smoothie test kitchen: three recipes for easy green smoothies

I’ve been sharing some of the ways we have practically made the move to accommodate a gluten-free, dairy-free (GFDF) diet in our house, and smoothies are a big part of it.  I love smoothies because it is such an easy way to sneak veggies by my kids.  Spinach in the smoothie.  I swear . . . it’s like magic.  They never notice.  It’s also an easy way to get flax seed in.  Because my pickiest eater is not about to eat a fish-oil supplement.  But a sweet, slushie drink?  That she will do.



Last year, a couple of our readers at Mama Manifesto asked us to post some smoothie recipes beyond the typical OJ/strawberry/banana routine. I made my kitchen became a smoothie testing lab, and I'm pulling the results out of the vault.  It's such an easy way to get picky eaters an extra serving of fruits and veggies.


For most of my smoothies, I start with a base of orange juice, plain kefir, ground flax seeds, and spinach. I tell you, THEY NEVER NOTICE.  The kefir adds a nice tart kick, and is full of healthy probiotics. Plain yogurt works well, too, and almond is a great creamy substitution for dairy allergies. If your kids are used to sweeter smoothies from sweetened yogurt (which is full of sugar), you could try adding some agave nectar. And about that spinach.  Start with a pinch, and increase every day. If the color is an issue, hide the smoothie in a straw-top sports cup.  But if you use dark berries, the green color will be masked.

A note about blenders: high-power blenders like the Blendtec or the Vitamix are really pricy, but for the way we eat it has been a really worthy investment.  Our regular blender had a hard time really blending the greens, and left the smoothies a bit chunky.  If you are blending whole foods a couple times a week, springing for a really good blender might be worth it for you. Last year we sprang for the Blendtec and we really do use it multiple times a day.

green smoothies

Tropical Green Machine (Jafta's favorite, gluten-free and dairy-free)
1/2 cup frozen mango
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1/2 cup OJ
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup kale
1 tbsp flax seed
agave to taste

Berry Blast with Spinach (India's favorite)
1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup kefir
1 cup spinach
1 tbsp flax seed
agave to taste

Orange Dream (my favorite)
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup OJ
1/2 cup kefir
1 tbsp flax seed
agave to taste

If you try the spinach, you will have to let me know how it works out! Any other ideas for superfoods I can slip into a smoothie?

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