5-Ingredient Tropical Green Smoothie

Tropical Green Smoothie

I was skeptical.  I purchase fresh spinach in a 5-ounce box, and the thought of putting all of it into a single smoothie recipe seemed…well…excessive.

But in the name of helping a friend, I gamely tried this recipe.  Ally Phillips, cookbook author, blogger, and longtime friend in food, was looking for a little assistance as she geared up for several food demos at the 2015 Tournament of Roses. I had already tested a pineapple serrano hummus recipe for Ally (delicious, by the way), but something about the heavy-handed use of spinach in this colorful recipe piqued my interest.

Smoothie connoisseurs often mix a handful or two of spinach into their blender concoctions; the health benefits are many and other ingredients mask the flavor.  I was tempted to go light on the spinach when I first made this recipe, but I stuck to the directions and was pleasantly surprised.  Though the vibrant green color is a sure indicator of leafy greens, the variety of fruit creates a tropical flavor that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The first time I made this recipe, I had been feeling under the weather for several days, and somehow, I felt much better after drinking this nutrient-rich drink.  Whether it was the abundance of spinach, some needed hydration, or merely a placebo affect created by a glassful of good-for-me ingredients, I wasn’t going to argue with improvement!  After a holiday season filled with too many cookies, this smoothie felt rather virtuous, and I’ve made it several times since.

It is commonly recommended that we consume two and a half cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit every day.  So often we hear that leafy greens should make up a sizable portion of the veggie allotment.  I truly like produce of all forms, but I have to be honest.  It’s hard to eat the recommended amount on a daily basis.  A smoothie like this is an excellent way to hit that goal with greater regularity.

5-Ingredient Tropical Green Smoothie
The 5 basic ingredients create a great smoothie, but this recipe is also well suited to some tinkering. A scoop of your favorite protein powder or a spoonful of almond butter offer good ways to ramp up the protein content. I've also stirred in some vanilla yogurt and sprinkled the top with granola when I wanted the smoothie to be more meal than drink.
Yields 24 ounces (or two 12-ounce servings)
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  1. 5 ounces (4 cups) fresh baby spinach (see notes)
  2. 3/4 cup vanilla soy milk (I use Silk's almond/coconut milk)
  3. 1/2 cup (4 ounces) pineapple juice, chilled
  4. 1 cup (5 ounces) frozen mango chunks
  5. 1 large banana (preferably frozen)
  1. Combine the spinach, milk, and pineapple juice in a blender. Cover; blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  2. Add the mango chunks and banana. Cover and blend until smooth.
  1. If using cups to measure the spinach, pack the leaves fairly firmly to equal 5 ounces.
  2. Most recently, I added a tablespoon of almond butter, a thin slice of fresh ginger, a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon, and a pinch of sea salt. (While no longer five ingredients, I thought the smoothie was extra delicious!)
  3. I often eat half right away and store the other half in a covered glass or Mason jar in the fridge for the next day. The smoothie keeps quite well.
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen http://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

  • Peel and freeze bananas when they become too ripe to eat. Frozen bananas will add natural sweetness and a creamy texture to smoothies and can be quickly thawed and mashed for use in a variety of baked goods.
  • For those who don’t often drink juice, Dole sells a six-pack of six-ounce pineapple juice cans that are perfect to pull out when a small amount of juice is needed.

And did you know? Spinach contains just seven calories and a single gram of carbohydrates per cup and is an excellent source of vitamins A, K, and C, folate, potassium, manganese, niacin, and fiber.

Tropical Green Smoothie

This healthy smoothie will be featured at the 2015 Tournament of Roses Live on Green event in conjunction with Dole.

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  1. Mary Lou Keller

    Ok, I will give this a try! Honestly Ann, I feel like I could have written (typed) this post!! I too, ate WAY too many cookies this season.. and I only baked one batch and gave 95 % away.

    What is funny is that I made a green smoothie this morning, first one I have made in probably months! I need that reset and definitely need to get more veggies and fruit in.

    Mine is slightly different, but I will try this one. Best thing about baby spinach in a smoothie, you can’t taste it at all!

    Happy New Year!

    1. Ann

      I love your comment, Mary Lou, and agree–this smoothie was the perfect reset for me. Feel free to share what’s in your green smoothie. One can never have too many healthy options that taste great!
      Happy New Year to you, too!

  2. Mary Lou Keller

    Thanks! I started with about a cup and half of spinach (2 handfuls) then added about 1/2 to 3/4 cup frozen mixed fruit(strawberries, pineapple and mango) then about 1/3 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt and almost a cup of unflavored coconut water. It was so tasty and not overly sweet.
    This morning I was kind of in a hurry so I did not measure all the stuff I put in, which I normally do.
    I had an egg cooking at the same time to grab and go for work.. it was just a little crazy!

  3. Gail

    I must try this green smoothie. I try to drink one green smoothie everyday since my eye doctor told me I needed to increase the amount of lutein in my diet. Spinach and kale both have large amounts of lutein. I had only been putting one cup of spinach in my smoothie. I am anxious to try this as soon as I purchase all the ingredients.

    1. Ann

      Hi Gail,
      It really is amazing how well this larger amount of spinach works in this smoothie. I’m excited for you to try and would love to know what you think. And feel free to share any favorite green smoothie recipes you enjoy. I’m sure others would enjoy your tried-and-true versions!

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  5. Elaine

    Ann can you freeze the leftover to use the next day or does it keep in the fridge? I’m making this for breakfast. I could always halve the recipe but thought I’d ask. Thank you. I enjoy your recipes, have made MANY with success.

    1. Ann

      Great question! I actually thought yesterday to add this to the post, but you beat me to it! I have been making the smoothie, eating half, and then storing the other half in a Mason jar in the fridge for the next day. It keeps quite well. Hope that helps and that you enjoyed, Elaine! (If you happen to freeze some, let me know how you make out. I haven’t tried that!)

  6. Elaine Leech

    I’ve made this smoothie many times since seeing it for the first time in January. I love everything about it: the taste, texture, ease of preparation, the fun of having a meal through a straw and how healthy it is. I halve the recipe for one serving and add a scoop of protein powder to make it a meal. Thank you, Ann, for sharing another “keeper”.

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Elaine,
      I’m so glad you like this. As it turns out, this has become a staple for me, too, and I love it for all the same reasons you do. I make the whole recipe and save one for the next day. It keeps surprisingly well. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

  7. Alex Post author

    I make this almost every day and seriously look forward to it. I add the extras you mention along with a tablespoon or so of chia seeds. I enjoy one serving immediately and save the other fort the next day. This smoothie keeps really well. THANK YOU!!!