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My Green Machine…Or a Garden Smoothie

Swiss Chard & Collard Smoothie

My life is a story about being late to the party. In most aspects anyway. It’s mostly my late catch on to trends. I’m not a trendy person by nature and lots of choice, but there are those singularly wonderful things you wish you’d paid attention to when it hit the waves. Kind of like fútbol and the World Cup! Where in the world have I been hiding? I’ve never been a soccer fan except for supporting my nephew who’s a mean, mean, super talented goalie. He’s going places with that hardcore defense of his. But I got into soccer this year like I never contemplated. Perhaps it was the hype media created around it. The men, the jerseys, the host country — a fabulous Latin one I’ve yet been to —, the tats, the music, the performances, the wins, the losses, the international fan fair. Whatever it was, I got hip to the fever. But super late. As in the the US’s last game where Tim Howar became my first ever athlete crush after that crazy sexy performance. But I’m also late to more important things like healthy eating trends. The green smoothie. Yup so late it it. So I just made my own.

I remember all the blogger, major online newspapers/outlets and every foodie talking about the green smoothie or the green machine drinks about 6-7 years ago. I paid it no mind as my mental state of existence was far from interested in cleaning up my diet and lifestyle to the point of consuming only greens. I was already having a really difficult time making let alone eating salads. They were just not for me. Every year, I committed to going as green as I could tolerate. The most was the use of my pressure cooker. That’s totally green living, right? I mean, 70% savings time in cooking? Less energy used? That’s green all day long.

I was more turned off that the bottled green juices harbored unmentionable amounts of sugar. It defatted the purpose of those juices and smoothies being meal replacements. The sugar was so egregiously high in the most popular ones, that I shied away even more. They were less and less attractive.

But then about two years ago I started drinking Kombucha green seed juices. Loved it. Loved the low to no sugar count. Loved the taste. Loved the benefits. And appreciated it rawness. And then I got hip to really delicious green drink at Whole Foods. It was superb. But when I studied the ingredients list, I fell out that I had just paid $4 for a bottle of 5 ingredients, all which were listed in the front label.

I enjoyed that drink (honestly, can’t even remember the name, though Instagrammed a picture and tagged Whole Foods asking why it was so pricey) maybe 2 more times before never going back.

Swiss Chard Smoothie

And then that fast, my green juice, smoothie, drink excitement died. My intersest in the trend died really fast. There was no chance of resurrection.

I was so done.

Until last week.

Only this time, completely on my terms!

Now, these are the benefits of grown your own garden!

If you read this post, you know my dad and have been enjoying tending to his yard and earnestly growing an herb and vegetable garden. I mentioned then I’m more of the consultant and cleaner while he does all the real intense work.

We both enjoy but I’m in charge of distribution amongst family and friends an making sure none of it goes to waste.

So this very morning, as I’m prepping to have breakfast, I see a big hand-written note: “Please eat, give away, or trash 🙁”  Oh, my heart sank so fast! There was SO much on the kitchen counter he was referring to.

Just yesterday he pulled 6 cucumbers from garden, his biggest success in vegetables. Cilantro and bdid really well, too.

So, instead of trashing any of the collard greens, Swiss chard or arugula, I got inspired to make a smoothie. I mean, it was the easiest and quickest thing I could make and actually enjoy within minutes.

I did a quick but thorough wash, threw out the bad stems, fortunately not a lot, and contemplated this smoothie.

Swiss Chard Smoothie For Two

The cucumbers made sense, plus I needed them for the water element. I had pineapple and green apples laying around, and the agave was staring at me, probably from my default breakfast of granola with almond milk and dried plums.

I had a mango, too, but wanted to see how green I could really go.

This is what I got. An ultra fresh, super raw, really, really green and over-top-delcious smoothie! And every bit of it, less the limes, apple, and pineapple came from the garden.

That made it so much more special, let me tell you.

I now understand when other chefs and farmers talk about enjoying the quality and integrity of using and eating locally sourced foods. I was for it, but never until now have I really appreciated with such pleasure the real meaning of sourcing your own food.

As it goes, true story, my best friend happened to stop by unannounced to drop off some Afghan bread. I invited him in for a smoothie, to which he quickly turned his face. He’s got mild stomach issues and is extremely picky when it comes to eating anything new. The chard and collards were new to him. A a home garden smoothie was new to him. Cucumber in a drink? Yeah, that too. I gave him 1/4 cup to taste first. His smile made my day. Those two sips alone made him a believer. His word. His exact words.

He ha2 another glass and a half and left with a cucumber!

And asked for the recipe.

So here I am. After two attempts, I settled on this combination which is refreshing and so perfect for breakfast or a full dinner when you simply don’t have time to get elaborate.

Or when you’re in dire need of shedding a few pounds because…. wait for it!

This one’s gonna be good. I promise.

Swiss Chard & Collard Greens Smoothie

In the meantime, enjoy my tardiness in the way of a super green machine, courtesy of our garden! Of course, if you don’t have a garden, picking up this ingredients and make it will yield the same result. Just not the same love!

Cheers to healthy living and eating.

** Make sure to read my new magazine B! Inspired, a lifestyle magazine for the person looking to live the best life! Our preview/soft launch issue now online and available for download.

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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  • 1.5-2 cup collard greens, chopped 
  • 1 cup or 7 leaves of Swiss chard
  • 1 cup pineapple, chunks
  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 5 stems arugula
  • 1/2 green apple
  • juice from 1/2 large lime
  • 2-3 Tbps. agave
  • 4-5 mint leaves
  • ice


In high grade processor or blender, add all ingredients. Pulse on high for 1 minute or until mixture is fully liquified. If you need to thin out, add some juice from fresh pineapple or add a bit more ice.


66 thoughts on “My Green Machine…Or a Garden Smoothie

  1. Love how you mix different kinds of “green” and make it really green. I can say it’s the only green smoothie that looks appealing to me, ever! Good job!

  2. I’m not I’m into this but it does look great. I should try it. What other sweeteners can I add to it? The cucumbers are great. And how about kale instead of collard greens?

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