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?

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{ 305 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather January 13, 2011

I haven’t read the comments yet, so I will apologize if someone already asked this…can you make a green monster the night before? I get up at 4am to workout, but I’m afraid running the blender at that time of the morning might not be so kind to the sleeping boyfriend and cats :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 13, 2011

I used to make them the night before…they are not as good as fresh….BUT in a pinch, it works, Just give it a good stir in the morning. Also be sure to put in a sealed container in the fridge.


Heather January 13, 2011

Thank you! I have all the ingredients, so I am going to make my first Green Monster tonight. Thanks also for all your great recipes and for sharing them (and yourself) with all of us!


Jaclyn T January 14, 2011

I often make a batch to have the next morning…fresh is best, but it’s still good.


Jolene ( January 13, 2011

I drink Green Monsters all the time, and my recipe is basically the same except I use half a frozen banana, no ice, and 1 scoop of Amazing Grass.


Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin January 13, 2011

Oh man, I love my greens, but I seriously don’t think I could handle drinking your first concoction! :P My go-to recipe is basically the same as yours. I haven’t experimented much with other ingredients/flavours though because the original is so tasty the way it is!


Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter January 13, 2011

I have always wondered the back story on those Green Monsters. Now I understand.

The article about the healthy skin is SO interesting too. I always get commented on how beautiful my skin is. I knew I was blessed with dry, pimple-free skin, and I take fairly good care of it, but I didn’t know that my healthy diet could also contribute to the sexual appeal. Hahaha.


Faith @ lovelyascharged January 13, 2011

Green monsters are a definite staple here at my house. I use the same go-to recipe, but lately I’ve been mixing up the fruit – peaches are a definite favorite!


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 14, 2011

mmm peaches are a great idea!


stacey-healthylife January 13, 2011

I gotta get back to my green monsters. It’s just not as appealing in the winter, but so good for you.


Rachel January 13, 2011

I love the classic almond milk-spinach-banana-flax meal recipe but sometimes I do half almond milk have apple juice. Its a little tangy and very delicious. I haven’t experimented with anything else yet because I love the original so much!!


Kerry January 13, 2011

I was so excited to try a green monster the other day for the first time. It was delicious, but it left me wondering… Does drinking a green monster have the same benefits as drinking the same smoothie with the greens on the side?


Kerry January 13, 2011

I was so excited to try a green monster the other day for the first time. It was delicious, but it left me wondering… Does drinking a green monster have the same benefits as drinking the same smoothie with the greens on the side?


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 14, 2011

Some say that when the ingredients are blended, they are absorbed better into the body. I’m not sure if this is the case or not.


Lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner January 13, 2011

I am going to try this! I love making smoothies, but I’ve never added greens. My go-to smoothie is 1 cup of almond milk, 1 ripe banana, and 2 or 3 frozen strawberries. Yum!


Lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner January 13, 2011

I am going to try this! I love making smoothies, but I’ve never added greens. My go-to smoothie is 1 cup of almond milk, 1 ripe banana, and 2 or 3 frozen strawberries. Yum!


LaurenTheMightyPeanut January 13, 2011

Ohh..I bombed my first GM about a week ago. I’m considering a Friday morning challenge…GM Try Two!


Traci(faithfulfoodiefashionista) January 13, 2011

Nothing better to start your morning than a Green Monster! They Rock :)


Hannah January 13, 2011

Thank you! I bought a Vita-Mix with Christmas money this year, and have been experimenting (to greater and lesser effect…) with green smoothies. It’s always wonderful to have a “classic” recipe to try!


Alex @ Healing Beauty January 13, 2011

Ooh you got me. I think I might have to cave and try one! I was always a little apprehensive about spinach going into a smoothie like drink, but what have I got to lose?


Kat January 13, 2011

I’ve blended spinach ino my smoothies before but I guess I’ve never tried the Classic Green Monster. Now that I know this recipe I for sure will!


Ashley@quasichick January 13, 2011

Your green monsters have changed my life! I love that I can get a serving of green veggies in anytime I want! Thanks OSG


Leanne @healthfulpursuit January 13, 2011

I am drinking my very first Green Monster right NOW! Holy cow is it fantastic! I used 1/2 a banana instead of the whole one and removed the ice. It’s too darn freezing in Calgary to even contemplate drinking anything cold.

These are GREAT!


Michelle January 13, 2011

I LOVE green monsters! I’m so happy they were created :)

Over the summer I had my favorite one that I haven’t recreated yet… it had strawberries, flax seed, and chocolate protein powder in it. I forgot the banana and I didn’t even miss it!


Emily Elizabeth @ Kisses for Breakfast January 13, 2011

My most recent smoothie creation was apple, pear, cranberries, collard greens and fresh ginger poured into a nice tall pilsner glass. It was delicious!


Beatrix January 13, 2011

I drink a green monster every weekday morning on my way to work..but i add 1/2 avocado for my base since I’m allergic to banana’s and add juice instead of milk. Spinach is my greens of choice.


kaila @ healthy helper blog! January 13, 2011

well congrats on the upcoming 2 year anniversary! i love your green monsters and started drinking them about a year ago because of your blog. now i cant even imagine not having greens in my smoothie! i just love them! i have one almost every morning paired with a bowl of oats!


Charlie January 14, 2011

My go-to green monster is almond milk, spinach, banana, chia seeds, and frozen berries. Yummy :).
I love your straw! Where did you find it?


carlee January 14, 2011

I want a green monster right now!
I love green monsters- my typical ( which I have not had time to play around with yet ) is simply 1 cup almond milk, banana, and 2 handfuls of spinach. I am excited to put some PB in it! and maybe some carob??? ;)


Ashley January 14, 2011

I just found this blog through stumble upon and I have to say I cannot wait to try the Green Monster! I’ve been down for quite awhile now about my weight and want to change– better self-esteem, better ways of looking at food as a friend and not an enemy. Thank you so much for sharing your story– I watched the video “Goodbye to Obsession” and I thank for you making it. I needed to watch it– and so do so many others.
Keep up the great work! This blog has definitely become one of my faves:)


maria @ Chasing the Now January 14, 2011

I’ve tried GM a variety of ways now (protein powders, different fruits, etc.) but the classic is still my favorite too. Even my veggie-hatin’ husband loves it.


Zestful Lou January 14, 2011

Oh Vita Mix. How I yearn for you. Someday you will be mine.
The classics are always the best. I need to get back into the green groove!


Rachel January 14, 2011

I never thought GMs looked gross per se, but now I can honestly say that I love them so much. I even got my family to drink them. I don’t feel like my day has really started until I’ve had one. This is pretty crazy considering I used to start my day with 2 cups of coffee. Thanks Ang!


jenny eats nutella from a spoon January 14, 2011

hehe, love this. i want to go back to my daily green smoothie again like last year!!


Beach Bum Beauty January 14, 2011

There are some really good Green Monster recipes on here, thanks guys – I want to try them all!!


jassy January 14, 2011

GM has come a long way :)


Jessie January 14, 2011

I love Green Monsters and so do my kids (ages 6 & 2). We have them for an afternoon snack all the time in the summer. I love adding a spoonful of cocoa powder to it. We have some Chocolate Mint that I can’t kill, so we are going adding that this summer. Thanks for the idea and the great recipe!


Aleesha January 14, 2011

I’m so glad you wrote this post – I’ve been meaning to try GMs but I’ve put it off because my blender is not so great… I’m going to try it now anyway! Who knows, maybe it will come out fine. Got my spinach ready to go! Or glow? ;-)


Lisa January 14, 2011

Ok ok that’s it I’m gonna make my own. We always get the store bought ones, odwalla or another brand. Been reading your blog for a couple of years & it’s high time I finally make one!


Groder January 14, 2011

Perfect timing! I’ve been wanted to try your GM for some time, but couldn’t get past the banana (sadly, it’s my very least favorite food). This morning I finally made my first one with mango for the fruit and hemp seeds for the nut butter, and it was delightful! I added some lemon and lime juice to make it a little brighter, and tossed some sunflower seeds on top since I was eating it with a spoon. Now I get what everyone’s been raving about…


Leia January 14, 2011

I’ve always been scared of spinach but I think I’m going to take the plunge and try this!


Keely (Sky Blue) January 14, 2011

I’ve never made a green monster but I’ve been hearing about them for awhile now! Not gonna lie…they kind of intimidate me. I love veggies…but spinach in a smoothie? Not sure I’m tough enough for that! Haha but I’m gonna give this a shot anyway. It looks yummy…in a weird thiscouldbeawesome kind of way.

New reader by the way! I love your site. Thanks for all the great recipes and encouragement.


Tiffany @ Conor & Bella January 14, 2011

I just made my first Green Monster following this recipe, and it was amazing! I will definitely be consuming these regularly. :)


Jaclyn T January 14, 2011

I used iced decaf green tea in mine (homemade) in place of milk, and LOVE it.


Sarah January 14, 2011

I absolutely Love green monsters! I have them ALL the time! i have recently been on a kick and have to drink them with some hot tea to stay warm! Adding Frozen cherries is my favorite addition by far with some chocolate protein powder! But classic and simple GM’s make me feel so clean and healthy! <3


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