Green Smoothie Challenge: Final Week

My birthday weekend away consisted of lots of sweets, barbecue, and beer, and for the first time I felt my body actually craving cold greens going one day without a smoothie. I was walking through the beautiful Eucalyptus forest at Montaña de Oro, and then it hit me: not a “Oh, a green smoothie sounds tasty right now,” kind of response, but a “I need liquid greens in my belly, stat!” kind of feeling. It wasn’t how my mind often creates cravings for desserts, for example, but a physical craving for what it actually needed. Our bodies are pretty incredible. Here are the few I downed straight after I got back home to my Vitamix:

Lemon Meringue Pie Green Smoothie Recipe | Sweet Anythings

Lemon Meringue Pie Green Smoothie (above):

emoji Juice of 1 lemon
emoji 1.5 cups of spinach
emoji Half a pear
emoji 1 frozen banana
emoji About a cup of walnuts
emoji A sprinkle of raw cashew pieces
emoji Splash of coconut water
emoji 1 tbsp raw honey
First, blend the greens with the coconut water and lemon juice on a low setting, then add in the other ingredients to keep the temperature nice and cold. I noticed that the higher settings on the Vitamix actually heat up the smoothie because the blades are spinning so fast! Warm smoothies don’t taste too good. Also, loving my free glass straw from Glass Dharma from an Earth Day contest they hosted last month. I wonder if they’ll have anymore giveaways in the future.

Lemon Meringue Pie Green Smoothie Recipe | Sweet AnythingsAbove is another attempt at the green lemon meringue, however I added the basil garnish. Although there was no basil in the smoothie itself, the aroma from the garnish with the creamy citrus taste was really wonderful.

Basil Coconut Green Smoothie Recipe | Sweet AnythingsFinally, my much-needed green smoothie after my weekend away in my Lucidity Festival mason jar. Hooray!

Ingredients:  Spinach, frozen ‘nana, basil, coconut milk, and green apple.

Green Smoothie Challenge: Rainbow Chard

Green smoothie number 18 has to be my favorite yet, and yet I was hesitant to try its secret ingredient (well, not that secret): rainbow chard.

Here’s what turned into liquid magic:

emojiHalf frozen banana
emoji1 stalk rainbow chard
emoji½ cup applesauce
emoji2 ice cubes
emoji½ cup vanilla hemp milk

I also managed to turn a green smoothie into what tasted exactly like melted ice cream. Here’s the recipe:

Melted Nice Cream Green Smoothie

Melted Nice Cream Green Smoothie:

emoji2 frozen bananas
emoji1 avocado
emoji2 tbsp raw unsalted almond butter (from Trader Joe’sI can’t even find this at health food stores!)
emoji4 dates
emojihemp + almond milk
emoji1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract

I was working late photographing my aerial teacher for the newspaper I work at, and decided to turn my usual dinner appetizer into a legit, absolutely guilt-free dessert. This was it. How can you feel guilty about enjoying your greens with no added sugar? Exactly.

Happy blending!

Green Smoothie Challenge: Halfway There

When I signed up for the challenge to drink a green smoothies once a day for thirty days, I wondered how my work schedule would affect my consistency—when I would find time in the day to make them, how often I would need to grocery shop, how adventurous I’d be with ingredientsand I learned that (1) I typically make my green smoothie after work when I have the most time to get creative, and thankfully the sun is out late now; (2) I’m staggering my trips to the grocery store instead of saving up for big trips twice a month like I was before, and going through lots of bananas; and (3) there is definitely some overlap with ingredients used, but surprisingly, I haven’t made the exact same smoothie twice! On to recipes…

Does anyone else remember that children’s book The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear? This photo of green smoothie #15 reminds me of those luscious strawberry illustrations.

The Red Ripe Strawberry Green Smoothie | Sweet Anythings

The Red Ripe Strawberry:

🌿 TJ’s frozen tropical fruit
🌿 ½ cup spinach
🌿 the rest of 2 leftover zucchinis from making zoodles
🌿 juice of 1 lime
🌿 handful of walnuts
🌿 splash of coconut water and coconut milk
🌿 strawberry for garnish

Tropical Protein Green Smoothie | Sweet Anythings

Tropical Protein Green Smoothie:

🌿 1 cup spinach
🌿 3 tangerines
🌿 TJ’s frozen tropical fruit
🌿 1 tbsp vanilla hemp protein (gives it a nice nutty flavor, too)
🌿 ¼ can coconut milk
🌿 splash of almond milk and coconut water

Chia Pudding Green Smoothie | Sweet Anythings

Chia Seed Pudding Green Smoothie:

🌿 Like a dimwit, I forgot to write down the recipe for this one (as I tend to do), but a main ingredient I hadn’t tried before was chia seed pudding. Add to the blender at the very end once everything else is blended so as not to grind up the seeds and keep that tapioca-like texture. Sounds like I got all fancy and had this planned out, but I really just used whatever I had left in the fridge, also including the rest of a zucchini I saved from made “zoodles.”

Happy blending!

Green Smoothie Challenge: Weekend Away

Keeping up with a 30 day challenge is a lot tougher than I thought when it comes to going away for the weekend, but not all of us are perfect, right? Instead of bringing along a mini blender with me, I figured of all places to find a green smoothie for sale, it would be here: Lucidity Festival, a transformational festival up in the hills behind Santa Barbara. I was happy to find this oasis of a drink among the dust:

Green Smoothie Challenge | Sweet Anythings (@ chershi on Instagram)

Orange juice, bananas, berries, alfalfa, wheatgrass, barley, chlorella, spirulina, nettle, rosehips, licorice, fennel, dandelion, kelp, beet, ginger, burdock, Stevia, peppermint powder

Wow, I thought my recipes were complex! Now, I admit, I didn’t make a smoothie the morning we went up to the festival, but nobody’s perfect and I’ll make it up. After a dusty, rejuvenating weekend full of love, childlike adventure, and play–I definitely found a silk hanging from an oak tree and “performed” publicly for the first time to music playing on a stage nearby–I came home to my Vitamix and promptly made myself a kiwi green smoothie.

Green Smoothie Challenge | Sweet Anythings (@ chershi on Instagram)

It was delicious, but unfortunately my throat became pretty scratchy and irritated. Does anyone else experience that after eating kiwis? And no, it’s not because I didn’t peel them :-P

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 10

This is my chocolate version of a green smoothie, and what I learned from this one is not to overuse the cacao powder, because it is quite bitter by itself and you’ll end up using lots more sweeteners to cover it up in the end. It sure looks pretty next to my graptopetalum, though! (Thanks, Devon, for identifying my succulent.)

Chocolate Green Smoothie | Sweet Anythings

My portions were all off, but the ingredients were:

kale and spinach
frozen berries
raw organic cacao powder
almond milk
raw honey

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 9

Good morning, friends! Here’s yesterday’s green smoothie, a perfect example that not all creations will be works of art (or even made before the sun goes down), but they sure still taste good! The recipe is, again, very simple, quick, and easy to make because you just toss it all in the blender. I personally invested in a reconditioned Vitamix to save some money, and I would never know the difference. Here’s the recipe:

½ cup spinach
½ cup kale
½ avocado
½ frozen banana
2 dates
handful of frozen berries
handful of green grapes (even better if you pop ’em in the freezer)
splash of almond milk

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day Nine

The color was definitely verging on brown because of all the deep red and purple berries, but with the sunset lighting and thanks to my ever-growing succulent patio garden, it looks pretty temping, don’t you think? I would love to see what other green smoothie recipes people are coming up with. Find me on Instagram or share a comment below! Until tomorrow…

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 8

This is by far my most delicious-looking green smoothie this month, and I think I’m getting better at styling and using the natural light. Here’s this delicious creation featuring kiwis! Had a nice time sipping on it while watching the sun set after photographing it (and getting some strange looks from neighbors as I tried to steady my shot while balancing on a plastic chair).

1 cup of spinach
2 kiwis, peeled
1 small green apple
½  avocado
1 frozen banana
coconut water
raw honey to taste

30 Days of Green Smoothies DAY EIGHT | Sweet Anythings

Green Kiwi Smoothie

This morning, I researched which sweeteners are actually “healthy”, or really, just not as bad as processed sugar. I typically only sweeten my smoothies with fruit or dates, or if I’m out of both, I might squeeze in some maple syrup or raw honey. Here’s a pretty good article that sums up the difference between glycemic index and fructose content and which is a better factor in determining how healthy or unhealthy sugars are. Here are the points that stood out to me most:

  • While agave nectar, for example, may have a low glycemic index (meaning it won’t cause blood sugar to spike the way sugar will) it contains 70-90% fructose while regular sugar is about 50%! It’s also very processed in the way cane sugar is.
  • Whether it’s raw, organic, or just regular cane sugar, your body can’t tell the difference. I thought raw/organic was always best, but it turns out in this case, it’s not. Same goes for “evaporated cane juice.” Yep, I thought these were better alternatives, too!
  • I use coconut sugar on my oatmeal almost every morning, but apparently it’s also not so good. Any added sugar isn’t great for you, but this one is much less-processed and only contains 35-45% fructose, so I’ll use it in moderation.

My journey to eat healthier, I found out, isn’t rocket science; it just takes a bit of self-education, common sense, and good decision-making. Keep up an interest in staying informed about nutrition and you’ll find a wealth of knowledge. Hope all of you green smoothie-makers are having fun out there this month! Here’s the link to the challenge I’m participating in, and see my Instagram for daily smoothie photos.