Green Smoothie – Orange Creamsicle


I realize this smoothie is a little on the green side.  Fear not lovely readers who have yet to jump aboard the green smoothie train – it tastes like an Orange Creamsicle.  No, really!  I know that seems highly unlikely looking at the color of it, and reading the list of ingredients will probably do nothing to quell your that-can’t-possibly-taste-good fears.  There’s nothing else for it – you’re just going to have to trust me on this one and whip it up one morning.  If you’re conscious of odd looks and strange comments at the office, grab yourself one of those colorful cups – no one will be any the wiser.

Green Smoothie - Orange Creamsicle

The problem with most smoothie recipes is that many of them use banana to give it that creamy texture.  We don’t do bananas.  Then they’ll use fruits like apples and grapes to sweeten them, because they are really good at sweetening things.  We don’t do those super-sweet fruits.  So I really had to start from scratch on the smoothie front.  If you’re like me, the thought of drinking your veggies in liquid form isn’t horrible, but if I had a choice I’d really rather prefer it if they tasted like something else entirely.  Like an Orange Creamsicle or a Strawberry Milkshake.

In the first Green Smoothie I made for you I used avocado to give the creamy texture.  With this one, although the pith of the oranges helps, there’s nothing to hold everything together, and quickly after mixing, smoothies like this tend to separate.  I don’t care for that whole weird texture thing, so I was racking my brains for a solution that didn’t involve adding avocado, but was something bland enough to not alter the flavor.  Enter guar gum, which I have been playing around with as a crumb stabilizer / emulsifier in *SANE baked goods.  Turns out a splash of guar gum at the very end solves every smoothie texture and separation issue around.  Yay.  I really mean, YAY!!!

So while guar gum is optional, it will improve the texture and creaminess of your smoothie by miles, and will also prevent your smoothie from separating if you don’t drink it fast enough.  On those days when you make a smoothie in the morning but plan to drink half of it later in the day, your separation issues are now a thing of the past.

Bottoms up!

Green Smoothie – Orange Creamsicle
Author: Carrie Brown
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
  • ½ cup / 4 fl oz. unsweetened thin coconut milk
  • ¼ cup / 2 fl oz. non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 6 oz / 170g fresh spinach
  • 2 oranges, take zest from ½ an orange before peeling
  • 1 cup / 3 oz. / 85g vanilla whey protein powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Xylitol or equivalent sweetener to taste
  • ½ tsp guar gum
  1. Place ingredients in blender in order listed, including orange zest, except guar gum.
  2. Blend on high until completely smooth.
  3. Remove blender lid stopper and while blender is still running shake guar gum in.
  4. Blend for 10 seconds.




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  • Cowgirl Rae - When calling 6 cups of spinach does that equal one of the boxes one might buy? How does that translate into weight? I’ve never found a reasonable way to measure raw spinach into cups. I looked at guar gum at the store recently (spendy) how does it compare to xanthan gum? They were both at the store.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Rae, Guar gum is used mainly in cold applications, xanthan gum in hot. They have very similiar effects as thickeners. They are spendy but you use tiny amounts so a little goes a long way. I am going to weigh a cup of spinach for you later :-)ReplyCancel

  • Julie - This. Is. So. Good. Thank you! I used the little clementines I picked up at Costco and had kale in the fridge. I was inspired by your milk cubes and made coconut milk cubes with the extras from the last smoothie. These were perfect to keep it cold since it doesn’t have frozen fruit in it. And my new silicon cups arrived today :)ReplyCancel

    • carrie - YES!!! I love milk cubes and this is a great way to use them ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Shannon - This is so good! Thanks for the recipe, and for this wonderful site.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - THANK YOU, Shannon for your kind words. Huge thanks for your support!!ReplyCancel

  • carrie - Hey Rae! I weighed what I call a cup of fresh spinach and it is 1 oz. I’ll use weights in future and update the previous recipes. Thanks for making me do that! :-)ReplyCancel

  • Cowgirl Rae - THANKS…. that makes sense. I will buy a scale one day. But knowing an ounce is helpful for portioning for the boxes I buy.

    You’re the best!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hey Rae – I admit – your use of the word “boxes” in relation to spinach scares me. Are you talking fresh or cooked spinach? I’m talking fresh…ReplyCancel

  • Stacey - Could you please explain why you use whey protein? I have read that whey is harder to digest than rice, pea and cranberry protein.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Stacey – the short answer is because Jonathan Bailor said so (and 10 years of research is enough for me!) :-) The more technical answer is that whey protein is more nutrient dense then any other known protein. It is also very easily digested. Living SANE is all about getting the most nutrition we can and eating those things that help our bodies unclog and start working as they should naturally. Whey protein is a great way to help with that.ReplyCancel

  • Cowgirl Rae - Carrie, by ‘boxes’ I mean the fresh spinach I buy comes in a clear plastic box. Usually 11 or 16 ounces.

    I’ve not had luck with purchasing bundles spinach…. its usually wet and dirty. The boxed is clean, dry and washed during packaging.

    Not frozen!!!ReplyCancel

  • Cowgirl Rae - LOL…. I can see you lying awake, worried about how the smoothie turns out using frozen spinach… all discolored, stringy and pond scummy!

    I have used frozen spinach thawed and squeezed dry and chopped for spinach dip, I like it for that use.
    As a kid I was forced to eat canned spinach, boiled and dressed with vinegar…. it was a favorite of my mother. I went decades before ever trying spinach again.
    Sorry Popeye, but canned spinach is from *ell.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Frozen spinach has given me nightmares my whole life! :-) And worrying about SANE recipes really does keep me up at night!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - How many cups do your smoothies measure out to? I’m curious to see if they will fit in a 12 or 16 oz travel cup.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Lisa – I won’t be able to answer this until I get back from my shooting trip.ReplyCancel

  • Nikki - Hi Carrie! I’m curious if you’ve ever made smoothies with chia seeds as a thickening agent? I’m sure this wouldn’t work with regular blenders, but since you and JB convinced me to buy a Viatmix in your last podcast, I am SOOOOOOOOOOO excited to start try these smoothies. I’m wondering if chia seeds would gel enough during the mixing process to help hold the smoothie together? Not only that, but we all know how SANE chia seeds are, so that would be a bonus too! I’m anxious to hear your thoughts…and I’ll post back as soon as my Vitamix is delivered and I give it a try!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Nikki – on my *very, very long* list of things to do!! COongrats on making a fabulous investment :-)ReplyCancel

  • Tanya - Hi Carrie,

    Have you ever made this recipe with just the coconut milk as I can’t get greek yoghurt where I live? Do you think it would work? Is there any other alternative I can use? (I can’t get low fat yoghurt either).


    • carrie - Hi Tanya – in this instance you can just leave the yogurt out. It will not have quite the same texture, but since it has guar gum in will still be awesome. Hope that helps! Where do you live?ReplyCancel

  • Tanya - Thanks for your quick reply Carrie… Yes! That helps alot :-) I live in Jordan (Middle East)ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl Mathieu - I just made this as my first smoothie ever and I can’t believe how delicious it is! After a long work day, I made it for dinner because I didn’t feel like cooking. I’m already thinking that I might make the strawberry one for breakfast tomorrow. I can see a daily green smoothie addiction starting!ReplyCancel

  • Stefanie - Milk ice cubes is genius! Those cartons take up tons of space in my fridge and have to be used like 10 to 14 days after opening. I like to have different kinds but can’t drink multiple cartoons in that time frame. Must buy ice trays this weekend!ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - Hi Carrie. Thank you so much for the delicious recipe. My daughters and I loved it. I have a question about the whey protein you use. I noticed on the ingredient list is says it contains soy protein. Are you and Jonathan concerned about the effects of soy? Thank you again for the great recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Patty - I am very interested in trying one of your smoothies, because I really don’t like vegetables at all. I like the idea of this one, but is there a way to do a chocolate orange smoothie? The combo of flavors is my absolute favorite!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Patty – I have just started writing my third cookbook, which is going to include a Smoothie section. I will make sure Chocolate Orange is in there and I will dedicate it to you!ReplyCancel

  • Patty - Oh my goodness, Carrie! How wonderful! Thanks so much! I think I’ll start with this one and then the chocolate ones that you have here on the website. :-)ReplyCancel

  • Rosalva - Why unsweetened coconut milk in your shakes? Could you use 2% milk?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Rosalva, Cows milk contains a large amount of sugar so is not very SANE. A much healthier option is unsweetened coconut milk. Coconut milk is also full of MCTs which are a very healthy and beneficial type fat. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Rosalva – cows milk is not particularly SANE as it contains a lot of sugar. Coconut milk is a very SANE option. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Brian Milby - Wow, this tasted very good. Almost too much for a single drink. I think I would like it colder so I’ll need to experiment a little (milk cubes sound good). Thanks for the recipe.ReplyCancel

  • peter - I know we don’t like to count calories but with a dead pancreas I need some help matching up the serving intake to insulin units. Given 1u per 15g of carbo what does this require??

    • carrie - Hi Peter – sorry that you have to deal with that. I can only imagine what it is like. I am also sorry that I have no clue on the answer to your question off the top of my head, but I did find several calculators online that look like they would work well to help you find that number for any recipe. Here’s one: I hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Anthony Agee - I had my doubts this would taste like a creamsicle. Boy was I wrong.It really was yummy.

    I noticed my protein powder had xanthum gum and stevia in it so I didn’t add any additional sweetening. It was sweet enough.

    So is this 6 servings of veggies?ReplyCancel

  • The Hardcore Green Smoothie » Carrie Brown | Life in the SANE lane - […] taste horrid by any means, but it is not scrumptious like the Strawberry Milkshake Smoothie or the Orange Creamsicle Smoothie.  It reminds me most of the flavor of peanut butter.  It has a vaguely nutty taste, but on the […]ReplyCancel

  • Curt - I saw you and Jonathan on the Creativelive videos and you were making me hungry, so I had to track you and your recipes down. I’ve also got your cookbooks now too!

    Awesome smoothies! I like most vegetables but eating them this way feels more like eating a dessert…but healthy :)

    So, after I ran out of spinach from making smoothies for a few days, I decided to use your guidelines and make a smoothie with stuff I had on hand (haha, you’ve created a monster). It’s “berry, berry, berry good” :)

    1/2 cup frozen berry’s (Costco’s raspberry, blueberry, blackberry)
    1/4 head of cabbage
    2 carrots
    1 cup hot water
    1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
    1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
    1 cup vanilla whey protein powder
    1/2 tsp guar gum

    Nobody knew it had cabbage or carrots in it, they thought it had marshmallows in it (lol).ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Love it, Curt! Thanks so much for the support and cookbook love!ReplyCancel

  • Anne - I tried this and was really surprised that I enjoyed it so much — a real compliment! I even shared it with my four year old son when he asked and he liked it! It did make *a lot* for me though, and I was wondering if I halved or quartered the ingredients if the proportions would still be okay. Any thoughts? The same question would probably apply to the other green smoothies.ReplyCancel

  • Curt - @ Anne, I’m in the same boat with you on the amount. I find that putting the extra in the refrigerator gives me a ready-to-go smoothie for later in the day or the next morning and saves me a lot of time.ReplyCancel

  • Shari - I am so inspired by your 3 month ‘shrinkage’ as JB put it = ] I am so happy for you Carrie! Great job!
    I read through most of these posts and I was hoping someone had asked if you can freeze this or any of the other spinach smoothies? I’ve heard freezing can further breakdown food and it loses nutritional value.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Shari – I have never had a smoothie make it to the freezer but I know others who do this. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Yin - My 2nd attempt at green smoothies. First i tried the hardcore green smoothie. That did not go down well. They don’t sell thin coconut milk for drinking here so i substituted it with the thicker version and 2% Greek yoghurt instead of non-fat. Is this ok sane-wise? I loved the taste anyways! The best thing is even 2 year old loved it. Thanks for this wonderful recipe Carrie!ReplyCancel

  • Tory Redmond - Been a hardcore podcast listener for about a year now (in all it’s incarnations: SSoS, Calorie Myth and now SANE) and I loved the banter between you and Jonathan. But today has been my first inclination to write, because as much as I have found all the information helpful and transformative in my own life, I have only now begun to implement it more for my child (who is now 5). My husband has been very good about making healthy dinners, but I struggled with making his breakfasts and lunches because it seemed like everything was sugar, sugar, SUGAR!! Bread = sugar, peanut butter = sugar. Yogurt = TONS of sugar. So aside from making eggs, I struggled with how to send him off to school with something other than a sugar high. Well, let me tell you! I made this smoothie today and it was a BIG hit. You got great reviews from the 5 year old demographic and he also enjoyed helping make it!! I plan to start delving into your soups more once fall kicks in so that he can have a nutrient packed lunch. Thank you for your dedication and for sharing your journey in many ways. Really appreciate all the information (And delicious recipes!)ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Tory – thank you so much for sharing your fabulous 5-year-old goes SANE story!! It makes my heart so very happy. PS. I think you’ll all LOVE the soups!ReplyCancel

  • Kelli - Hi Carrie,
    Why are apples “bad” and oranges okay?


    • carrie - HI Kelli – oranges are more nutrient-dense and contain less sugar than apples. Apples aren’t “bad” – they just don’t support our bodies and fat-burning hormones as well as oranges. If you are trying to burn fat apples make that more difficult. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Sydne - Hi. I loved this smoothie! I have been on the green smoothie bandwagon for ten years and am finally enjoying them without added sugar or frozen orange juice concentrate etc. My question is about the guar gum. I have xanthate gum and have been using that for about six months to help hold the smoothie together. Is guar gum significantly better to switch over right away? Or is cant ham gum fine for now until I run out? Which could be years from now, ha!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Sydne – the gums are used for different applications. Guar ia en emulsifier, xanthan is not, so guar is a *much* better choice when making smoothies. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Sydne - My apologies, xantham gum. Auto correct can be a blessing and a curse!ReplyCancel

  • Sharon - The flavor of this smoothie is great! My picky son even liked it. But I would like a colder drink. I’ve read here about milk cubes. How do those work? Any other suggestions to help with temperature? Also, is the guar gum what makes the smoothie frothy? I would like a little less froth and am not sure what adjustments I might be able to makeReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Sharon – milk cubes are simply when you freeze whatever milk you are using into ice cube trays and use those instead of liquid milk if you want a super-cold smoothie. This is also useful if you don’t use your milk fast enough and need a way to store it for a longer period of time. The guar gum will only make your smoothie frothy if you over blend it, so it’s not really the gum that is the issue it’s the amount of air whipped into it after the gum is added. Add it right at the end and only blend for 5 seconds. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Mary - I make a similar smoothie to this however I use 85g (1 serving) fresh spinach, 1 small orange, 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or coconut water), 2 tbsp ground flax seeds and 31g of vanilla whey protein powder. I get 35g of protein in my smoothie but yours has nearly 3 times as much protein powder in it. How many grams of protein is that? How many grams of protein do you need?ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - Another winner, Carrie! Now that we have guar gum, I’m going bananas with your soups and smoothies. I had a bit of a mishap measuring the yogurt without a quarter cup measuring cup, so it was extra creamy. Sort of half way between marshmallow cream and ice cream. Now that I think about it, I could have used a tablespoon instead of a scale and then there would have been a lot less math. Morning and math are a bad, bad combination.

    My sweetie is very sensitive to bitter flavors and I think the zest might be too bitter for him. Could I get away with orange extract instead of the zest?ReplyCancel

  • Renee - Hi Carrie!
    I have kidney disease, and have been told by my doctor to not use protein powder. Do I add more yogurt, or can I use powdered whole milk? I would really like to hear your input.
    I am really excited to make this soon!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Renee – what is his / her issue with protein powder? Is it the protein itself, or something else?ReplyCancel

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