The Balanced BriefWellness

Wednesday Wellbeing: Shades of green by Zoe

Shades of green   Green smoothie heaven or hell?

I’m sure you might have guessed I’m one of those organic, cold pressed juice, green smoothie slurping kinda girls! But contrary to the fact they might look a bit like pond life, they can and do taste incredibly good. I promise! And if they have the right balance of fat and protein they really can keep you full up for longer. (I tend to avoid pre-made shop bought ones because they never seem to sustain me).

So, I thought I’d share a fool proof way of creating a nutrient dense smoothie at home with a good balance of proteins and fats. Smoothies made like this really do taste delicious. They’re also creamy and can keep you feeling full up for longer, in my experience.  They are a great in between meal snack or sustainable breakfast. I’ve also been known to have one for afternoon tea and curious students can vouch for them tasting  good too! I take mine to work in old jam jars.


You can use water but I prefer to use a good quality almond milk. Although coconut or oat milk are options for a creamier taste. (1 cup.)


Choose from the following: spinach, kale, chard, mixed baby greens. Spinach gives a mild, sweeter taste. If I’m using kale or cavolonero I steam it first as its easier on the digestion. Using frozen or leftovers from dinner works well too (large handful or two depending on your taste).


Berries: raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, blueberries are great for extra antioxidant boost. Fresh or frozen (small handful). These will alter the colour of your smoothie if you choose to add them.

Avocados (and yes, the avo is a fruit) can add a rich creaminess and provide a good source of healthy fats. Use ripe ones. (Experiment with quantity – you may need to add more milk to thin out the smoothie to taste).

Bananas are good for a creamy taste particularly if they’re frozen. Good for sweetness, particularly when nice and ripe.


I like to use a single source of protein from either hemp, chia or flax seeds. (1 tablespoon). Or you can add a few nuts, brazil, almond, cashew. Or 1 tablespoon of almond butter or tahini can work well. Greek yoghurt is also a good protein source.

Optional extras: 1 tsp spirulina, maca powder, cacao powder, fresh ginger, fresh turmeric root, a date for extra sweetness.

Experiment until you find YOUR perfect combo. Add to a high-speed blender. I use a Vitamix but Nutri-bullets are good. As long as it’s high speed and can completely blitz the mix until it’s very smooth. Chunky bits in the smoothie is a total no no!

My fail-safe recipe for simplicity is always:

1 cup almond milk

1 cup greens. I often use leftovers.

I ripe frozen/unfrozen banana

1 level tablespoon chia seeds

1 tablespoon almond butter

Fresh ginger root & turmeric or fresh mint leaves

I’d love to know if you experiment, so tweet me a pic and tag me in to your favourite combo!


Health & Wellness Coach

@Zoe.Swan over on the Gram

@ZoeUniBrighton over on Twitter