Eating Healthfully on a Budget—Homemade Smoothies

Jun, 14, 2021

My life is crazy busy sometimes, and that’s when I find myself forgetting to eat or having to eat on the fly. Food on the fly is not a good idea by any means and, at the same time, it’s hard to make something that’s fast and healthy. Voila, enter smoothies! These days you can pretty much buy smoothies at every corner, but doing so a couple of times a week adds up. If, like me, you try to eat healthfully on a budget, then getting into the habit of making your own homemade smoothies also reduces the amount of waste you create — a bonus.

Smoothies, particularly green smoothies, are part of my daily routine, no matter whether I’m super busy or (like these days) when we have nice, warm, mellow weather. A green smoothie is yummy, healthy and easy to make; and it usually appeals to anyone. Sometimes I prepare a smoothie and store it in a mason jar (with lid on) in the fridge for easy access to a healthy snack that I can grab and go.

A green smoothie is simply a fruit smoothie with raw fruit and vegetables added for maximum nutrition. It takes only minutes to make a super smoothie with all kinds of raw and healthful goodies, and they can be varied in a million ways. My kids go completely nuts for green smoothies. Sometimes they like theirs in a glass with a straw and sometimes in a bowl with granola, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, bee pollen or muesli on top. I like to add extra nutrition like hemp, chia, spirulina and wheat grass to my smoothies. Here are a few of my favorite standard recipes and, as I said, you can drink them and eat them as a smoothie bowl.

First of all, bananas are my favorite base for all my smoothies. When our local co-op sells brown bananas at a reduced price, I’m there. I for one do not shy away from brown and overripe bananas. While average consumers turn up their noses at brown spotty bananas at the grocery store, I do a little happy dance. Overripe bananas are great for smoothies. I mean, what is a great smoothie without a ripe banana? Freeze overripe bananas in small pieces, and use them in smoothies to make them perfectly creamy and sweet.

When it comes to what else I add to my smoothies, it all depends on the season and what is ripe and inexpensive at the farmers’ market or what grows in my garden. I also like to add a little extra nutrition such as spirulina, barley grass juice powder or stinging nettle powder.

Mango, Oh, My!

  • 1 1/2 cups filtered cold water
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp. barley juice grass powder
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. hemp seeds
  • Handful kale leaves

Place in blender and mix until perfectly smooth

Apple and Sprouts Smoothie

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 apple
  • ¼ cup alfalfa sprouts
  • 1 ripe banana

Cut apple into slices, and place everything in blender, and mix until smooth and creamy.


  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 ripe banana
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 small raw beet, peeled and chopped
  • Handful raw kale

Place in blender and mix until perfectly smooth.

Fredrika Syren

Fredrika Syren is an environmental activist and writer. In 2016, she founded the website Green-Mom.com where she shared her family’s journey of living zero waste. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband James and their children Bella, Noah, and Liam. Fredrika and her family were recently featured in the documentary Zero Time to Waste. Fredrika is also the author of Zero Waste for Families - A Practical Guidebook (which you can buy on this site)

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