Juicing may be my main squeeze, but green smoothies take a close second and sometimes they’re exactly what my body needs to function at it’s best. These blended nutrition blasts certainly save the day when I’m short on time in the kitchen, but don’t want to short change my health. Toss all the plant-based ingredients in a blender and press a button! Within minutes I have a fiber-filled, satisfying meal that balances my blood sugar and fills me with long-lasting energy. Plus, hard-working fiber is our digestive system’s BFF and the arch enemy of toxins. It sweeps the junk out of the body and keeps Grand Pooper Station right on schedule!
All you need to become a smoothie superstar are nourishing, delicious recipes, some blending smarts and a quality machine. When I started whipping up green smoothies, I made some pretty gnarly concoctions, not the kind of drink you’d want to throw back on a regular basis. It took a lot of experimentation before I could create delicious smoothies on the fly. I want to make it easier for you! That’s why I pulled together every drop of my smoothie know-how, plus over 100 phenomenal smoothie (and juice!) recipes in my book, Crazy Sexy Juice.
What’s the difference between smoothies and juices?
Now that I’ve showed you how to make one of my favorite green smoothies in the video above, you may be curious about the difference between blending and juicing.My readers are always asking which is better. The answer depends on your personal taste, your lifestyle and what supports your health best (usually they both do, just in different ways!). I juice more than I blend, but both are cornerstones of my lifelong self-care plan.
It’s much more fun to compare blending and juicing using a super snazzy infographic, which is why I made one for you! I hope you’ll download it below, print it and post it near your blending and/or juicing altar (aka kitchen counter) and share the heck out of it on social media.
Let’s wrap up this smoothie crash course with some of my readers’ most asked questions. Read on to learn about my favorite blenders, tips for raising smoothie-lovin’ kids and some storage smarts.
Frequently Asked Blending Questions
What blender should I buy?
I’m not going to sugar coat this: A high-speed blender can be pricey with some models starting at $300-$500, but it’s a lifelong investment. I use my blender on a daily basis for smoothies, soups, dips and sauces. If you’re a bargain-hunter, search online for a used machine. Who knows? You might be able to barter with a friend for one! Just be sure you’re getting a machine that will make creamy, dreamy smoothies. Cheap, not-so-great blenders leave lots of chunky greens in your drink and in your teeth. No, thanks! Here are some tried and true blender recommendations:
How can I get my kids to enjoy green smoothies?
Smoothies are one of the easiest ways to add leafy greens and other nourishing plant-based foods into your child’s diet. Since my fur-kid doesn’t drink green smoothies, I turned to some of my pals (who also happen to have green smoothie guzzling rugrats) for this question. After surveying them for some tips, I put together these gems for you:
Pull a chair up to the counter and get the kids involved! Let your child add smoothie ingredients with your supervision. The little ones will love turning on the blender and watching the veggies, fruits and other goodies take a spin.
Avoid smoothie rejection by serving green-tinted recipes in a solid colored cup that has a top.
Use frozen berries and bananas to add sweetness, creaminess and hide the veggie taste. Frozen berries will also give smoothies a nice red, purple or blue color. Just make sure you’re still packing the veggies in there!
Can I make smoothies ahead of time and freeze them for later?
Yes! I like to drink my smoothies right away (fresh is always best), but if you know that freezing your smoothies will insure that you’ll drink them on a more regular basis, go for it. Don’t forget to leave a little room at the top of your storage container, since your smoothie will expand in the freezer (the same goes for green juice).
Your turn: Do you have a blending tip or recipe? Share it in the comments below!
Peace & blended bliss,
P.S. Looking for new smoothie recipes?
My newest book, Crazy Sexy Juice, includes 100+ juice, smoothie and nut milk recipes to stir up your routine, plus all my tips and tricks to keep your juicer and blender humming through every season. Get your copy here.
What blender (Brand and model) are you using in this video? Thanks!
It’s an Oster Versa.
I grew cucumbers this year and had so many I couldn’t possibly eat them all so I am experimenting with freezing them. I have found them to be excellent in my smoothies. Do you ever freeze your cucumbers? Also, I discovered they are very hard to break into pieces after frozen so my next batch I cut into pieces. Will have to see how long they last in the freezer. I’m thinking it will be like freezing bananas.
My solid green smoothie from 2012:
5 med leaves of romaine
2 large leaves of kale (or a handful of chopped kale)
1 small fuji apple (or half a huge one)
1 small handful of alfalfa sprouts
4-5 shelled walnut halves
6-10 raw almonds
1 teaspoon agave
Enough coconut water to blend
Optl: 1 tbsp flaxseed meal+ 1 tsp chia seeds
Hi. I just paid for the smoothies e-guide through paypal, but nothing is happening. I’m looking forward to trying the smoothies. Love your other books. Thanks.
Great post Kris, keep bringin’ the goodness, love you long time.
My favourite breakky smoothie is: frozen banana, cinnamon, cacao, coconut butter, chia seeds that have been left to plump up in some filtered water for 10 minutes, spirulina, a a huge handful of baby spinach and icy cold almond milk. Filling, delish and green as the hulk baby!
Love this, thank you!!
Getting a Vitamix is on top of my list! I’m IN LOVE with a smoothy Crudessence (a raw food restaurant in Montreal) makes with spinach… it’s heavenly. So crucial to have a good blender for green smoothies though…
BTW: your shirt so cute Kris 🙂
Love your opening music and unicorn. Makes me smile !
Me too, Christy- so cute and happy! x
For those on a budget, I highly recommend getting a Nutribullet. It’s like a powerful little mini blender. You can get one at Bed Bath and Beyond for about $100 – use one of the 20% off coupons they always have and it’s $80.
I’ve been using mine for 6 months now and love it. It doesn’t blend everything into liquid as thei infomercials would have you believe – but it does a pretty good job.
I agree, Brianne!
Hubby and I are saving-up for a perofmrnace blender (Vitamix, Blendtec, etc.) but, in the meantime, we bought a Nutribullet at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $80 with the 20% off coupon, just like you said. And we LOVE it!!
It does a MUCH better job than our blender, which we *thought* was great (it’s high speed, just not one of the high-performance ones mentioned above). But, there’s no comparison. That Nutribullet does a MUCH better job, LOVE it.
The only limitation is quantity. It’s perfect for making a smoothie for one person (and, btw, we ALWAYS use the larger container!) but if we’re making smoothies for both of us at the same time (weekends), we have to make them separately.
But I also use it to make cashew cream for coffee on the weekends, nut-rather-than-oil-based salad dressings. It’s perfect for any kind of small-enough blender needs. Great product. I know, I sound like a commercial, lol.
My smoothie this morning that the daughter stole the last 1/3 of:
Frozen fruit (strawberry, mango, pineapple and peach)
A bit of really ripe frozen banana
Lots of spinach
Juice of half a lime
1 tbsp flax meal
I have not tried a cucumber in my smoothie, but I will tomorrow.
Yep, look at me, like we’re old buddies. LOL I was at the Writer’s Workshop in NY. You were great as usual. You sat in front of me and I was absolutely gushing with pleasure – I am an absolute fan of yours.
I saw you movie years ago and you hooked me up when you went to the raw retreat for two weeks and when those little cells danced at the end of two weeks, bam, I was hooked and have followed you since which is why I was gushing.
Anywhoo, just wanted to say I purchased your Crazy Sexy Juices & Succulent Smoothies e-guide (I have the other books also, one regular and one Kindle (which I will never do again, I need the turning pages, drop the sauce on the book find of girl! And printing the page out from Kindle and slobbering all over, just not the same). I know, get on with the point, I love the recipes for the green drinks! I have many green drink recipes but yours I actually will use again and again and again.
Thank you for doing what you do for all of us.
Hug Often, Love Always
You are so sweet Phyllis! Thank you honey. x
hey and thanks (as always)!
weird question: is it possible to get it wrong?? that would calm me down 😉
i have a super budget blender (living solution) that i’m happy with apart from the plastic smell during the blend. maybe it’s just because it’s new…
i’m not sure why so many people recommend chia soaked in water and then add nut milk. why not just soak it in the milk?
also would you count spirulina as a veggie?
thank you for adding perk and number to my days
my lil heart is beating for you,
Thank you for this great blog and the video. I already ordered the Green Smoothie e book last year and downloaded it. One question, is it still the same book or a new version?
Have a great green day!
We’re so happy you’ve enjoyed the e-guide! And yes, this is the same version that you have.
Creative Director @ KrisCarr.com
I know this isn’t a question you get asked a lot, but what are some ingredients besides avocado I can put into my shakes to add calories? I fear I am a little under-weight because I don’t usually have much of an appetite and don’t like eating big, heavy meals. I eat mostly veggies and I juice. I also drink a serving of Plant Fusion protein power mixed with Flax milk every day. But I seem to keep losing weight because the little I do eat has so few calories. Thanks.
Hey Brittany! Great question. I use plant-based protein powder (too) I also use almond butter or coconut butter. You can also use coconut meat. Hemp powder is helpful as well. I have a tendency to lose weight when not careful — and I don’t have a lot to lose! Therefore I have two smoothies per day. It really helps. x
Can you please recommend a good plant-based protein powder that doesn’t have sweeteners or artificial ingredients? Thanks!
Thanks so much for asking this question. I never have as I’ve felt almost bad about doing so since so much these days is focused on losing weight. Glad to hear both you and Kris share my struggle to keep weight on.
LOVE all of your recipes… when watching you whack into the avocado pit – it reminded me that my friend’s daughter did that and sliced open her hand (fainting and stiches included)! So, please be careful and consider placing that half of the avocado on your board, cushioned and steady with a clean dishtowel underneath so you can whack away without the danger 🙂
I was very excited to purchase the e book on juices and blending. I tried 4 times with both my husbands credit card and my own. It did not let us purchase , it said error try again , or your credit card declined… Which it is not!!
Please look into this, there may be a glitch.
I love Kris and I want the book, but this is frustrating
We’re so sorry for this inconvenience. Please email us at [email protected] and we’ll resolve the problem ASAP!
Creative Director @ KrisCarr.com
I mostly blend. My go-to base is 1 cuke, 1 banana, 1-2 cups of water, 1/2 lemon or lime, 1 cup frozen fruit, and 3-4 big handfuls of greens (kale, collards, and spinach are my faves). This makes a solid quart or more.
I use a Breville ikon Hemisphere, which was $150 and works really quite well. I make nuts milks successfully with it too. It’s perfect for someone just starting out and doesn’t want to spend for a vitamix yet. If it ever breaks, I will go with a Vitamix since I know I’ll use it now.
I juice with it too by blending and then straining it through a jelly bag (at your hardware store).
Thanks Harriet! I really love your blog. x
Just read your new post on juicing…
So you’re still of the mind that both juicing and blending are great? Here’s what I can’t figure out: Some people say that oxidation of plants via high speed juicing or blending is bad for you. Is that really true? Do raw vegetables when heated via those high speeds oxidize the same way that fats do when subjected to heat? Or do the phytonutrients in plants act as anti-oxidants and offer protection?
Has anyone read any good science on this?
I love your spunkiness! It makes me so happy! I was diagnosed with breast cancer July 2012… I am still on my chemo. I have had a bilateral mastectomy now.
I was just wondering about the juicing…. If I buy mason jars and make extra juice and store it in there for a couple days is that ok? Or does the vitamins etc diminish?
Thanks for the video and post! I’ve been doing green smoothies for a couple years: kale or collards, banana, apple, brazil nut (selenium), cocoa/cinnamon (antioxidants), goji berries, amla powder (crazy-high antioxidants), lemon (with peel and seeds), flax or hemp seeds (fatty acids), protein powder, frozen fruit (I like blueberries, raspberries, and sometimes cranberries, pineapple.
I recently started juicing and am going for: celery, cuke, carrot, fennel, cilantro, lemon or lime, kale, broccoli, pear, and apple. 🙂
I would rather have “Crazy Sexy Juices & Succulent Smoothies in book form…Are you planning on putting it in print?