Recipe credit = Me! This is the result of experimenting with a few different fruit + veggie combos known to be good for detoxing.
Prep + Cook time = 15 minutes
Servings = Makes 1 sizable smoothie (¾ of the large Nutribullet size)
Categories = vegetarian, vegan (depending on protein powder), smoothie, breakfast, snack
This is going to sound way dramatic--it’s really just some blended fruit and veggies--but this smoothie has been life-changing!
I began making smoothies in 2019 to find a more satisfying way to get fruits and veggies into my diet. But, I knew the health pitfalls of the “smoothie fad”--namely, that all smoothies are healthy, period! So many commercial smoothies and make-at-home smoothie recipes include very sugar-intensive (and often calorie-intensive) ingredients, like fruit juices, milk, yogurt, peanut butter, etc. These aren’t a problem in themselves--they can make for more delicious and filling smoothies, especially if you’re eating them as meals. But, this also makes it easy to over-consume sugar and calories without realizing it.
I also used to eat yogurt daily--like, a LOT of yogurt--but after identifying dairy as a source of gut problems and pimple breakouts for me, I figured smoothies were a good way to give myself that sweet, creamy treat with all the benefits of fruit and veggies and none of the downfalls of dairy!
So I was set on finding a smoothie that was based entirely on fresh fruit and veggies, filling without being too calorie-dense, no added sugar, easy, cheap, and DELICIOUS!
I made this recipe without the protein powder for a few months, and it did taste good. But adding the protein powder is what put this recipe on my daily breakfast/snack menu--whether you use vanilla, chocolate, or similar flavored powder (I’ve tried them all!), it comes out a little thicker and so so creamy, not to mention the benefits of more daily protein!
Many would probably call this a “detox” smoothie (a food that helps rid the body of unhealthy substances)--lemon, spinach, bananas, and ginger all have those body-cleansing benefits. But I make this smoothie daily, because it’s nutrient-rich, delicious, filling, but does NOT leave me uncomfortable or bloated!
Lastly, this smoothie is super easy and cheap! It’s definitely quicker to make if you have a veggie peeler for the cucumber and ginger, and a high-powered blender--I use a Nutribullet. With mostly reasonably priced ingredients--lemons, ginger, cucumbers, bananas, even blueberries when they’re in season--it’s pretty easy on the wallet to have this smoothie daily (like me!).
Spinach - About 1½ c
Blueberries - About 1 c (fresh or frozen work, but fresh definitely tastes better)
Banana - ½ of a medium/large
Cucumber - ½ of a medium/large
Fresh Ginger - 1-1½ tbsp diced (but I like ginger a LOT, definitely tone this down if you only kinda like ginger)
Lemon - ½ lemon
Protein Powder (optional) - ½ scoop (I use vanilla, but have tried chocolate and other similar flavors and all work great!)
I follow a pretty particular order when adding the ingredients--it’s the best way to make them fit under the “max fill” line on my Nutribullet, and I’m just an intense creature of habit after making this almost daily. No need to follow this exact order!
Toss a few handfuls of spinach into the blender.
Rinse blueberries (if fresh) and add to the blender.
Chop the ½ banana and add to the blender.
Peel the ½ cucumber, cut into slices, and add to the blender.
Peel the skin off the ginger. Dice into small chunks and add to the blender.
Squeeze the ½ lemon over the contents in the blender, trying to prevent lemon seeds from getting in (it’s ok if a seed or 2 slip in, but I prefer to keep them out).
Blend until smooth.
OPTIONAL - open the blender and add the protein powder. Cover and blend again.
SEMI-PRO TIPS (since let’s be real, I’m definitely not a “pro”):
If you’ve got the time, let the smoothie sit in the fridge for an hour or two before eating it. It still tastes great if you eat it right away, but you really get that thicker, creaminess when it’s chilled, more like the consistency of yogurt. So if you prefer more drinkable smoothie, have at it right away, but if you’d rather have that eat-with-a-spoon creamy (like me!), 2 hours is an ideal amount of fridge time. It also turns a brighter green color after sitting in the fridge, for some reason (before-fridge pic is above, after-fridge pic is to the left!)
*Use this recipe as a starting point to find your perfect fruit/veggie combo! I love sweet and tart, so I go pretty hard on the lemon and ginger. But nothing says you can’t try other berries, leafy greens, etc.! And don't let my intro scare you--fruit juices, milk, etc. can be great-tasting and extra-filling additions if done mindfully :)
I’ve relied on this smoothie as my workday morning meal for over a year now, and I still look forward to it every day! If you give it a try, let me know what you think! And DEFINITELY let me know if you add, remove, or swap anything from the ingredients list--I’d love to try some tasty new combos!