Our First Green Smoothie: Clementine

http://greenlitebites.com/2011/01/09/green-smoothie-clementine/
20110109_GreenSmoothie3

I did it! I FINALLY tried the green smoothie rage that seems to be sweeping the blogosphere. Many have suggested it to me in the past. So many I can’t even list them all but it was Wendy‘s recent comment on my Orange Creamsicle Smoothie idea that finally called me into action.

Roni-have you ever added fresh or frozen spinach to a smoothie like this one? I find that the spinach does not alter the flavor of the smoothie but it adds unbelievable nutritional power. Of course, it does change the color of the smoothie! And for sweetness, I add a big date or two (without the pit of course) and holy cow . . . so good. Dates are so incredibly sweet and I feel good that I am eating a whole food that nature made.

What really grabbed me in this comment was the use of dates to sweeten. Confession time…. I never buy dates. I don’t eat dates. I didn’t grow up with dates. They are just one of those things that I’m unfamiliar with and intimated by. But when I saw them in the produce department, I thought of Wendy’s comment and figured, why not? I love the idea of a natural way to add sweetness without white sugar or even honey, which I’m not the biggest fan of in smoothies.

When I opened the package of dates I was unimpressed. They smelled smokey to me and I wasn’t sure how it would taste in the smoothie but I forged on. Or should I say, we…

Our First Green Smoothie: Clementine - makin 1Our First Green Smoothie: Clementine - making 2

Little man was SO not into the idea of a green smoothie but as you can see he helped all the same and I knew he would be open to taking a sip. He always is, especially when I involve him in the making process. So I grabbed a straw, tried it myself (pleasantly surprised) and he just HAD to try it. ;)

Our First Green Smoothie: Clementine - taking a sip

I wish I caught his expression because it was priceless. He face lit up, eyes went wide and he said, “MMMmm this is GOOD! Can I get my own straw?”

Our First Green Smoothie: Clementine - extra straw

We ended up sharing it all morning. It really was delicious. One date did wonders to the flavor and there wasn’t even a HINT of spinach. Our First Green Smoothie: ClementineWe used clementines because we have so many but an orange would work or any fruit for that matter. That’s why I’m calling this “Our First” I have a feeling I’ll be making some other fun green smoothie concoctions in the future. :)

Here’s how we made our clementine based one…

  • 1 dried date, pit removed
  • 2 clementines peeled
  • 1 cup of raw spinach (30g)
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened non-fat yogurt (52g)
  • 10 ice cubes

Put the date, clementines, spinach and yogurt in your blender first with no ice. My bullet worked perfectly for this with no liquid, as soon as the blades hit the clementines.. BAM the who thing came together.

Blend until smooth.

Our First Green Smoothie: Clementine - in blenderOur First Green Smoothie: Clementine - in blender 2

Once it’s smooth, add the ice cubes and blend again.

Pour into a pretty glass and enjoy!

Nutritionally the date did bump up the sugar contents of the smoothie but over all this recipe was given almost 5 stars for optimal health according to NutritionData.com. They said,

This food is low in Sodium, and very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Folate, Calcium, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin K.

Sounds like a great was to start my day! :)

Note: I’m getting REAL confused with the New Weight Watcher point Plus, when I do the nutritional info and calculate it comes out to 5 when I use the recipe builder it’s 3, I think, I’m still learning.

Approx Nutritional Information per serving
Servings Amt per Serving
1 entire recipe
Calories Fat Fiber WWPs
180 0g 5g old: 3 new: 3 or 5
Sugar Sat Fat Carbs Protein
25g 0g 45g 4g
43 comments »»
Posted in: 3 WWP, 3 WWPP, 5 WWPP, Beverage Ideas, Breakfast Ideas, Green Smoothies, Smoothie Ideas, Snack Ideas, Vegetarian Ideas
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43 Comments and 0 Replies

  1. Chrystal N

    This looks great! I made a green smoothie this morning with spinach, about 1/3 of a frozen banana, ground flax, protein powder, and almond milk. When I first tried it, I was concerned about the taste of the spinach, but once I tasted it, I understood why so many people put it in their smoothies! I have some clementines – will definitely give this one a try :)

  2. Angela

    I guess it’s worth a shot! *adding fresh spinach to my grocery list* ….. *and dates*

    Honestly, I don’t think it’s you who’s confused…it’s WW. I finally converted to Points Plus on the 1st and am not digging it. With the old points system I could at least look at calories and “guesstimate” the general points in my head. Now I have no clue unless I go online and use the stupid calculator. Grrrr.

  3. Suzie

    Hi Roni, I think the reason the points are confusing is because if you just go off the nutrition info it will be higher but because the fruit and spinach are “free” or 0 point it comes out lower in the recipe builder even though the fruit does have carbohydrates.

    I can’t wait to buy some clementines and spinach and give this a try!

  4. Renda

    Could the difference in points be that for smoothies you count the fruit just like you did in the good old days? So you would have to count the clementine, or whatever other fruit you use.
    The theory is that when the blender does the digesting work for you, you lose the benefit of the fruit or vegetable.
    But I haven’t used the recipe builder with the new system so I am not sure how it accounts for grinding/blending.

  5. Jennifer

    Congrats on trying your first “Green Smoothie!” There are endless possibilities and you don’t even have to add yogurt and have extra calories. I add whey protein sometimes too. I love that I can load up on spinach and not taste it.

  6. roni

    I’m going to look into the whole new WW philosophy and fruit IN recipes. With old points it was just so intuitive. As for the blender doing the digestive work.. I’m not buying it. I just don’t think the difference would be that great. Plus the WW calculator doesn’t know i’m blending it.

    Regardless… it’s good stuff! That’s all that counts. As for adding the yogurt… I did it for texture but more for protein. I wanted at least a bit in there.

  7. Ashley@quasichick

    I have made hundreds of green smoothies, but never with clementines or oranges..I am going to do that tonight :) Thanks for your inspiration! This is why I love blogging and bloggers so much!! I made a green juice this morning and it was so yummy!

  8. Loren

    Roni, Yesterday I read a blog post about a green smoothie with kale in it and I thought of you (yes, kale makes me think of you). Then today, you post a green smoothie recipe!
    This blog is usually dangerous, because she bakes a lot of gooey things, so if you decide to look beyond the smoothie recipe and end up baking a pie or something, well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
    link to joythebaker.com
    I’m so glad you posted this recipe and showed us the little guy’s delighted face. That’s all the assurance I need to give it a try.

  9. Sara R.

    Thanks for bringing up the points discrepency issue. I had the same quandry the other day when I baked banana muffins. Whatever you can find out would be greatly appreciated!

  10. Reinaldo

    This looks great! Beats the heck of the other green smoothie recipe I read today (it involves green jello powder, don’t ask).

    So, you’re feeling sassy with the green smoothies, uh? Try this: link to bit.ly That’s a spinach & AVOCADO smoothie!!! I haven’t tried it myself, but i get how it should work…

  11. Dottie

    Hi Roni, are you using fresh or dried dates? WW lists 2 different pointsplus values. All dfied fruits have PP values. I don’t think I have ever seen fresh dates, which have zero PP like other fresh fruits, in local markets.

    The nutritional values for fresh fruits are counted in recipes, and subsequently the pointsplus add up. I discovered this when I computed a recipe on WW etools for peanut butter-banana ice cream;it contained only 2 frozen bananas, 1Tbsp PB and 1Tbsp honey, which came out to 11 PP for the recipe!

  12. Nadine

    I wonder if the discrepancy comes in the form of a sweetner (I know you said it was unsweetened) — I couldn’t find an unsweetened yogurt option in the tracker, so the tracker may be accounting for ‘sugar alcohol’ in sweetners that aren’t there in your yogurt.

    I’m assuming that you’re leaving the spinach and clementines out of your nutritional calculation (as you should) free fruits and veggies are free regardless of what you do to them (this is different, because some cooked veggies used to have more points) so the points plus values are coming only from the date and the yogurt, and your yogurt (unless you found it EXACTLY by name brand) just might be different.

    What I would do in that situation? I’d count it for 4 :)

  13. Nadine

    Updated to add: I just double checked! WW guideline is to INCLUDE nutritional information of fruits and veggies for recipes (for consistency in publication, they say) — but according to the getting started guide (pg 42) you can choose your calculation method, WW says let your weight loss be your guide as far as counting 0 point foods in recipes!

  14. Wendy (Healthy Girl's Kitchen)

    Roni, thank you so much for the major shout out!

    I think that the dates that we have in supermarkets are dried, so for those counting WW points, be sure to include them in a calculation. They are so very sweet and delicious and also full of nutrients, but it is very easy to overdo them because they do have a lot of calories. I try to limit myself to 1-2 per day.

    It’s great to hear that WW is promoting the raw banana soft serve. It’s the closest thing to real ice cream that I have ever felt good about eating!

    And what about Dottie????? Do you have to recalculate all of the points on your entire website? Oh my gosh . . . heart palpitations . . .

  15. Nancy

    About those points plus. There aren’t black and white instructions.

    I have a cranberry relish recipe that is just craberries, an orange and splenda, and the guideline I was given when I went to the WW PP plan experts in NY was that you can decide to do it by nutrition info, 2pts a cup, or the 0 points fruit way (no points) and since I couldn’t sit down and eat a bag of cranberries, but I can eat a whole recipe of the relish in one sitting, I’m using the points. Its about how much of a change the recipe makes in the fruit.

    If you make an apple pie, you count the apple’s nutrition info in the recipe, but if you bake an apple and put a little cinnamon and splenda on, you count it as a 0 ppv fruit. If you did a baked banana boat and put a few melted mini marshmallows and choco- chips on a banana, I’d still only count the marshmallows and chips, but not the banana. But for banana bread, I’d count all the ingredients (including the nutrition info of the bananas).

    I’m not sure how you’d want to handle the smoothie, though, and I think I got all the direction I am going to get from them. So whatever you chose to do, you’ll just need to let us know how you decide do it. Thanks!!!

  16. Natasha

    What if you made this and used only half a date? would that lower the sugar and would it taste just as good with the sweetness of the oranges?

  17. Sheriese

    I’m doing the happy dance!! I just made a smoothie for my very finicky daughter, and added 1/2 cup of frozen spinach to it….she had absolutely no idea. (I always have frozen bags of spinach since you suggested it in another post!) She’s not crazy about oranges, but I made it with a frozen banana, a splash of nonfat milk, and a bit of sugar free chocolate syrup to disguise the color. My husband and I could not believe it had spinach in it- not even a hint of spinach flavor. Thanks Roni!!

  18. Sameer

    I drink green shakes everyday! Most raw foods energize you (as opposed to cooked foods that tend to make me a bit sluggish) and I drink one in the morning as I start work.

    By the way, add a banana to make it more creamy. And I also throw is all kinds of other things: flax meal/flaxseed oil, nuts, fresh/frozen blueberries, apples, peanut butter…anything goes. The hardcores will add parsley, cucumber, ginger, garlic. Yeah. No kidding.

  19. Harriet

    Hello Roni, It has been a long time since I was on your sight, and so many changes. Congrats on your pregnacy and your new book. With my twins’ food allergies I have been up and down with what to make them. During this time I found the Raw Food Diet, and green smoothies. My kids love them, they actually cry if I am not making them fast enough. Making green smoothies is so easy, so try not to add too much stuff. In the beginning use 60% fruit and 40% green leafy vegetables, and use enough water to meet your consistancy, the vita mix (I know pricy) rocks! If you taste all the fruit you put in then you have accomplished what you were after. Good luck, and shocked that you have never tried it.

  20. Christine

    Delicious! I made it with an orange instead of clementines since that’s what I had – I went out last night (before the blizzard today) so that I can make another one today! Thanks for sharing! :-)

  21. BigTickles

    I love this idea. I can get green veggies into the toddler without trying by doing this. I am going to see what happens. I wonder what you can substitute for dates? I do not have any on hand. Hmmm…time for experimentation!

  22. Mo

    Never in a million years would I have seen myself drinking a smoothie with spinach, but after reading about your little man being brave enough to try it, I thought I could do it, too. I loved it and have had one for the last 3 days!
    I used-
    1 cup of Aldi Fit & Active® Plain Nonfat Yogurt
    1 banana
    1 large handful of spinach
    a dash of Davinci Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup

    I count mine as 3 Points+

    When I’m done with this bag of fresh spinach, I’m going to switch to frozen chopped spinach. I think there will be less waste and I think that since I’m not using ice, the frozen spinach will make it taste even better.

  23. Charmaine

    Just tried the green smoothie/shake…yummy! Wow, I didn’t have dates and passed on the raisins. I put Spinach, a frozen banana, and an orange, with 1/3 C of 2% milk. I am counting mine as 1pt…unless my weightloss dictates otherwise.

  24. Happy Fun Pants

    Roni:

    I tried my FIRST green smoothie using my new Magic Bullet yesterday.

    When I use the bullet, it starts to smell hot (as in electrical fire-ish). When I stop using it, the smell goes away…and when I try to use it again, it works wonderfully.

    Because of this, I’ve been reluctant to just leave it on puree’ to completely blend the ingredients smoothly…but that leaves mine with pieces of skin or the veins of the spinach leaves as little tiny chunks.

    I looked at your pictures and it doesn’t seem like you have any of this in your smoothies.

    So my question is, does your bullet smell the same way? If so, do yo just leave it on anyway? And about how long do you blend it all so that it’s completely smooth?

    I know I’m a bit late in posting this comment/question, but I just bought it. I love the idea of these breakfast smoothies, but I’d love to make them even more delicious without the bits in them. :)

  25. NYCPatty

    Roni, which blade did you use in the bullet? I want to like mine but I’m kind of hating it. My mom and I wanted to make a radish/carrot juice…she said it good for the brain, she’s in her 70s and it was such a mess. I’d like to try your smoothie but right now I’m hating my bullet!

    It’s gotta be me doing something wrong!

  26. roni

    Happy Fun Pants – I do notice that smell now and then but I just let it run. I think I blended this one for about a minute once the juice from the oranges broke up. I do sometimes pick up the whole unit and shake ti prevent the blades from spinning especially when there is a lack of liquid.

    Hope that helps!

  27. roni

    Patty – I use the the one the sticks up a bit. The other is for dry ingredients. Did you add liquid to the carrots/radishes? They don’t have as much liquid as say, an orange, so I’m not sure how effective it would be without at least a few ounces of water.

  28. Erica

    Sounds good! But you have to try the smoothie with pineapple instead of orange/clementines, sooooo delish! Thank you for all you do Roni, you have given me the extra motivation to keep on going through this weight loss journey. God bless you.

  29. Rachel

    This is FANTASTIC!!! I didn’t have dates on hand, so I replaced the plain yogurt with a container of light vanilla yogurt. (Can I just say that I am glad I lost weight, and maintain my weight by counting calories, and not points? Yikes…lol. : )

  30. Kelly

    I finally tried this after reading the original post and being intrigued. I used 2 dried figs because I didn’t have any dates and they worked great! Gave the smoothie an interesting taste that was kind of exotic. I also don’t eat dairy so I substituted unsweetened almond milk- it was really good. I found out the next day (yes, I have had a green smoothie 2 mornings in a row now- it’s that good!) when I was out of clementines that if you drop in a few chunks of frozen banana you can omit the ice. I always have frozen banana on hand because I loooove frozen banana “faux” ice cream.
    Anyway- thanks Roni and all of the you who post! I love “shopping” for new recipes on this site!

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