Green Smoothies – A Purist’s Perspective


Whenever I start teaching at a new locale, my inaugural class is “Raw Foods 101” – teaching the basics of the raw foods/raw fusion lifestyle with demo’s of delectable green smoothies and scrumptious salads.

It’s always very uplifting for me to get enthusiastic feedback from  participants on how they are integrating green smoothies into their lifestyles and how their families are also enjoying them.  Often they share their favorite recipes with me, but invariably their concoctions contain ingredients that I would not recommend.

I admit to being a purist on green smoothies:  While experimenting from time to time with adding some nuts, nut milk, protein powders, dairy etc. is perfectly okay – hey, variety IS the spice of life, after all — I am extremely loyal to Victoria Boutenko’s (Green for Life) marvelous creation and believe that the formula works, as is

Here’s the perfect formula for a green smoothie:

  • 40% Greens (spinach, chard, collard, kale, lettuce, sprouts, edible weeds, etc.) placed in the blender first, closest to the blades +
  • 60% fruit of your choice or combination of them  (of course you can always have one ALL green) +
  • about 2 inches of filtered water +
  • Ice – they always taste better and go done more smoothly when nice and cold

Tip:  adding 1/2 to 1 banana or some mint leaves does wonders for camoflauging the “green” taste

Blend and enjoy!

Options:  If you need to sweeten it up a bit, some stevia, xylitol (birch-derived is best), honey, maple syrup or even a few dates.

Occasionally I add some Superfoods (chia gel, maca, mesquite, hempseeds,  goji, acai or goldenberries) if the smoothie is going to be my sole food intake for several hours.  (I’ll be doing lots of posts on Superfoods soon!)

What I don’t recommend adding to your green smoothie:

Protein powders, nut milks, yogurt, dairy milk, oils, nuts (other than hemp seeds, occasionally)

None of those items are necessary!  There is plenty of protein in the greens, so no need to add any protein powders, vegan or otherwise.  Fats don’t mix well with the greens and fruits – those would make for poor food combining, thus cancelling out some of the benefits of the smoothie.

About once a week I make an absolutely sinful Superfoods Shake – those have protein powders, nut milks and loads of superfoods.  And I will share that recipe very soon.

Until then, below are 2 green smoothie recipes that are always a hit in my classes, dinners or workshops.  For more information on the amazing benefits of green smoothies and lots of “creative green-ing” tips, see Volume I of Raw Fusion: Better Living Through Living Foods.



Ingredients: 1/2 bunch of swiss chard, 1 apple, 3/4
cup fresh or frozen raspberries, 1 banana, 1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, filtered water, ice (optional)

Directions: Place washed greens first in blender or Vitamix, cut apple, discarding the seeds, add the rest of the ingredients and add about 2 inches of water. If you like it cold, add some ice. Blend until smooth and add sweetener, if needed.

 Watch me make a Green Smoothie here:

Note:  Because of the raspberries, the coloring on this blend comes up more of a brownish red.  Most of your smoothies will be quite green.  To get kids past the “ick” factor either put the drink in a covered sippy cup or tell them that the green makes it some kind of “monster mush” with special powers.  They will love green smoothies if you add bananas or mint!


1 bunch of cilantro – use mainly the leaves

1 cup of pineapple

1/2 cup of strawberries

1/4 cup of water and lots of ice.


For more Green Smoothie recipes see Raw Fusion Recipes.

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  1. Hi I agree with the information on ingredients and getting back to basics. I saw a blog where they put icecream in as well. I don’t drink dairy but just the thought of putting anything milky in with the fruit-urggh. I do add chia seeds to make it filling and coconut oil-this has really improved skin and nails etc and strangely my gallstones. I saw Victoria Boutenko recently in Sydney at her greensmoothie talk. Inspiring- I’m about to start doing classes as well. My testimonial is on p125 of the new edition of Green For Life. She didn’t credit it to me just NA but it is me!

  2. Hi Jane – we LOVE Victoria B! (She wrote the Foreword to Raw Fusion.)
    I had a smoothie in NC that had coconut oil in it and it was unbelievably good. I use coconut oil a lot in my diet and also as a body and hand lotion, Keep us posted on your classes!

  3. Hi – I am not sure what you are asking – did you want to know if you can store the smoothies? According to Victoria Boutenko, you can place the covered smoothie in the fridge for up to 3 days. I prefer to drink them fresh or maybe just a few hours refrigerated. thanks for the feedback

  4. WOA! Thanks for waking me up. I know what Victoria teaches as I started with her books. And then I listen to David Wolfe and others and have been adding his protein powder along with Spirulina to my morning green smoothies. OOPS! I need to go back and simplify my life again. LOL He really pushes the super foods. What do you think? I know that Spirulina has been touted as great for allergies which I’ve had more than my share of. Since I’m having Sinus Surgery in May to eliminate one of my problems, I was going to stick with the spirulina in hopes that I won’t need shots. HMM! Off to pray about all this. 🙂

      1. Carol – I really think that spirulina is fine as long as it’s in a basic state (not as part of a mixed protein powder, in other words) It’s pretty much like adding another green to the mix! I take spirulina tablets several times a day when eating carbs as it’s a very digestible form of protein that (in my opinion) helps to slow down the absorption of glucose in the bloodstream. What I don’t like to add are the protein powders, nut milks, dairy etc. I sometimes add a little coconut oil, hempseeds, chia gel or mesquite if it’s going to be awhile until I eat again.

          1. Yes, I definitely use superfoods in other things – like the LJ’s Green Fusion Super Shake (it’s in the book and I posted something on the page today, too about it. Occasionally use SF in GS but that’s the exception, not the rule. Most days our GS are literally just greens, fruits, water and ice.

          2. SF? I am taking some supplements for S.A.D. and Vitamin D deficiency (I was REALLY low and I’m doing D3 along with the Vit D lamp at my chiropractors office). Those are recent additions. Thinking about finishing up the bottles and whether or not I’m going to continue them.

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