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Jamaican Green Smoothies


Almost every week, I see a friend posting about some green juice or green smoothie they had or need to have. I’ve enjoyed a few myself and I remember my introduction to the world of green beverages: an extremely refreshing bottle of callaloo juice I randomly picked up off a supermarket shelf some years ago. It had only 5 ingredients: water, callaloo, lime juice, ginger and sugarcane juice. You can’t do it any better than that! *ahhhhhh*

I usually whip up my green smoothies at home by grabbing whatever’s green and blending it with a little water and a bit of fruit. If I have any bananas that are becoming over-ripe, I normally chuck them into the freezer for use in a smoothie. This is because I find that frozen fruit makes the drink extra chilly and quite the right stuff on these ‘force-ripe-summer’ hot days we’re having.

Most green smoothie recipes that you’ll find online will call for green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, collard greens or mustard. But, if you’re in Jamaica, you don’t need to complicate things by thinking ‘foreign’! We have an abundance of our own green leafy vegetables to choose from. Don’t believe me? Look in your fridge! Don’t you see something green?! LOL.

Unless you live in a home with a very blessed backyard, or just went to visit your granny in the country, you’ll need to add the ingredients for your green smoothie stash to your regular grocery list. No! You don’t need to go through the hassle of travelling to the market to haggle for quality produce at great prices. To get all your fruits and leafy greens, you could use an affordable but high quality market delivery service like Real Farm Freshness. These are some courteous people who will bring your fruits, veggies and any other produce to your home or office door for likkl n nutten.  But, if you need the exercise from walking around and you enjoy the social interaction, please go to your neighbourhood fruit stand and green grocer, or a farmer’s market like the one held at Michi Super Center every month. Don’t forget that we need to build Jamaica by buying Jamaican and eating Jamaican!

Once you’ve got your fruit and leafy green stash, you’ll probably need some ideas for how to combine them for yummy beverages. While I enjoy my spontaneously crazy fruit and vegetable combinations, my green smoothies may not get the same frothy grins from you.  So, I checked out the blog at Simple Green Smoothies and they have a lot of info for the clueless and even offer a Free Green Smoothie Recipe e-Book. They also have what they call “The 60/40 Formula” in which your recipe is always 60% fruits and 40% leafy greens.

“For example: 3 cups fruit, 2 cups dark leafy greens, 1-2 cups of water. Makes 32-40oz or 4-5 cups.”

So you don’t have any excuse to say the smoothies will taste yucky or ‘green’. In fact, you could really benefit from taking on their “30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge” – which begins 1 July 2013 – and try to drink one cup of green smoothie goodness a day.

But, don’t get bogged down by all the recipes that call for weird sounding leafy greens, berries and super foods –  just use my list Jamaican fruits, vegetables and liquids outlined below, to make your green smoothies low-cost and local:

  Leafy Green Fruit Liquid Extras
Basic Callaloo Banana Water Lime
  Pak Choi Pineapple Coconut Water Ginger
  Lettuce Watermelon Nut Milk (coconut/soy/almond)  
  Cabbage Orange Tea (Peppermint/Lemongrass)  
Special Cucumber Mango    
  Stringbean Cherry    
  Carrot Guava    
  Tomato Passionfruit    
  Avocado Pear Otheiti Apple    
  Chocho June Plum    
  Broccoli Soursop    
   Sweet Pepper Sweetsop    


Once you’ve decided that you want to get your green smoothie habit going, my recommendation is that you:

  1. Plan for one week of juices.
    Fail to plan? Plan to fail!
  2. Make a shopping list.
    Don’t get too much of anything and don’t end up with snacks or other junk that distracts you while you shop.
  3. Get your ingredients.
    Wherever you can: Coronation Market. Market Delivery Service. Local fruit stand and green grocer. Farmer’s Market. Your backyard.
  4. Grab 5 mins to gather your stuff, blend and fill your bottle to go.
    The quickest meal you ever made! LOL.
  5. Always use local  fruits and veggies and buy whatever is in season.
    Healthy doesn’t mean you have to be wealthy nor make someone else wealthy.

Now, if you’re lazy – sorry – extremely busy, you could simply call up Live Juice Bar and order a few bottles of their “100% Fruit and Vegetable Juices and Smoothies made Live!” They deliver and you can win cool juice jars, bottles or even bonus juices when you order.

Remember, if you want to up your veg intake or just ensure you have something sensible for the day, try a green smoothie! No strainers, no twisting of muslin cloths to wring out precious juices. No fibre lost.

But, whatever you do, just keep it simple and fill up on your greens!


8 thoughts on “Jamaican Green Smoothies

  1. Love love this post..I love them, they are filling and is it bad that I prefer my intake of fruits and veggies this way rather than a vitamin pill??:) Love the Simple Green Smoothies site..I took the April challenge, but didn’t complete..there is always July! By the way, thanks for the Jamaican greens..who needs to find kale when there is callaloo? #lessonlearnt

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and your smoothies! I always wondered why Jamaicans were buying up kale and swiss chard, etc when callaloo is $50/bundle?! LOL. We can both team up for the July challenge – 30 days!!!

  2. I love this, i love this, i love this. Totally agree with Cheryl about the site. The more options the better. I am trying to clean up my refridgerator completely to go green and lively for my own health and possibly to get the whole family involved starting June. So I am planning so that I will certainly not fail. Already I am seeing results of the ‘greenness’ in my system. Now I need to develop the consistency and stamina. You pray for me while I pray for myself in Jesus name, Amen 😀 <3

    1. Really proud of your efforts, Pat. Maybe you will sign up for the July challenge. Cheryl & I have 🙂

  3. I can get spinach at Coronation market and a few others at a pretty decent price.

    1. That sounds great, Tya. What do you usually buy for your smoothies? If you strain them, you just reduce the fibre content, but I’m sure what remains is still robust to boost your immune system. So, keep drinking your greens 🙂

  4. Love the post! Love the ideas re the Jamaican fruits. I tried some green juice recipes earlier this year. The 60/40 formula is a great idea for making the taste of green juice ‘pop’. Don’t know about the July challenge, but will be making more of the green 🙂

    1. Awesome stuff, Sheril! Glad you’ve been motivated to increase the green 🙂

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