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+

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{ 305 comments… read them below or add one }

Nikki January 13, 2011

I have literally put off trying a green monster for about 6 months now — I buy the ingredients EVERY WEEK but I chicken out! This post has pushed me over the edge — I will have a green monster today. :) I’ll let you know how it goes!


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 13, 2011



Heather (Heather's Dish) January 13, 2011

i love my GMs…i like it with a little cocoa powder and either cherries, strawberries, or peanut butter. just right to kick off the morning!


SueAnn January 13, 2011

I made my first green monster this morning, and used coconut milk. It was delicious! Tastes like a pina colada!


Michelle January 13, 2011

Hey Angela,
I’m a fairly new reader – I came across your blog before Christmas. Now that we are in the new year I (like everyone else on the bandwagon) am determined to eat healthier. I was very inspired by your story. I especially love the fact that you don’t diet or deprive yourself, but instead eat good quality food and exercise regularly. I think I’ve had some very bad thinking in the past about how to achieve the ideal weight. So thanks for your example. Ive been making the Green Monsters for myself and my family for about two weeks now. The only thing I do different is that I add blueberries – partly to avoid the green colour and partly because they are also a superfood. Its a delicious mid morning or mid afternoon treat and it also keeps my sweet tooth in check.
Happy New Year and good luck in your endeavors.


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 13, 2011

mmm yes blueberries are delicious in GM’s! Glad you enjoy the blog, thanks for your comments :)


Therese January 13, 2011

I saw that article on the “vegetable glow” yesterday and thought of you. Awesome!


Maddie (Healthy Maddie) January 13, 2011

I love green monsters! My go to mix is 1 cup spinach, 1/2 a banana, 1/2 cup dark chocolate almond milk, 1 cup ice and 1 scoop vanilla protein powder. It’s delicious and no you can’t taste the spinach at all!


MaryBe@AccidentallyVegan January 13, 2011

I am a green monster ‘purist’. Just frzn banana, almond milk (or OJ) and spinach. I love them


Sonia January 13, 2011

I love how you say 1 frozen banana, preferably peeled. lol! Not going to let your hubby live it down, are you? ;) j/k.

I drink GMs about 6 days out of the week. I make them each morning before work and take them out the door with me. I generally put in flax and chia seeds with one stalk of celery, a leaf of kale, handful of spinach, banana, water and a splash of juice. and blend! When I like to mix things up I switch back to almond milk and maybe add berries or other fruits and powders. I like the Goji and Acai from AG as well as the chocolate powder.

My hubby still makes faces when I drink it, especially when I try to kiss him with green smeared lips. hahaha.

haven’t had the classic in a while. I’ll do that tomorrow morning. Thanks for the GM’s Angela, it has really gotten me focused on a healthy lifestyle.


Amy January 13, 2011

Hi Angela! I’ve been lurking your blog for a few months now, but this post made me speak up. I’ve have green monsters every morning for quite a few months now, they are delicious and I feel so much better!! Typically I make a classic with blueberries, but if I know it’s going to be a crazy day I throw in protein powder, almond butter and oatmeal too! It’s a great super breakfast for me.


Julia (The Veggie Side) January 13, 2011

LOVE green smoothies!!! I’ll have to try yours!


Lana January 13, 2011

I love, love, love green monsters. I’ve been making them for about a year now and can’t imagine life without them. They are great for breakfast if you add dried oats (for staying power) or great as a post-run recovery meal. I’ve been adding hemp protein powder to mine after workouts and it works miracles!

Green Monster = Genius!!!

Thanks Angela!!


Julia January 13, 2011

Really grateful to you for this drink alone! I’ve gotten more compliments on my nice skin and bright eyes since making these. Thanks again!! Viva Green Monsters :) ‘


Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day January 13, 2011

I only recently started reading you, so I didn’t know about your Green Monster journey.

I relate.. I was working a hellish job as a chef in a wine bar.. over 60 hours a week. It was brutal and my kitchen was divided half on one floor and half in the basement. It was phsycially and emotionally exhausting and I think they only way I managed to do it was the 2 quarts of green smoothies I drank all day long to keep me going.


Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day January 13, 2011

I only recently started reading you, so I didn’t know about your Green Monster journey.

I relate.. I was working a hellish job as a chef in a wine bar.. over 60 hours a week. It was brutal and my kitchen was divided half on one floor and half in the basement. It was phsycially and emotionally exhausting and I think they only way I managed to do it was the 2 quarts of green smoothies I drank all day long to keep me going.


Jenna @ Eating Green, Staying Lean January 13, 2011

I LOVE LOVE Loovvveeee Green Smoothies! And, happy to say, your blog introduced me to them last year! :)


Nicole January 13, 2011

Mmm I can’t wait to try it with the chia seeds I just bought. I’m a little timid to use the chia outside of the GM though. Can you suggest some recipes for a first-time chia user?


Jaclyn T January 14, 2011

They are yummy in muffins (cooked with the batter, or sprinkled on top), homemade granola bars, cookies, overnight oats, traditional oatmeat.


Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather January 13, 2011

I agree after a workout is such a great time in the cooler months! Looks delicious girl :)


Rachel @ Fit Fun and Fabulous January 13, 2011

You know I haven’t had a Green Monster in MONTHS. I better get to changing that! I think they are deeelicious and a great way to get in some leafy green that I otherwise can’t stand eating.


Annie D @ Annie's Simple Life January 13, 2011

I put in 2 weeks at my job…. better start drinking my GM’s again!!!!


Finley January 13, 2011

Hi Angela! I have always been interested in mean, clean, green recipes :), but I just started making (and devouring) the green monsters last week, thanks to my friend who is also named Angela, who introduced me to your site. I love them! ANd guess what? I got my glow. The compliment came from my husband, who said “you look beautiful! It’s like, you’re glowing!” Wow. I thought. I know someone who would be REALLY happy to hear this! Also, tried the tomato casserole with the ezekiel croutons last night! LOVE. Have also made your Spaghetti with “Neat” sauce, and the pumpkin curry quinoa! SO far, everything has been a tremendous hit! My seven year old twin boys even love the green monster! Huzzah! Thanks for the recipes! I adore your site and the photographs are wonderful too–as someone who loves to appreciate the beauty of beautiful food, i REALLY love looking at them!

–finley (birmingham, AL)


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 13, 2011

Thank you! :)


Amber K January 13, 2011

I drink one every single day! I thought it was the most disgusting looking thing ever, but it’s delicous! My go-to is 1/2 cup strawberries, 1/2 med. banana, 2 cups spinach, a scoop of vegan vanilla protein powder, 1.5 ounces of avocado and 1/2 cup water. Sooo good!


Diana @ frontyardfoodie January 13, 2011

Mmmmmm green green green green I love. I love green monsters.


Lauren January 13, 2011

May be a stupid question, but does almond milk taste like almonds? Although I enjoy almonds as a nut, I don’t like almond flavored things. Weird, right?

If so, any good substitutions?



Angela (Oh She Glows) January 13, 2011

ummm sort of…it’s hard to describe I guess, but it is quite creamy and delicious. The almond flavour isnt too strong, but then again I may be immune to it now..


Gabby January 13, 2011

I’m embarrassed to say this but…I’ve never tried one!!
I have been following your blog for over a year now and it’s STILL on my list of things to do (also ironic because that’s what my own blog post was about today!)
But I’m glad to see the recipe of a good “first one to try”. I’m on it!


carlee January 14, 2011

go make it tommorow girl! They are too good! and add some coconut extract to it! Oh yummmm!!!!


Meesh January 13, 2011

I love the classic GM! I really haven’t tried anything else, though sometimes I add cinnamon. I read someone added nutritional yeast, which I am thinking of trying!


Moni'sMeals January 13, 2011

thanks for posting this again! I make mine very similiar but I want to try the “ANGELA Original.”


Mandy January 13, 2011

I love green monsters and have them several times a week. I do things slightly differently though by not having frozen banana, instead here in Germany you can buy bags of spinach frozen into blocks – so my spinach is frozen, my banana not. I always add some flaxseed and chia, a spoonful of maca powder and rice protein powder or hemp protein powder because my green monster is usually pre-workout. I’m with Daniel and like to eat my with a spoon and also like to live dangerously by sprinkling a few cacao nibs on top – yum, nom nom nom.


AGS January 13, 2011

For quite some time (nearly a year?), I had some kind of GM every morning, usually after my workout. I kept is simple: some kind of milk+banana+spinach+1/2 scoop some kind of protein powder. My decrease in exercise directly correlates to my decrease in drinking GMs, sadly enough. That, and the fact I’m pretty much never anywhere but the office these days (sans blender).

I miss them — but more, I miss what they represented: part of a strong and fit start to the day. I have been fitting dark/raw greens back into my daily diet since the beginning of January, and have had at least one GM. . . I just realized that I happen to have all the “classic GM” ingredients on hand. And plan to make it this Sat. AM!


Lizz @ Leading the Good Life January 13, 2011

Yum, I’m totally craving one now! I’m pretty “classic”: spinach, banana, & almond milk. Sometimes I throw in some frozen berries to tart-en it up…which turns it a really murky olive green (but it’s delicious.)

I am dying to make one for my nephews and have them do a blind taste test. I’m convinced they will have no idea that it’s green!


bitt of raw January 13, 2011

you’re a real raw foodie now sipping it out of a jar! thats the way i like mine too.
you get used to the kale taste. i also use chard.


Christine (The Raw Project) January 13, 2011

Green monsters are a huge part of my diet, I have at least one daily. One of these days I’ll pick up some glass straws for mine. :-) Great post.


Lindsay January 13, 2011

We are huge fans of green smooties! Our go-to recipe is:
1 orange
1 banana
frozen fruit (pineapples, mangoes, peaches and strawberries)
A couple big handfuls of greens (spinach, kale, romaine, chard)
Water to make it slurp-able.

Sooo good! We make one every morning, it’s a great way to start out day!


isabella January 13, 2011

Argh! I checked your blog this morning to see if you had any posts about Green Monsters. I couldn’t find any but I knew that I wanted to try making one. I did. It was disgusting becuse I didnt put it in the correct order. So I have a question… Does have a generic blender differ the smoothness because that is what I used!?


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 13, 2011

Different brands of blenders will def. change the results of the consistency. I have had some bad blenders in my day that could not even properly blend spinach!
Apparently the Oster brand- the $40 machine was rated #2 in a recent Consumer Report survey on blenders (Vita Mix being #1)


isabella January 14, 2011

Thank You!


Julie January 14, 2011

I have a Oster brand bledner and it blends up all GM’s great! I eventually want to get a Vita Mix (when budget allows), but for the time being it is a great blender and not too pricey.


Audrey January 13, 2011

I love this post. Reading about others who eat their veggies inspires me to do it myself.


Snehal January 13, 2011

Wow! That’s such an easy recipe.
I have never tried to make a smoothie at home, because I always thought that would mean buying a lot of ingredients (smoothie powders and such) . I already have all the things your recipe calls for. Very excited to try it, a little nervous though, never tried raw spinach in a juice form :D I’ll let you know how it goes.


RachelSD January 13, 2011

Angela, you absolutely got me over the hump of eating spinach. I have made smoothies for years, but only recently came across your blog and started adding spinach to my concoctions. There is something so self-satisfying about knowing that a breakfast that tastes so delicious is really nutritious, too! Thanks for the encouragement!


Brandy January 13, 2011

I love that of all the ingredients in your classic Green Monster, the only one I don’t have is ICE lol! What an idiot. Just popped some in the freezer so I shall try my first Green Monster in a few hours :-D


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 13, 2011

haha love this comment


Monique January 13, 2011

Today was definitely a smoothie day in Arizona! :)


Cara Craves... January 13, 2011

Best invention ever!
You deserve an award for this one!


Justeen @ Blissful Baking January 13, 2011

I recently tried your green monster for the first time and it was awesome! Love that it is both delicious AND packed with nutrients!


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