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5 “Magic” Vegetables for Smoothies

When I first started making smoothies, I mostly used fruits. It didn’t occur to me at the time to use vegetables for smoothies, let alone make an all-vegetable juice with my blender. One day, before I had developed a taste for veggie juice, I found some leftover celery in my fridge. I decided to put it into my smoothie. Big. Mistake.

I actually really love celery on its own, but I did not love it in my smoothie that day. The taste was so strong, and it took me quite a while to finish what I had made!

The second time I added a vegetable to my smoothie was when I had some leftover baby tomatoes. I know what you’re thinking: they’re technically a fruit! But I can assure you, the tomato flavor still dominated the rest of the fruits I had used in a way that I did not enjoy.

When I met my future husband Will, he introduced me to smoothies that had spinach in them, and it wasn’t bad! Maybe it was because he is so handsome. I started to add spinach to my smoothies because I knew it would taste okay. Sadly, I was afraid to add anything else! Eventually, I grew a little tired of drinking the same smoothie every day, but I was too afraid to continue venturing with new ingredients.

Later in life, living as Vitamix demonstrator and blending over 10 hours straight a day for many years, I learned about five magic vegetables for smoothies that have little or no taste when you mix them with fruit. These vegetables are great and considered “magic” because you can sneak them into smoothies, frozen desserts, or even a blended coffee drink, and their flavors are well-hidden! To truly test out the true “magic” of these vegetables, I started adding them to various recipes in the Vitamix demo, and serving them to unsuspecting strangers. Sure enough, my customers would always be so surprised when I told them, “That frozen coffee drink has a small handful of spinach and carrots!

It’s definitely possible to add so much of a vegetable that you start to taste it, but I find that you can add more of any of these five vegetables than most people would expect before there is a noticeable taste. Just start with just a few pieces if you’re feeling unsure about the outcome. Generally, you can add up to half a cup of “magic” vegetables to a 3 cup smoothie recipe. It’s ok to add just one type of vegetable, or you can combine all five! Either way, they will magically disappear into your recipe, and your body will thank you for it.

The 5 “Magic” Vegetables

Baby Spinach

Baby spinach one of the most popular greens to add to smoothies. When it’s fresh it has the lowest flavor-profile, meaning you can really add more spinach to a recipe than most other leafy greens. Baby spinach is a wonderful leafy green to start with when you’re just starting to explore the world of green smoothies. Of course, it’s not as easy to hide the color of spinach as it is to hide the taste! But you can use this to your advantage by pairing it with other “green” food flavors. If you’re not ready to drink a smoothie that’s green, try making a green apple sorbet, using spinach as the food coloring.

Green Apple Sorbet
1/3 can apple juice concentrate
1/2 cup spinach
1 banana
1 small slice lemon
2-3 cups ice

Place ingredients in high-powered blender in the order listed. Blend on high speed for 45 seconds to a minute, or until a smooth, frozen consistency. 

Baby Bok Choy

If you’re looking for a leafy green alternative that doesn’t super-stain your drink green, baby bok choy is a good one to try. It also has a very mild flavor-profile, and the green color isn’t as strong as spinach. In fact, we made a really beautiful smoothie with dragonfruit and loads of bok choy, which resulted in a very beautiful magenta drink! Even if you’re in love with spinach in your green smoothies, I would still highly recommend rotating your greens and giving bok choy a chance. Best of all, while it has a mild flavor, baby bok choy is one of the healthiest greens you can eat! I want my baby bok baby bok baby bok

Red Dragonfruit Smoothie
1 whole red flesh dragonfruit, peeled
1/2 cup grapes, frozen preferred
1/2 cup baby bok choy
1/2 cup ice (if not using frozen grapes)

Place ingredients in high-powered blender in the order listed. Blend on high speed for about 1 minute, or until smooth.

Cabbage

If you add too much, cabbage may leave a bitter aftertaste, but generally, it’s not a difficult flavor to hide. I like to pair cabbage with strong flavors, like chocolate, coffee, or both! You can use regular white cabbage or red cabbage, although Will claims that he can taste the flavor of red cabbage. Red cabbage will definitely add a pinkish-purple color to your recipe, so it’s best to avoid blending it with other green ingredients, or else you’ll end up with a brown concoction that may taste great, but look unappealing.

Mocha “Cabbage-chino”
2 cups milk (dairy or nondairy)
1 tbsp instant coffee
sweetener to taste (we use about 1/4 cup agave nectar in the demo)
1/3 cup white cabbage, or small cabbage wedge
1/2-2 cups ice

Place ingredients in high-powered blender in the order listed. Blend on high speed for about 1 minute, or until smooth.

Yellow squash or Zucchini

What’s great about yellow squash and zucchini is that they have a higher water content, and, like baby boy choy and cabbage, they also leave no undesirable colors in your smoothies. I love adding them to smoothies because they don’t chunk up the texture of my smoothies at all. They also contain alpha lipoic acid, which has a wide range of health effects, including brain health. Will and I used to eat so much squash that we got way too smart! So we stopped eating it as often and we’re better now.

Orangey Juice
1 orange, with pith
1/2 cup green grapes
1 whole yellow squash or zucchini, chopped
slice of lemon, with skin
1 cup ice

Place ingredients in high-powered blender in the order listed. Blend on high speed for about 1 minute, or until smooth.

Carrot

Carrots are fibrous, so make sure you have enough liquids in your recipe. Carrots are so easy to add to smoothies and frozen desserts that are fun to eat because of their bright orange color. Carrots also have a higher sugar content than other vegetables, so it can actually add a bit of sweetness to your drinks! The skin of the carrot is also full of nutrition, so no peeling necessary. You can even blend the greens into a juice if you have them.

Four Fruit Juice
1 orange, with pith
1/3 banana
1 inch chunk pineapple, with core
4-5 strawberries
a few baby carrots/one carrot
sweetener to taste
1/2-1 cup ice

Place ingredients in high-powered blender in the order listed. Blend on high speed for about 1 minute, or until smooth.

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