A Green Smoothie I Actually Like

If you don't like green smoothies, but wish you did, then you're in luck! Read at your leisure.

Like many others, I've always aspired to be the salad-eating, green-juice-drinking health nut who can't get enough of those tender greens. I've not been so lucky. Time and again I have tried to concoct a veg-ified (and thereby less sugary) version of my morning smoothie, only to be found in bitter disappointment by the first sip. And perhaps the magical resolution to my green drink dilemma lies at the perfect intersection of "too lazy to thaw the frozen salmon for lunch" (besides, I ate salmon last night), "I need caffeine to make it through rollout tonight", and "it's 2pm and I haven't eaten lunch so just make something quick!" that just so happened to inspire my culinary genius (or desperation) in the kitchen today.

The Goal:

Protein, caffeine, yum - if I can manage that. Since my breakfast consisted of millet porridge (is that any surprise?) and all the protein in this house is either a. frozen, b. canned beans, or c. sunflower butter, I knew I had to be creative with my preparation. All we really have is veggies, and I wasn't about to chop everything up to make a salad, because laziness (and it just wasn't one of those chopping days). So...my options were garbanzo beans and sunflower butter.

It's a hot day, so I figured, why not make a smoothie? Astute idea! Jam pack it all into one cool beverage, and voilà! So I did.

Before you read any further, know that I, myself, was dubious about the end result of this smoothie. After all, I was just throwing the kitchen sink in the VitaMix, hoping it would all work out.

The Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1.5 Tbsp unsweetened sunflower butter
  • 1.5 Tbsp oat pulp (yeah, I know it sounds really disgusting...but this is the fibrous leftovers from making homemade oat milk - it's almost like oatmeal, only finer and pre-soaked; however, you can substitute dry - or soaked - oats if you're uncomfortable with pulp)
  • 1/3 cup rice milk
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/3 zucchini
  • 1/4 cup broccoli
  • 1/4 cup mango juice
  • 1/3 cup frozen mango
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1 tsp coffee beans, finely ground (about 5 coffee beans)

The Method Behind the Madness:

Because I needed protein, I decided to start with the SunButter (perhaps my newest addiction) and garbanzo beans (yes, even I thought I was crazy for putting beans in a smoothie). Everything else flowed from there in a cacophony of refrigerator rummaging. SunButter is creamy, so I need a creamy base - rice milk, oat pulp, and banana. Obviously I need some veggies - spinach and zucchini. Ew, is this just some cream of veggie gazpacho? Mango will liven it up. Uhhh, this is still warm...ice cubes. Oh shoot, I'm going to be up late and have to drive back into the mountains...hmmm...let's add some coffee beans.

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The Result?

A surprisingly good smoothie. Creamy, semi-sweet, and somehow not disgusting, what with the zucchini and garbanzo beans. And the ground coffee? The pièce de resistance: an added bit of texture and flavor that made an ordinary smoothie an extraordinary one. I could even imagine making ice cream out of this recipe (because in this weather, colder is better). Who would have thought a random conglomeration of vegetables and oat pulp could result in such a yummy meal? Try it for yourself and see if you become a believer in the green smoothie.