I’ve always been very good about eating my vegetables and I’ve never had a problem with spinach, but when I first heard of putting spinach in a smoothie it seemed like blasphemy.  Why on earth would anyone want to do such a thing to their smoothie?  But, I kept hearing and hearing about people who do this and actually, you know, enjoy it.  One or two and I would have thought it a fluke but it was so many people, I knew it wasn’t just health fanatics.

I don’t know about you but spinach seems to be sold only in far larger quantities than we could ever use before it goes bad.  Recently I once again found myself with an overabundance of baby spinach and knew it was time to give this a try.  After all, if it was gross, it was only one day and I could go back to my normal smoothie the next day.  Turns out, our whole family loved this.  It tastes like all the fruit and not at all like spinach.  I was unsure how it would be received by Andrew given the green color, but he actually thought it was really cool.

He was even more excited when I told him it was called a green monster smoothie because this is one of his favorite books.  And much to my surprise, he now asks for the green monster instead of our usual smoothies.  That’s a big win!

Note: I’ve seen green smoothies made with different greens such as kale or chard, and all sorts of combinations of fruits.  I played around with various combinations and this is my favorite version.


1 banana (frozen or not), cut into chunks
1 cup chopped frozen pineapple
1 pear, coarsely chopped
1½ cups orange juice
2½ cups baby spinach leaves, rinsed and dried
1-2 tbsp. honey
3 tbsp. ground flaxseed (optional)


  • 01

    Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until completely smooth.  Taste and adjust sweetness with additional honey, if desired.  Serve immediately.


  • We’ve been making green mamas recipe for over a year and my husband, who runs from veggies, loves them. Similar recipe.

  • I’ve been afraid of spinach in my smoothies too. But I guess it’s time to put my fear away. The book being read to Andrew is one of our favorites. My kids love to finish it my “reading” it on their own…and DON’T COME BACK (unless I say so).

  • I actually love putting spinach in my smoothies! I basically shove as much can possibly fit into the blender:-)

  • A blogworld classic smoothie :D

  • i’m so intrigued when people say you can’t taste the spinach. i bought some at the grocery store this weekend, just so i could make one of these with the extra. thanks annie.

  • Amy

    i’m not sure i could get over the green color, but i’m sure they taste fabulous! i need to try a smoothie like this! (but i never make smoothies as i don’t want to wake my hubby in the morning, and i feel like i can’t eat smoothies any other time of day, i guess!)

  • I have used spinach on many occasions for smoothies and my kids take it nicely, they actually love the intense green color and think is cool ;-). Great color without the food coloring…..and lets not forget the flavor and nutrition of it all!

  • Heather S.

    I’ve put practically every fruit into a smoothie but I’ve yet to try pear..I’m excited! It’s hard for me not to put strawberries into smoothies but I know now I have to leave them out to get this beautiful green color (not as easy to get a kid geeked about a brown monster smoothie).

  • We love green monsters too! I actually made them this morning, and Caroline was so excited to drink “green juice.” I’ve never added a pear though, I’ll have to try that!

  • Amanda

    If you want to avoid the green for picky eaters (like my son), you can use blueberries – it usually overpowers the green. :) My extremely picky daughter will drink any color smoothie I hand her though – the only green thing I can get in her other than grapes!

  • DaNielle

    I’m on a huge spinach craving at the moment, I will have to wait till the price of bananas go down in austrAlia.

  • Love love love putting spinach in my smoothies!

  • Liz N

    Definitely going to pitch this to my daughter. I have almost all the ingredients to make this tonight. Thanks for sharing this. What a great way to get your fruits & veggies in one fell swoop?! Thanks Annie!

  • Leanne


    Can you substitute frozen spinach for the fresh spinach?

  • Ann

    Hi Annie,
    What kind of blender do you use? I have a regular kitchen aid & I’m not sure it would do the job. Have you tried it in the food processor? I have a cusisinart, but I really don’t want to make the mess if it won’t work. Thank you-love your blog

  • We’ve been making the green monsters for almost two weeks now. We love them. I haven’t expanded the flavors much. I use almond milk and almond butter plus the spinach, banana, flax seed and ice. I will definitely try the orange juice and other fruits!!!

  • * I meant to say, we haven’t tried other flavors so fur! (Instead, of I haven’t expanded the flavors much :P)

  • Yessss, I start every day with a green monster! Today I actually realized that I was out of spinach, so I had to just go spinach-less…I must rectify that tomorrow!

  • Annie

    It’s a KitchenAid, not sure of the exact model. Click on Annie’s equipment in the sidebar…it’s in there somewhere.

  • Annie

    I’ve never tried it.

  • I love green smoothies! They’re not nearly as bad as people think. Different berries form different colors so the possibilities are really endless.

  • Sarah

    I just showed my kids the picture, (they are six and three). My three year old just gave me a funny look at the color. And my six year old (who isn’t that picky) and she said she would not even try it. I might have to try to make it purple and see if they would drink it.

  • mmm i make these all the time! except mine are usually ugly colored because i do bananas, strawberries, vanilla yogurt, spinach, and milk. still tasty though!

  • I am so glad you posted this today because I have been looking for a green monster smoothie recipe and this looks great! Thanks Annie :)

  • Mary

    Annie, have you tried it with other greens? It seems like green smoothies should be right up my alley, but every time I make one, it’s a gross FLOP! I’ve never tried exactly what you used, though, so maybe I’ll give it a try.

  • Annie

    No, all the variations I tried used spinach just because that is what we usually have on hand.

  • This actually sounds really good!

  • Melissa

    Need other ideas for using up your spinach…
    1. Blend it in your oatmeal (katheats.com “Tribute to Oatmeal”)I tried it last week. Nothing objectionable.
    2. My favorite way for breakfast or lunch: egg burrito. Fry a scrambled egg, melt some cheddar cheese(or cheese of choice),lay in tortilla, top with sliced Baby Bob Tomatoes, spinach, cilantro and Taco Sauce.
    -Add to sandwiches

  • Ok, I have to try this. I keep seeing these strange green smoothies on the internet and haven’t given them a try yet. If you like them, I’m going to burst out of my bubble and let loose! lol

  • I’m just dying to make one of these, but I doubt my blender is powerful enough. We hardly use it because it’s not very good. I do, however, buy the Naked juice called Green Machine which is just as healthy. Eventually I hope to get a better blender to be able to make these on my own!!

  • Cate

    I’m glad you posted this! I’ve been making these a lot lately. They’re so good, aren’t they?!

  • HB

    This was the reason I originally bought a VitaMix and absolutely LOVE IT!!!!! It pulverizes everything effortlessly (love to make nut butters with it too!). We often use spinach, baby carrots, apples, celery, flax, some ice water… All the variations we make have turned out great (for the most part:))

  • I have also been super skeptical about putting greens into my juices. Like you, I love salads, but there’s a time and place for everything, and I just don’t see juices as the time or place for greens! :) But you have me convinced. I will have to try this soon.

  • I looove green monsters! Your version sounds great, I’ve never thought to sneak in some ground flax seed!

  • Heather S.

    I had to post again, we’re mid smoothie right now and it is a hit. Finally a green smoothie with an appetizing green color! My 1 and 4 year old both love them! I think this may have replaced my old standby smoothie recipe (which I thought I had perfected until now). The only change I made was to add some frozen mango. Yum!

  • Thanks so much for sharing this! My extremely picky 4-year old tried it, and loves it. This is a huge victory for me, lol. I really appreciate you helping me sneak more fruits and veggies into his diet.

  • Kristen Toohey

    If you lived in Boston like I do, they would be called “Green Monstah Smoothies”…a reference to Fenway Park! haha!

  • Stacey

    Who is that really cute Uncle!?!

  • Annie

    LOL, “Stacey” :)

  • Robin

    Thank you so much for posting this. I never would have thought of adding spinach to a smoothie and it actually tasting good. I made this last night with banana, spinach, pineapple, and mango. It was delicious, and even my 3 year old liked it. I made it again this morning and added strawberries (so good – but the coloring wasn’t as “pretty”). As soon as my little guy heard the blender start he came running downstairs asking for some “monster juice”. We will be making a habit of drinking these – thanks again!

  • I have yet to try one… but, these smoothies look like a great way to start the day.

    Did you know — you can easily freeze your spinach to use later so as to not let it go to waste? We do that all the time!

  • KB

    Yummy! Really delicious. I used the banana and threw in whatever frozen fruit I had plus as much spinach as I could cram into the container. What a great way to ease my “the spinach is spoiling” anxiety.

  • Michelle

    I love spinach in my smoothies, it makes it oddly creamy, and admit I was hesitant at first too! My Magic Bullet, which just sadly died on me, and my new Cuisinart single blender both blend the spinach up very nicely so that you don’t feel like you are eating chunks of it in your smoothie.

  • Erin

    I just made this yesterday and we all loved it – including my 4 yr old and 2 yrd old! I made another one for me this morning since I enjoyed it so much. I didn’t have another pear, but I did have frozen blueberries so I used those. The color was pretty but it sure tasted great!

  • I made your recipe today. H U G E success!!! It is much sweeter and lighter than my other recipe!!!

  • Kris

    I just wanted to say my four year old loves this! He doesn’t eat many veggies and this is perfect. Thanks for posting this.

  • Betsy

    I had this for breakfast this morning! I swapped out the pineapple for frozen mango chunks since that’s what I had. :) It was amazing and I’m so excited to be both using/eating so much more spinach.

    I also made your beef stroganoff for dinner Saturday night. It was delicious!

    Thank you, Annie!

  • Rob

    Fantastic! Couldn’t taste the spinach really, but the pineapple and orange juice really blend nicely. I was surprised at how the fruit really takes over the whole drink.

    This would be great for kids at Halloween! Delicious.

  • We were looking for a yummy basic green smoothie recipe today and yours hit the spot! Hope you don’t mind us linking here from our Facebook page.

  • Erica

    Just tried this…and it is REALLY GOOD! Thanks for sharing. My kids don’t even realize they just had spinach for breakfast :) My only substitution was an apple instead of the pear because it was the only thing I didn’t have on hand. But it still turned out great. It is really sweet, and I don’t even mind the texture of the ground flaxseed! Thanks Again!

  • Danielle

    Spinach is great way to sneak extra veggies into your kid’s diet. I have started to use freeze freeze dried spinach – brownies, smoothies, pasta, etc… the kids never know it is there. And by keeping freeze dried spinach on hand, I never run out because it has gone bad!

  • Patte

    Hi there! I am going to be doing a library preschool storytime with this book and am preparing a handout of related titles and ideas that goes home with the kids. May I include your recipe and photo credited to you and your blog on the handout?

    Thanks in advance for considering this!

  • Annie

    Sure, sounds fun! Thanks for asking :)

  • Dianna Glantz

    Hi Danielle, Where do you find freeze dried spinach?

  • I am an independent consultant with a company called Shelf Reliance. We offer a wide variety of freeze dried and dehydrated products – spinach is one of them.

    There are several other companies out there that offer freeze dried products – I do not know for sure if they offer spinach.

  • vikki

    Have not tried spinach or kale in my smoothie yet, but I love adding yogurt or kefir in mine for the added nutrients. I just filled my fridge with veggies today… every complaining there is no room for anything else…sadly they are right but I’m a veggie fanatic. I know right now I have more kale than I can use before it goes bad so I’m thinking I just might give this a try tomorrow morning. Thank you for sharing

    PS I taught pre-k/kindergarten for 20+ years and this was one my my kids (ok and mine too) favorite books. It was a delight to use it as a diving board to math, language and social skill building activities. I’m mean really how can you go wrong with a big green monster and a classroom full of 4-5 year old?

  • amazing as always, annie!

    here is my post on the same:

  • Krista

    New Years Resolution- eat more fruits and veggies. Just tried this and it was amazing! Thanks for giving me a decicious way to incorporate more of these foods into my familes day!

  • Jenny

    Thanks for the recipe! I made this today and my three-year-old son could not get enough of it. I didn’t have any flaxseed so I made it without. Do you know how the flaxseed will alter the taste of the smoothie if it does at all?

  • Anonymous

    You can’t taste it at all, it’s really just a nutritional boost. I add it to all my smoothies. Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Angie

    Love it! Just tried it yesterday and again this morning. My three little ones gobbled it up!

  • Csnider2

    Made it this morning and loved it, husband would have been better if I blind folded him first.

  • Just made this tonight for the first time. I figured I’d like it, but I wasn’t sure if my picky eaters would. After they finished, I told them they just drank spinach and they all said “So, it was good!!” I think I’ll be making this all the time now.

  • Marissa

    Very excited to try this recipe! Also really impressed with this website, especially as a vegetarian it is awesome to have new ideas to keep things creative in the kitchen. Thank you for sharing!

  • Debra

    Subbed 3/4 c. coconut milk for part of the orange juice, as these are in the freezer right now for my “1st week at home with baby” breakfasts, and I need all the energy and calories I can get while nursing. I also used canned pineapple in one batch, with no noticeable flavor difference. Who knew spinach could be so delicious?

  • Krista

    Just tried it!! Husband was very skeptical but tasted it and loved it! We are going to use it in a nutrition seminar we are teaching for kids on Friday!!

  • I find spinach hard to grow so I used silver beet (just the young leaves) and it worked well and couldn’t taste it at all. I add almond meal and sunflower seed meal for extra nourishment and yumminess

  • Tally

    this was delish! I’ll skip the honey next time as I find bananas yummy, but INSANELY sweet, so with the honey was a bit too sweet. :)

  • Strosfanz1

    I am allergic to pineapple. Do you have a suggestion for a substitute? I am sure pineapple makes it taste good since its so sweet. help!

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page regarding substitutions. Thanks!

  • Callie

    Just wanted to thank you for the delicious recipe!! I cut up all of the fruit in advance and portioned it into individual baggies (that I wash and reuse of course ;)) and popped them in the freezer– makes for a quick breakfast in the morning. I use 1/3 of all of the measurements above, and it makes a full glass of yummy healthy green smoothie. Thanks again!

  • Finksburggrannie

    I just sent this to my daughters who have ‘veggie’ avoiders in their family. Sounds like a great way to get veggies into 3 & 5 year olds.

  • I saw your note on the the kale. I’ve noticed if you will use the kale without the stems, and puree it finely before adding other ingredients, it is much MUCH better. My two-year old throws fits for my kale smoothies! :-)

  • Erika

    This is a really good smoothie. We’ve tried all sorts of green and purple smoothies, and my kids drank this up! Thank you for giving me a new recipe to sneak in some good nutrition!

  • Just wanted to let you know that I made these for my birthday treat at work and everyone, with the exception of one, liked them and wanted the recipe. I’ve been making them off and on all summer long for breakfast. So yummy!!

  • Amanda Brewer

    Have you tried a mango basil green smoothie? Hint: be generous with the fresh basil – it’s so good!

  • annieseats

    Not yet but sounds good!

  • Amanda Brewer

    It’s been a couple months now….have you thrown any fresh basil into your smoothie yet? If not, you need to try it!