Before I was a veggie lover, I eased into getting my daily recommended amount through smoothies and juices. I love chewing my veggies, too, but it can be hard to pack the recommended amount into your day, especially when you’re busy and have a million other things going on. Veggie smoothies are a great way to add more fiber and nutrients into your day. And hey, if you’re making a smoothie anyway, why not add in a serving or two?
For great tasting veggies smoothies, don’t go overboard at first. If you’re not a veggie lover and you’re looking to hide the taste of the veggies, go for stronger tasting fruit, like berries. Also remember that veggies tend to have a lot of fiber in them, so the smoothies will have a little different texture than you’re used to. Not a bad thing necessarily. Some veggies can also be a little bitter. Lemon or lime juice will help cut the bitterness, as will pairing them with sweeter fruits. If you don’t have a high powered blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec, blend the veggies with the liquid first, then add the remaining ingredients. This should give you a smoother blend.
Here are five delicious ways to drink your veggies!
1. VITAMIN C THIRST QUENCHER Smoothie
This one is not for the faint of heart! It packs a HUGE flavor punch. The bell pepper can be a little bitter like the grapefruit, so the oranges help balance things out. It’s not as thick as other smoothies. Add ice to make it extra cold. This one is loaded with Vitamin C – one half cup of bell pepper has a whopping 300% of the recommended daily value. That’s more than the oranges and grapefruit combined!
Puree 1/2 large red bell pepper, 1 extra large ruby red grapefruit, 2 oranges, 1/2 cup water (if needed), plus ice to make it cold (optional) in a blender. Makes about 4 cups; 2 servings
2. CARROT PINEAPPLE MANGO Smoothie
The sweetest veggie smoothie on the list. This one is a definite favorite and a great way to get Vitamin A-packed produce into your day. It’s also loaded with healthy dietary fiber, Vitamin C, bromelain (from the pineapple), B Vitamins, and magnesium.
Puree 2 medium carrots (sliced), 1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple, 1 cup fresh or frozen mango, 2 cups water in a blender.
Makes about 4 cups; 2 servings. Note: High speed blenders should have no problem with the raw carrots. For regular blenders, chop the carrots first and puree with water, then add the fruit.
3. SWEET PEA Smoothie
Green peas have a good amount of fiber, iron, Vitamin C and A, B Vitamins, Potassium and Magnesium. One cup also has 8 grams of protein, which the same as 1 cup of milk. Bananas, apples, and strawberries add even more dietary fiber as well as Potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, and trace minerals. The yogurt or milk add plenty of calcium, Vitamin D, and another 8+ grams of protein.
Puree 1 cup frozen petite peas, 1 banana, 1 small apple (cored), 2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries, and 1 cup plain yogurt or milk (non-dairy can also be used) in a blender. Makes about 4 cups; 2 servings
4. ANTIOXIDANT + FIBER SUPER SMOOTHIE
Broccoli…in a smoothie? Yes! This cruciferous veggie is loaded with antioxidants like Vitamin C and A. It also contains dietary fiber and calcium. The stronger flavor of broccoli is tamed by adding plenty of blueberries and fresh oranges which add more Vitamin C, fiber, and other antioxidants and nutrients. If you’re feeling bold, add an extra cup of broccoli. :) This is a thick smoothie – don’t be afraid to add some ice to make it extra cold, or water for thinning it out.
Puree 1 cup broccoli, 2 heaping cups fresh or frozen blueberries, 2 large oranges (peeled), 1 cup water in a blender. Makes about 4 cups; 2 servings
5. CUCUMBER CLEANSER Smoothie
These ingredients made up one of my favorite fresh juices, but with all that healthy fiber. It has a refreshing, clean taste. Use seedless cucumbers or baby cucumber which will be less bitter. Any variety of kale can be used. If you have a high speed blender, leave the stems. Otherwise, remove the leaves from the stem and chop them before blending for a smoother blend. The cucumber is high in water content as well as fiber. The apples are high in fiber and Vitamin C. Lemons are excellent detoxifiers and add more Vitamin C. Kale adds in a ton of Vitamins A and C, as well as moderate amounts of calcium, magnesium, iron, B-6, and potassium.
Puree 1/2 seedless cucumber, 2 apples, 4-5 kale leaves, chopped (include stem if using high power blender), 1 large lemon (juiced), 1 cup water, plus ice to make it cold (optional.) Makes about 4 cups; 2 servings
What are your favorite veggie smoothie recipes?