It was a rather unsettling start to the morning: A noisy whirr coming from our kitchen at barely seven a.m. I tentatively made my way downstairs to find my 10-year old daughter, Rosie, at the helm of our industrial blender, a pile of leafy greens on the kitchen counter. Inspired by the “green drink” one of her favorite teachers carts to school each day, Rosie had set to work concocting a vegetable smoothie of her own.

I’ve always encouraged my kids to be independent in the kitchen, but that usually translates to decadent baking projects, not kale smoothies. At any rate, Rosie has been making her “green drink” ever since, a beverage my oldest daughter refers to as “the swamp”.

We make a lot of smoothies in our house. And while most of them are actually not green, they are a nutritious answer to quick weekday breakfasts and snacks. The key, of course, is what goes into them. I always include fruits and/or vegetables, a protein/calcium source (milk, soy milk, almond milk, yogurt, kefir, and so on), and other healthy add-ins such as almonds, sunflower seeds, oats, and flax meal.

Having assorted frozen and fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables on hands makes for effortless smoothies. I keep a bag of bananas in the freezer since they do wonders for a smoothie’s texture, regardless of flavor. When the bananas in my fruit bowl start to go brown, I peel them first and into the freezer bag they go.

For the adventurous among you (and those not afraid of a little texture), here is what goes into Rosie’s green drink: 1 cup loosely packed kale, 1/3 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, 2 small apples, cored and roughly chopped, 2/3 cup apple juice, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice.

For those not quite up for “the swamp”, this Passion Fruit Raspberry Bliss is easy on the tastebuds. It comes from the pages of Super-Charged Smoothies by the Corpening sisters. And for tips on ordering smoothies on the road, head on over here.

Passion Berry Bliss Smoothie

Yield: 2 servings

Passion Berry Bliss Smoothie


  • ½ cup passion-fruit juice (or pineapple juice)
  • ½ cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 fresh ripe banana
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • ½ cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar, maple syrup, or honey


  1. Combine the passion-fruit juice and yogurt in a blender. Add the banana, strawberries, raspberries, and agave nectar. Blend until smooth.


Reprinted with permission from Super-Charged Smoothies by Mary Corpening Barber and Sara Corpening Whiteford, Chronicle Books, 2010

photo credit: Shutterstock