You can save time and money by turning your kitchen into the neighborhood juice bar with this lemon ginger spinach banana smoothie. I don't know about you, but I've been searching for the perfect smoothie that isn't full of sugary fruit and doesn't taste like a salad.
I drink this smoothie at least twice a week. It's light and refreshing like a green juice, slightly tart from the lemon and has a hint of sweetness from the banana and honey. If it wasn't green you wouldn't be able to tell it had veggies in it!
It's super easy, healthy and can be prepped in freezer bags for a 1 minute breakfast.
This dairy free green smoothie was inspired by Daily Harvest's Ginger and Greens smoothie recipe and has evolved throughout the past few years. I prefer a lighter smoothie but if you want it creamier you can try adding avocado as Daily Harvest does.
Benefits of blending the whole lemon
It might seem strange to use a whole organic lemon (peel, seeds & all!) in your smoothie but the peel is packed with vitamins such as vitamin c, calcium, potassium and magnesium. However, if you aren't using organic lemons you might want to remove the outer layer of the lemon since it can have a wax coating infused with some questionable chemicals. If you're not comfortable with the lemon peel yet or you don't have a strong enough blender to liquify the lemon that's totally fine, just use the lemon juice instead (2 tablespoons lemon juice).
Ingredient substitutions & variations
- Lemon - use the whole lemon cut into pieces or juice from the lemon (2 tablespoons per smoothie).
- Apple cider vinegar - you can substitute for the same amount of lemon juice but it won't have as much of a tart flavor.
- Honey & banana - the sweetness of the smoothie comes from the honey & banana. The riper the banana the more sugar the banana contains and the sweeter the smoothie will be. The honey can be omitted, especially if the banana is extra ripe or you don't want the smoothie to be as sweet. On the other hand, if you want more sweetness you can add more honey and/or banana.
- Spinach - you can swap spinach for kale or other greens but the smoothie may taste more "green".
- Optional add-ins - Add your favorite collagen peptides or a plant based protein but know that protein powders can greatly impact the flavor.
A smoothie will last for 1-2 days in the fridge. Once the smoothie becomes warm it shouldn't be put back int he fridge. Once you are ready to drink it add some ice and re-blend or shake well.
You can freeze a smoothie for up to 3 months but I don't recommend it since the flavors won't be as fresh by the time the smoothie thaws and needs to be re-blended. Instead, freeze the ingredients without the liquid and when you are ready to drink the smoothie blend the frozen ingredients with the the liquid for a super easy smoothie. Freeze the smoothie ingredients for up to 3 months.
Lemons are a great source of vitamin c and soluble fiber which boots immunity, improves gut health, and helps optimize digestion. Ginger helps relive nausea, bloating, and gas. Ginger and lemon also contain antioxidants which prevent or slow the damage caused by harmful cells (free radicals) which boots overall health. Spinach is loaded with vitamins and minerals - vitamin a, vitamin c, vitamin k1, folic acid, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, B6, B9 and E.
How to meal prep smoothie freezer packs
You can batch prep a bunch of the lemon ginger spinach banana smoothies in freezer bags which will allow for even quicker morning smoothies. You will not add the dairy free milk or apple cider vinegar until the smoothie is being blended. Apple cider vinegar looses it's taste if frozen and the milk is needed to blend the frozen ingredients.
You could also prepare and freeze the ingredients individually (bag of frozen bananas, bag of frozen lemons, etc.). I do this when I have leftovers that are about to go bad. Brown bananas could also be used to make these healthy gluten free banana bread muffins which pair well with this green smoothie on the go.
- Plan: You'll want to decide how many smoothies you want to prep and how many servings you want in each bag. Label each bag so you know what it is, the expiration date (~3 months from the day you are freezing) and how many servings are in the bag. I also put how much apple cider vinegar and milk I will need to add once I'm ready to blend the smoothie for convenience. Try and use freezer bags to ensure smoothie ingredients stay fresh in the freezer.
- Prep: Cut lemons into quarters, peel and slice or grate ginger, cut bananas in quarters. You may want to freeze the honey and ginger together in an ice cube tray - once the honey ginger cube is frozen they can be added to the smoothie freezer bags.
- Bag & freeze: Add the correct amount of lemon, ginger, bananas, spinach, honey to freezer bags (see recipe above), remove as much of the air as possible, seal and freeze.
- Blend: Once you are ready to make the smoothie remove the smoothie bag from the freezer and check the expiration date to ensure the ingredients are still fresh. Place the frozen ingredients into the blender with the dairy free milk and apple cider vinegar. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!
I hope you love this lemon ginger spinach smoothie! If you make it I’d love if you could leave a rating & connect with me on Instagram @passthesprouts!
Lemon Ginger Spinach Banana Smoothie
- ½ banana 45 grams fresh or frozen
- 1 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk alternative 236 grams
- 1 inch ginger grated or sliced thin (16 grams)
- 1 cup spinach large handful 55 grams
- 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar 14 grams
- 1 teaspoon honey raw 20 grams
- ½ medium lemon with skin on, sliced or 2 tablespoons lemon juice per smoothie (50 grams)
- 3 cubes ice cubes
- Prep the lemon: Wash the lemon well and decide if you want to use the whole lemon (recommended if you have a powerful blender and an organic lemon) or if you want to juice it and discard the skin. How small to slice your lemon (with the skin on) depends on how powerful your blender is. If you have a powerful blender like a Vitamix you should only need to wash your lemon, cut it in half and remove the brown nubs on the ends. If you have a low powered blender cut the lemon into small pieces to help the blender liquify the lemon or simply juice your lemon and discard the skin.
- Prep the ginger: How small to slice your ginger also depends on how powerful your blender is. If you have a powerful blender (like a Vitamix) you will want to remove the ginger skin with a spoon or knife and thinly slice the ginger. If you have a low powered blender you may want to remove the ginger skin and grate the ginger so that you aren't drinking ginger strands.
- Blend: Place all the ingredients into the blender and blend until there is a smooth consistency. Enjoy!
- Whole lemon or lemon juice: use the whole lemon cut into pieces or juice from the lemon (2 tablespoons per smoothie).
- Apple cider vinegar substitute: you can substitute for the same amount of lemon juice but it won't have as much of a tart flavor.
- Want more sweet or less sugar? The sweetness of the smoothie comes from the honey & banana. The riper the banana the more sugar the banana contains and the sweeter the smoothie will be. The honey can be omitted, especially if the banana is extra ripe or you don't want the smoothie to be as sweet. On the other hand, if you want more sweetness you can add more honey and/or banana.
- Spinach substitute: you can swap spinach for kale or other greens but the smoothie may taste more "green".
- Optional add-ins: Add your favorite collagen peptides or a plant based protein but know that protein powders can greatly impact the flavor.