How to Make Green Smoothies with a “Regular” Blender

How to Make Green Smoothies with a "Regular" Blender by @BlenderBabes

Do you find yourself having difficulty making good green smoothies with your current blender??  Green smoothies are suppose to be smooth. When they are chunky or lumpy or stringy, the drinking experience is no longer pleasurable. Of course, Blender Babes recommends that you upgrade to one of the two best high powered blenders on the market, however if upgrading is not likely right now, then follow this advice to help make smoother green smoothies when using a basic blender.


1. Always add the liquid first! Filtered water, coconut water, and milk substitutes (such as almond, coconut or soy milk) are the top choices Blender Babes recommends, followed by juice or regular milk.  This is because most fruit juices are high in unhealthy sugars and add unnecessary calories to your smoothie.  (Another option is half juice & half water, to help with sweetness).  By adding liquids first, your blender can better produce a “vortex” that will pull fruit and leafy greens into the blades and more easily blend your smoothie ingredients.  Dependant upon your blender, the types of fruit and veggies you add, and whether the fruit is fresh or frozen, Blender Babes recommends using anywhere from 6 to 8 ounces of liquid for regular smoothies and 12 to 16 ounces of liquid for more “green” smoothie recipes.  Typically for highly green smoothies, meaning lots of leafy greens, or the more frozen fruit you use, the more liquid you will need.

2. Chop & dice your fruit and vegetables first with a sharp knife, including shredding the greens.  The less powerful your blender is, the finer you will need to chop your ingredients (a MINIMUM of 1 inch pieces, preferably smaller if your blender is around 300 watts).  Note that with a Blendtec or Vitamix blender, it’s mostly unnecessary to chop things up and saves you A TON of time.

3. Add fruit next (fresh only, frozen fruit is last with ice.)  When you make a green smoothie, make sure to add the fruit before the greens.  (Also if you plan to use yogurt, add it after the fruit and before the greens.)  If you add greens before the fruit, they will typically bottle-neck in the middle of your blender jar and can’t reach the blades.  By having the fruit first, this will result in a more powerful vortex because the fruit puree will pull the greens towards the blades.

4. Make use of the pulse button if there is one before starting to blend.  The pulse feature further chops/breaks up the ingredients which will help to get things going.  It may also help dislodge pieces of fruit that may get stuck in the blades.

5. Using different blending speeds more easily blends the fruit and greens in a green smoothie.  Many people start by blending on high (seems logical to us too!) however they usually find they must stop it half way through, use a spoon to move all the ingredients around again, then again run it on high to finish blending.  INSTEAD, try this. After pulsing, start blending on low, then increase to high after 20 to 30 seconds.  If you still find you need to push ingredients down or around, make sure to stop the machine first and then again start from low to high.  Adding extra liquid is also recommended if your blender is still having a hard time with your green smoothie.

blenderfuitIf you have a low wattage blender (around 300 watts) your best option to try if the previous instruction is proving to be too tough on your blender, is to blend your liquid and fruit first (pulse first then low to high), THEN add your greens in small batches, and lastly add ice.  Also keep in mind the type of greens you are using.  Spinach is softer than Kale, for example, which will definitely need to have the hard stem cut out of it, and then the leaves cut into bite-size pieces before blending.  Also, remember to rotate your greens to avoid toxic buildup for healthy smoothie recipes!

Remember that the average blender is around 300 watts, costs between $30-$50, and almost always burn out fairly quickly.  The next up is around 700 watts, is definitely more powerful, but you still must chop & dice solid foods and greens up very small.  These blenders cost anywhere from $85–$150 and usually have a one year warranty.  With heavy use (such as frequent green smoothies) these will also burn out and need replacing every year or two…

That said, the overall savings in the long run by upgrading to a commercial grade 1100-1560 watt blender such as a REFURBISHED LIKE NEW Vitamix or Blendtec BLENDER – each comes with a five (5) or seven (7) year warranty (respectively) and have life expectancies of 15-20 years – is something to consider if you wish to continue with a healthier lifestyle.  Always enjoy FREE SHIPPING + a FREE GIFT from Blender Babes with your purchase. Learn More! :)

If upgrading your blender is not likely for now – put it on your wishlist! – and try these tips for smoother, green smoothies.

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Tarashaun Hausner Tarashaun Hausner

Tarashaun founded Blender Babes in 2011, after discovering Blendtec and Vitamix blenders and realizing their massive potential to help people eat healthier AND heal their chronic illnesses through food. Her desire is to create a MOVEMENT: to encourage and teach people how to make inexpensive, fast and healthy meals and snacks at home, and to test, review and share an abundance of healthy living products and advice. See ALL our videos on YouTube, chat with BB on Twitter, Join the Fun on Facebook, Share Hers and Their Recipes on Pinterest, Go Behind the Scenes on Instagram, and Add me on Google+


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  1. Melinda says

    Thanks so much for the tutorial. Have decided to start blending but all I have is a “regular” blender- for the moment! These tips will save frustration.

  2. karen peters says

    Could u tell what other fruiit can be substituted in in the first green smoothie that dr oz introduced on oprah.I have roascea and the citrus I can not add cuz mu face will flare..please help when smothies call for lemon,lime,oranage,pineapple .what fruit will work best to sub these.will bw be waiting for response….thank you and healthy blending….

    • Blender BabesBlender Babes says

      Hi Karen, Welcome to Blender Babes! That is a very good question, I have heard of citrus allergy and that it’s pretty rare. Green smoothies usually have 1 to 2 fruits in them. Dr Oz and many other popular green juice recipes includes lemon and other citrus because it’s so cleansing/detoxing. However you are getting a lot of nutrition and cleansing power from greens like parsley and cilantro. I would recommend replacing green smoothies that call for citrus fruits with other fruits you are not allergic to, such as berries, apples, papaya, guava, etc. Since fruit is usually used to sweeten green smoothies, you can also add 1-2 soaked/pitted dates, raw honey, or stevia to help sweeten if fruit is not ripe, easy to access, in season or you only have 1 type on hand. :) Hope that helps!!! Luv, ~Blender Babes

  3. Kimberly says

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  4. Marianne says

    Hello !
    Thanks for all the tips ! I just bought myself a blender (nothing fancy, a never used one from the thrift store :P, and some veggies and fruits.
    I would like to try a leafy green juice mixed with some fruits. I bought these fruits and veggies today : Kale, cucumbers, baby spinach, celery, blueberries, pears, bananas, lemons and cilantro. I couldn’t find any good oranges, the ones i saw where not really looking healthy or fresh.
    I would love love love to get a recipe for a juice that includes those items, or at least some of them that go together, i do not want a nasty tasting juice. Please help me !

    • Blender BabesBlender Babes says

      Wonderful Marianne! All of your fruits and greens can go together, just keep in mind that celery is a very powerful flavor so you might want to use very little of it. We recommend trying Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie (first without the cilantro, but add it for more detoxing effects). Typically if you are not following a specific recipe, start with a liquid (filtered water, coconut water, juice, milk or substitute) then add 1-2 greens and 1-3 fruits. Lemon is great b/c it is highly cleansing. It’s usually easy to “save” a smoothie by adding a little bit of honey or stevia or more fruit, etc. as you get used to to flavors of greens in your smoothies. Let us know how it goes! :) xoxo ~ Blender Babes

  5. Marianne says

    Awesome ! I will try that one, next time i go to the supermarket. For now i will try to substitute with blueberries and the cucumber for the romaine lettuce and the apples, as i forgot to buy those items today…GRRRR !!! Btw, i love celery to death ! I love the flavor :)
    Going to try the smoothie now, will write later if it’s worth a try :D

  6. Marianne says

    Years ago, a friend of mine had a yeast infection in her digestive system and the doctor told her to drink a lot of green juices, as she made us some, i tried it, it was very green ! Lol …
    No fruits whatsoever, very rustic i must say, but healthy yum yum
    I choked and choked, and in the end i

  7. Marianne says

    It turned out great, refreshing, replenishing and so good….I used 2 cups of plain water, a cup of ice
    less than half a cup of blueberries, half a pear and one banana, i mixed these ingredients, then i added half a cucumber, 3 cups of baby spinach and one big leaf of kale (stem removed) i also added 2 stalks of celery YUM ! It’s delicious, very tasty, not too sweet, very fresh flavor….just awesome :-D

  8. Jamilah says

    just made this!! It was Fan-flipin-tastic! Made a spinach smoothie. Usually when my husband makes them they turn out gross and I end up chewing my smoothie. I did just as the article suggested and added my veggies in a little at a time until they were all blended up. Other than it looking like poop, you’d never know there was spinach in it! I used a juiced green apple. I find the sourness of the apple cuts through the more bitter veggies like broccoli, kale and spinach. you could always throw in a banana too. It’s like heaven ^_^

    • Blender BabesLeslie Williams says

      Glad you liked it, Jamilah! The green apple definitely works to cut the darker greens – and lemon or other citrus does the same! I was surprised to find that orange juice is a great mix with spinach. YUM! Happy blending! :)

    • Eydie says

      Good Morning,
      I have been making fruit based smoothies for years, tried juicing but never got into it as I felt it was counter productive to lose the benefit of the fiber that was removed in the juicing progress. My daughter recently started reading about the benefits of “green smoothies” and for whatever reason this morning while having my coffee and searching the net I came across your site and started reading and found the info on rotating greens by families to prevent toxin buildup very interesting and informative, I am off to the kitchen to make my first green smoothie as I have fresh organic baby kale, spinach, celery and romaine. I always keep fresh and frozen fruit on hand so will see what I can come up with. Thank you for all the info.

  9. Deebi27 says

    Most helpful to my little, much less powerful blender!!! One of these days I will have a Blendtec, and never worry about blending again!!

  10. Mecheale Verrett says

    Very helpful article/advice. It’s so easy to give up when the desired consistency isn’t achieved. Thanks.

  11. Kyle Kurmi says

    Great tips! However when I make green smoothies I only use frozen fruit and no ice. In which order do you recommend the following: Almond milk, coconut water, Greek yogurt, spinach or kale, cucumbers, honey, turmeric powder, grated ginger, and lots of frozen fruits…like bananas, strawberries, blueberries, mango and papaya. Thanks in advance!

    • Blender BabesBlender Babes says

      Hello Carmina and welcome! A magic bullet has low power, similar to a regular blender so you will want to treat it the same way – meaning cut ingredients into 1 inch pieces. Also you layer the jar differently than a typical blender (backwards) so ice or frozen fruit, soft fruits/veggies, greens then liquids. Also cut recipes in half or even less (except for liquid only reduce by 1/3) Hope that helps! Happy blending! :)