80/10/10 Recipe: Banana Cherry Pineapple Green Smoothie, Green Smoothie FAQ and How To Make Your Green Smoothie Look More Appetizing

by on February 28, 2012


80/10/10 Banana Cherry Pineapple Green Smoothie

Today I thought I’d share another fat free raw vegan smoothie recipe with you  (this one includes cherries and pineapples) and go over some questions some of you may have on green smoothies. If you’re looking for the recipe, you can scroll to the bottom of the post.

What is a Green Smoothie?

 

A green smoothie is basically just a raw fruit smoothie with some raw greens added to it for more nutrition. It can look green, red, purple or even brown coloured depending on what the ingredients are.

Why Would I Want To Add Greens To My Smoothie?

 

Most of us don’t eat giant raw salads or plates and plates of green vegetables every day and when we do eat greens we often don’t chew them well enough or even that long at all. A green smoothie is a great compromise for those who want to get more fresh greens in their diet with little fuss. It’s also great for those who don’t like the taste of leafy greens or want to eat all their greens raw.  Eating heads and heads of leafy greens every day can be tough too.

What Kind Of Greens Should I Put In My Green Smoothie?

 

If you’re just starting out and not sure what would be a “safe bet” to have your first green smoothie or you’re making one for someone else who is really skeptical, you should try something mild like a cup or two of baby spinach, mâche (lambs lettuce/corn salad) or a few leaves of lettuce.

If you’re already used to green smoothies you can use the above, or also try adding celery stalks, kale, Swiss chard, dandelion greens, turnip greens, beet greens, etc.

If you’re really adventurous and can stand bitter/strong greens like mustard, baby spring mix and collards you can try a little of those to start.

How Do I Make A Green Smoothie Then?

 

I would recommend to start with ripe bananas, a little bit of water, your favourite frozen fruit (pineapple, mango, peaches, berries etc) and a cup or handful or two of greens. Blend it and then taste test it before deciding if it needs more fruit or greens to your liking.

BTW, these are ripe bananas. Please DO NOT use anything less ripe than these or you could end up with s starchy (dry and pasty) bland smoothie and not enjoy it. Note the one on the right is the ripest and will taste much sweeter than the two on the left.

Ripe Spotted Bananas Turned Ripe

Your first green smoothie might look like this:

2-3 ripe bananas
1-2 cups baby spinach
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup water

Green Smoothie Troubleshooting FAQ:

 

80/10/10 Banana Cherry Pineapple Green Smoothie

My Green Smoothie Tastes Awful/Bad! What Did I Do Wrong?

 

The first suspect is that you used unripe/sour fruit for the base of it. Unripe bananas, sour peaches, sour nectarines, sour mango etc. Your fruit should be soft and give to the touch. I made a youtube video about How To Tell If Fruit Is Ripe if you want to check it out.

If your smoothie is really bitter/smelly/awful tasting you probably used too strong of a green or too much of it. I would scale back to a handful or two and blend and then taste test before deciding if you want to add more greens to it.

If you did not add unripe fruit or too many greens, you probably added some kind of bitter powder to your smoothie and the taste is overpowering the flavour. Omit or reduce this amount.

My Green Smoothie Is All Gritty And Has A Weird Texture! What Did I Do Wrong?

 

If your smoothie has a weird texture like you are drinking juice with the fibre put back into it and  it’s lumpy and not smooth you used fruit with mostly insoluble fibre.

Apple skins have insoluble fibre (think hard to digest and sweeps through your digestive tract) and some soluble fibre inside their flesh. Same with pears, pineapple, berries, grapes and greens. If you just make a pear/apple + greens smoothie or a berries + greens smoothie you are going to have a really BAD smoothie. It’s not going to be very nice to drink and the fibre will sink to the bottom.

Fruit that makes smoothies “stick” together (because of higher amounts of soluble fibre) and have a creamy taste are bananas, mangoes, papaya, peaches, nectarines etc. You want to make sure you add at least 1 or 2 large pieces of these fruits for the base of your smoothie to have an even texture.

What Should I Not Add To My Green Smoothie?

 

Most importantly, please do not add anything like oil (flax oil, olive oil, coconut oil, coconut butter, fish oil etc) to your green smoothie. These are refined products and are 100% fat at 120 calories per tablespoon. If you are trying to lose weight or eat for health you do not need to add a 100% refined product to your otherwise healthy smoothie. If you want some “good fats” you can try a tablespoon or two of ground chia, ground flax seed (linseed) or hemp seed (hearts). Getting your omega 3 essential fatty acids from a whole food and not a processed (and possibly rancid) source like oil is preferred. Also, you would probably enjoy a tablespoon of oil much more over a salad or steamed greens than hidden in a smoothie (if you chose to eat it).

I also don’t recommend adding any raw animal products (like raw eggs) to smoothies because of the potential health hazards. I don’t recommend animal products for health anyways, but it is especially hazardous to eat animal products raw mixed into something as you won’t be able to tell if it was “off” or contaminated.

Other things I find unnecessary in smoothies are: yogurt, sugar, sorbet, ice-cream, artificial sweeteners, pop/soda etc.  These foods are not health foods and aren’t necessary for a healthy diet, and they just add more processed food and sugar to your smoothies anyway.  In the case of yogurt, I am against dairy for health reasons. Non dairy yogurts are more of a treat food. Often they contain a lot of sugars, fat, chemicals and preservatives so it’s not something I would recommend to eat daily for health. Probiotics can offer health benefits without excess chemicals or calories as well. If you want to make your own yogurt this is certainly much healthier than store bought too.

Green powders like wheat grass or barley grass are pretty strong. If you add them to your smoothie, it’s going to taste like grass! And Possibly make you gag… (that’s me anyway) And unless you REALLY love the taste of grass in your smoothie, I wouldn’t recommend doing it.

Raw cacao and cocoa should be avoided, or used only occasionally.  They have a lot of caffeine are highly addicting. If you are doing so already you might notice that you can’t wait to have your daily chocolate hit and could eat more than just one chocolate smoothie given the chance. I also don’t like using cacao to mask bitter tasting raw powders and protein powders as it tricks you into drinking something you otherwise would not eat and can lead to overeating as well. I found banana cacao smoothies far too addicting and had to cut it out.

Raw vegetables especially ones like carrots or beets, they are really hard and gritty and will not add a nice flavour or texture to your smoothie. Celery I find works ok if it’s 2-3 stalks and you add some bananas to it.

A smoothie should be a healthy meal, not a witchy concoction of fragmented processed food you would never eat on it’s own. In the sense where you wouldn’t open up a jar of powder or pills and eat it with your meal. A smoothie is for getting healthy food into you easier if you don’t have time to chew, not to be your own “vitamin water” to dump all kinds of junk into.

If you want to add some supplements or powders to your diet, it’s best to know if you need them or not. Get a blood test and test for any deficiencies and then if you add something use one thing at a time, and not half a dozen different things.  If one is giving you benefits, another negative reactions and the rest are doing nothing, you won’t really know, you’ll just have wasted a lot of money on supplements. It’s much better to experiment with one thing at a time on your body if you are unsure if it is good or bad for you to include in your diet. (This does not pertain to fruits and vegetables, unless you suspect an allergy towards a specific one)

Other things I don’t add to smoothies are milks or ice. Milks are not really necessary in that I prefer to get most of my calories from whole foods like fruit and I use milks more in dressings or creamy soup recipes, so there’s no need to double up and add them to my smoothies and make them fattier.  Ice is also unnecessary as it waters down your smoothie and if you have a cheaper blender it makes it really hard to blend and gives it a gritty texture as well. I prefer to add frozen fruit if I want to cool my smoothie down.

How Do I Make My Green Smoothie Look More Appealing/Appetizing and Not So Ugly?

 

This is especially important for those new to green smoothies and children and/or spouses that would probably refuse to drink a smoothie with greens or “vegetables” in it. How dare you try to sneak in healthy veggies into their breakfast right?

It’s fairly easy. Basically start with a base of something white or yellow like bananas, mangoes, peaches etc. and then add your greens and pick a purple, red, or blue fruit or berry to add to your smoothie.

This smoothie below has greens in it, but you would never know.  It just looks like a red smoothie and is pretty “normal” looking.

If you add something like black kale and some berries to your smoothie it may end up looking more brown. For yourself you may not mind but for newbies to smoothies prettier always gives a more positive reaction to it.

I used to get teased constantly at my old job for bringing in “monster green concoctions” for breakfast every day and my boss would stop the meetings and ask me what I was drinking it freaked him out so much.  As soon as I started putting blueberries in it, people stopped caring! lol

80/10/10 Banana Cherry Pineapple Green Smoothie

80/10/10: Banana Cherry Pineapple Green Smoothie

Serves 1-2

Approx: 506 calories

Ingredients:

3 ripe bananas
2 cups packed baby spinach
1 cup frozen or fresh pineapple
1 cup frozen black cherries (or fresh) (or berries of choice)
1/2-1 cup filtered water (optional to thin or blend)

Directions:

Place ingredients into Vitamix in order listed and blend until smooth. If you have a cheaper blender you may want to add the water and bananas first and blend and then add the other ingredients and blend.

Additional Tips:

I get my black frozen cherries from Costco in Canada. I don’t know if they just started carrying them, but I was pleased as cherry and pineapple go together so well and is one of my favourite combos. If you’re in the USA I know that H-E-B (in Texas) and Dole have black cherries in the frozen fruit department of many grocery stores. You can also use frozen raspberries if you don’t have cherries. It just adds more seeds to the smoothie, so get out your dental floss!

What do you think of this recipe? Did you learn something about green smoothie making today?

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dave Olsen May 26, 2014 at 7:39 PM

smooothees—–every week I buy bag of navel oranges– bag apples, two big bag s
greens–4 lbs carrots 6 pears big bunch banana– & on & on —
cut each end off orange stand it up peel w a sharp big knife on board
cut up apple-one banana no skin, one pear no stem- big handful spinisch kale collards two carrots just cut tops off
skins & all—then a squash icecubes , 1/2 bottle water thats 40 to 60 ozs
I suck all day on that- no eat till 6 oclock 1 small meal–
Im 80 yrs old-feel great– from 242 to 205 in 5 months 160 here I come
I want to get rid of my medis as soon as possible + Diabetis , please lord

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2 Charlene March 25, 2012 at 12:10 PM

I love putting cherries in my smoothies, bananas and cherries belong together! Though I mostly make banana apple smoothies as apples are cheaper. I can’t wait for summer when I can use fresh greens from my garden!

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3 camille March 22, 2012 at 11:59 PM

#3
YUM! Any suggestions for substituting cherries in this recipe? Any maybe any idea for frozen berries in other recipes? The berry fruits (either frozen or fresh) are hell expensive in where I live. Thanks.

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4 Veronica March 25, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Berries cannot be replaced, you can use berries instead of cherries. But just use different fruit instead, or what you can find that is frozen where you are if it is cheaper. Use other tropical in season fruits to add to a banana or mango base for a smoothie.

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5 Erin March 22, 2012 at 11:13 AM

This one inspired me to go get a big bag of frozen cherries from Costco!

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6 Mary Jo March 8, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Great advice and so helpful, Veronica. I have been making the smoothie you made for breakfast with the grapes, celery, spinach and blueberries. I do find that smoothie does not remain liquid. It clumps up, does get gritty and almost is gel like in substance. Can you speculate what I may not be doing right with that receipe. I am not sure if it is the celery, the grapes themselves or perhaps I may need to add more water.

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7 Veronica March 8, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Are you using a Vitamix? Mine doesn’t get clumps, it is not a totally smooth smoothie though. If you have a cheaper blender I bet all the fibre from the grape and blueberry skins and celery is making it clumpy. Throw in a ripe banana or a ripe mango and you will get a smoother texture. :)

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8 Kathy Day March 5, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Veronica, I am currently enjoying the black cherries I froze last summer (as an alternative to canning). With a sharp paring knife, I cut the cherry in half (catching the juice in a bowl to enjoy later), flip out the stone, then put the halves on baking sheets. When the sheet is full, I put it in the deep freeze overnight. Once the berries are frozen, they don’t stick together and can be easily bagged in the quantities suitable for the number of people in a household.
Having always loved Okanogan cherries, and buying each year from an organic farm in the south OK, I can enjoy them all winter too. They are a great snack for children – or adults , thaw quickly, and are best when they are still crisp and cold. They would be a great addition to a smoothie as well.

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9 Veronica March 9, 2012 at 11:31 PM

Yes the Okanagen cherries are great. We ate so many last year. I can’t wait for this year. If we had room for a deep freeze I’d do that too but our freezer is already packed!

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10 Em March 2, 2012 at 1:31 AM

Yet another great post Veronica!! :-)

I’m with Nancy – I’ve never met a green smoothie I didn’t like – actually, love!

I really like hearing about alternative ways of using the recipes from your excellent book, Veronica. I already love both the Taco Salad and the Mexican Cilantro Corn Soup – I like Nancy’s idea of using the corn soup as a dressing – why not? It would make a delicious topping! I’m going to try that myself.

Thanks for what you wrote re fruits that have insoluble v soluble fibre and the effect that has on the smoothie – interesting and good to know if making smoothies for newbies. I, myself am fine with gritty textures in mine – one of my favourites is lots of black or dark red grapes (with seeds) + greens + 1 or 2 bananas (optional). Really yummy but definitely chewy/crunchy ;-)

Like you, I don’t put anything other than fruit, greens (and some water) into my smoothies. It was good to read all that info re keeping it simple – and definitely not putting in any refined, calorie loaded oils – especially considering that the calorie load is wasted here as you don’t even really get to taste/feel the effect like you would if you had the oil on a salad… One question re all that – you mention possibly using ground chia/flaxseed/hemp hearts – do you know what the calorie load per tablespoon is with these? Is it negligible? Also, is it Ok to mix these sources of fats(?) with sweet fruits in terms of digestion?

Oh and re frozen black (pitted) cherries (when not in summer) for anyone living in Australia you can get them at Coles (Creative Gourmet brand) – if your local Coles doesn’t have them, you can ask to get them in. This particular brand is the only one I’ve seen that does cherries (at least in the supermarkets) – they also do strawberries, blueberries, rasberries, etc and are the only brand without nasties in them. Woolworths has all the other berries in the Creative Gourmet brand too – they just don’t stock the cherries for some reason. They’re sold in two different sizes and actually, they often have them at a really cheap price – sometimes the larger 500g packs are on sale and other times, the smaller 300g (the cherries are only sold in these smaller packs)

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11 Veronica March 2, 2012 at 9:07 PM

Hey Em, briefly checked ground flax is 37 calories and 3 g of fat per tbsp, chia is 68 calories and 4.5 g of fat, and hemp is 57 calories and 4 g of fst per tbsp. Pretty negligible if u add a tsp or tbsp to smoothie or dressing.

We dont do this often. I just know some people insist on adding some “good fat” to their smoothies so i wanted to show the healthier alternative to the coconut and flax oil I know people think is good in their smoothies. We even see raw restaurants offering these in smoothies, it’s really disgusting.

Re digestion: i highly doubt youd have a problem w such a low quantity in blended form. I wouldnt however eat a handful of nuts on top of fruit just cuz of the bloating. But we found its about quantity. 2 nuts and 2 prunes for instance wouldnt be a problem. Its when theres too many nuts it can be hard to digest. We’re not used to it

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12 Marina March 1, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Really nice. It is funny…my favorite is just and apple and spinach. I like it, but… in USA I cannot eat apples. They are so tough. In Serbia we have somehow smother apples, so it makes a difference. However, thank for the wonderful explanation.

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13 nancy March 1, 2012 at 6:11 PM

One of my favorite green smoothies is pineapple, green grapes, celery, and kale. It’s perfect for summer especially if you make it with enough water or coconut water. Very hydrating.

Of course, I haven’t met a green smoothie that I haven’t liked.

Planning to take the mexican salad from your Savory cookbook for a dinner this weekend. I will use your mexican soup for the dressing as it is really good with it as well as cabbage salads. A little goes a long way. Last time I took one of Roger’s green savory stews and this is not a group of raw foodists either. They loved the stew and I’m sure they will love the salad as well.

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14 Veronica March 1, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Hi Nancy. Which salad? Taco Salad? I hope they enjoy it! Thanks for sharing

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15 nancy March 1, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Yes, the taco salad with the cilantro corn soup as a topper/dressing. Although the tomato salsa is delish as well.

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16 Bill K. March 1, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Just for the record, Dr. Campbell is NOT against green smoothies. I asked him and he said he was misunderstood by the blogger (Lindsay@happyherbivore.com) who said otherwise. He clarified that he was suggesting to her that it’s not a good idea to have a diet that is ONLY green smoothies! He believes that chewing your food is important. However, he is fine with green smoothies, as long as the diet also includes other foods that are being consumed by chewing. He confirmed this with me last night at the University of Pennsylvania, prior to a lecture he gave at the Irvine Auditoreum.

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17 Veronica March 1, 2012 at 5:33 PM

Thanks Bill this is great info to share. I recieved quite a few emails from raw foodists upset they were being told by Lindsay that green smoothies were a treat and not healthy because of what Esselstyn and Campbell told her. Most people dont live on green smoothies and some people put junk food in their green smoothies, but its an important source of calories and greens for some raw foodists who wouldnt be able to chew this amount of produce whole.

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18 Lin March 3, 2012 at 1:37 PM

I blend my smoothies for the least possible amount of time so they are not completely smooth and I can still chew them. Win win :-)

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19 Mari March 1, 2012 at 4:45 PM

I follow a 90% raw food lifestyle and you just gave me some great knowledge on smoothie’s. Thanks!

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