Tropical Chard Smoothie

I think I’m really starting to like Swiss Chard! Especially when it’s used to color this smoothie green. The combination of all the ingredients seem to come together with just the right texture to make this one stand out.

I know, I know, you’ve heard that from me before, but this time I’ve gotten feedback from a couple other people that have tried this one and, most of the time they kind of shrug their acceptance, yet this time they perk up with a – wow! That’s good!

For three days now I’ve made the exact same smoothie and its better each time. I love it when I can find enough ingredients to make good smoothies for multiple days.

Swiss Chard, Coconut milk, probiotic, banana, mangos, dates and Pineapple

Here’s what I used

If you remember from the Masking the bitters out of a lettuce smoothie article, I’m using a slice of pineapple that really adds to the tropical flavor. The mangos where also a great deal at Wholefoods. They were ripe but not overripe.


  • 2 mangos
  • 1 banana
  • Slice of pineapple (about 1 inch thick)
  • Four or five little dates (got a great deal on these little dates)
  • 1 – 1 ½ cups Vanilla flavored Coconut milk
  • 1 probiotic
  • And, of course, 1 bunch Swiss Chard.

When I bought the Swiss Chard at WholeFoods, I commented to the woman at the checkout that this was the dirtiest Swiss Chard I’d ever seen (been raining for what seems like forever) and she responded “we won’t charge more for the extra earth.” Ha. What a great spin on things.  So, wash the Swiss Chard well.

Ok, build from the liquid up. Add Coconut milk, Mango, banana, pineapple, dates, probiotic and then pile in the Swiss chard. Looks pretty cool all stacked in the blender.

All stacked up

Start off at lower speeds because you’re going to have to use the ‘plunger’ on this one.

Starting the blend

I love how the colors separate during the grinding process. After you hear the dates and greens grind up, flip it on high and start counting. Because the mango and banana is going to give this some texture, you want to make sure to not spin it too long. It will quickly heat up.

In the end, this is what it looks like.

Finished product

I highly recommend giving this one a try. That is, if you’ve got a good deal on mangos and pineapple when Swiss chard is in season.

Have a great day!

Strawberry, Grape, Spinach Smoothie

I’ll bet you never thought about that combination. Just so happened that I got to shop at Costco this last weekend and wouldn’t you know it, but they had Strawberries, Grapes and Spinach all at great prices. I think the 1 lb. spinach containers are the best price in town, but I don’t think they move as many as Whole Foods for I always have to carefully pick through the Costco spinach to pick out the bad pieces and I don’t have to do this with the Whole Food packages. Is it older? Or, does Whole Foods just care for it better? I don’t know. I guess you get what you pay for.

The best part about this smoothie is that tartness of the grapes add to the essence of strawberries which give a richness to the creamy spinach based blend that ultimately stands out from many of the other green smoothies that I’ve made. This one, I do have to say, is worth trying.

Happened to have the camera with me this morning when I threw this one together.

As you can see, this smoothie includes

  • About 12 medium sized strawberries
  • Good handful of red seedless grapes
  • 3 dates
  • ½ lb baby spinach
  • 1 cup coconut milk (not raw, with vanilla flavor)
  • 1 probiotic

When stacked in the blender they really fill it up!

The end result is something that’s easy to swallow and will make you want to come back for more! Got to love this stuff.

Now for the final product – my signature quart of green smoothie.


Strawberry Chard Smoothie

Yum. The finished results!


Can I get away with saying that on such a formal blog? I don’t know why I’ve waited so long to start blending Chard. I’ve looked at it for months right next to the Kale and Collard Greens. And I think I’ve been associating Chard and Collard Greens. The last batch of Collard Greens that I munched on had a clear peppery spicy flavor that didn’t seem to mix with anything. I  couldn’t see it working in a sweeter smoothie.

Well, I felt bold the other day when I saw the Chard on sale for half price. The best part about it was that they weren’t regular bunches split in two being sold half price! That’s a dirty trick that I’ve seen played out on the stores that I know people fall for. Rather, it was the normal size, larger than life beautiful green leaves and firm and fresh.

In any case, I Googled up a site that has some simple descriptions of the taste. Their words really do some up these two greens:

Collard Greens have a mild flavor and are rich in vitamins A, C and K, folate, fiber, and calcium. The best way to prepare them is to boil them briefly and then add to a soup or stir-fry. You can also eat collard greens as a side dish. Just add your favorite seasoning and enjoy!


Swiss Chard tastes similar to spinach and is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, potassium and iron. It is best stir-fried or eaten raw in salads.

I love spinach and was plenty surprised how similar the taste of chard is to spinach.

I also love strawberries but it’s so hard to find strawberries that are actually ripe!

When I was a teenager, I worked on a U-pick strawberry farm. Everyday throughout the season, I had access to the best sun ripened berries in the Puget Sound area. If I saw a beautiful berry beckoning to be eaten, I’d always check the crown to see if it was completely red. Ripe berries don’t have any white across the top.

Turns out that the berries that end up on the stores sold as ‘fresh’ berries are usually picked green.

Yet to fully ripen strawberry

Notice, in the picture, the white core to the strawberry, you won’t see this on a really ripe berry. As it turns out, frozen strawberries are usually closer to being ripe then what you usually find fresh. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture on hand to show a frozen berry (even though I’ve got a page in the freezer).

What this picture doesn’t show is the mouth watering smell. I have to admit that the growers have perfected capturing the smell of a strawberry early in the berries development so that when you pick them up in the store, you automatically start to salivate. It’s too bad they don’t taste like fresh picked.

So, on to the recipe; here is the collection of ingredients in picture form:

[picture of ingredients]

Clockwise left to right: Strawberries, Green Chard, Coconut Milk with added vanilla, lucuma powder, a probiotic complex, and pitted dates.

Weights and Measures:

  • 1 bundle Chard
  • 1 cup Coconut milk
  • 12 oz Fresh Strawberries
  • 3 Pitted Dates
  • 1 tablespoon Lucuma powder
  • 1 little probiotic complex (optional and of your choice)

Add the coconut milk to the blender first followed by the fruit and greens.

Everything stacked in the blender

After it’s been ground good and smooth, add the lucuma if it’s not sweet enough. It might be just fine without adding anything more. The funniest part is when you first turn on the blender and you get the wonderful strawberry pink smoothie that, as soon as the greens start to cut, turns a creamy lighter green that you can see with the resulting smoothie picture shown at the top.

If I’d known that Chard was as good (or better) than spinach when I first started making green smoothies, I’d probably just be discovering spinach now!

Let me know if you give this a try. I’d recommend it to anyone, that’s why I’m posting it here.

Masking the bitters out of a lettuce smoothie

Seems like the only greens of any quality right now is lettuce. That is, if you’re getting your greens from the local grocer. In the herb garden, mint and fennel are stretching tall with the full force of spring behind them. The fennel, when it’s young like this can’t be beat. And the mint, that is a wonderful addition to just about anything. Unfortunately, even though I love these two herbs, they don’t mix all that well with lettuce.

Lettuce is a little bitter. The closer you get to the core, the stronger the bitters. I’ve been looking for something that will tame that taste, but the old tricks didn’t seem to work. Normally, if you get a bitter green, you add in lemon; sometimes lime. Yet when you do that with a lettuce smoothie you just get the full taste of bitter and the tart lemon or lime.

Yesterday, in the process of ‘throwing in the kitchen sink’, I think I found a working mix. A palatable lettuce smoothie that you’ll really want to drink. I think the secret is pineapple. It cuts through the bitterness and lets all the flavors shine through.

So, what did I make?

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 oranges pealed (seedless)
  • 1 inch pineapple pealed and cored
  • 4 small dates (or 2 large dates)
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 probiotic
  • And, of course, 1 head crisp green organic leaf lettuce
  • (Optional: 1 heaping scoop Reliv classic and one heaping tablespoon SunWarrior ORMUS supergreens)

Place the water in the blender first. Add dates, probiotic, pineapple, oranges and get it all to spin. Next add lettuce a big handful at a time and get it to turn. Eventually, after the lettuce is all added and ground up so that it turns, you’ll add the banana and then flip it on high to really break everything down.

After it’s run until smooth, taste it. Is it too bitter? Is it too sweet? I’m guessing that you’ll find it’s just right.

Volume, about seven cups

As you can see, this recipe makes about 7 cups. If you want to make a little less, cut out a banana, an orange and include a little less pineapple.

At this point, if you have any super-food powders that you want to add, do it. The ORMUS greens take the beautiful light green color and turn it into a dark leaf green earthy tasting mix. The Reliv gives it a little more fullness.

The end result is something that you’ll actually enjoy drinking! Lettuce is good and it can taste that way if you whip this up.


Doesn’t breakfast look great?  Lol…

Green Smoothie Tangy Cherry Twist

Makes a little more than a quart

Green Smoothie Tangy Cherry Twist

I have to admit that one of my favorite green smoothies is a cherry based spinach smoothie. I made one again this morning and the flavor is subtle while the texture is creamy. I took a look in the freezer again, and it looked like I’ve still got 4 bags.  Those will be tasty treats. While the supplies last, this one is on the top of the menu!

One of the things that I have to admit about this smoothie is how simple it is. There really isn’t any preparation that has to happen because the bulk of it has been done ahead of time!

So here we go.

To make this smoothie, you’ll need to really plan ahead. Last spring, ok, I guess it would be early summer when the cherries are in season, I bought a large box. We ate cherries for days, but before they could sit around long, I prepped them for a deep freeze. I have to admit that it was somewhere around 40 lbs or so which is a lot of berries. 

About the same time the cherries showed up, so did a cherry pitter. I believe it was a father’s day present (Thanks Arielle!). You might be able to find one for about 20 bucks.  Here is the one that I have:

What’s nice about this one is that the little tray holds about 20 berries and they nearly jump off the pitter shaft when the spring extends the piston for another berry. The drawback is that it doesn’t successfully remove every pit, so you have to double check your berries afterwards. Generally, it works well and for twenty bucks, it’s definitely worth the time and money.

In any case, I processed nearly 40lbs of berries (so they were pit-less) and then fill quart size Ziploc freezer bags. Each bag holds a few cups each. If you plan ahead too, you should end up with a dozen or more bags with pit-less cherries ready to add to any smoothie for the next year (if they last that long).

When you’re ready to make a smoothie, remove the bag from the freezer and use just the amount that you want without defrosting them and return what’s not used back to the freezer.

Now for the recipe:

  • 1 ½ cup apple juice
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 large dates
  • ½ lb spinach
  • 2 cups frozen cherries
  • (Other things as the spirit moves you!)

Add the liquids on the bottoms, throw in dates, pack in spinach and top off with frozen cherries. Blend on low until the mixer starts to turn. Turn to high and blend for a minute or more. The frozen cherries will help keep the mixture from overheating so you can blend it longer. The longer you blend it, the smoother it becomes. I like ‘em really smooth.

Now notice at the bottom of the recipe, there is an ‘other’ section. If you look close at the picture of ingredients, you’ll notice that I’ve got a can of Reliv Classic, Sun Warrior ORMUS greens and a banana. What you can’t see in the picture is a probiotic pill. The probiotic doesn’t take up much space and I like to keep the intestinal flora strong, so in it goes. Likewise, the Reliv Classic is a good protein additive, and because I haven’t been recovering from my yoga workouts fast enough, I add this for the help. And, lastly, the ORMUS green powder. That’s just something that will make your head ring (See The Bell Rock Buzz article).

I figure that in a few days, I’ll be harvesting fresh mint from the garden and at that point I’ll be looking for raw cacao mint smoothies – which I also love. When that starts happening, I’ll post those recipes.

If you didn’t think ahead and you don’t have a stash of frozen cherries, I’m sure the you’ll be able to find some at your favorite health food store. If not, just wait a couple weeks and those stone fruit will come to a roadside near you!


Now for the recipe:

  • 1 ½ cup apple juice
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 large dates
  • ½ lb spinach
  • 2 cups frozen cherries
On high speed, notice the frosting on the side of the blender

Add the liquids on the bottoms, throw in dates, pack in spinach and top off with frozen cherries. Blend on low until the mixer starts to turn. Turn to high and blend for a minute or more. The frozen cherries will help keep the mixture from overheating so you can blend it longer. The longer you blend it, the smoother it becomes. I like ‘em really smooth.

(Also note that I’ve made this smoothie a couple times in a row. It’s nice having ingredients that allow for this. So, on the day that I took the pictures, I figured I’d use a banana, but there were enough cherries to do the job. Thus, the picture shows a banana, yet I didn’t use it in the smoothies.)

You can make this smoothie with fresh cherries but it doesn’t get as smooth. But, that’s ok, for the fresh cherries are better for you.