Robin lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has three children and loves to share her tips and tricks for staying healthy.
Delicious and Vitamin-Rich Green Smoothie That Kids Will Love!
A smoothie is a great way to obtain your required vitamins and minerals for the day in a healthy and delicious way. By adding leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach, which are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, you are easily getting those vitamins that aren't in fruits without changing the flavor of the smoothie. My kale, spinach, and fruit smoothie is a favorite in our house; all of our kids love it and beg for me to make it. I know that many parents hide the kale and spinach from their kids when making the smoothie, but I make a big deal out of it, and the kids love it. You cannot taste the kale and spinach at all in this smoothie.
The below fruit ingredients can either be frozen or fresh depending on the time of year. I recommend at least a few frozen items so that your smoothie is cold. If you don't want to use frozen fruit, be sure to add a cup of ice and less water.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
Five servings of eight ounces of smoothie
- 2 Cups Kale
- 2 Cups Spinach
- 1/4 Cup Blueberries
- 1/2 Cup Raspberries
- 1 Cup Strawberries, whole
- 1 Banana
- 1 Orange
- 1/2 Cup Pineapple, chopped
- 1/2 Cup Mango, chopped
- 1 Apple
- 1 Cup Blackberries or other Berry
- 2 Tablespoons Flax Seed Meal
- 1/2 Cup European Yogurt, I prefer creamy, not thick yogurt
- 1 Cup Juice, We use pineapple, mango, orange
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 1 Cup Any other fruit you would like to add!
Instructions for Leafy Green and Fruit Smoothie
- Pack kale and spinach at bottom of blender.
- Add chopped fresh and frozen fruit.
- Add yogurt and flax seed meal.
- Add juice and water. If your smoothie is too thick, you can add more water.
- Blend and pour! The VitaMix has a wand that pushes down the ingredients for easier blending. In our blender, I usually blend the smoothie for a minute. Less powerful blenders will require a longer blend time.
Quick Benefits of Kale and Spinach
- Low in calories and zero fat but packed with fiber
- High in Vitamin K, A, and C
- Have anti-inflammatory agents
- Help lower cholesterol
- High in calcium
- High in iron
- Great for detoxification (high in fiber and sulfur)
Nutritional Benefits of Kale and Spinach
Adding kale and spinach to your smoothie adds little flavor but mega benefits! Kale, also known as the Queen of Greens, is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat providing cancer protection and lowering cholesterol. Kale, a vegetable in the Brassica family like broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cabbage, is known for being an excellent source of antioxidants, namely flavonoids and carotenoids (anti-cancer agents). Kale also promotes eye health because it contains zeaxanthin and lutein.
Kale and spinach are also rich in Vitamin K as well as fiber. High fiber diets help lower cholesterol and reduce the chance of developing heart disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that eating a diet high in Vitamin K can reduce your chance of developing cancer. Vitamin K is also a key factor in bone health and blood clotting functionality in the body.
As a precaution, kale can interfere with the absorption of calcium. It is advised to take precautions when eating kale and foods that are high in calcium.
What do you think of this smoothie?
How to Encourage Children to Eat Leafy Greens
The kale and spinach smoothie is a great way to introduce your child to leafy greens without too much fuss. The taste of the greens in the smoothie is almost non existant. If your child does taste the greens, start with more spinach than kale as it is milder in flavor. Here are a few tips to encourage the eating of greens in your household:
- Allow your children to help make the smoothie, salad, side dish, etc. Ownership in making a dish goes a long way!
- Make a big deal about them eating a grown-up food (something that many kids won't eat).
- Grow the food yourself in your garden and allow your child to plant the vegetable and harvest it.
- Always have something green on their dinner plate. Researchers have found that children need to see a food up to 15 times before they will start to like it.
- Don't force the food, e.g., you cannot leave the table until you have eaten x,y and z. I still hate peas because of this tactic.
- Encourage kids to try everything, even if they don't finish it.
- Eat and enjoy the food yourself. You are the biggest influence in establishing healthy eating habits in your children; be a good example!
Our Favorite Blender: The Vitamix
We have a Vitamix that is an amazing blender, but any blender will do. The Vitamix blends the smoothie within a minute even when almost all of the fruit is frozen. This blender is amazing and will spin at speeds that will eventually heat the food making a soup. Our Vitamix is about 7 years old and still works amazingly. I highly recommend this appliance even though it is expensive. I think of it as a life-long appliance similar to a Kitchen Aid mixer.
Grace Hicks on August 28, 2017:
To many carbs and calories
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on June 08, 2015:
I love the idea of having a kale, spinach and fruit smoothie. If I had a blender or Vitamix, I would love to add it to my kitchen must-have list. It's delicious and sounds yummy, too. Voted up for useful, Robin!
Justin on May 05, 2015:
Way too many different fruits and unnecessary fruit juice. That's a whole lot of sugar you're ingesting in this smoothie.
Linda Jo Martin from Post Falls, Idaho, USA on August 26, 2014:
I like fruit smoothies with kale... your recipe has a lot more ingredients than mine. I usually go for simplicity in cooking because that's all I'm good for. Seriously. I usually use a banana, strawberries, kale, almond milk, and a packet of stevia... or whatever else I might have on hand. Peaches are nice.
Marie Ryan from Andalusia, Spain on April 27, 2014:
I'm hoping to get into 'smoothies' but not sure if they are 'my cup of tea'!
Thanks for encouragement here!
Bruce Chamoff from New York on April 14, 2014:
This is another one of those healthy smoothies that I just HAVE to try! Looks good and I like the green smoothies. I have not tried kale, so that will be new for me, but I usually juice spinach and green apples. I have to try your recipe on this hub. Voted up!!!
Robin Edmondson (author) from San Francisco on January 30, 2014:
Oh, I'm so not one of "those" women! ;) My kids keep asking me to make these again; I was on a kick for awhile, but it's hard to sustain! Thanks for the comment and let me know if you try it!
Beth37 on January 29, 2014:
You're one of *those women... those impressive women that do amazing things. lol. It's funny, every time someone comes in to my store with a lot of Kale I always ask them if they're juicing. 99.9 % of the time, they are, or making smoothies. It's very popular now. I always think I'm gonna try it, I'm glad I have a recipe now when I do.
Robin Edmondson (author) from San Francisco on December 03, 2013:
That sounds great! I would never of thought of adding cottage cheese to a soup recipe. Thanks for the recipe!
Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on December 03, 2013:
Robin, making soup in the Vitamix is actually my husband's specialty. He uses 2 whole raw tomatoes, half an onion, a garlic clove, a few tablespoons of cottage cheese, one avocado, one small jalapeno, one carrot, and sometimes a bouillon cube for extra flavor. Then he adds hot water until the soup is the right consistency. You have to blend for a couple of minutes until the soup starts to steam. It makes a quick and easy (and healthy!) meal that's great with sandwiches. It's nice to meet a fellow Vitamix owner. : ) We wish you and yours all the best.
Robin Edmondson (author) from San Francisco on December 03, 2013:
Thanks, vespawoolf! The Vitamix is an amazing tool. Have you made soup with it before? That's my next endeavor!
Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on November 29, 2013:
We also love our Vitamix! It makes such a smooth, creamy smoothie. We don't have kale here but often use spinach in our smoothies. I like what you said about making a big deal about the spinach instead of hiding it in the smoothie. I'd think that would give your children a positive experience with greens with their diet. And the Greek yogurt would add a lot of protein, too. Thanks for sharing!
Robin Edmondson (author) from San Francisco on November 07, 2013:
Thanks for the comment, Crafty. I haven't made the smoothie for a few weeks and need to start up again!
CraftytotheCore on November 07, 2013:
That does look good! Someone was just telling me about a spinach smoothie the other day because I have been eating gluten-free recently. I will definitely keep this on my list of smoothies to try with my children. Thanks so much for the recipe!
Richard Ricky Hale from West Virginia on August 13, 2013:
This looks great!
IslandBites from Puerto Rico on June 19, 2013:
Robin Edmondson (author) from San Francisco on May 14, 2013:
Thanks for the comments! I've been trying to add less fruit and more greens, and my girls are still enjoying it! Using juice instead of water for the liquid really improves the taste, but I'm trying to reduce that as well.
SonQuioey10 on May 14, 2013:
Looks healthy. I love smoothies, particularly banana and strawberry smoothies. Always used to get one for lunch on campus. Trying to keep myself healthy then and now. Gonna try this. Great article.
George A. Pepper from Philippines on April 26, 2013:
This one is great! I found again another healthy drink. This one is good to be part of a daily diet.
Robin Edmondson (author) from San Francisco on April 26, 2013:
I think that's a great idea, cdemp. I will give it a try to thanks for the comment!
cdemp11 from GA, USA on April 26, 2013:
Great hub. I drink green smoothies everyday and LOVE them! I can also speak personally to children loving them. My 2 yr old nephew who WILL NOT eat anything green will drink an entire serving of green smoothie! One thing I noticed about your recipe is that it has a lot of sugar. Yes, it is natural sugar from fruit, which is better than a doughnut, but it is still a lot for one snack. You might consider taking out the fruit juice (don't need it/won't miss it) and only using one or two types of fruit. I use only an apple or berries, which are low in sugar, and my smoothies are delicious!!
FullOfLoveSites from United States on April 23, 2013:
Looks delicious, nutritious, refreshing -- it's also a good way to cool yourself inside as well as outside. Thanks for sharing! :)
Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 22, 2013:
Wow, this sounds so healthy, and it looks delicious, too!
Robin Edmondson (author) from San Francisco on April 22, 2013:
Thanks for the comment! They can be very healthy and are delicious. :)
Melinda Winner from Mississippi on April 21, 2013:
What a wonderful page. Smoothies are so very healthy. I always enjoy finding new low cal smoothies. Thanks so much for sharing .