Sunday 14 September 2008

In Search of the Green Smoothie

After some experimentation I finally arrived at a green smoothie to love this morning. Just the thing to cope with E playing samples of cats singing Christmas carols on the web (I kid you not - meowy christmas anyone?).

This year I have become a bit of a whiz at whipping up a smoothie at home on a lazy weekend morning – thanks to finally finding the right jug for my stick blender. But early this year before I found that perfect jug, I began to dream of a green smoothie. It started when Ricki posted her mystery smoothie with spinach in it. All I could think was ‘mmm…green’ despite her suggestion that you hide the green with other colours.

We have a book of Juices and Smoothies which I consulted for more ideas on green. There seems nothing that can't be put in a smoothie but I was after taste as well as colour. While I draw the line at cabbage, brussels sprouts and cucumber, I was tempted by broccoli. But it was kiwi fruit that lodged itself in my imagination. My smoothie had to have kiwi fruit.

Then I saw Holler’s Raspberry Carrot and Basil Smoothie which had blended apples rather than apple juice. So my first attempt at a smoothie was kiwi fruit, spinach and grated apples. It was a brilliant green, tasted quite nice but was too slushy for my liking. So I tried a variation of my favourite smoothie – kiwi fruit, banana and apple juice. Tasted great but was a disappointingly pale green.

Lately there have been a few interesting posts with lots of good suggestions for finding your way out of the smoothie rut. Check out the ideas and comments on posts by Cassie, Clotilde and Sophie if you would like some novel ideas. My smoothie rut is that I like to add banana for creaminess. Then I saw Sophie’s suggestion of using avocado and my mind saw the green possibilities.

My challenge with avocados is finding one that is ripe at the same time you want to eat it. I bought a ripe one yesterday but had too much other good food about to have room for smoothies. So this morning I tried my smoothie with kiwi fruit, avocado, apple juice and spinach. I initially only put in half a cup of juice but the avocado really does thicken it up, so I added more juice and the smoothie I drank was a little thinner than the photo shows (yes my photo is on a new teatowel from my recent Hobart trip). But it tasted so good and was such a pleasing colour.

I highly recommend this smoothie if you want green colour and good taste. It is not overly sweet but was sweet enough for me. I am won over by kiwi fruit in smoothies – they are both sweet and tart and I love the texture of the seeds in the smoothie. The avocado makes it amazingly smooth and thick. The spinach is not noticeable but adds a bit of iron which I can always do with. And the apple juice thins it down and adds that extra sweetness that it needs. Lastly, it is very filling. I feel like I don’t need to eat again today. But my excuse for drinking it all is that it needed to be had fresh and E wouldn’t even try it. His loss!

Kiwi Fruit, Avocado and Spinach Smoothie
Serves 2-3

1 kiwi fruit, peeled and roughly chopped
½ avocado, peeled and roughly chopped
A handful of baby spinach leaves
1 cup (250ml) apple juice, or more as required

Place all ingredients in blender or use hand held blender and blend till smooth. Add more apple juice if you need to thin it down a little.

On the Stereo:
Cara Dillon: Cara Dillon


  1. That sounds just delicious to me! And I suppose that since it's such a lovely green, I wouldn't have to hide the color! I also have the same problem with avocados--love them, but seems they're never ready when I want one, then are too ripe by the time I get there!

  2. I also am a firm believer in banana in all my smoothies BUT for this one I think you found a fabulous use for avocados and I'll go without the banana. That sounds great with the kiwi and apple!

  3. I love the colour but somehow contemplating the contents got my gag reflex going! My fav green smoothie was at a cafe in Wellington years ago - the spirulina made it green and it was with juice (apple? orange?) and I think some banana to thicken it. Despite my lack of enthusiasm for spirulina it really was delish.

  4. I love kiwi in my green smoothies, too :) Hope you're having a great weekend.


  5. thanks Ricki - I didn't think you would have a problem with the lovely green - but glad to hear I am not the only one trying my match my whims with timing an avocado's ripeness :-)

    Thanks Tanna - avocados really do the nice thickening like banana but with less sweetness and less thickness - worth trying if you love your bananas in smoothies

    thanks AOF - maybe this is a smoothie where you need to close your mind and open your eyes :-)

    thanks Kristen - love some of your kiwi smoothie ideas on your site - must experiment more with kiwis in smoothies

  6. Wow! They are SO green! I'm glad you found one that pleased you on all counts. I think that kiwi sounds like a great starter but wouldn't have thought of avocado. I'd recommend the NZ spirulina as well - really green but really banana-y.

  7. thanks Lysy - have never thought of spirulina as having a flavour - now you are making me curious

  8. i could have this every morning. looks gorgeous.

  9. There are smoothie posts everywhere at the moment - I am wondering if all food bloggers are getting a hive mind?

    With Panama deisease being a real threat to bananas alternatives are always a good idea!

    I shall be putting spinach into my breakfast smoothie tomorrow morning now!

  10. thanks Bee - wouldn't it be a cheery drink to see in the morning!

    thanks Hippolyra - haven't heard of panama disease but we had a tropical cyclone in Australia a few years ago that suddenly made bananas really expensive - will keep my avocado in mind for the next time banana crops are wiped out up north! Enjoy the spinach in your smoothie!

  11. This sounds delicious. An amazing color too, though I guess some people might take a bit of convincing!

    Glad you enjoyed the avocado idea Johanna. I like them in a smoothie occasionally as I'm not really all that keen on bananas which are most people's thickener of choice

  12. I am drinking/chewing on my avocado smoothie as I write this. We have an avocado tree full of fruit just now so I wondered if I could blend it in my VitaMix. My mix was avocado, celery, pear, banana, bokchoi, lettace, spinach, grapes, rock melon and ice. (I know .. I get carried away.)
    It is absolutely delicious and I love the texture that the avocado adds. So glad I found a good use for our over-abundant avocado tree.


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