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.



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 favorite 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 much easier.

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


  • 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
  • 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, and Google+

Previous Posts

{ 305 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin @ The Grass Skirt January 13, 2011

Happy Green Monster-versary! :) I am a HUGE fan of GMs thanks to you. I even named my blog after my favorite one. It tastes like a pina colada. ;) I also like making pumpkin green monsters with canned pumpkin. They taste like pumpkin pie. I don’t have one everyday, but I’d say that I have 2-3/week on average. Love them!


Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit January 13, 2011

Just this morning I decided I was going to bring on the GREEN in a big way! What perfect timing for you to refresh us with your Green Monster recipe. I have all the ingredients! Can’t wait to try it tomorrow morning.


Candice @ChiaSeedMe January 13, 2011

I love hearing your story about the green monster every time I read it.

Last year I was in a similar place as you concerning my job (except probably not quite as bad) and I had an hour commute every morning starting at 6am. I had already been drinking green monsters several times a week for awhile, but when I started that job they became one of the highlights of my day, similar to you. My husband was sweet enough to get up at 5:45am every morning to make it for me (he became a green monster pro:) and every single morning I would drink it on the long commute to work – even in the winter! It was what got me through my day.

I’ve since left that job and I work from home now, but 9 times out of 10 you’ll still find me working away in the morning with a green monster in hand. Thank you for turning me on to something that has been such a great thing in my life!

My go-to recipe is: 1 cup almond milk, 2 handfuls of spinach, 1 scoop Amazing Grass or Vega powder, 1/2 a frozen banana, 1 tbsp chia seeds and a handful of ice. Nothing beats it!


Katy @ A Healthy Shot January 13, 2011

Of course I am! I LOVE green monsters :) My favorite recipe is still the classic, although I also like to add some berries every now and then. Just finished my workout & I’m off to make one now!


Ashley January 13, 2011

I will never get sick of seeing that vibrant GREEN!! I will also never get sick of that classic green monster. :)


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table January 13, 2011

I put spinach in every smoothie I make – so good for you and it really doesn’t have a taste! My new fav is adding butternut squash or sweet potato – YUM!

The only downside is if you make one to drink in the car… and then have to leave it in the car for 8-10 hours… the car WILL smell a little “funky.” :)

Happy Green-iversary!


Lizzie January 13, 2011

This is a very timely post! I fell off the GM wagon several months ago, when my husband and I started getting up early for the gym 3 mornings a week – his gym is opposite his office, so he just goes straight to work. I come home afterwards, shower, breakfast, then out the door. So making GM’s kind of stopped being a priority. I was also making the same one all the time. But this reminder of the basic (classic!) recipe you can build on, has got me motivated to get back in the habit (plus my husband actually liked them and noticed a difference in how he felt at work!).


Sarah January 13, 2011

I really like the classic (I opt for flaxseed.)
It took me a long time to try Green Monsters; when I finally did, I was hooked! Now I’m just waiting for the warmer months to get back into them. (I don’t typically like to eat right after working out.)


Stephanie January 13, 2011

I’ve been experimenting with the green monster the past few weeks, as I tried my first one about 2 weeks ago!! I am having a hard time deciding when I want it. Most mornings, I make a strawberry and banana smoothie with yogurt and milk, so that leaves the afternoon/evening. If I make them right when I get home from work, I have dinner really late. It’s definitely something I want to work into my routine everyday, but when? Is having 2 bananas a day bad for you? I’m new to all this :)


Lynne January 13, 2011

I found your blog and I love it! I started reading your shred posts because I’m on day 4. Then I read all about you – very inspiring!!! I would love to try your green monster recipe!!!


megan @ blackberries for jam January 13, 2011

I refuse to give up my smoothies in the winter too! If I’m not having them after a workout, I have to wrap myself in a blanket and crank up the heat. I’m probably responsible for a spike in our consumption of electricity. But they are just too good!


Namaste Gurl January 13, 2011

Mmmm, I love me a nutritious green monster. That’s exactly how I make mine, I just always add sun warrior :)


Angela W January 13, 2011

Mmmmm I am loving the green monsters since I first found your blog about a month ago! My fav right now is frozen banana, frozen mango, spinach, almond milk, flax, and about a tablespoon of coconut milk cream. Tastes like vacation :) Although the clementine creamsicle smoothy has stolen my heart of late! I read on GMM that you cook the spinach first so you get more of the nutritional value… do you always cook it, or would you suggest switching it up for raw sometimes?


Becki January 13, 2011

Where oh where do you find a glass straw? Is that what you have? I so need one! I feel bad throwing out straws everyday!


Emily January 13, 2011

I’ve been rocking the green monsters for about a month now. My faves are the classic, peach vanilla (peaches I canned in the summer + vanilla protein powder) and chocolate raspberry (frozen berries + coco powder). I drink one almost every morning for breakfast. I’ve been having trouble getting up in these dark winter months and the GM is the perfect thing to grab last minute and enjoy in the car on the way to work. You are so right about boosting energy levels! I’ve been an avid coffee drinker for years, but I find the caffeine too much after a GM – makes me all jittery!

Thanks for spreading the GM love Angie!



Toby January 13, 2011

I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now. I had to laugh when I read today’s post as just THIS morning I made my first green monster.


Roz January 13, 2011

I’ve been feeling the feelings you described before you gave notice on your job…..until I find something else I can’t give notice, but I CAN start to drink green monsters. Maybe that’ll give me some superhuman strength (and luck) to find a new opportunity!! Thanks for the inspiration that life does turn itself around, and for the “power” recipe.


lindsay January 13, 2011

you definitely got me hooked on these greens machines! I love the amazing grass shakes too. So nourishing. Well done Angela!


Lauren at KeepItSweet January 13, 2011

I don’t eat green mosters often during the winter, but when I drink them more often during the summer I always feel instantly “healthy”. I like to add chocolate amazing meal to mine with basically the same base you have!


Styles 'n Cream January 13, 2011

I am a huge fan of your blog from the moment I found it a couple of months ago and I have been dying to try the Green Monster , just wasn’t sure which recipe I should try first. Now this was perfect timing .. . plus I cannot belive you wrote this post on the same day I did a post about my desire to have the GM. Check out my post

I am trying this smoothie tomorrow – I cannot wait – and I think my whole family would enjoy it (my husband and kids are vegan too).

Have a fabulous day!




Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) January 13, 2011

I feel like your version of ‘green monsters’ have been around….forever! And it’s only been 2 years. I think webster’s dictionary should carve out a special place for your name right next to those 2 words…that is an Angela-ism :)

Green smoothies, shakes, drinks, whatever we call it…it’s all good to me! Right around the time you were coining the term Green Monster, I was making baby food in my Vita for Skylar..she was about 1 year old or so…and she and I both ate our Green Monsters that way :)


Anne January 13, 2011

I LOVE green monsters!

My favourite recipe usually turns out greenish with a tinge of blue/brown, depending, but here goes:


1/2 cup almond milk, or water
1/2 cup frozen berries
2 handfuls organic spinach
1 slice lemon or lime, peel included
1 tbsp ground flax
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 scoop Progressive Veggie Greens
1 scoop Progressive Phyto Berries (if available)
1-3 Ice cubes

Blend into a delicious GM!!


chelsey @ clean eating chelsey January 13, 2011

I love green monsters. I used to drink one every day in the summer, but now can’t even think about it because it’s so cold!!!


Jil @ Big City, Lil Kitchen January 13, 2011

Love green monsters and love the idea of the chocolate mint…


Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama January 13, 2011

That’s pretty much how I make my 2 year old’s green smoothies. I knew she loved pb+banana in her smoothies so one day I added some greens and sure enough she loved it. Sometimes I add berries too but then it turns a gross army green color. :-)


Leanne (For Health's Sake) January 13, 2011

I’ve stopped drinking these since it got cold in Alberta but this post has made me want to start again. I know that I don’t get enough veggies in my diet, & these tasted so good. I’ll be picking up the ingredients this weekend :)


Lily's Health Pad January 13, 2011

Just so you know…Green Monsters changed breakfast for me! And a lot of people I know! I tell everyone about them and I’ve convinced almost everyone in my family to give them a try.


Sarah (Sarah Learns) January 13, 2011

yum! i tried my FIRST green monster this week & did a post about it! i love putting toppings on them too. my favorite topping is melted coconut butter that makes a hard shell on top. it’s perfect for eating with a spoon. :)


Allison January 13, 2011

I love Green Monsters! I am so grateful to have stumbled upon this blog last year because I pretty much had a Green Monster every hot summer morning. So amazing.

I recently started a new blog, and I’ve definitely mentioned the Green Monster on it:



CathyK January 13, 2011

CONGRATULATIONS on coming up to the 2nd anniversary of leaving your stressful and unhappy job, angela! that is a milestone to celebrate!
i was a teacher for three years, and left the profession because it just was not me. i remember well the free heart i felt as i walked away on the last day!
so happy for you that you can now pursue your passions. let’s raise a green monster in a toast! :)


Kristin (Cook, Bake, Nibble) January 13, 2011

I love my green monsters, and I am happy to say YOU inspired me to try putting spinach in my smoothies! Now I hardly ever go without it, and I always feel so energized and strong after drinking one. Thanks for starting a healthy revolution… oh, and that recipe looks amazing. :D


Kristin (Cook, Bake, Nibble) January 13, 2011

I love my green monsters, and I am happy to say YOU inspired me to try putting spinach in my smoothies! Now I hardly ever go without it, and I always feel so energized and strong after drinking one. Thanks for starting a healthy revolution… oh, and that recipe looks amazing. :D


Morgan @ Life After Bagels January 13, 2011

Does anyone else love the fact that Angela said “frisky” in relation to adding ingredients to her green monster . . . BAHAHAHA – sorry for the ribbing Angela – that’s the sign of a true health enthusiast ;)


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 13, 2011

haha nerd alert (me)


Jaime January 13, 2011

Thanks for this recipe :) I’m going to attempt to make my very first Green Monster tomorrow morning! Can’t wait.


Picky Nicky January 13, 2011

I love green monsters :) I wish I could drink them during class, but my water bottle is see-through LOL And I find that I can’t taste kale when I put it in! I guess it depends on how much you use


Meredith January 13, 2011

Ooo I shoulda gone for the classic this morning. I’ve been drinking Green Monsters for about a year now (thanks to you lovely) but I still occasionally stumble upon some really unpalatable combinations. Don’t try cabbage, people. On the bright side, veggies NEVER go bad at my house anymore!


Erin January 13, 2011

Here are my faves:

Post-workout recovery GM

1 scoop Vega Sport Performance Protein (vanilla)
1 tsp MacaSure powder
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, sliced
1 pear, quartered and seeded
1 sm zucchini, chopped
1/2 stalk celery, sliced
3 large kale leaves, destemmed
2 c. filtered ice water

Blended Salad GM (savoury, like raw soup)

1 sm zucchini or cucumber, chopped
2 ripe field tomatoes, quartered
1 sm red, yellow or orange bell pepper
1/2 ripe avocado
1/2 stalk celery, sliced
1 green onion, chopped
1/2 clove garlic, deveined
1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger, sliced
Large handful fresh parsley and/or cilantro
2-3 leaves Romaine lettuce and/or kale (destemmed)
1 tsp white miso
1-2 tsp Bragg liquid aminos
Small squeeze fresh lime juice
Hot sauce or pepper to taste
Additional fresh or dried herbs to taste
1 1/2 cups warm filtered water


Lindsey Graham January 13, 2011

I love this post. I am so inspired to start my own green monster journey in 2011. I will definitely be coming back for recipes : )


Trish @I_am_Succeeding January 13, 2011

I have to say I have not yet come up with a combo I can really like, I do keep trying though.


Diana @ VEGeneration January 13, 2011

I love green monsters! I actually enjoy putting kale into them and don’t taste much of the bitterness. I like to add cinnamon to mine.

One thing I like to do with green monsters is chill them in the freezer for an hour or two. This usually hardens the surface and thickens the liquid underneath, making it fun to dig in with a spoon!


Page 2 of 7«12345»...Last »

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: