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The Hardcore Green Smoothie

It’s high time I told you what I’ve been downing for breakfast lately.  First off though, I really think I need to explain why I have changed course from drinking any of my other delicious Green Smoothies.  You see, it’s my appetite.  My once-legendary ability to eat Mr. Bailor under the table tanked about 6 weeks ago.  What that means in practical terms is that I simply cannot physically consume very much food any more, and consequently, when I do eat I have to focus only on the nutrient-dense essentials – the non-starchy veggies, the lean protein, and the healthy fats.

Enter The Hardcore Green Smoothie.spinach

I realize that this image is a pile of spinach and not a green smoothie.  You can expect a glass of green liquid by the time you’re done making it, rather like any of the other 7 green smoothie pictures I’ve already shot for you, although it’s true that they are not all green.

Let me be clear about a couple of things upfront: 1. I did not shoot this image of spinach, and if I knew who did I would credit them.  2. this smoothie does not taste delicious.  It doesn’t 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 whole it really doesn’t taste of anything at all, which for me makes it perfectly palatable, just not something that makes my mouth go, “Wow!”  Given it’s purpose in my life at this point, I’m good with that.

So right now I have this for breakfast every day as a means to an end – to get the most nutrient-dense meal I can in as small a volume as possible.  At first I hesitated to post this, because delicious is what I do when it comes to recipes, but if you have times when you also need maximum nutrition and *SANEity in a small package, this may well be a great trick for you, too, as long as you’re down with more function than flavor.

While we’re on the subject of green smoothies, let’s take a quick refresher on what there is to love about spinach.  Spinach is a good source of niacin and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese.  Amazing!  It looks so tame and unassuming.  This hardcore smoothie gives you 6 servings of non-starchy veggies where 1 serving = 1 packed cup = 1 oz / 30g.

Then the egg white powder storms home with 96% protein.  You get more than your 30g of protein in by using just 45g of powder – about 1/3rd cup – and there ain’t nothing else that can pack that kind of protein power into such a small space.  Finished up with some lovely medium-chain triglycerides in the coconut milk and you’re set.  *SANE as SANE can be.

Next time you want maximum nutrition in just one glass, go hardcore!

The Hardcore Green Smoothie
Author: Carrie Brown |
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
  • 1 cup / 8 fl oz. thin coconut milk (in a carton)
  • 1 1/2 oz. / 45g powdered egg white
  • 6 oz. / 170g fresh spinach
  1. Pour the coconut milk into the blender.
  2. Add the egg white powder and immediately blend on the lowest speed until mixed. This stops the egg white powder getting stuck on the sides of the jug and being wasted.
  3. Gradually push the spinach through the hole in the blender lid with the blender still running on low.
  4. Once all the spinach is added, blend on high until it is completely smooth and free from any pieces of spinach.


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  • AlvinYou’re awesome (or ORSUM, like I hear you pronounce it on the webcast)

    This is great becaus so many people focus on making the smoothie a dessert, when in fact nutrition should be the basis. I too have a similar formula only I add chia seeds for energy, greens powder, and use Whey Natural USA instead of egg powder.

    Another option is organic unsweetened kefir instead of coconut milk for a probiotic kick!

    Thanks againReplyCancel

  • ScottAwesome!ReplyCancel

  • SueWonder why your appetite tanked?ReplyCancel

    • carrieComing soon! I am writing a blog post explaining why my appetite changed and everything else that’s been going on around here…ReplyCancel

  • Monicad“I simply cannot physically consume that much food any more”

    Hi Carrie, I love that this ‘smoothie’ is so low carb/keto friendly.

    I’m curious regarding the quote above, is that because you, as one comment implied, have lost your appetite or because you want to lose weight?

    How long have you been doing this morning smoothie?
    How long does it satiate you?
    Is it *working?* for your goals?
    Would you publish your goals?

    Many thanks for all you do.
    Loads of Love
    Monica :)ReplyCancel

    • carrieMonica – I lost my appetite. You do not need to reduce the amount of food you consume in order to lose weight. Is it working for my goals? My goal was to create a meal that provided maximum nutrition, fiber, protein and healthy fats in the smallest volume possible, so yes it is totally working for that goal.ReplyCancel

  • KeithThanks! I was looking for just this type of recipe. Something for breakfast that will maximize everything I’m looking for in my morning meal.

    Is this something you think would freeze well for thawing the night before drinking?

    I’d prefer to make a week of these ahead of time and then simply leave one out each night to thaw before drinking each morning if possible. My neighbors are great but I’d rather not test their ability to withstand the sound of a blender at 4am when I wake up.

    Thanks again for this perfectly simple, powerfully nutritious, and convenient recipe!ReplyCancel

    • carrieKeith – I would add 1/4 tsp guar gum to each serving to make sure it doesn’t separate and then try freezing. I can’t see why it wouldn’t work, but I would definitely add the guar gum to help. Guar gum is super useful in helping things freeze well. Let us know how it goes! I love the idea of making a whole weeks worth at one time!ReplyCancel

  • KeithExcellent tip, I’ll give it a shot and let you know how it goes. Thanks again for the excellent recipe and support!ReplyCancel

  • JerelHi Carrie,

    This smoothie looks awesome for those days when you just need to “git-r-dun” in the morning. Now on to the less pleasant portion of this message.

    I had kidney stones a couple of years ago, and they are extremely painful. The best way to prevent them is to drink a LOT of water every day. So far so good. However, the recommendations go on to say that you should limit your intake of dark leafy greens and PROTEIN!! Now I’m wringing my hands, because I really like this diet, but the last thing I ever want to do is to experience the pain of kidney stones again!

    How will I ever be able to eat SANEly and follow these guidelines? They are saying not to eat more than about 60g of protein per day, and limit consumption of things like tea, nuts, berries, citrus, and vegies like beets, carrots, cauliflower, spinache, kale, leeks, chard, eggplant…. there’s nothing left!! It seems like every non-starchy vegetable is high in oxalates!

    I’m more confused than a chameleon in a bowl of Skittles. Any advice you can give (and I know you’re not a doctor, blah blah) would be helpful.

    For reference, see and the website

    • carrieJerel – I strongly encourage you to head over to our Facebook Support Group and post this there. Dr. Cathy I know has personal experience of this exact thing and may be able to guide you far better than me. Dr. Mike may also have words of advice. I have also had kidney stones but have not had any issues since I went SANE 2 years ago and I eat 6oz of spinach and JB recommended amount of protein daily. However, that doesn’t mean they are not a problem for YOU! Please head to Facebook and see what our resident Docs have to say. Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • ColleenAbout getting the spinach to properly pulverize: I’ve been buying raw fresh spinach in bulk at Costco, and then sticking it in ziplock freezer bags at home. It blends OHSOMUCH better than those bricks of pre-chopped, pre-frozen spinach, AND better than the raw fresh stuff too. Been very happy with this technique. Bonus: I no longer wind up with a bunch of very wilty (or worse, ew!) spinach leaves at the bottom of the bin near the end of the week.ReplyCancel

    • carrieColleen – fantastic! I think I’ll try this. Will make it quicker in the mornings too :-)ReplyCancel

  • AlvinFor those looking to expedite the process, On Sundays I put spinach, kale, cilantro, mint, bok choy, and any other leafy green I can find including romaine and red lettuce, add some lemon or lime and blend it all up with water.

    Then I pour the mixture into ice cubes (I have big molds) and freeze.

    Now throughout the week when I want a green smoothie I just pop out a few cubes and add coconut milk and chia seeds and I am ready to roll. Takes drastically less time.ReplyCancel

  • TerezSo glad to see a green smoothie recipe without fruit. Am absolutely new to green smoothies but I’d been having an eggnog every day. Sounded much like your recipe here except raw milk instead of coconut milk, and a local pastured egg instead of powdered egg whites. Plus I add a tiny dribble of vanilla extract.

    Anyway, I added greens to my eggnog before blending. Also added half a teaspoon of honey because I was worried about the greens being bitter. But it wasn’t bitter at all; I will skip the honey from now on.

    I had thought of doing a green smoothie this way but was worried because all the other recipes I found included fruit. I don’t mind fruit but I don’t care for juice, and just prefer to eat my fruit than to drink it.

    Long, rambling way of saying Thank You for this green smoothie recipe!ReplyCancel

  • karenHi Carry
    Would it be better to use real egg white instead of powdered? I’m avoiding all processed food where possible. There must be a bit of work going into drying that egg white.

    • carrieKaren – you absolutely can use egg whites instead, although I don’t think it will be “better”. A few things to note: You will need to use 11.5 egg whites per smoothie to get the same amount of protein. The smoothie will be much bigger because of all the water in the egg whites, and it will also be a lot more liquid. You may have issues with the egg whites whipping into a huge froth in the blender. Depending on what you pay for eggs, the cost will be higher, and could be considerably so. It will also take a lot longer to prepare. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • TerezCarrie, I see your reply to Karen and I am now looking up egg white protein. It appears (from a podcast transcript) that you use Honeyville Farm brand. Their pricing is good but they add sodium lauryl sulfate.

    Do you still use that brand, or have you found a good brand without the sulfate?


    • carrieTerez / Leslie – JB and I use Honeyville. Obviously you can use any brand you prefer. The sulfate is just there to stop it caking together and to make the whites whippable. The amount is tiny.ReplyCancel

  • LeslieJust Whites from Deb El is 100% powdered egg whites, with nothing else added, including sodium laurel sulfate. I really like this brand! Just thought I’d pass it along…ReplyCancel

  • DeniseHere’s a suggestion of what NOT to do with this smoothie: DO NOT substitute 1.5oz of green power powder for the spinach. It will be extremely bitter, extremely thick, and extremely gross.
    Carrie, if I can finally get spinach powder online, what would the substitution amount be for the fresh spinach?

    • carrieHi Denise – I had the same experience with adding green power powder :-( I honestly don’t know the answer to your other question – I didn’t know you could get spinach powder! You would have to make a calculation from the packaging material for the equivalent of 6 oz of fresh spinach is and go from there.ReplyCancel

  • Denise LuhmanCarrie: the link to the powdered spinach is on JB’s store page on his site. It comes from znaturalfoods – the same place the green power powder comes from. They were out of stock for ages but they finally have it in again. Mine should be here soon.

    Btw, 3/4 oz of green power powder seems to work pretty well – much less bitter & thick, and actually drinkable. But I still can’t wait for my spinach powder. :-)ReplyCancel

  • BonnieI’m confused how this is 6 servings of vegetables … my 6oz bag of baby spinach from Trader Joe’s says it’s 2 servings? And I asked on the Facebook page and was told 2-3 cups of raw spinach or kale equal a serving.ReplyCancel

    • carrieServing sizes and appetites are different for different people. Servings sizes are just a guide. Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • NinaI have the same question as Bonnie! JB always says the most important thing is getting at least 10 servings of non-starchy veggies. My container of spinach also says that 3oz is a serving. I’ve been counting 6 oz as 6 servings. Which is true because if it is the former, I am getting way fewer veggies than necessary! Help!ReplyCancel

    • carrieNina – are you eating protein and non-starchy veggies until you are full? Are you getting the results that you are looking for?ReplyCancel

  • Fresh Strawberry Smoothie… | Cut Cook Eat[…] reading Eat Smarter! Smoothies and Sides. Carrie calls the original smoothie from Bailor’s book The Hardcore Green Smoothie and I have to agree. It was not until I read Carrie’s book that I was tempted to try her version. […]ReplyCancel

  • DonJerel – take a look at this post by Dave Asprey – – it might give you some ideas for dealing with the oxalates, especially since you are already sensitive to them. Best of luck to you!ReplyCancel

  • AndyThanks for this idea – it’s just what I’ve been looking for! Just wondering if there is a reason that you prefer the egg white powder over other protein powders (like whey etc)?ReplyCancel

    • carrieAndy – egg white is 96% protein, so it’s pure, no additional ingredients and more bang for your buck, so to speak.ReplyCancel

  • DianaI’m intrigued by your recipe. How do you keep your egg white powder from turning the smoothie into spinach merengue?ReplyCancel

    • carrieDiana – the fat in the coconut milk stops the egg whites from whipping – so no meringue! Hope that helps.ReplyCancel

  • Drew ThompsonHey Colleen:

    I buy my spinach from Costco too, but when I get it home I put it on large baking trays for a couple of hours and every time I enter the kitchen I turn it over to dry it out. Then I re-bag it into zip locks and then roll them up to force the air out before I close them. I can get a good week in the fridge this way without it turning to that horrible green slime that was spinach.

    my two pence

  • TerezI also buy organic spinach from Costco, as Drew mentioned. What I do is, I take the bag out of the clamshell and put the bag in my freezer as-is. It freezes up beautifully.

    To use it, I just open the bag, take a few handfuls, and drop them in the blender. Then I roll up the plastic bag and use a binder clip to keep it closed in the freezer as I gradually use it up, a few handfuls at a time.

    Granted I have an upright freezer (which is colder than the small freezer on a refrigerator). But that’s where I keep several bags. The bag I’m using is kept in the small freezer atop my fridge. Once in a while I pull the bag out when the freezer is on the defrost cycle, and some of the leaves are soft. But I just use what I need, put the bag back in the freezer, and it’s good to go the next time.

    There will be a little snowy frost in the bag. I just shrug and use it. Small price to pay for the EASE of this method.ReplyCancel

  • MinnesotaAnnHELP PLEASE:

    struggling with (1½ oz/45g powdered egg whites) without running out to buy a scale can anyone give me approx. Tbls or Tsp amounts??


  • CatherineMy egg white powder just arrived and I noticed it has sucralose in it, darn it! I used what I had with only half the spinach you use and almond milk and it tasted ok. Will have to look for coconut milk in a carton, have only seen it in cans here.ReplyCancel

    • carrieUgh, Catherine! Why do manufacturers feel the need to adulterate everything??! I use Honeyville Egg White Powder. Coconut milk in a carton is just like very white cows milk in thickness.ReplyCancel

  • WrenFinally got up the nerve to try the HARD CORE. Mine was a little bitter but a few drops of stevia fixed that. I used Jay Robb egg white vanilla protein and it has xylitol and stevia in it. Also from chickens not treated with growth hormones. 1 scoop has 24g of protein. I must admit I’m kinda missing my fruit in this smoothie but I sure do feel good about drinking it. I like being able to say I’m a HARD CORE smoothie girl! Whoop whoop!ReplyCancel

    • carrieLOL, Wren! It’s not the best tasting, but it terms of nutrients and SANEity, it is the bomb. I admit there are some mornings where I have to choke it down :-)ReplyCancel

  • MichelleHi Carrie… just started following the SANE lifestyle and LUV ur recipes. I needed to go shopping but also needed breakfast, so I had all the ingredients for this… or so I thought.. and figured that would work… WELL… I didn’t have enough frozen spinach.. but I had frozen green beans.. well now I have a really filling SANE bean tasting smoothie…I figure if I drink it really quickly while it is cold, I’ll get it down LOLReplyCancel

  • ColetteI’ve noticed that lots of recipes for smoothies call for spinach as an ingredient, yet the accompanying picture is usually of baby spinach. I imagine there is a difference in nutrients, as well as cost. Do you use fully grown spinach or baby spinach, and does it matter?ReplyCancel