Classic Green Monster


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:


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


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.



5 from 6 reviews

Classic Green Monster Smoothie

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


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.

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


  • 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


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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


Blend away until smooth!


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

Pour into a glass and enjoy!


I love my Glass Dharma straw.

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


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.


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!


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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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

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Emily @ One Sweet Vegan January 13, 2011

I make a smoothie similar to this and similar to Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat Your Greens Fruit Smoothie. It has 5 oz. of spinach for a blender-full. The first time I tried it, I was scared. But, like you said, you can’t taste the spinach. Swiss chard, on the other hand, you can definitely taste! I started drinking a green smoothie every morning instead of my usual cup of coffee and I felt so much more energized. :-D


Wendy (Healthy Girl's Kitchen) January 13, 2011

Love my green smoothie every morning. Once you go there, you never go back.


Haleigh January 13, 2011

I need to bring back Green Monsters into my life :) I just don’t know if I could choke down a liquid breakfast during the winter…we shall see!


Megan @ Healthy Hoggin' January 13, 2011

I love green monsters! I was turned on to them after reading the book, “Green for Life,” and have been enjoying them regularly ever since! :D

My favorite recipe: 1 cup almond milk, 1 banana, juice of 1/2 lemon, 2-3 handfuls fresh spinach, 1 green pear, cored, and a generous shake of cinnamon. So good!

I also love making Kristen’s “Cherry Chocolate Bomb” with a few handfuls of spinach– it’s the perfect sweet treat!


Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) January 13, 2011

I LOVE GMs!! I too thought I would hate them, but they are SO good! Especially love adding a little chocolate powder…Chocolaty Green Monsters are the BOMB! :D


JenATX January 13, 2011

so pretty! mine never look as beautiful but I guess you can’t judge a book by its cover (or a drink by its hue) haha


meg January 13, 2011

My “go-to” GM recipe is a banana, several (maybe four?) organic strawberries, a cup or so of orange juice, a little almond milk, and a big handful of spinach. I actually presented it (with samples!) for a “carte blanche” get-to-know-you presentation in one of my classes last semester, and everyone that tried it was surprised by how non-gross it was! :]


Brittney January 13, 2011

Had one this morning with a splash of egg nog and nutmeg. YUM!


Amanda January 13, 2011

Green Monsters have changed my life. Thank you Angela. My kiddos drink them every morning (Miracles DO happen lol) as well. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg January 13, 2011

I had no idea that the Green Monster and I shared a BIRTHDAY!!! There’s no one I’d rather share it with more, ha! I love ’em– classic style!


Allison @ Food For Healing January 13, 2011

its nice to see and hear about all your positive changes, and sharing them with you readers!


Felicia (a taste of health with balance) January 13, 2011

i have a green monster almost every day! i pack a good 3 cups of spinach into that thing ! my favorite is with pumpkin and sun warrior, i almost feel super human after i’m finished with it ;) when i make it for others they honestly can’t believe how good it is and want more!


Felicia (a taste of health with balance) January 13, 2011

i have a green monster almost every day! i pack a good 3 cups of spinach into that thing ! my favorite is with pumpkin and sun warrior, i almost feel super human after i’m finished with it ;) when i make it for others they honestly can’t believe how food it is and want more!


Michele December 1, 2012

I am curious to know the exact recipe for your “fave” with pumpkin. I am a huge pumpkin fan and completely intrigued!


Beth @ DiningAndDishing January 13, 2011

You’ve changed a lot of lives with these Angela!! I had a smoothie just this morning actually. A GM without the green – no spinach to be had sadly!


Amanda @ Just Amanda J January 13, 2011

I remember trying one of these for the first time over a year ago. My roommate was totally grossed out, and I admit I was a little scared too, but the banana and almond milk really did make it sweet enough :) I need to get back to making these, thanks for the reminder!


Amy @ Teach, Write, Cook January 13, 2011

I am glad to see you use baby spinach most often, too. I have tried kale in my green monsters but can’t quite get past the taste and smell, so I stick to spinach most of the time!


Val @ Balancing Val January 13, 2011

LOVE this!

2 years ago I started experimenting with putting greens in my protein shakes when I was a wanna be bodybuilder.

I enjoy mine so much more now. I call mine swamp shakes because they have a brown color to them but its amazing how much energy you draw from them.

You can totally tell a difference in your vital force when you have these nutrients regularly!! :)


Camille January 13, 2011

I have been having a classic GM almost every day for lunch lately :) It is such a perfect meal and it makes my skin glow :)


Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans January 13, 2011

I’m so glad I discovered the GM via OSG. Its quickly become one of my favorite go-tos for a healthy snack!


Lisa January 13, 2011

Yum. I just recently started drinking Green Monsters and got my boyfriends hooked on them as well! I usually make a recipe pretty similar to the classic, but without nut butter. I’ll try adding that next time. Our blender just broke so I am anxiously waiting on our new one to arrive – I have some spinach to eat! I love being able to pack so much good healthy food into one little smoothie.


Beach Bum Beauty January 13, 2011

Well you’re persuasive! I am not going to try one of these, they don’t look half as scary as they sound, excited now! Thank you again for getting me to try something I would previously have avoided :-)


Liz @ Tip Top Shape January 13, 2011

This combo was actually my first green monster!! Definitely tasty :D


Angie @ Musings of a Violet Monkey January 13, 2011

I just started drinking Green Monsters at the start of the new year. I had always *meant* to, but never got into the habit until now. I haven’t tried adding any nut butters to them, though I may have to try that soon. (I rec’d a 14 cup Cuisinart for Xmas and have been making nut butters like crazy since then!). :)



Jessica @ How Sweet It Is January 13, 2011

I always add spinach to my smoothies since I hate veggies so much. But my other must haves are frozen bananas and frozen cherries!


kelly January 13, 2011

I like drinking green monsters as my ‘juice’ to go with an egg & cheese sandwich (since it has no veggies or fruit). Makes for a complete breakfast! :)


christyn @ All Ways Nutritious January 13, 2011

i am a huge green monster fan….i just started adding fresh mint to mine and love it. i actually just posted my fav all green smoothie yesterday…i can actually feel a difference when i don’t have it. it boosts my energy and mood!!


Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn January 13, 2011

Lately my life has been quite rough, so I’ve been having at least one green smoothie every day. Most of the time I have them first thing in the morning, and I notice a change in myself throughout the day for the better, and every day even better than the last!

Thank you for spreading the green smoothie love, I truly believe it’s something that can help ANYONE’S and EVERYONE’S health for the better (body and soul!), whether they need a pick-me-up or not:)


Suzanne January 13, 2011

I cant wait to try these! Thank you so very much! Ill be stopping by the store on my way home from work. :)


Mimi January 13, 2011

If it wasn’t for you, I would have never tried a Green Monster. That being said, thank goodness for you! (:


Amanda R. January 13, 2011

I spent my entire 8am lecture dreaming of green monsters, dashed back to my dorm to make one, and sat down to enjoy it while checking to see if you had posted this morning yet…..I think we might be on the same brain wave this morning! especially since mine was a classic, with a TBSP of chocolate- peanut butter! i love being green <3


thefruitpursuit (Sabine) January 13, 2011

I always almost weep at your story :)

I have made tons of green monsters, I mostly make them pink or purple haha so they are easier to drink for me.

x sabine


Nancy V January 13, 2011

lol, ok so I’m not the only one… mine end up being purple thanks to blueberries ;)


Katie January 13, 2011

How is your Vitamix SO clean?!?! Mine is…um…not so clear anymore. I swear I wash it everytime too.


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 13, 2011

I have that problem too….sometimes I use one of those scrubber pads + lots of dish soap and hot water to get it clear again!


Sharon January 13, 2011

Rinse it out…add water and soap and run it on medium (not too high or you will have lots of bubbles!)…gives it a nice pre-wash and shakes out all the bits and seeds that get caught around the blades!


Helen November 24, 2016
Recipe Rating:

When it gets really cloudy, I’ve heard you can totally clear it up by soaking it in OxiClean (I haven’t had to do it yet, but I would just add some with water, let it blend for a cycle, then let it sit overnight; Rinse in the morning). This tip came from my friend who bought an old, used juicer that was totally stained and really bad looking, but after soaking it for several days in a sink full of OxiClean and water, it looked as good as new!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 13, 2011

I didn’t actually know your full story behind the GM, but I have to say THANK YOU x100000 for introducing me to them! I start almost every day with one and they have made such a difference in my energy levels, overall health (and I think) my immune system. Oh, and they’re freakin delicious!! :)


Katy (The Singing Runner) January 13, 2011

I love Green Monsters! I have them at least 4 times a week! :D People think I’m crazy but I’m addicted to them!


Jessica Lauren DeBry June 6, 2014

Me too Katy!! It truly is an addiction!


Cathy Breit January 13, 2011

These have changed the way I look at greens, literally! Chocolate green monster, anyone? Thanks for opening my mind, OSG!!
cathy b. @ brightbakes


Halley (Blunder Construction) January 13, 2011

I love green monsters! Reading about yours over the summer got me interested, and I think I made one every single hot summer morning! They are the best!


Cait @ A Bicycle Built for Two January 13, 2011

I’ve never made a green monster but after hearing so much about it on here, I’d say its about time I give it a try :) I’m a HUGE fan of any kind of smoothie, so I’m sure I would love it. Thanks for promoting such healthy and GOOD recipes!


Daniel January 13, 2011

There’s something satisfying about putting greens into my smoothie that I can’t put into words, but it’s definitely there.

Generally I toss in a tablespoon of flax, a handful or two of greens (kind of limited seeing as organic doesn’t really exist in my town and kale is as foreign as it gets here), half of a frozen banana, some roasted squash for thickness, and then I pour in the almond or soy milk as I go along to get to a creamy, pea-soup like thickness. I prefer to eat my smoothies with a spoon rather than drinking them. ;)


Kristy @ KristyRuns January 13, 2011

I drink a green monster several times a week! I usually add a banana, frozen mixed berries, spinach, and soy milk. LOVE! I credit these to keeping my iron levels high despite not eating meat. Hmmm…sounds like a good mid-morning snack… ;)


Liz @ Blog is the New Black January 13, 2011

Diggin’ the classic! Great reminder that I need to make me one of this bad boys soon!


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