Simple Green Smoothie with Probiotics and Protein

by Stacy

Quick note: I’m kicking off a really great group program in a few days. If you’re frustrated by your apparent lack of motivation to do what you know you need to do, check out the Super Awesome Summer Session. I’d love to support you!

Super Awesome Summer Session

I used to hate green smoothies. Not that I had tried them, but I rolled my eyes every time some smug “healthy living” blogger perkily tweeted about their latest frothy confection of kale and unicorn horn protein powder.

I’m not a protein powder fan, and I like to eat my food. Cold food also doesn’t do it for me. Why on earth would I want to drink a green smoothie? Damn hippies.

simple green smoothie

Because they’re actually really good? Oh. I guess there’s that.

A few things about smoothies:

  • They’re a meal, kids, not a snack. They’re nutritious, but they’re still extra calories if you’re chugging them like, well, water.
  • They don’t need to be dessert sweet. Too much sugar, even when naturally occurring in fruit, will make you crash. We don’t want that.
  • For the love of Pete, you do NOT need a $500 blender to make a smoothie. I don’t own a Vitamix, though several of my clients do. Other clients have used $25 blenders or even stick blenders just fine. I have this Cuisinart which does the job just fine if you like the sound of a jet taking off in your kitchen.

Got it? Good.

If the idea of spinach for breakfast doesn’t excite you, putting it in a green smoothie loaded with vitamin C to help you absorb the iron just might. Also, if you’re like me and don’t have air conditioning and the very thought of cooking something this week makes you sweat even more that you already are, smoothies are a great way to pack in nutrients without creating any heat.

simple green smoothie

My cool-weather smoothie relies on seasonal citrus for acidity and balance, so I needed a seasonally adjusted solution for summer. I figured 4 ingredients was reasonable.

Green Valley Organics lactose-free plain kefirI prefer my smoothies a bit zippy and tart. Mango is such a sugary fruit that I wanted something to balance that, which is why I thought of using kefir.

Kefir is a traditional fermented milk-based beverage that has a thin, slightly bubbly consistency and a tart yogurt-like flavor. It provides a creamy base for the smoothie, plus a boost of probiotics, the friendly bacteria that help regulate your digestion.

I’m all about everyone shining their light and being a special snowflake, but I definitely support everyone being regular in that realm.

Too much? Sorry, just keepin’ it real.

  • If you don’t have chia seeds, you can omit them, use flax seeds, or even half a frozen banana.
  • I like my smoothies creamy and thick. If you like yours thinner, add more ice or kefir.
  • Feeling fancy? Blend in 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon or ginger. They’re slightly warming if cold foods aren’t your fave.

Are you a green smoothie fan? I have a few more recipes in the pipeline for you. Taking good photos of beverages is tough, and it’s usually early when I’m drinking them!

Oh, and while Green Valley Organics sent me kefir to test a few months ago, I bought this myself after I realized it would make a good post. I got mine at Whole Foods, but check their store locator to find where you can find their products near you.

print recipe
Simple Green Summer Smoothie
Just 4 main ingredients (plus some options) will keep you cool and eating clean this summer! I use Green Valley Organics lactose-free plain kefir (find it in the dairy section). You could substitute plain yogurt, or your favorite non-dairy milk (though it won’t be as tangy).
  • 1 cup mango, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups, packed spinach
  • 3/4 cup Green Valley Organics plain kefir
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds
  • 10 cubes ice
1.) Add kefir and chia seeds to the blender so the chia seeds have some time to soak. 2.) If using a fresh mango, slice around the pit and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. If using frozen mango, just chuck it in!3.) Blend until mostly smooth. Add the spinach and ice. Puree until smooth. Serve immediately.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 smoothies

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah Steele | Managing You Academy July 12, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Thanks so much for this smoothie recipe. I too, only have one of those hand blender thingies. And it just isn’t up to the job of dealing with celery sticks. But spinach and mango – easy!


Stacy August 3, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Yeah, I love juicing celery, but I won’t even put it in my blender. Nothing wrong with keeping it simple. =)


TreeHugginMomma July 17, 2012 at 10:17 am

How about

2 c Greens (spinach, kale, mustard….)
1/2 apple chopped (sweetness)
1/2 avacado (creamy smooth)
Green Tea to preference.
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Stacy August 3, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Ooh, interesting. I can’t drink green tea in the morning (too much for my stomach), but I’d never thought to add it in a smoothie. My regular smoothie is similar to your list, but with almond milk or coconut water instead of tea.


Laura @ Family Spice August 11, 2012 at 10:15 am

Oh yeah. I need to start my mornings with green smoothies, just wasn’t sure where to start. Will start this next week – once I load up on my greens!
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Nami | Just One Cookbook August 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Hi Stacy! I came from Laura’s site – she made your delicious looking green smoothies and I wanted to check yours! You have very inspiring blog and happy to be introduced by Laura. Nice to meet you!
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Stacy August 24, 2012 at 11:21 am

Thanks, Nami! Happy to meet you, too. =)


Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen October 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm

This is my kind of smoothie! I’ve been really enjoying kefir lately and even making it at home and throw it into all my smoothies now.
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Stacy October 20, 2012 at 8:53 pm

I love my smoothies tart, so kefir is a great fit – and the probiotics are a bonus. Awesome that you make it at home! Thanks for stopping by. =)


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