What is a green smoothie? A green smoothie is a cold beverage that is made from a blend of leafy greens (like Lettuce or Callaloo), fruits (like Banana or Mango) and liquids (like Water or Coconut Milk).
What colour is a green smoothie? As the name indicates, green smoothies usually take the colour of the green leaves that they contain. But, if the smoothie contains fruit or liquid with strong colours (e.g. cherries or coconut milk), the colour will vary.
Green smoothies sound and look nasty! How do they taste? We are not yet accustomed to drinking green-hued beverages and the thought of liquefied ‘bush’ can be quite unappealing. However, because green smoothies contain well-ripened, sweet-tasting fruit, you won’t taste the ‘green’ at all! Since we eat with our eyes, you may want to drink your green smoothies from a solid-coloured container (with a lid) – until you’ve gotten over the various shades of green.
How do I make a green smoothie? A green smoothie is so simple to make that you could make it with only one tool – a blender! That’s it. Grab some leaves, break up pieces of fruit and add some water, then blend. Voilà! You’ve blended up a green smoothie.
Do I need a juicer? No! All you need is a blender. No juicer/juice extractor is necessary. In fact, a juicer will extract all the wonderful fibre from the fruit and leafy greens and we don’t want to waste the fibre. It is the fibre content of green smoothies that make them much more filling than juices and improves the function of the digestive system.
Can I use my food processor instead of a blender? A blender is a liquidiser and as such, it is designed to make beverages and handles anything that contains a lot of liquid. The blender is the best tool for making a green smoothie.
Do I have to use a measuring cup? When following the formula for making a Jamaican Green Smoothie, a ‘cup’ can be any container you choose to use. But, whichever container you use must be used to measure the liquid, leaves and fruit.
Can I strain the green smoothie? Unlike with juices, there is no need to strain a green smoothie if it has been blender properly. All the leaves and fruit should be liquefied and smoothed into a creamy emulsion.
I don’t have a high-speed/expensive blender, can I still make a green smoothie? Even a cheap, personal-sized blender (like mine) can produce creamy and delicious green smoothies. However, the ingredients have to be prepped differently and blended in stages. The Jamaican Green Smoothie Blending Guide breaks it down very simply.
My green smoothie has bits of leaves in it. What am I doing wrong? The leaves need to be blended until liquefied to create the creamy emulsion we call the smoothie.
Should I use mostly fruit or mostly leafy greens in a green smoothie? The ratio of fruit to greens depends on your palate. If you are just beginning to blend green smoothies, it’s recommended that you start out with a ratio of 60% fruit and 40% leafy greens for optimal sweetness. However, some green smoothie lovers enjoy 70% greens and only 30% fruit. Experiment and find the balance that you like.
Most of the green smoothie recipes that I find online, call for ingredients that I can’t find easily in the market. Can I use Jamaican fruits and leafy greens to make a green smoothie? Definitely! A Jamaican Green Smoothie can be made from all kinds of fruits – with Mango, Pawpaw, June Plum, Guava, and Pineapple being some of the favourites. Popular leafy greens like Callaloo, Cabbage, Lettuce, Pakchoi and Moringa are great choices, among the many different edible leaves we can find locally.
Are the ingredients easy to find? All Jamaican Green Smoothie recipes are developed from ingredients in the average Jamaican backyard and vegetable garden, as well as at your local farmers’ market and street vendor.
Where can I find recipes for green smoothies? Aside from the recipes that are included in The 30-Day Jamaican Green Smoothie Challenge, you may use the formula in The Jamaican Green Smoothie Quick Start Guide to experiment and come up with your own green smoothie creations.
Can I make up my own green smoothie recipes? Of course! In fact, I encourage you to experiment, discover new flavour combinations and share your likes with others. Just try to keep the combinations simple, and limit the amount of ingredients you toss into your blender – unless you’re going for a ‘fruit punch’ kind of vibe. I recommend keeping your recipes to 6 ingredients or less, e.g. 3 fruits, 1 leafy green, 1 liquid and 1 spice.
What if I can’t find the ingredients on the market list or in the recipes? You may replace the ingredients with the ones you have access to, because the market list and recipes are just a guide and serve as inspiration. Just be sure to share the new recipe with us so we can enjoy the new combination too. 😉
I only read the market list after I had already done my grocery shopping. What other green leaves can I use to make my Jamaican Green Smoothie? All edible leaves qualify! Some of the leaves that are great for Jamaican Green Smoothies include (but are not limited to) Callaloo, Lettuce, Cabbage, Pakchoi, Spinach, Moringa, Carrot Tops, Celery, and so on. If the leaves are edible, BLEND them!
Can I put carrot, string beans or pumpkin in a green smoothie? You are free to be creative and to stimulate your palate in whatever way you please. But, I prefer and recommend green smoothies that contain only fruits, leafy greens, liquids and some extras (like spices, sweeteners and fillers) – no starchy vegetables.
I don’t like bananas. What can I use to replace them in the recipes? The ripe Banana functions as the ‘creamy’ fruit in some of the recipes. But, we have other options, like Mango, that can be used instead. Just ensure that you use at least one of these Creamy Fruits whenever you make a Jamaican Green Smoothie.
I don’t like Passion Fruit, can I replace it with Pineapple? Of course! You may replace any ‘flavour’ fruit in a recipe. Just be sure to share the new recipe with us so we can enjoy the new combination too.
Can I use fruit juice instead of water to make a green smoothie? The Basic Jamaican Green Smoothie uses pure (filtered or spring) water as the liquid. However, we may also use Plant Milks (like Coconut Milk), Herbal Teas (like Fevergrass Tea) and 100% Fruit Juices (like Orange Juice). Just ensure that there are no sugars nor artificial sweeteners and chemical additives in the juice.
Do I need to drink a green smoothie every day? If you’re participating in The 30-Day Jamaican Green Smoothie Challenge, then a daily green smoothie is required. However, it’s recommended that we incorporate green smoothies into our regular lifestyles as much as we can.
Can I eat food while taking the green smoothie challenge? Yes! Please eat your regular meals and snacks while participating in The 30-Day Jamaican Green Smoothie Challenge. This challenge is not meant to be a fast and it does not involve any dietary restrictions. We’re just adding one healthy beverage to our daily fare.
Can I drink a green smoothie to replace a meal? Yes. A Jamaican Green Smoothie is an excellent meal replacement option. We can simply modify the ingredients depending on our needs. If you find that you feel hungry soon after having your green smoothie, you may want to add a filler to thicken the smoothie. Any Jamaican Green Smoothie can be made into a Jamaican Green Thickie by following the formula in The Jamaican Green Thickie Guide.
Can I use green smoothies to do a cleanse or detox? The Basic Jamaican Green Smoothie already has a detoxifying effect on our bodies when we drink them, as a daily habit. This is because of the large quantities of fruit and leafy greens that we end up consuming. However, if we want to take it up a notch, we may choose to include specific ingredients that are known to aid in flushing our bodies of toxic substances.
Can I drink green smoothies while pregnant or breastfeeding? Green smoothies are an excellent way for a pregnant or nursing mother to get more vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals into her diet. Green smoothies really help during those times when nausea prevents a pregnant woman from eating regular foods. Plus, it’s quick and easy so a new mother doesn’t have to spend a lot of time trying to make a full meal.
What are the benefits of drinking green smoothies? Fruits and leafy greens are chock full of vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytochemicals which are key to optimal health and well-being. But, it can be tedious to try to consume the appropriate amounts of fruits and dark, green leafy vegetables just by chewing! By liquefying the fruits and greens, we are able to consume larger quantities and to absorb the nutrients much quicker.
I’m really busy. Can I make a one-week batch of green smoothies? Yes! You can. Just freeze the daily portions and reconstitute or thaw the smoothies when you’re ready to drink them.
How long can I keep my green smoothie in the fridge? Once you store them in a sealed, air-tight container, they should keep for 2-3 days. Citrus fruits are natural preservatives – so include them if you plan to store your green smoothies for the next day.
I don’t have the time to prep green smoothie ingredients every morning. What should I do? It’s a great idea to chop up all the ingredients for the week (or few days) and pack them in freezer-safe, air-tight containers. Store them in the freezer and grab a stash whenever you need to make a green smoothie.