Healthy Greens for Smoothies: Expert Tips

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Are you looking for the best healthy greens for smoothies?

Or are you looking for inspiration on how to use the best greens for smoothies?

What type of veggie is best in a green smoothie recipe anyway?

And how do you prepare a green smoothie? 

Find out how to prep the best vegetables for smoothies and how to make delicious green smoothies.

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What are Smoothies and Should You Make them?

Smoothies are delicious mixes of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, protein, liquids, and other add-ins.

Veggie smoothies in particular, are made with vegetables and the vegetable smoothie benefits are pretty amazing.

To make smoothies, we prefer the Vitamix E-310 Explorian blender.

It mixes the roughest smoothie ingredients into a creamy consistency.

Furthermore, veggies are particularly well-suited for best green smoothie recipes for weight loss.

And that’s because they generally have a lot of nutrients but very few calories.

Thus, they can boost green smoothie recipes, or, let picky eaters that struggle at meal times get more veggies in their diet.

Thus, how to get your daily vegetables in a smoothie and the most nutrients is the name of the game.

Best Healthy Greens for Smoothies

Below is a listing of the best veggies for smoothies.

We’ve also added expert tips for how to use them in fruit and vegetable smoothie recipes. 

Remember, your best vegetable for smoothies may be unique to you. See 17 foods that prevent breast cancer for more choices.

Keep reading to find your favorite healthy greens for smoothies, to make your smoothie recipes healthy & delicious.

Avocados

Two whole avocados and one cut in half on a table with a white pitcher.

Avocados are the fruits, or more specifically, the berries of the avocado tree.

To use avocado in smoothies,

  1. Cut it in half using a knife and remove the large seed in the middle
  2. Scoop out the flesh and use in your recipe
  3. Discard the skin

Avocados are mildly flavored with a creamy consistency that mixes well in a smoothie.

And, they’re best used when ripe, or mildly soft to a light squeeze.

They’re loaded with fiber, healthy fats, vitamins B, C, A, E, and K, and iron, potassium, zinc, and manganese. 

Thus, avocados are heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory, and help fight cancer.

However, they’re also high in calories; 1/5 of a medium avocado has about 50 calories.

So, use sparingly if you’re trying to watch your calories.

Either way, to make healthy vegetable smoothie recipes, see our Blueberry Vanilla Avocado Smoothie.

Here, we used a greens for smoothies powder provided by Vega Essentials protein.

This can be a quick go-to among your best powdered greens for smoothies.

For a leaner smoothie, use ½ cup berries, 1/5 of an avocado, 1 scoop protein, and a pinch of seeds.

Broccoli

Broccoli stalk, cut broccoli, and whole broccoli on cutting board with knife.

Broccoli is in the cabbage family just like kale and has a mild flavor that’s slightly sweet and earthy.

And similar to kale, it’s definitely one of the healthiest vegetables, well-suited for vegetable smoothies.

Furthermore, you can eat the whole plant, that is the flowering head, little leaves, and stalk.

And to use broccoli in simple green smoothie recipes:

  1. Rub under running water to remove dirt
  2. Remove the outer stringy layer on the stalk
  3. Use it raw or steam it for a few minutes

Light steaming, in particular, boosts antioxidants, improves digestion, and halts enzymes that affects the thyroid.

Either way, broccoli is teeming with fiber and nutrients, and has very few calories and almost no fat.

Besides vitamins C and K, folic acid, potassium, manganese, and iron, it’s also rich in carotenoids and plant compounds.

One of those compounds in particular is called sulforaphane.

It’s an amazing compound that works to reduce cell division, which by definition, is how cancer develops.

Thus, not only does broccoli promote heart health and lower inflammation, but it also fights cancer.

To make a healthy smoothie recipe, add ½ cup broccoli to our Blueberry Walnut Lime Ooh La La!

Of course, if you want it cold, use frozen fruit.

Furthermore, broccoli may be one of the best frozen vegetables for smoothies as it’s easy to find.

And if you want a leaner smoothie, use fewer nuts and seeds, 1 tsp syrup, and 1 scoop of protein powder.

Purple Cabbage

Woman holding cut red cabbage on purple background.

Purple or red cabbage gets its beautiful color from a group of antioxidant pigments called anthocyanins.

But purple cabbage is also rich in vitamin C, carotenoids, and sulforaphane which all have impressive protective properties.

And, it packs in fiber, potassium, vitamins B1, B2, and B6.

As well as smaller amounts of iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and zinc.

All and all, purple cabbage is a superfood that reduces inflammation and protects against cancer and heart disease.

To make a red cabbage smoothie, add ½ cup raw or lightly steamed red cabbage to our Mint Strawberry Banana Smoothie Bliss.

Beets

Beet roots with greens on wooden board.

Beets are not just wonderfully reddish or purplish but also filled to the brim with nutrients.

Some beet smoothie recipes take advantage of the whole beet and include the root, skin, and greens.

But if the skin is a little rough, just discard it. 

To prepare a whole beet for use in healthy green smoothie recipes,

  1. Scrub the outside of the root and rinse the greens
  2. Discard the bottom stringy part of the root
  3. Cut in the root in half and into smaller pieces

Then, add your beets either raw or cooked.

Beets have a sweet mildly earthy flavor that is lovely in this Frozen Pomegranate Carrot Ginger Beet Smoothie.

Pro Tip!

Make sure you add a pinch of black pepper to this smoothie. It helps increase absorption of turmeric upwards of 2000%.  

Of course, you can scale back the ingredients for a leaner smoothie.

But whole beets aren’t just low in calories, they also pack:

  • Plant pigments called betalains and carotenoids
  • Fiber
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin C
  • Folic acid and vitamin B6
  • Manganese, magnesium, copper & iron

And, they have strong antioxidant effects, and fight inflammation, heart disease, and cancer.

Consequently, they may be the best vegetable for smoothies.

Butternut Squash

Whole and cut butternut squash on wood.

Butternut squash has a sweet nutty taste similar to pumpkin. 

It’s best used when ripe, at which time it turns a deep orange and has an even sweeter taste.

Although technically a berry, it’s often used as a vegetable and may be one of the best vegetables for a smoothie.

Pro Tip!

You can eat the whole berry, minus the stalk, either raw or cooked

From a nutritional standpoint, it’s loaded with fiber, B vitamins, and the antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin E.

And it also packs manganese, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and copper.

Because of its strong antioxidant effects, it fights inflammation, heart disease, and cancer.

And, it goes wonderfully with our Spicy Cinnamon Apple Banana Smoothie.

Simply add ½ cup raw or steamed butternut to the blender and enjoy!

For a leaner smoothie, pick one fruit, cut the juice, use coconut water instead of milk, and cut down on cashews.

Zucchini

Close up of colorful zucchinis.

Zucchini is another berry that you can eat whole, except the stalk. 

And you can use it in veggie smoothie recipes either cooked or raw.

Because of its mild taste with a hint of sweetness, it’s considered one of those vegetables you can’t taste in smoothies. 

However, if you come across a bitter-tasting zucchini, it’s best to discard it because it might contain a harmful toxin.

As far as nutrition goes, zucchini is low in calories and rich in the antioxidants beta-carotene, lutein, and vitamin C.

And it also packs vitamins K, B1, B6, folic acid, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and phosphorus.  

These nutrients support the immune system, eyesight, heart health, digestion, and help fight cancer. 

To make a zucchini smoothie, simply add ½ cup raw or cooked zucchini to our Pineapple Banana Smoothie Colada.

To cut calories from this smoothie, omit the juice and peanut butter, and choose fat-free yogurt.

Carrots

Bin of carrots with greens on table.

Carrots are not just versatile but also full of nutrients and they can be added to smoothies for a little sweetness.

Again, the whole vegetable, including the skin, the green tops, and root are perfectly edible.

But if you find the tops to be a little bitter, add some lemon to counterbalance.

To make a root vegetable smoothie:

  1. Rinse the tops and scrub the root under running water
  2. Use it raw or cooked in your smoothie

Fun fact, cooking actually improves absorption of antioxidants.

Furthermore, whole carrots provide fiber, potassium, and the plant compounds beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene.

They also have vitamins C, K, B6, and biotin, and smaller amounts of magnesium, calcium, and iron.

And they’re important for heart and eye health, and to fight inflammation and cancer.

For a carrot smoothie, try our Bloody Mango Coconut Sorbet.

For a leaner smoothie, cut cashews, replace coconut milk with rice milk, and use a protein powder.

Ginger

Ginger root on soft yellow background.

Ginger is a flowering plant with an underground stem, or rhizome, that grows horizontally.

Typically, we use the rhizome, but you can eat the whole plant.

It adds a pleasant kick and lovely flavor because of a couple of antioxidants called gingerols and shoagols. 

Furthermore, their health benefits are pretty amazing.

Most notably, they help:

In addition, ginger has small amounts of potassium, vitamin C, and magnesium.

To use ginger in a smoothie, first, peel off the skin of the rhizome using the edge of a spoon.

Then, check out our Bloody Mango Coconut Sorbet recipe featuring ginger.

If you can’t find blood oranges, use regular oranges or orange juice.  

Then, if you want a leaner smoothie, cut back on cashews and coconut milk, and use Naked protein powder.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes in wood barrel for sale.

Sweet potatoes are the tuberous root of the plant, where nutrients are stored. 

They’re mildly sweet tasting and have a deep orange or purple color.  

Orange sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene, while the purple variety is high in anthocyanins.

Both are strong antioxidants.

Beta-carotene, is converted to vitamin A in your body, which is crucial for vision and eye health.

While anthocyanins help fight cancer.

But sweet potatoes are also rich in fiber, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamins B6 and C, manganese, and copper.

And they’re important for gut and brain health, and the immune system.

Moreover, you can use them raw or cooked and can easily microwave them for about 5 minutes or until soft.

Although cooking lowers beta-carotene levels, it increases anthocyanin and vitamin C levels.

Lastly, for a velvety sweet potato smoothie, add ½ cup sweet potato to our Spicy Cinnamon Apple Banana Smoothie.

Leafy Healthy Greens for Smoothies

Woman washing lettuce in kitchen with vegetables on bench.

Leafy green vegetables are perhaps our favorite when it comes to healthy greens for smoothies.

They’re not only low in calories and high in fiber, they also have high water content.

This makes them perfect in green smoothie recipes for weight loss.

Moreover, they’re all filled with potassium, antioxidants, plant compounds, vitamins, and minerals.

For example:

  • Bok choi and mustard greens boast many B-vitamins
  • Lettuce, kale, and spinach are packed with vitamins A, C, E, and K 

Thus, they help digestion, manage weight, and prevent inflammation, chronic diseases, and cancer.

Although nearly a thousand species are known, here are some common leafy greens:

  • Arugula
  • Basil
  • Bok Choy
  • Beet Greens
  • Boston Lettuce
  • Celery
  • Cilantro
  • Collard Greens
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Endive
  • Kale
  • Microgreens
  • Mint
  • Mustard Greens
  • Parsley
  • Radish Greens
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Spinach & Baby Spinach
  • Sprouts
  • Swiss Chard
  • Turnip Greens
  • Watercress

To prepare your favorite leafy greens, rinse them under running water or submerge in a large bowl.

Leafy greens can be used raw or cooked.

And although raw greens are higher in vitamin C, cooking can increase antioxidant levels.

Then, for a lovely golden spinach kale smoothie, add ½ cup spinach to our Strawberry Peach Kale Crush.

And to make it lighter, use one cup fruit, skip the juice, and use fat-free Greek yogurt.

Best Fruits for Smoothies Questions

People often ask, can you mix fruit and vegetables in a smoothie?

And yes, you most certainly can, and they get more delicious if you do!

Commonly, people also wonder what fruits and vegetables are good to blend together.

Well, we think it depends on your preferences.

But, check out our recipes for inspiration and go from there.

And finally, is there such a thing as the best fruits and vegetables for smoothies?

Well, yes, we think so.

However, rest assured that ours are based on best evidence and not a best veggies for smoothies Reddit query.

Final Thoughts

Adding veggies in smoothies work really well since they provide a lot of nutrients for few calories.

As a group, they have lots of fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants, plant compounds, vitamins, and minerals.

Thus, they are excellent boosts to a best green smoothie for weight loss.

And, choosing healthy greens for smoothies allow picky eaters to get more veggies in their diet.

With many of them, you can use the whole veggie, either raw or steamed in your greens smoothie.

Thus, healthy greens for smoothies keep your drink heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory, and fighting cancer.  

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