The best greens for smoothies cover a wide spectrum of leafy greens with everything from staples like spinach and kale to less orthodox choices like dandelion greens and collard greens.
Using greens in smoothies also packs a power punch of nutrients that squeamish eaters may otherwise completely miss out on.
But when you blend them in a green smoothie, it becomes an easy and delightful way to get more green nutrition in the diet.
Read on to discover the best and healthiest greens that you can add to your smoothie.
What are the best greens for smoothies?
Quick and easy to prepare, incorporate the goodness of these green gems in the form of a smoothie.
Kale, being the king of green nutrition, gets the top spot on this list. However, it comes with tough green leaves that may not blend evenly, so simply chop them up before putting them in the blender.
Kale delivers good amounts of vitamins A, B6, and C along with calcium, iron, protein, and potassium per serving.
Spinach is a close second to kale nutritionally and has a subtler flavor that can work well with a number of other ingredients. Spinach smoothies are popular as the mild spinach taste doesn’t have an overwhelming impact but still packs powerful nutrition within.
Enjoy a healthy dose of calcium, protein, fiber, and vitamins with every serving of your spinach smoothie.
Read More: How to freeze spinach for smoothies
Arugula, typically associated with salads, can give smoothies an interesting twist. You can pair it up with spinach, substitute it for spinach, or use it as a standalone green ingredient in your smoothie.
It will add a nice serving of calcium, potassium, protein, fiber, and beta-carotene to your drink.
Swiss chard has soft, supple leaves that won’t give your blender a hard time. It comes with a slightly salty taste which can pair well with the sweetness of fruits.
You get a good kick of vitamins, potassium, magnesium, protein, and dietary fiber with Swiss chard.
Bok choy, or Chinese cabbage, is a stir-fry staple that can also be used in green smoothies with equal success. It will surely add variety to your green smoothies with its slightly bitter taste but that can be balanced out with the fruit that you use.
Bok choy is a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamins C and K while being extremely low in calories.
Even green veggies like broccoli can enjoy the spotlight in a green smoothie. Although better known for its use in stir-fries and salads, broccoli pairs up nicely with bold fruit flavors for a nutritionally dense smoothie.
Broccoli florets can be challenging for the blender, but if you use around one cup or less, you should get a smooth blend.
A broccoli smoothie delivers plenty of dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, protein, and vitamins.
Celery has a distinctly bold flavor which if you enjoy can take your green smoothie to the next level. Pair it up with green apple or banana to give it a sweet, tart flavor that is chock full of health benefits.
A celery smoothie will add potassium, fiber, calcium, and vitamins to your diet.
Read More: How long does celery last?
Dandelion greens make for an excellent detox smoothie that will cleanse the liver, gallbladder, and help support kidney function.
These cleansing properties are paired with good supplies of vitamins A, C, E, and K along with calcium and iron.
Because these greens have a bitter taste, they are best used when paired with sweet fruits like pineapple, bananas, strawberries, or other ripe berries.
Like kale, collard greens also have tough leaves with a slightly bitter taste. But as an ingredient in a green smoothie, this can be masked by adding either sweet vegetables like carrots or fruit.
Collards are a good source of vitamins A, C, and K along with folate, manganese, and calcium.
Like dandelion greens, these also make a good detox smoothie with their antioxidant content.
How to make a green smoothie the right way
“Green” does not strictly mean that you cannot use other non-green ingredients in your smoothie. In fact, the best green smoothies are often a clever blend of fruits and vegetables mixed with leafy greens to improve the flavor.
Use the 60/40 method
For people just starting out with green smoothies, this is a great tip to follow. Start off by using a 60:40 ratio of fruits/vegetables to leafy greens so that you don’t end up with nasty gunk that tastes like grass.
With time, you can experiment some more with your foods and slowly increase the green content while cutting back on fruits.
Blend your smoothie in stages
To get a smooth result, don’t throw all your smoothie ingredients in the blender at once.
Start off with blending the greens and a liquid base first. When well-blended, add in your chunkier ingredients and blend to get a chunk-free smoothie.
Use frozen fruits
Freezing your fruits (and even cut up greens) beforehand will give you a refreshing, frosty drink to enjoy. This technique makes good use of ripe or even slightly overripe fruits without having to waste them.
For the greens, add these straight to the blender without thawing to get the best result.
Read More: What is the best blender for frozen fruit?
Opt for naturally sweet fruits
Using mangoes, bananas, apples, or dates in your smoothie eliminates the need for adding artificial sweeteners to counteract the bitterness of certain greens.
Prepare your green smoothie ahead of time
When on a tight schedule, you can always prepare your smoothie beforehand and store it in the fridge. Make sure to drink it within a day’s time or it may start to discolor, even though the taste will be fine.
If left in the fridge, your smoothie may also separate. Simply give it a shake and you’ll be good to go.
The variety that the best greens for smoothies deliver is immense and the flavors diverse. They are also drinks that are easy to customize and provide ample nourishment, flavor, and satiety.
Green smoothies are also associated with the best health benefits, so why not enjoy these flavors and health perks in a seamless green smoothie?