Green Smoothies (Refreshing, Nourishing & Thyroid Safe)

Every once in a while I will realize that I haven’t been eating enough green vegetables and will really start to crave them. That’s been the case recently. I just want to eat all of the green vegetables I can get…including for breakfast!

So, the other day, when I woke up feeling a definite craving for a green something and didn’t have my favorite breakfast vegetable (zucchini, I love to make it like this for breakfast) I remembered Elana’s recent recipe for a green smoothie…

She called it a Greena Colada This simple recipe uses cucumber and parsley with pineapple. It was very refreshing and just right for this vegetable deprived lady! My daughter didn’t really like the parsley taste, though she bravely tried to like it since I did. I think if I make it again, I will leave out most of the parsley for her portion.

What was different about this green smoothie was the lack of thyroid suppressing raw greens that you usually associate with “green smoothies”. Most green “smoothiers” I know use raw spinach or kale in their smoothies. Since I do eat raw sauerkraut, I try not to overdo it with raw cruciferous vegetables. ( I’ve known some to simple cook the greens for smoothies so that they would be “thyroid safe”, by the way.)

So I love the idea of using cucumbers and parsley! I am wondering if I can sneak a cucumber into a regular smoothie. It’s worth a try!

It reminded me that the Body Ecology site had also posted some tips for making green smoothies. These ones are really green smoothies, as they don’t have any fruit. Their creation sounded interesting as well, also using cucumbers with the addition of basil and green beans, among other things! I may be brave and try it.

What about you? Do you do green smoothies? Do cucumbers sound a bit much for you, or would you try it?

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!


  1. Brook says

    After your post about green drinks a couple weeks ago, I ordered the Vitamineral Green powder. My girls didn’t like it mixed with cinnamon and stevia as you suggested however, I made a smoothie with it by adding kefir, frozen blueberries, and a banana. Even though it was purple, they were calling it a green smoothie….very tasty. I could see adding a cucumber to that as well. I don’t think you’d even taste it.

  2. says

    I am HOOKED on green smoothies. They’re such a great way to pack in the vegetables and a perfect breakfast when I’m headed out the door to the office. I use parsley and, from time to time, cilantro in my smoothies. I think the combination of cucumber and cilantro is really nice.

  3. says

    This might be a crazy question, but I’m having trouble finding the answer. Malabar spinach grows incredibly here in my humid zone 9, but I can’t find anything that says whether or not it’s goitrogenic. It’s not a real spinach, so I’m thinking not…But I can’t seem to find out one way or the other. Any recommendations on where to look for this info? I know it’s an obscure veggie.

    • KimiHarris says


      I have no idea! I haven’t actually hear of malabar spinach before. Why don’t you look up what family it’s in. That should help. 馃檪

  4. says

    I do steam my spinach before throwing it into smoothies, so it doesn’t bother my thyroid.
    Cucumber in any smoothie is wonderful! It is also great to put a few slices in room temperature water during the winter to make sure that you are getting all your water everyday. It is hard for me to drink cold water when it is already cold out, so this trick has worked for me!
    Thanks for the other suggestions!

  5. says

    I guess I’m one of those ‘green smoothiers.’ I put kale and spinach in at random, always saving a few leaves after I saute them for dinner. I have been making Elana’s “greena colada” with zucchini and will post it this weekend. Stay tuned!

  6. Heather says

    I made this smoothie by Elena a week or so ago -somewhat on greens-craving impulse like you! – and added some fresh ginger to it, too – yum.

    I think cucumber, celery, and zucchini are great to use for fruitless juices and smoothies to help “tame down” the taste!

  7. Julie says

    Two years ago I purchased a vitamix with making kale smoothies in mind. For about a month I fixed kale smoothies for my husband and myself for breakfast. It was a habit that didn’t “take” with us. I noticed that it really made my gut hurt. This green colada recipe sounds so much better! I have heard that juiced cucumbers are a great natural diuretics.

  8. Karen Townsend-Texas says

    Here is my favorite:
    1-2 handfuls romaine
    1-2 handfuls baby spinach
    1/2 banana
    2-3 handfuls blueberries
    1/2 cup water
    1 teaspoon chlorella
    1 teaspoon spirulina
    1 tablespoon wilderness family naturals raw cocoa powder

    sounds and looks gross, but it is delicious!!!

  9. Michelle says

    I’ve never thought about blending pineapple and cucumber in a smoothie before, though I love that combination. My aunt just bought me a pineapple recently, and it’s getting ripe. I think I’ll experiment with this recipe. Thanks for the great idea! (And yes, my family buys me food instead of jewlrey or DVD’s 馃檪 )

  10. says

    Wow! I make kefir smoothies often, but never thought of using cucumber and parsley. Both of which are bursting in my garden right now! Too bad no pineapple. I do have a bunch of fresh peaches….

  11. says

    Cucumber and pineapple? That sounds yummy. I was a raw foodie for a little while and I drank green smoothies of spinach, kale and chard every morning so cucumber sounds refreshing and light. I’m excited to try that.
    I stopped eating raw greens like those above when I found out they suppressed the thyroid. I have thyroid disease so that didn’t work for me.

  12. michelle says

    can you mix fruits and veggies? i thought for digestive enzyme and time purposes you should only mix apple with veggies. i don’t know, but maybe pineapple is safe because of the enzyme bromelain?

  13. cmomgo says

    Here is the recipe I use for my green smoothie:
    1/2 bunch chard cut off the center stem,
    1 banana (sometimes frozen),
    a handful of frozen strawberries,
    1/2 cup plain whole yogurt,
    1 scoop protein powder and
    1 Tb of ground flax seed
    I used to use kale, but switched to chard when I found out the thyroid issues with the kale. Also, rice milk or other substitutes can be used instead of the yogurt.

  14. Amber says

    There is much debate out there over raw versus cooked cruciferous veggies so to avoid any possibility of harming my thyroid I steam kale or spinach or even swiss chard and then roughly chop the leaves up and make small cookie-type bunches that I freeze on a cookie sheet and then store in freezer bags. When I make my smoothie of the day I sneak one of those in and voila! I have painlessly upped my daily greens intake and no worries about consuming raw crucifers.

    • Emma says

      You don’t need to steam the swiss chard–although that does take away some of its bitterness. Chard does not contain isothyocyanates at all. It is high in iodine, Vitamins K and A, which makes it very good for thyroid function. Spinach is very low in isothyocyantes, much lower than anything in the brassica family (kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower), so you should be able to eat a bit more of it (though probably not raw). Turnip greens are like chard, and also high in iodine.

  15. says

    Cucumbers sound like a perfectly refreshing addition! I wouldn’t hesitate to try it. I’m glad I’m not the only one who craves food based on color. I once went through a distinct orange phase. I was in the military at the time and had just returned from deployment. After 6 months of a nutritional desert, I thought it was strange that the two things I craved the most were oranges and carrots.

    • Genna Sapia-Ruffin says

      Until I was pregnant, I would have an allergic reaction (bumps on my tongue) if I ate an orange. But once pregnant, I developed strong craving for oranges and carried around a five pound bag. I think my body was seeking vitamin C for the baby. The body knows. Maybe you were Vitamin C, Vitamin A and carotene deprived at the time.

  16. Marguerite says

    Thanks for sharing this Kimi. I have zucchini in the fridge most of the time and never thought of putting it in my smoothies. After reading an article by Dr. Wu, I’ve been adding fresh ginger, a few sprigs of parsley or coriander to my fruit smoothies and love it.

  17. says

    LOVE reading about people drinking green smoothies. YUM! It’s awesome.

    Today I made a simple one with what I had in the fridge… organic dinosaur kale, apples, and lime. Green power!!!

    Cheers to Greens! 馃檪


    • KimiHarris says

      I was thinking about putting a apple into a smoothie, so it’s good to hear that it works. That lime sounds great as well.

  18. says

    I love green smoothies, although I often end up eating raw “energy soups” instead. For anyone who hasn’t had them, they are like a smoothie, only less water — so you can eat it like soup. I’m going to put more water in mine to see how it tastes as a smoothie!

    Here is a recipe I made for energy soup that I really like the taste of:

    路 4 Cups green leaf lettuce
    路 2 Cups Radicchio
    路 1 avocado
    路 1 Cup chives
    路 4 stalks celery
    路 2 inches fresh ginger root
    路 2 tsp. Basil
    路 2 tsp. Thyme
    路 2 tsp. Oregano
    路 1 tsp. Herbamare

    Blend all ingredients up in a food processor, blender or use a hand blender. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator and serve room temperature or cold (better at room temperature in the colder months).

    Since I follow Body Ecology, I don’t eat sweet fruits, like pineapples, but I’d like to try your recipe as a kefir smoothie to see how it would do. The bacteria in kefir would eat up the natural sugars so that people with candida might still be able to tolerate it. Also, if you have low thyroid, avoiding sugar can help your adrenals, which also produce energy along with your thyroid.

    Fermenting fruit in young coconut kefir or in a green smoothie is a great way to get a sweet and sour taste without the sugar. The question is, will kids eat/drink it???

  19. says

    I actually coach a Green Smoothie cleanse through my blog – how Elana and I bonded through smoothies 馃檪 I often wonder about people’s concern around thyroid health and certain vegetables. It is true that too much raw kale or cabbage can slow the functioning of the thyroid, but nothing has a worse effect than refined carbs or any other food that spikes insulin/adrenal hormone… doctors just don’t mention those… as they sip the Coke’s on their desk.

    • KimiHarris says

      Hey Meghan,

      I’ve noticed that, that’s great! It’s true, some people could be concerned about thyroid health and raw greens while choping down on refined food, which is silly. Though, I never heard of doctors warning about raw green vegetables, do they?

      I don’t think of it in the terms of completely eliminating these types of food from my diet, but limiting them, especially since I feel that my thyroid is needing some extra support these days. I eat, for example, a lot of raw sauerkraut which is a super food for sure! But it’s still a raw crucifer. I need the gut support from it however, and I just try to support my thyroid with lots of thyroid supporting foods and watch out that I don’t add too many others foods in that could weaken the thyroid. That’s why I was thrilled with Elana’s smoothie. 馃檪

  20. says

    My favorite combination is parsley and frozen mango. Trader Joe’s sells bags of frozen mango for pretty cheap, so you don’t have to bother with the trial of cutting up a whole one. This combination is SO fresh tasting!

    I love the idea of cucumbers in smoothies. My sister makes mojitos with muddled cucumber, and it makes them taste almost creamy.

  21. says

    The cucumber smoothie sounds refreshing, especially with the addition of pineapple. I will definitely try this. My family loves cucumbers and pineapples.

    I have a cucumber soup recipe that I’ll post soon. It can also be a green smoothie!

  22. Jen says

    Oh sounds good – I’m coming over to everyone’s houses to try your versions! Sounds good – will have to experiment around here!

  23. Meggan says

    I tried cucumber in a “normal” smoothie with strawberries and blueberries, yogurt, etc. and it was REALLY strong. I’d recommend using a tiny bit to start with and then taste to see if it could take more.

  24. says

    I’ve also tried cucumber in smoothies without much success. It just tastes weird. I much prefer romaine lettuce or celery. Mint is really delicious too, especially with bananas and strawberries.

    It’s super pretty, too. 馃檪

  25. sarah says

    i lightly cook spinach, kale, beet greens, chard, etc….then blend them with a little water and freeze them in baby cubes and pop a cube out in my smoothie! very convenient and no thyroid suppressing goitrogens.

  26. LaurenL says

    My Green Smoothie recipe(I’m hypothyroid, too)
    Low-fat yogurt
    A big squirt of cold-pressed flaxseed oil
    cilantro(a great heavy metal chelator)
    fresh ground flaxseed
    romane lettuce
    salt to taste
    water to help it mix
    I, too, have been craving greens and vegetables since we were on a camping trip(too much meat) and for the last weeks have eaten vegetarian.

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