I’ve been pretty fortunate this year. While everyone around me has gotten sick, I’ve managed to stay above the weather with not so much as a sniffle. Up till now, that is.
This past week, fate caught up to me with one of the worst colds I’ve had in a long time. For three days, I moved around the house like a slug: from the bed, to the couch, to the patch of sun coming in on the rug, all the while dragging around a box of tissues like it was my teddy bear. I cuddled that thing to sleep at night.
Mornings are always the worst for me when I get sick. However bad I felt the night before, eight hours of rest only seems to amplify it. And somehow, forcing some fluids and a multivitamin down a raging sore throat is the last thing I want to do when I wake up.
Enter, this beauty. A mean, green, cold-fighting machine… this smoothie is like drinking a multivitamin, but I promise it doesn’t taste like one. It has all the nutrients you need, hiding beneath the sweet, tropical taste of pineapple and kiwi (with just a touch of heat from some ginger, to really wake you up).
I’ll take one of these over a pill any day, thank you very much.
Getting plenty of fluids is crucial when you’re under the weather, and for me, smoothies are the perfect way to do it. They’re easy on the stomach, packed with nutrients, and are tasty to boot.
If you prefer hot liquids when you’re sick (like I do, especially in the mornings), you can drink a cup of tea to soothe your throat, first. Then grab a straw, and get sippin’ on this smoothie. Your body will thank you.
Citrus – oranges and grapefruit make the base of this smoothie, but they aren’t just there for flavor. Besides being packed with vitamin C, they also contain potassium, vitamin A, folate, and B Vitamins, as well as help to keep you hydrated, aid digestion, and cleanse the liver. Be sure to use fresh squeezed juice, or else you could be missing out on some of these benefits!
Kale – dark, leafy greens are full of vitamin K, A, B, C, and most of the rest of the alphabet, too. They are also high in Iron, calcium, antioxidants, proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids. Basically, it’s the most underrated superfood of all time. If you aren’t a fan of eating your greens, drinking them is definitely the way to go. (If you’re a green-smoothie skeptic, try reducing the kale by 1/2, and adding half a banana for a bit more sweetness.)
Pineapple and Kiwi – are both big vitamin C fruits, and are also high in Manganese, Copper, B-vitamins, and Fiber. Kiwi are especially high in phytonutrients, antioxidants, and vitamin K, while fresh pineapple contains a compound called Bromelain, which can help reduce inflammation, aid digestion, and boost the immune system. It’s important to use fresh pineapple (not canned or frozen), to get the most of what it has to offer.
Hemp Seeds – hemp seeds are a great source of complete protein (containing all 9 essential amino acids our bodies need), and have a balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which support immune, cardiovascular, and nervous system health. These healthy fats are also necessary in order to absorb and process many of the other vitamins and minerals found in this smoothie. Hemp seeds are also high in fiber and antioxidants (containing more antioxidants than fresh blueberries), help reduce inflammation, and are easy on the digestion.
Chia Seeds – Like hemp seeds, chia seeds are also high in protein, omega-3’s, fiber, and antioxidants. They also contain tons of minerals like calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and manganese.
Ginger – the use of ginger as a cold remedy dates back thousands of years. It’s most famous for it’s tummy-soothing, sinus-clearing, and anti-inflamatory properties, but some studies also show that it can help aid in the absorption of other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. A small chunk of fresh ginger gives a little kick to this smoothie, without being overpowering. (If you have a vitamix or other high-speed blender, you can throw the ginger in whole (peeled), otherwise, you may want to grate the ginger first, to ensure it gets pureed smoothly.)
Raw Honey – raw honey sweetens the deal, and is full of healthy enzymes. For centuries honey has been used to fight infections and illness because of its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties. It can also calm a cough, soothe a sore throat, and help boost the immune system. Just be sure to use 100% raw, organic honey to get these benefits, though, as the heat of pasteurization kills off the honey’s enzymes. Better yet, use manuka honey, if you can find it. (For a vegan alternative, you can replace the honey with a handful of pitted dates, or a drizzle of pure maple syrup.)
Cold symptoms? Hulk juice SMASH! I’m not saying this smoothie will cure you, but it will definitely give you a leg-up this cold season. And if you aren’t sick, well, drinking one of these might just give you superpowers. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
(Please note that I am not a certified nutritionist. The information provided here is a combination of my own research, experience, and opinion. That is all.)
Cold Buster Green Smoothie
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)
1/2 cup fresh red grapefruit juice (about 1/2 grapefruit)
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
1 kiwi, peeled
3-4 leaves dinosaur/lacinato kale, stems removed (about 1 cup, loosely packed)
2 TBSP raw hulled hemp seeds
1 TBSP raw chia seeds (or more hemp seeds)
2-3 TBSP raw honey, to taste
1 small grape-sized chunk of fresh ginger, peeled (or about 1 tsp., grated)
5-10 ice cubes, as needed
1. Combine all ingredients in your blender. Process well, until completely smooth. Taste, and add additional honey if necessary.
Notes: If you aren’t a fan of green smoothies and want something a little milder, reduce the kale by 1/2, and add half a banana for extra sweetness.
For a vegan alternative, replace the honey with a handful of pitted dates, or a drizzle of pure maple syrup, to taste.
If you find the smoothie too much to drink in one sitting, leftovers can be poured into an ice-cube tray and frozen, then added to future smoothies.
This smoothie is gorgeous! I love how healthy it is too. Hope you feel better soon!
Oh no, Willow! Sorry you were sick. But I’m glad you’re well enough to share this recipe and post these gorgeous photos (which are probably the best photos I’ve ever seen of a green smoothie!!) :)
Thank you! Glad to be feeling better. :)
I haven’t gotten sick at all this winter either…and then boom, I wake up today with a sore throat! And ugh, it’s right when I have to pack up my entire apartment. I’m praying it doesn’t turn into a full-blown sniffly nose-blowing fest, or I will be utterly useless. This smoothie looks so refreshing, and I’m totally making this for breakfast tomorrow in the hopes that I can keep this from getting any worse :(
Oh no! Hope this smoothie helps you feel better ASAP!
This is totally an everyday smoothie! So sorry you were under the weather, last year after not being sick for 3 years I had sore throat after sore throat it was terrible :( thankfully this year I seem to have bypassed all the sickness that has been hopping around this will totally be my back up smoothie!
The smoothie definitely helps, but nothing beats not getting sick in the first place. Hope you don’t catch anything!
2.0 and I adore smoothies – and this one sounds amazing! Also, your photos are absolutely exquisite. Like, mind blowingly exquisite…
Wow, thank you! *blushes*
oh NO: it’s the latest round of colds going around and it has EVERYONE DOWN! thankfully, me and the Wee have been safe this time, but we were sick all winter, so maybe we’re completely immune by now. :) i feel so bad for you! it’s no fun being sick. but this smoothie looks terrific: cold or no cold, i’d totally make this for myself just to feel good inside. feel better!
I have been down with flu like symptoms for a few days and I have just discovered your site. I went to my local store and bought all the ingredients and used the Nutribullet. WOW, what can I say, it’s fantastic. I added some coconut oil and a tsp of greens powder as well lol
I’m glad you like it! The addition of coconut oil and green powder is a great idea. Hope you feel better soon!
Hello and thanks for posting this recipe! What would you recommend as a substitution for someone with pineapple allergies? Thank you in advance for your reply!
Hi Colin, great question. I think this smoothie would work especially well if you used mango in place of the pineapple. You could certainly try other fruits, or combinations of fruit, too, to see what you like best. Hope that helps!
Thanks! Coincidentally, the only other food I’m allergic to is mango! I’ll try some different fruits as you suggested and see what works. Thanks again!
Uh oh! Yeah, definitely give it a try with other fruits and see what you think. I’d suggest going for something on the sweeter side, like really ripe peaches or strawberries, to balance out some of the bitterness from the greens. You can always add a bit more honey if necessary, too. Let me know how it goes!
This is a awesome smoothie. I had a bad sore throat and cold had my daughter take me to the doctor. Afterward I thought about smoothies and found your site. While it took a bit to make, both my daughter and I LOVE it.
I’m so glad you liked it! I hope you feel better soon!
What about the temperature of the smoothie? I’ve been drinking smoothies less because the cold smoothies and cold drinks trigger coughing fits with my chest congestion while hot soups and teas soothe the cough. Should I just continue with the cold smoothies regardless of the coughing discomfort it triggers? Warming the smoothie up would kill the nutritients in it right?
Hi Chuck, sorry to hear you’re not feeling well! I’m no specialist, but I would say if cold things don’t feel good, just avoid them for now — try smoothies later when your congestion has gone down. You can still find ways to fit good-for-you foods into your diet outside of smoothies, of course. When I’m sick and can’t stand the thought of cold food/drink, I like to make ginger tea by steeping some slices of raw ginger in hot water until it’s as spicy as I like it (usually takes just a few minutes), and add a spoonful of raw honey, to taste. You could also try freshly squeezed orange or grapefruit juice, at room temperature, and see if that goes down okay, or just add some lemon juice to the ginger and honey tea. I find hot things like tea and soup are especially good for breaking up congestion, so I hope some of these suggestions are helpful. Feel better soon!
I’m a singer and a sore throat is very bad especially when u lose sleep. Thanks for the recipe!
Hi Willow! Absolutely breathtaking pictures, and the recipe ain’t bad either ;)
I loved this, so translated and used the recipe on my danish blog at http://www.nope.dk/smoothies-morgenmad.html – hope you don’t mind! I credited you with a link back, so people know where it’s from :) Thanks again
Glad you liked it, Christine! Thanks for sharing!
My favorite fruit, This article made me love it even more. I tried making a green smoothie, and I enjoyed it, gotta make some more. Thanks