This is my go-to green smoothie recipe! It hits the spot every time. I love the flavors, the brilliant green color, the texture. So good. Something about a green smoothie always gives me those tropical vibes, which I’m all about especially in the middle of a harsh Chicago winter. The pineapple and/or mango pair perfectly with banana and spinach. Take it to the next tropical level by using coconut milk as your liquid. Take a sip of this Island Green Smoothie, close your eyes, and pretend you’re on a beautiful beach somewhere with the sun shining and waves crashing!
Fun fact: This is actually very similar to the Island Green Smoothie at the Tropical Smoothie Cafe, but with WAY less sugar.
Notes on Ingredients
- Spinach is chock full of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, folic acid, iron, and a bit of calcium. I like using spinach obviously for the nutritional benefits, but also it has a neutral taste in this Island Green Smoothie. I feel it creates the best texture as well. If you don’t have spinach on hand or don’t have enough, you could sub in kale.
- Frozen fruit is key for making the smoothie cold without watering it down with ice. I would recommend using at least 1 frozen fruit for the coldness factor. I try to always keep frozen bananas, mango and/or pineapple on hand to make this Island Green Smoothie! I literally throw bananas whole in the freezer, peel and all, once they start turning brown. When I’m ready to use it, I will put the banana in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, which makes it easier to cut. Then I slice off the top and bottom, cut it in half, slice the peel vertically and take off the peel from there. You can also freeze bananas without the peel, but I’m all about efficiency so I find storing in the freezer with the peel 1) eliminates the need for using a plastic bag, 2) is way faster.
- Plain Greek yogurt comes in clutch here to increase the protein and thicken this Island Green Smoothie. You choose the fat content — this could be made with full-fat, reduced-fat or fat-free yogurt depending on your preference. Non-negotiables though are the plain part and the Greek part. If you make this Island Green Smoothie with a regular and/or flavored yogurt, this will affect the texture, reduce the protein and increase the sugar.
- Milk/liquid choice is yours! I have made this with regular milk, water, and coconut milk. All versions taste fantastic! I’d venture to bet almond milk and oat milk would work too, so let us know if you try it out that way 🙂 The coconut milk adds an extra tropical feel to this Island Green Smoothie if that’s what you’re going for! I would recommend getting the type of coconut milk that is found in the refrigerated section like in a carton, so more liquid than the coconut milk that comes in a can. Something like this would work well.
- Ground flaxseed is optional, but it adds protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. Gives this Island Green Smoothie that extra nutritional punch!
How to Make This Delicious Island Green Smoothie
Get all your ingredients out! Frozen fruit, spinach, yogurt, liquid of choice, and ground flax seeds. Load up everything into a blender.
Blend until smooth and homogenous. Depending on the strength of your blender, you might have to stop it, scrape down the sides and blend again if it’s not looking quite homogenous. If you want a thinner smoothie, add a bit more of your liquid.
Enjoy!! This recipe makes about 16 ounces, or about 2 1-cup portions. If you want to enjoy this Island Green Smoothie 2 days in a row, pop that second cup in the fridge for the next day.
How long do smoothies last in the fridge?
- I (Kelly here) typically make this Island Green Smoothie as written and enjoy it across 2 days. I have found that beyond 2 days, the smoothie loses its texture a bit and becomes more liquid-y when stored in the refrigerator. If you prefer a thicker smoothie, I’d recommend doing the same OR putting it in the freezer which should give you another day or two of life.
What is the best blender for frozen fruit smoothies?
- A solid blender always makes smoothie-making more enjoyable! I use a Ninja Professional Kitchen System and love it. NutriBullet gets the job done as well. At a higher price point, Vitamix is another option.
Are smoothies healthy?
- You know the Nutriving way is all foods fit, so absolutely smoothies can be healthy! Our recommendations for smoothies are as follows:
- Use smoothies as an opportunity to get those greens in! Spinach and kale are great options to blend in without making the taste super noticeable.
- Try to stick to the amount of fruit you’d actually eat in one sitting. For example, most people wouldn’t typically sit down and eat 2 bananas, 1 mango, a cup of pineapple and 10 strawberries all at once. And yet, many smoothies you might find at a store, cafe or bottled in the grocery store pack in wayyyy more fruit than you would sit down and eat if it was whole fruit. Since smoothies are blended, it’s easy to pack in a bunch of fruit without realizing it. While I love fruit, I like to spread my fruit intake out a bit so I have room to enjoy other things and get a variety of nutrients. Sticking to a cup or so of fruit per smoothie ensures we aren’t overdoing it on the sugar that is naturally found in fruit and makes room for other nutrients.
- Always include a protein source either IN the smoothie or WITH the smoothie. This is why I love Greek yogurt in here. If you make a smoothie without yogurt and just have fruit and liquid, that smoothie is mostly providing carbohydrates for you and is not providing any substantial protein. It also will have a thinner texture, which is not my jam. Since protein is key for helping us feel full, adding Greek yogurt in the smoothie or having something with protein on the side is going to round out that meal/snack for you and help you feel more satisfied.
- Smoothies (particularly with a good balance of fruit, greens and a protein source) can be a delicious, quick and easy meal/snack option. If I have a day I know is going to be hectic and likely difficult to eat as many fruits and vegetables as I would ideally like to, I will absolutely prep a smoothie the day before. It’s delicious, obvs, plus it’s a quick and portable way to ensure you are getting at least some fruits and veggies in.
If you make this Island Green Smoothie, be sure to drop a comment and let us know how you like it!!
¡Receta en Español!
Aquí va la receta de un batido verde tropical exquisito! Como dice en la receta, los ingredientes son flexibles. La fruta se puede cambiar por mango, piña, o otra fruta que te guste. Para el líquido, puede usar leche de cualquier tipo, leche de coco para un toque tropical, o agua. La espinaca se puede cambiar por col rizada/kale. La receta queda igual de rica.