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How to Make Green Smoothies with a “Regular” Blender

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

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.

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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.

blenderfuitIF 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…

FINAL THOUGHTS

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.

HAPPY BLENDING!!

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Tarashaun Hausner
Tarashaun Hausner
Tarashaun Hausner is the founder of Blender Babes®. She credits using a blender daily for helping her heal an unhealthy relationship with food. A passionate advocate for self-care, she is committed to helping others pursue optimal wellness by balancing and healing their bodies and minds. She offers several opportunities to help people improve their health including free challenges and downloads, a gentle whole foods 7 Day Blender Cleanse™ and her holistic mind, body and spirit Slim Down Solution™ Womens Coaching Programs.

39 thoughts on “How to Make Green Smoothies with a “Regular” Blender”

  1. 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!

    1. 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!

  2. 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!

    1. 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! 🙂

  3. 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? 😉

    1. 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. 🙂

  4. 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!

    1. 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!

    1. 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! 🙂

  5. 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!

  6. Mecheale Verrett

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

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

    1. 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.

  8. 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 ^_^

    1. 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! 🙂

  9. 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 😀

  10. 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

  11. 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 😀

  12. 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 !

    1. Blender Babes

      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

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  14. 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….

    1. 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

  15. 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.

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