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Surprising Ingredient I Add to Green Smoothies + Build The Perfect, 5-Ingredient Green Smoothie {that actually tastes good}

Build the perfect, 5-ingredient green smoothie that actually tastes good. start with three basic ingredients — spinach, banana, nut milk — customize the remaining ingredients to fancy your tastebuds {plus the surprising ingredient I suggest you try}!

how to build the perfect, 5 ingredient green smoothie -- www.nourishmovelove.com

Green veggies eater or not, by the end of this blog post you’ll be saying, ‘fresh spinach never tasted so good!’

Ok, so you know green smoothies are loaded with nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants. Spinach alone contains high amounts of vitamins A, C, and K, potassium, iron, magnesium, calcium, and fiber. But you still need some convincing that sipping on spinach actually tastes good and saves you time.

All it takes is a blender, a banana, a cup of spinach, a cup of nut milk, and 5-10 minutes of your time. Did someone say fast food?

That’s right, green smoothies take only minutes to prepare and can be enjoyed on the go. In fact, I never make just one green smoothie. Similar to how I meal prep, cooking in bulk, I make green smoothies ahead of time and freeze or refrigerate leftovers in mason jars {refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days}.

So how do you enjoy two cups of spinach before you even check your email?

how to build the perfect, 5 ingredient green smoothie - spinach and banana green smoothie recipe -- www.nourishmovelove.com

The basic formula for a delicious green smoothie is actually quite simple. Start with a liquid base, pick a fruit, and then add one to two cups of dark leafy greens. I recommend starting with the basics listed below.

Green Smoothie Basic Ingredients 

  • 1 c unsweetened almond milk – this is your go-to smoothie base for creamy goodness, and it’s a natural source of calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A and E.
  • 1 small banana – make that a frozen banana to add to the creamy, rich consistency. this adds the perfect amount of sweetness {sure to hide all signs of spinach} while packing in loads of potassium.
  • 1-2 c spinach – 1 cup for green smoothie newbies and 2 cups for seasoned sippers. rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, spinach is the best leafy green to start with as it breaks down well in the blender.

how to build the perfect, 5 ingredient green smoothie - spinach and banana green smoothie recipe -- www.nourishmovelove.com

Once you have the staple ingredients it’s easy to boost your smoothie and customize your flavor with simple add-in’s like protein, healthy fats and superfoods. My favorite category hands down is healthy fats. Repeat after me, ‘fat does not make me fat, eating healthy fat burns fat!’

Which brings me to my surprising ingredient that I add to almost all of my green smoothies, olive oil. Yes, sounds odd but I love it, and you can’t knock it till you try it. Though most often used in cooking, olive oil is in fact far healthier when used in low or no-heat recipes, like smoothies. The reason for this is simple; olive oil is primarily made up of monosaturated fats – fats which have been scientifically proven to enhance cardiovascular health and wellness. But as beneficial as these fats are to the body, they have a very low smoke point, making them less than ideal for stovetop cooking. So I switched up my routine — I now add a tablespoon of olive oil to my smoothies and I fry my eggs in a a tablespoon of coconut oil.

Find what tickles your tastebuds by playing around with these combinations until you find your very own go-to, super easy, nutritious, fast food green smoothie. I recommend choosing 2-3 additional ingredients {one per category}.

Healthy Fat {choose 1 from category, 1-2 tablespoons}: 

  • Avocado {1⁄2 avocado}
  • Nut Butter {Almond Butter, Cashew Butter, Peanut Butter}
  • Sunflower Seed Butter {nut free alternative}
  • Tahini
  • Coconut Butter
  • Coconut Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Full-Fat Yogurt

Protein {choose 1 from category, 1 scoop}: 

  • Grass-Fed Whey Protein
  • Brown Rice Protein
  • Pea Protein
  • Hemp Protein

Superfoods + Spices {choose 2-4 from category, add to taste}: 

  • chia seeds
  • hemp hearts
  • ground flaxseed
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • Cardamon
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Raw Cacao/Cacao Nibs
  • ginger
  • turmeric
  • matcha green tea
  • Collagen
  • Maca Root
  • Bee Pollen
  • Pure Aloe
  • Wheatgrass
  • Lemongrass
  • Spirulina

how to build the perfect, 5 ingredient green smoothie - spinach and banana green smoothie recipe -- www.nourishmovelove.com

Of course there are many more ways to make a smoothie. Your options for leafy greens {spinach, kale, Swiss Chard, collard greens, bok choy, and beet greens to name a few} and fruit {banana, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries apple, pear, peach, and melon to name a few more} make for endless combinations to try.

If you’re a green smoothie newbie go with the 60/40 method; 60% fruits and 40% leafy greens. Although I do recommend sticking to lower glycemic fruits likes berries, banana and apple {avoiding high-sugar, tropical fruits}. Whereas, green smoothie regulars should increase to the 40/60 or 20/80 standard of 40-20% fruits and 60-80% leafy greens.

Have you been convinced to trade your Stabucks drive through run for a full serving of dark leafy greens and more nutritious start to your day {not to mention say a couple bucks}? Tell me, what’s your favorite smoothie ingredient? Add your recipe to the comments, below!

Want to make sipping greens a healthy habit? Join over 500,000 people from around the world taking the free 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge from Simple Green Smoothies.

perfect 5 ingredient green smoothie 

how to build the perfect, 5 ingredient green smoothie - spinach and banana green smoothie recipe -- www.nourishmovelove.comauthor: lindsey, nourish move love
prep time: 5 minutes
blend time:
 2 minutes
servings: 1 



  • 1 c unsweetened nut milk
  • 2 c spinach
  • 1 small banana, frozen
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • optional: dash or two of cinnamon {I like a lot of cinnamon}


  1. To avoid spinach chunks, blend spinach and nut milk first.
  2. Then add banana, olive oil, ground flax and cinnamon and blend again.
  3. blend until smooth. may need to add more nut milk, water or ice to get preferred texture {more water for a juice-like texture and ice for a smoothie-like texture}.

*feel free to make in bulk and store leftovers in mason jars. Store in refridgerator for up to two days or freeze and unthaw the night before. When ready to drink, give it a good shake before you open.
**gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan.

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how to build the perfect, 5 ingredient green smoothie - spinach and banana green smoothie recipe -- www.nourishmovelove.com


  1. OLIVE OIL. I am totally in. Thanks for sharing and for being so DANG cute.

    • Right?! Who knew! And right back at you lady! And since you’re a pro blog writer, want to write my blog for me tomorrow?! Ugh so much to do…so little time! Let’s get together for another photoshoot soon!

  2. Genius! I love the thought of adding olive oil and so doing this tomorrow! Did you read the recent research on it regarding breast cancer prevention. It is such a healthy fat and can help us absorb all that goodness in those smoothies! Thanks for this delightful idea!

    • Lori! Yes, you have to try it and let me know what you think! Healthy fats all the way! xo-Lindsey

  3. Olive oil?! I would have never thunk! But your points make TOTAL sense! I love green smoothies. Such a great way to get nutrient-dense foods in your bod. Great ideas to build your own smoothie. In fact, I just saw my doc today, who urged me to get a serving of ground flaxseed in once a day. You are SO on it girl!

    • Yes I know Olive Oils sounds a little odd but you have to give it a try! And I’m with you a green smoothie a day, keeps the doctor away! Now you have the perfect green smoothie — spinach, banana, nut milk, flax and EVOO! xo-Lindsey

  4. olive oil? i’m hesitantly curious! i haven’t made a green smoothie in ages, but it might be time to stock up on frozen bananas again 🙂

    • Somer you’re back for more, I love it! Yes, I know it sounds a little crazy but you must try adding olive oil to your smoothie. And I’m a firm believer that one {or more} green smoothie a day keeps the doctor away so girl you need to get on the green smoothie bandwagon which requires lots of frozen bananas :)! xo-Lindsey

  5. I just read a post on smoothie tips and it said you can buy chunks of spinach in frozen balls/cubes. It is cheaper and you can just pop a cube into your smoothie versus 2 cups of raw spinach. I have never seen spinach in frozen chunks before and it can be quite difficult to cut off a piece of frozen spinach from the big blocks but I am gonna look for it now!

    • Interesting — I wonder if these frozen spinach balls have as much nutrients as live spinach or if you’re missing out on the active enzymes of spinach when you buy the frozen balls….? Interesting, thanks for sharing I’ll have to take a look! xo-Lindsey

  6. Yum!! I just had a ‘green’ pink smoothie – protein powder, some strawberries, chia seeds, kiwi, swiss chard and beets! I love a good green smoothie though. I’ve never tried olive oil in mine, but I gotta check it out tomorrow morning!

    • It’s ain’t easy being green, or in your case pink 😉 — funny I just added a couple blackberries to my smoothie this morning and it was no longer green either. You’re smoothie recipe sounds delicious! And yes — try adding EVOO and you must let me know what you think, I’m obsessed!