Purple Power Smoothie

November 5, 2013 6:00 am

Purple Power Smoothie

So here’s the thing about October Unprocessed.  I do my best to make organizing it look really easy – but in reality, it requires a crazy amount of behind-the-scenes work to pull all the parts together and keep everything moving forward. Most of that time is spent coordinating and publishing all the guest posts, but there are myriad other little details, of course, and they really add up.

Ironically, I spend more hours sitting in front of my computer in October than during any other time of the year.

I also try to make the challenge actually challenging for myself! Having done it for several years now, eating unprocessed is second-nature to me (yes, it really does get easier with practice). This year, my secondary goal was to use our Vitamix every day of the month.  I didn’t quite accomplish that, but I came close.

I made a lot of smoothies. Not only are they fast and easy to prepare, they’re fast and easy to drink! I would whip up a smoothie and then sit right back down at my desk and keep working. (I know, I know…)

What I didn’t quite expect was that these smoothies actually would make a noticeable difference in how I felt physically, and how effective I was at my computer for the rest of the day.  I was able to focus better and be more productive throughout the afternoon. It makes perfect sense, of course, but it was gratifying to be able to recognize such a tangible difference.

It’s not just that I felt great from these – they taste terrific, too! And that’s because of the secret ingredient for turning a ho-hum smoothie in an outta-this-world smoothie: Ginger!

Just a small, 1/2″ cube of fresh, peeled ginger launches this smoothie into orbit. The spicy-sweet tang is present, yet not overpowering, and it magically unites all the other flavors in your cup. I’m pretty excited about this discovery — it’s one of those moments where one plus one somehow equals three.  I bet you’ll agree.

Purple Power Smoothie in the Vitamix

Purple Power Smoothie
Recipe Type: Beverage
Prep Time: 
Cook Time: 
Total Time: 
Serves: 2
Makes about two 16-ounce servings.
  • ¾ cup carrots, cut into chunks
  • 2 cups baby spinach, loosely packed
  • 1 apple, stem and seeds removed
  • 1 banana
  • ¾ cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup frozen mango chunks, or any other frozen fruit
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ½" cube fresh ginger root, peeled
  • 4-5 ice cubes
  • ¾ cup water (or milk/milk-alternative)
  1. Add all ingredients to the blender. I usually put the carrots at the bottom, so the blender can chop them up first - though I doubt it really matters.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Enjoy!
A lot of people like to use kale instead of spinach in their smoothies - and that's a great choice! Just be aware that it'll probably make your smoothie brown instead of purple. Not the most appealing color, perhaps, but it'll still taste good!


13 Comments on "Purple Power Smoothie"
  1. Comment left on:
    November 5, 2013 at 9:15 am
    Letty Flatt says:

    Thanks for the note re: kale=brown, spinach=purple. I am right now enjoying purple from frozen organic cherries–even with the extra 1/4 cup of brewer’s yeast I accidentally poured into the blender.

  2. Comment left on:
    November 5, 2013 at 10:03 am
    LMK says:

    What blender do you use? Mine died! :)

    • Comment left on:
      November 5, 2013 at 1:10 pm
      Andrew says:

      We have the Vitamix Professional Series 200. It has fewer bells & whistles than some of the other models, but it gets the job done quite nicely. :)

    • Comment left on:
      November 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm
      Andrea says:

      I got a Ninja blender a couple weeks ago and its worked great for me so far. I would have loved a Vitamix, but couldn’t do the price.

  3. Comment left on:
    November 5, 2013 at 8:15 pm
    Lindalou says:

    I always add kale to my smoothies and it does not make them brown! sometimes I add a half a beet and it makes the colour amazingly magenta…so gorgeous and delicious!

    • Comment left on:
      November 13, 2013 at 3:02 pm
      Andrew says:

      Interesting – maybe you use less kale than I did, or perhaps a different type? (I used the curly-leaved variety.) Either way, it still tasted great! :)

    • Comment left on:
      January 1, 2014 at 9:14 pm
      Steph says:

      Is the beet raw/fresh? how finely do you chop it?

  4. Comment left on:
    November 6, 2013 at 7:27 am
    ElizMcK says:

    Thank you for all you do to produce October Unprocessed. This was my second year in doing it and it won’t be the last. Even if you don’t follow the program thoroughly, you will take away a lot of great information that will pop into your head almost every time you put fork to mouth. Last year, the habit I got into most was making my own granola and salad dressings. This year it is knowing that the food I eat is enjoyable and I am not deprived in the least. Both years reinforced that at most meals, I do eat unprocessed and that my love of cooking from scratch is really the healthy way to go. Thank you so much for all you do in making this program a reality. Can’t wait to try the smoothie.

  5. Comment left on:
    November 6, 2013 at 7:41 am
    Jennifer Principe says:

    THANK you! I make smoothies almost daily for my boys and made this one this morning. They LOVED it, and so did I! ;-)

  6. Comment left on:
    November 6, 2013 at 3:44 pm
    Dawn says:

    Can I use any berries on the shake? I am allergic to blueberries.

    • Comment left on:
      November 13, 2013 at 3:00 pm
      Andrew says:

      Sure, why not! Blackberries and raspberries are terrific choices, too. Really, any berries. :)

  7. Comment left on:
    November 11, 2013 at 10:27 am
    Tanya says:

    I love smoothies even got a recipe book and all. Then the smoothies are divided up in sections on what your body needs: lose of weight, gaining weight, female hormone stability, sking and stress management. It is great!
    I am still happy with your challenge this year. I made bread again this time a mix of white and wheat flour and it was so delicious and soft! My best friend loved it!

    • Comment left on:
      December 6, 2013 at 10:43 am
      Christine says:

      I just read Tanya’s comment where she mentions a great smoothie recipe book ~ Please tell me what is the name of the book, it sounds perfect!

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