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How to Make Green Smoothies
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.
Step 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.
Step 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.
Step 3. Add fresh 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. B
y having the fruit first, this will result in a more powerful vortex because the fruit puree will pull the greens towards the blades.
Step 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.
Step 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.
IF THAT’S NOT WORKING
If 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!
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 GIFTS from Blender Babes with your purchase. 🙂
If upgrading your blender is not likely for now – put it on your wishlist! – and try these tips for smoother, green smoothies.
39 thoughts on “How to Make Green Smoothies with a “Regular” Blender”
Your video was great. Thank you, I am more hopeful that I can make smoothies with a traditional blender. Onward!
Awesome so happy to hear it! When you’re ready to upgrade you can find the best blender for smoothies by budget and features. Happy Blending! ~Tarashaun
Great article. Very informative.
I have a 450 watt Oster blender and I made a pretty successful (and definitely low calorie) green smoothie today! I did cut up my fruits (banana, blueberries, apple) and veggies (spinach and baby kale) as small as I could to make for a “smoother” smoothie, and added just water and a couple ice cubes! It had little specks of blueberry skin and greens that weren’t totally incorporated, but the texture overall was fine! (I wasn’t crazy about the color however.) Glad to know I can still eat healthy even with a cheapy blender!
Thank you for the tips on which ingredients to add first/which speeds to run the blender to make the best smoothie! 🙂 Surprised and happy that my first ever green smoothie was a success!
Good for you, Emma!! That’s wonderful! Green smoothies are SOOO healthy. Glad to hear our content helped you in making your first green smoothie!
I am soooooo glad I found your site and this post by googling for this subject (how to blend green smoothies with a regular blender). I have a Kitchenaid Ultra Power blender (550 watts) since 7 years now and all these years I am apparently making my green smoothies the wrong way. I indeed go blending too high from the start, which regularly leaves me with a slightly smoky smelling blender. I will wait then for 1 minute or so before I finish the smoothie. I do understand better the order of ingredients now and especially the correct (lower) blending speeds I need to use. Very helpful. Thank you!
I also own a Magimix food processor (1100 watts). Can I make green smoothies in there as well? Any tips for that? Can you perhaps make a “how to” video of blending a green smoothie in a powerful foodprocessor?
Rotating your greens is also a very powerful and helpful tip. Important information to know. Thank you!
Interesting question Janine! I’ve never used a food processor to make a green smoothie. I know a food processor takes about 10 minutes to make nut butter where the blenders take between 30 second and 3 minutes. You can try it and let us know your results! Might help some people. You can probably do it the same way as the blender – meaning liquids and greens and then adding harder stuff. I’m glad our how to article helped you out! Keep me posted on your food processor results! 🙂
So a refurbished vitamix blender has a life expectancy of 20 years, but there were no vitamixes 20 years ago, so how do they even have refurbished ones? 😉
Hey there! Vitamix has been around for over 100 years! We’ve had many customers who had the old school Vitamix with a stainless steel jar that’s still working!! For over 20 years! Amazing 🙂 The refurbished Vitamix are usually blenders that were used in roadshow demonstrations or were purchased and returned and can’t be sold as new. Either way all of them go through an extensive 17 point checklist process to make sure they are LIKE NEW when sold. You can learn more here. 🙂
Thanks so much!!! I’m working on getting back to a healthy life style and stuck at my post baby weight after 5 months. This will be a huge help to me and help me in teaching my child healthy habits too!
Welcome Joanie! Two of our Blender Babes have had babies in the last year and making green smoothies has been a great way to lose the baby weight for both of them. 🙂 The babies love green smoothies too! Make sure to check out our healthy baby food recipes!
What if u have a magic bullet and not a regular blender ?
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! 🙂
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!
Useful information! Thanks for sharing.
Very helpful article/advice. It’s so easy to give up when the desired consistency isn’t achieved. Thanks.