Saturday, October 15, 2011

Harvest Green Smoothie

It is harvest time and we are working on ways to not only preserve the harvest but also to use up nature's bounty while it is nice and fresh. Green smoothies are a great way to use up fresh produce. Plus, they are the perfect vehicle to deliver raw, digestible green vegetables to your children! We began giving green smoothies to our children when they were around nine months old. We always made them without lemon until they were at least twelve months old because citrus can sometimes be harsh on a baby's digestive system.

Offering smoothies when they are young primes their taste buds and other sensory organs, such as the eyes, to like and beg for these drinks. Children who don't get them when they are very young sometimes have a harder time adapting to drinking something bright green when first introduced. Our 3 year old twins love green smoothies. You can watch them help prepare a smoothie with Tom in this video when they were two years old. The other day, I told them that I was going to make a green smoothie but I was still busy in the kitchen with another project. One of my twins said...."mommy when are you going to make the green moothie......momMY, PLEASE make the moothie NOW!" After I made it they each gulped down about 12 ounces. If your child isn't fond of green smoothies, try making them with mostly fruit and maybe only one kale leaf, then, over the days and weeks that you make them, slowly add more greens to let your child's taste buds adapt. Keep trying! Sometimes it takes 15 times of tasting something new for your child to accept it. A straw can also make smoothie time fun! I don't buy plastic straws, but if I were ever to buy some I would purchase either stainless steel or glass drinking straws.

Harvest Green Smoothie

I have been making smoothies out of all of the amazing fruit and greens we have available right now. Honeycrisp apples and bartlett pears create the most delicious fruit base with lovely flowery undertones. The greens are sweet and delicious right now, not as bitter as they are in the middle of the summer. These cold, crisp nights cause them to become sweeter. We like to create green smoothies with whatever we have on hand. I have been freezing plenty of pears and peaches to use when these fruits are out of season. Right now there are plenty of varieties of apples to choose from, pears, grapes (blend the seeds in too), still some peaches, and of course plenty of dark leafy greens to choose from (kale, collards, carrot tops, bok choy, cabbage, arugula, spinach, lettuce). You can be very creative with your smoothie. If it doesn't taste right just add more fruit, lemon juice, or more greens. Please note that this recipe is designed using a Vitamix which can make about 2 quarts at a time. Cut this recipe in half if you are using a regular blender. This recipe is acceptable for Phase 2 of the Elimination Diet.

2 honeycrisp apples, cored and cut into chunks
2 small bartlett pears, cored and cut into chunks
1 white peach, pitted
1 lemon, juiced
1 chunk of ginger
3 to 4 cups water
3 to 4 collards leaves
3 to 4 kale leaves
2 to 3 large handfuls spinach leaves

Place the apples, pears, peach, lemon juice, ginger, and water into the Vitamix, blend until smooth. Add the greens, a little at a time, blend, and then add more greens, blend again until smooth. Taste the smoothie to determine if it needs more greens, fruit, lemon, or water. I usually taste it and if it too sweet I just keep adding greens until my Vitamix is practically overflowing with green smoothie! Source:

Breastfeeding Update: Now that our daughter is a month and a half old I am making smoothies with kale and collards. I like to drink a quart at a time in between meals as a late afternoon snack (green smoothies are an awesome energizer!). For the first few weeks after she was born, Tom was making smoothies for me using just fruit, spinach, lettuce, and no lemon. She seems to be fine now when I eat many different foods including kale, collards, raw sauerkraut, a small amount of lemon or lime, and even cauliflower soup! You can read the post I did a few weeks ago where I talked about foods for a breastfeeding mama if you are interested.

More Smoothie Recipes:
Blueberry Cucumber Smoothie
Cherry Beet Detox Smoothie
Super Antioxidant Smoothie

About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. LOVE harvest smoothies! Your green smoothies look wonderful!! I truly wish I would have introduced my children to them as early as 9 months... but unfortunately I wasn't even aware of them until my youngest was a year old (I have 3 children.. ages 9, 4, and 2). My oldest two drink about 20 ounces a day, but my youngest won't touch them and is my pickiest eater. But I continue to try ;) Thanks SO much for all of your wonderful recipes!


  2. Love these. I wish I knew about green smoothies when our kids were younger - at 12, 15, and 16, they're a bit less receptive! LOL But I can sneak less "green" veggies in and still get a positive response - cabbage works. :)

  3. Awesome smoothie mama!

    Tell me ~ do you ever use swiss chard in them?

    And what ways do you save & preserve your greens for winter?

    Thanks! And lots of love ~ sadie @allnaturalme

  4. Did you change/amend any of the smoothie ingredients at the end of pregnancy, or is it specifically during the breastfeeding phase that we need to simplify the ingredients?

    This one looks yummy. I usually make green smoothies in the AM, but due to a minor bit of insulin resistance in the morning, I haven't wanted to try them lately since I suspect they'd send my glucose levels off the charts. As an afternoon snack, I suspect it would be fine. Yummy! I so miss green smoothies.

    D. just turned four and she loves green smoothies. I was pouring some into a small glass jar for her at the County Fair this year and mom who was nearby asked, "What is that?" as if I were pouring green sludge into a jar for her. D. promptly gulped it down and asked for a refill, much to the other mom's curiosity. I shared the basic recipe and where to find it--spreading the good green smoothie love. :-)

    Thank you for this version!

  5. Well, you already know that it is because of you and your book, Ali, that I started drinking green smoothies several years ago. These are gorgeous. The brighter and more vibrant they are, the more I love them. But I definitely took the baby steps to get to the ones I drink now. I find it so funny that if I leave out kale and/or cabbage, I actually miss them. Keep spreading the word, Ali!


  6. LOVE this, I can never get mine to be such a beautiful green color- maybe I'll try sticking to a recipe for once ;)

    I just wanted to add for Sadie-
    I've been dehydrating extra greens and then grinding them (I have the dry container for the vita mix, but have heard a coffee grinder works well too). Homemade green powder! I keep it in a little mason jar for adding to soups, smoothies, breads, hummus, etc! (I've also made a red pepper powder this way that is great in things like hummus)

  7. Oh. My. Gosh. Kory!! That's genius!!!

    THRILLED at this idea!!

    Thank you :)

  8. Just stumbled across your blog. We have 3 kids ages 8, 6, and 4 and (while we don't eat quite as healthy as your family seems to) people are continually amazed at the fact that our children will eat nearly anything. I am continually amazed that theirs won't! If you always feed it to them, they won't know any better. If that is what is offered, not something special for the kids who decide they don't like it, they'll eat it. Love the recipes so far! Trying a few this week. . .

  9. I love the idea of green smoothies but I am recovering from a systemic candida infection and cannot have any fruit besides berries and a little lemon/lime (also breastfeeding). Apples seem to be a staple in all of your smoothie recipes. Any ideas for substitutions?

  10. Ali, I'm breastfeeding my 9-week-old baby boy. I tried this green smoothie yesterday and again today and he has been very fussy ever since. Is it possible he's not ready for kale? You mentioned you only tried spinach in the early weeks. Also, he has acid reflux, so I've cut out all dairy and gluten. I wonder if this kicked up his acid. Would appreciate your thoughts.

  11. Thanks everyone!

    Sadie - I don't normally put swiss chard into smoothies. We have been preserving a lot of different foods, not just greens (through lacto-fermentation, freezing, dehydrating, and canning). For the greens, you can chop and blanch them and freeze them in ice cube trays (then just toss into soup during the winter). I also like to dehydrate into kale chips or dehydrate and powder in the vita-mix and mix with kelp granules, dried herbs, dried onion, and sea salt (and sometimes a little nutritional yeast). Use this to flavor steamed veggies or roasted veggies or whatever.

    Jennifer L. - No, I didn't change any of the ingredients during pregnancy, just in the early weeks of breastfeeding. I love how you are spreading the green smoothie love, it is sort of like breastfeeding in public. ;-)

    Anon - Hmm, I am not sure how to create an anti-candida smoothie but I will try to see if I can come up with one. All of the fruit in these smoothies is definitely not safe to eat while trying to get rid of candida.

    Susan - The kale and collards could have definitely caused him some discomfort. I avoided them both raw (but ate a small amount cooked) in the first 4 to 5 weeks. Babies digestive systems all mature at different rates. Your son may just not be quite ready. Also, it can take weeks, even months, for dairy and gluten to clear your system. Could it be possible that he is still having symptoms from that? I would wait a few weeks and then try another smoothie. He might be fine by then. :)


Join the Conversation!

I'd love to hear your feedback with my recipes. If you make any changes or substitutions then please share what you did so others can learn.

If you have a question about a recipe, please leave it here. I will do my best to answer it when I have time.

Comment moderation is in place. Your comment will be only be visible here once I publish it.

Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)