Classic Green Monster

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It is hard to believe that the 2-year anniversary of the Green Monster is coming up on January 20th!

In January 2009, I felt a huge void in my life. I was unhappy with my career and I was often up late at night until 3 or 4 in the morning worrying about work. I dragged all day long and I was turning into someone I didn’t recognize anymore. I started blending green vegetables in my blender after reading about Kris Carr’s green juices. While I didn’t have a juicer, I did have a blender, and I was excited to blend my green ‘juice’ any way that I could.

In my Story of the Green Monster post, I explained:

Determined to feel alive once again, I crammed the healthiest foods into my blender and I blended my little heart out. Of course, the first few attempts looked horrific and they tasted no better. But, I didn’t care. I drank every last drop of those green monsters before I made the long commute to work each morning. The green monster not only gave me energy, but it represented something much deeper than that- inner peace and self-love. I knew that the stress I had put myself through over the past few years was nothing short of damaging to every cell in my body. I created the Green Monsters as a way to take time out for my health. Even if I knew it was going to be a hellish day, drinking my Green Monster in the morning provided me with a sense of calm in my life.

This was one of my first concoctions:

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No almond milk, just kale, an English cucumber, and baby carrots. lol. It was scary to say the least!

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Thankfully, my Green Monsters have improved greatly since those initial days.

On January 26, 2009, I gave my two weeks notice at my job. It was a very, very bad week for me and I was at an all-time low in my life. I drank those green monsters every single morning despite everything going on. I imagined that I was Popeye with superhuman strength. And boy did I need it.

I still receive a lot of emails and tweets from people who have just tried their first green monster. Many people have challenged themselves to drink Green Monsters in 2011 and I’m always excited to hear about other’s experiences! The most frequent message I receive is, ‘I thought they looked so gross, but they actually taste so delicious! Now I am hooked.’

I am also asked a lot what my classic go-to recipe is so I thought it would be fun to do a post on my most frequently enjoyed Green Monster recipe.

This is a recipe that I keep coming back to again and again and it never fails me.

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5 from 6 reviews
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Classic Green Monster Smoothie

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, no bake/raw, oil-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

By

To this day, Green Monsters are one of my favourite drinks for glowing skin and increased energy. If you are newbie, feel free to start off with baby spinach since its taste is undetectable, but I encourage you to experiment with kale, romaine lettuce, or other leafy greens as well. Just be sure to use a sturdy high-speed blender that can handle the task of blending thick greens. If your blender is on the weaker side, stick with spinach as it blends more easily.

Yield
1 smoothie (2 cups)
Prep Time
Cook time
0 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup destemmed kale leaves or baby spinach
  • 1 large ripe frozen banana, chopped into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter or peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds or ground flaxseed
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 scoop of your favourite protein powder (optional)
  • 2 to 3 ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.

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When I am feeling a little frisky, I love to add in some powders too! I keep Navitas Maca powder, Vega Shake & Go, and Amazing Grass Wheat Grass on hand whenever the budget allows.

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Yesterday I added into the classic mix: 1 tsp Maca, 1 tbsp Vanilla Almond Shake & Go, and 1/2 scoop wheatgrass powder. It was my first time trying Vega Vanilla Almond and I thought it was pretty good, but I greatly prefer the Choc-O-lot flavour. I love making a Chocolate-Mint GM using Vega’s Choc-O-Lot and some fresh mint leaves.

Add your liquid in first. This just helps the blender do its job better.

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Next add in your powders, chia seeds or ground flax, and your nut butter:

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Now add the greens. I use two handfuls of whatever green I have on hand. I most often use spinach, but I also like to use red or green kale now that my Vita-Mix can handle it.

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Finally, add the banana. The weight helps pack all the ingredients down!

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Blend away until smooth!

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I added in 2 large ice cubes and blended some more.

Pour into a glass and enjoy!

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I love my Glass Dharma straw.

Mmm, this one is absolutely delicious. Creamy, sweet, smooth, and loaded with nutrients!

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I’m always asked how I can drink smoothies during the cold winter months and my answer is easy:

I often drink Green Monsters following my workout when I am often craving something liquid and cold.

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I’m also always asked if you can taste the spinach and the answer is no. =) Kale, on the other hand…YES (unless you make it super sweet to overpower the bitter quality of the kale).

Good to the last drop!

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Other Mentionables:

1) Need more encouragement to eat your veggies? Check out this article: ‘Want a Golden Glow? Don’t Bother with a Suntan- Eat Your Greens Instead.

2) My Winter 2011 training plan is now up on my Races page. I will be talking about this in more detail soon!

3) Check out these 30 new Green Monster reader recipes on GMM.

Are you a smoothie or ‘Green Monster’ fan? What’s your favourite go-to recipe?

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram (@ohsheglows + @theglowspot), Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google+

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

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TMOH March 17, 2017

I’m sharing this deliciousness on my site! Hope you don’t mind, thanks!! @modelofhealth

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Chef March 2, 2017

What the f is a cup of kale? It’s like measuring water in inches.

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Paulian February 17, 2017
Recipe Rating:

How many calories is in this drink?

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Angela Liddon February 22, 2017

Hi there! Unfortunately, I don’t know the calorie count offhand. However, if you plug the recipe information into an online tool like caloriecount.com or nutritiondata.com, you should be able to find out all the nutritional info you want to know! Hope this helps. :)

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Suzanne Poldon January 28, 2017
Recipe Rating:

Still making this smoothie in 2017! It was the first smoothie recipe I ever made (probably not long after you posted it) and it will always be my favourite. :)

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Chris Taylor October 20, 2016

Thank you for your response, after checking the websites you suggested, the first 2, nothing came up. When entering the name in my fitness pal, a wide variety of selections were in there. You don’t even have how many calories are in your smoothie. Granted it is very good, but if you can’t even put how many calories, or any nutritional information, I think I’ll move onto another website for my smoothie choice.

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Chris Taylor October 19, 2016

I just made your classic green monster smoothie, will be drinking it in the morning. I need to know the notes on this recipe, calories, fats, carbs, etc. please.
Thanks

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Angela Liddon October 20, 2016

Hi Chris, I haven’t calculated that information myself, but if you plug the recipe/ingredients into a free online tool like nutritiondata.com or caloriecount.com, or even an app like MyFitnessPal, you should be able to find out the nutritional data fairly easily! Hope this helps, and enjoy that smoothie! :)

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India October 14, 2016

Hey, where do you get your reusable straw from?

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Benjamin August 25, 2016
Recipe Rating:

Hello my names Benjamin and this morning I made a green monster in your oh she glows cookbook and green monster taste SOOO good! not this one a little different one on page 67 on book. and Im a ten year old boy but Im gonna be 11 soon but when I made in i made a mistake was put to much cinnamon so I added more ice and protein powder so the taste turned more normal. when i gave some to my older brothers they loved it!

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Angela Liddon August 25, 2016

I’m so glad to hear you and your brothers enjoyed the green monster, Benjamin! :)

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Katie June 23, 2016

I just tried making this in my Vitamix for the first time and I’m not sure what I did wrong but it came out frothy and it wasn’t nice and cold. I even threw a couple more ice cubes in to see if that would help. My banana was frozen and my almond milk was refrigerated. Any ideas?

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Angela Liddon July 26, 2016

Hi Katie, I’m so sorry to hear you had green monster trouble. Sometimes if you blend it too long, the blender will actually heat up the smoothie. So, my advice would be to be extra careful not to over-blend it, or try adding more ice. Hope this helps!

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mon April 14, 2016
Recipe Rating:

i love the classic green!! i personalize it as follows:

1. double the greens to 2 cups. i use a baby spinach, baby kale and arugula mix.
2. halve the almond butter, chia seeds and banana amounts
3. add 1 tsp. spirulina powder (non-irradiated only!)
4. use 1/2 scoop garden of eden raw protein powder (unflavored)

this means my smoothie has more nutrients, less calories, and is less sweet than the original recipe.

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Angela Liddon April 14, 2016

Great tweaks! Thanks for sharing :)

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Shelby February 14, 2016
Recipe Rating:

I’ve been making this everyday the past 3 days now & I can’t get enough of this smoothie! I don’t even like bananas! But seriously this is so yummy and I feel better about myself when I’m drinking because I know I’m doing myself a favor. I do skip the chia seeds because I cannot deal with the texture but I may start adding protein powder to make it a little more filling on days I’m in a hurry. Thanks for the recipe!

shelbylives.com

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Eva October 22, 2015

Hi, does the banana need to be frozen?

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Tanysha September 11, 2015

How long would these past in the fridge? My housemate is always asleep when I’m getting ready so I don’t want to wake her with the blender at 6.30am! Would they last overnight?

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Brittany May 17, 2015

I’ve found that bright flavors such as pineapple or mango hide kale without the need for more fruit than normal! I do about 2 handfuls of kale with a half mango and a couple spoon fulls of pineapple. I only use mango or banana one per smoothie as I’ve found they give me the same consistency in the end.

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Haley January 12, 2015

This smoothie is amazing, I am soo soo surprised! I was expecting a mess/disaster but this is great! I added the protein powder and it was a flavour game changer! Completely masked the taste of the kale. It’s safe to say I’m a fan!

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Leslie December 12, 2014

Just thought that I would share that your green monster recipe is so yummy, that it even helps to disguise the taste of natto, which I’m sure you know is considered to be incredibly disgusting by most, but so healthy for you. I froze about a cup of it and added it to a classic green monster, plus a scoop of chocolate powder, and it was so much easier to get it down than any other method I’ve tried. I barely could taste it!

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Donelle November 14, 2014

Lovin’ it!

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Tanysha Jeffree September 7, 2014

Just made my first one, I used normal spinach not baby spinach and you can still not taste it :) used plain unsweetened almond milk, I might add a dash of vanilla essence tomorrow. Yummy!

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domain September 6, 2014

My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was totally right.
This post truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

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Celeste August 29, 2014

Do you have a smoothie recipe that uses coconut water by chance? I really don’t love almond milk and I wasn’t sure if this recipe would work with coconut water.

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Kyla August 10, 2014

OMG I just made my first Green Monster and it was simply fabulous! This I will be making many times! Thanks so much!

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Mary G. July 5, 2014

love this recipe and the background on why you decided to consume more smoothies.

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Brandy June 29, 2014

I just had my first green monster. It was delicious. I was freaked out at first from the bright green so it took a couple of minutes to get the courage to drink it.

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sara young April 13, 2014

Omg! I am hooked! Started last week, want to share my favorite breakfast smoothie for pre workout… 1 cucumber with peel, 1 apple also with peel, quarter of large lemon with half peel, half avocado, 2 celery, 3 kale thick woody stem removed, flax, chia, nutritional yeast, coconut water. I love this and can douvle my workout with much less tiredness after. Love your page!

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LaVerne March 21, 2014

I like the almond milk, spinach, frozen banana, chia seeds, almond butter and cinnamon. It’s really good. That’s your recipe. I make one for breakfast every morning; almond milk, spinach, mixed berries, banana, chia seeds & cinnamon. Thanks for all the recipe ideas. “OhSheGlows” is my go to website.

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samantha nikohl February 5, 2014

firstly, i love your website. I’m twenty one and a superhero/mother of two growing boys (4 and 3 years old) living a vegan lifestyle alongside my amazing husband who has been supportive and committed to this lifestyle since day one. BUT… I’ve been losing weight, and it’s a cause for concern because I eat four regular meals and snack all the time but the pounds are still sneaking off. I am 5’8″, 116 pounds (sigh) and I’ve never been worried about my weight or appearance until now. i don’t “workout” but we do a lot of physical activities with my boys on the weekend, and for my age i would say i’m in shape (no six pack but i can bench my toddlers like no one’s business). i haven’t seen a doctor since my youngest son was born and currently live by hippocrates “let food be thy medicine” which works for me and my body til, well, i don’t know which food to prescribe myself.

what foods would you recommend for gaining weight and what protein powder have you had the best luck with in your GMs? would really appreciate your opinion, and again your website has blessed my husband with many delicious meals (if i let him select recipes, he washes dishes… it’s a huge win-win in my house) (:

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Margaret Hart January 21, 2014

This is one of my FAVORITE green smoothies. Thanks for the great recipe, Angela! Very filling, and you can barely detect the greens :) . I created a video of the recipe for my “5 days of green” video series to kick off the new year over on my YouTube channel.

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