recipes: Week One December Green Smoothie Recipes

Pin this blog post here.

Week Two Green Smoothie Recipes

Please feel free to share this challenge with your friends and family. The more people involved the more ideas, tips, recipes, and inspiration we will all receive. Starting December 1st, I will be posting a daily thread on my Produce with Amy Facebook page. Please like my page so you can join the conversation. Cheers to health and thriving in 2014!
December Green Smoothie Challenge