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Eat Well Oct. 31. 2014

Green Tart Smoothie

Oct. 31. 2014
McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN


A light and refreshing low sugar green smoothie with the tart flavors of green apple and citrus.

First and foremost, Happy Halloween! Today I’m sharing the polar opposite recipe that you may expect from a food blog on Halloween, a Green Tart Smoothie. I’m doing this for a couple reasons, 1) Nutrition Stripped just isn’t a “food” blog it’s all about that whole food lifestyle I’m always talking about!; 2) I think we’ll encounter enough sugar today so need for me to put out a high sugar recipe; and 3) this smoothie is just awesome and my new favorite- ladies this one is especially for you. The Green Tart Smoothie is loaded with mineralizing greens, low sugar fruits, and plant-based proteins coming from spirulina or chlorella, and even amino acid and B vitamin rich bee pollen. I promise, after drinking this smoothie you won’t have a sugar crash like most do when eating handfuls of candies and your skin and digestion will thank you so much for it.

Halloween is actually one of my favorite holidays during the year, I have THE best memories growing up, playing dress up year round (and no, not just in princess outfits, think Garth from Waynes World…), and spending time with my brother, friends and family. Living in Nashville while my brother and family is still living in Cincinnati, always leaves me feeling a little nostalgic this time of year. We would literally be that house in the neighborhood that went wild with front yard decorations and the whole dramatic experience- no seriously, a loud stereo blasting Halloween themed music, hanging fake bats, ghosts in the trees, and last year my brother purposefully drove the car into a tree to make it look like a car crash. I told you, celebrating Halloween is a “Hill” thing!

B and I always joke with each other that when we have kids someday, I’m totally going to be “that mom” who passes out baby carrots, popcorn, or dental floss (sorry future neighborhood kids!). Till then, I’m cheersing with this Green Tart Smoothie and hope you do the same!

Thinking back to those times when having fun trick-or-treating, passing out handing, and eating high sugar sweets and candies with all those wacky ingredients was the norm. Unfortunately, Halloween just isn’t Halloween in our country without a bag full of artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, artificial preservatives, refined sugars, refined carbohydrates, trans fats, etc. I wanted to take this opportunity, this day, where all of American celebrates and overindulges in sweets to bring you the polar opposite- a low sugar green smoothie to keep you feeling awesome, energized, and glowing from the inside out.

The Green Tart Smoothie has similar ingredients as my famous Stripped Green Smoothie, yet focuses on my favorite low sugar fruit the green apple, and heaps of greens that are incredibly mineralizing and fiber rich. The added bonus in this smoothie, which is an optional ingredient, is the chlorella or spirulina. Both chlorella and spirulina contain all amino acids making it a great protein source, these sea vegetables/algaes also contain minerals and vitamins that are important for keeping us energized. I’ve talked at length about spirulina and why I love using it in recipes like smoothies for an easy way to boost the plant-based protein content, read here on spirulina to get a refresher course. Also, if you’re wondering what in the world is bee pollen and where to get it, check out my pantry page about bee pollen. It’s one of my favorite “superfoods” to add to smoothies!

I challenge/encourage/double dare you to leave the candy at the door and sip on something that’s going to leave you feeling great all day and evening long, while nourishing you from the inside out. Ladies, not to mention this green smoothie is literally one of my beauty secrets- whenever I want to stay lean and trim, incorporating more low sugar fruits into my smoothies instead of higher sugar fruits (like bananas, papaya, pineapple, etc.) and limiting my daily chocolate fix, always does the trick!… also notice the word “limiting” my daily chocolate fix- I have it every day without fail as a treat!

B and I are going as the Princess Bride and Wesley- what are you all being?! (yes, we still dress up!). Tag me so I can see your fun costumes! I’ll try to post a picture of us tonight! #nutritionstripped

xo McKel

awesome shirt by // Food Heaven Store

The Recipe

Serves 1



1 cups filtered water

1/4 cup coconut milk

4 romaine lettuce leaves

1 medium green apple

1 stalk celery

1/2 cup cucumber

1 handful watercress (or use spinach)

15 chlorella tablets or 1 tablespoon organic spirulina (optional)

1 teaspoon bee pollen

juice of 1 lemon

juice of 1 lime


Simply blend all ingredients together until smooth. Optional ingredients such as bee pollen and stevia are to taste.

If using chlorella tablets, these will dissolve and break down when blended.

Add ice to chill or serve over ice and enjoy immediately!

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Did you try it out?

Share Your Thoughts & Images

  • Julia

    McKel, this smoothie looks absolutely DELISH! One question though: Is Bee pollen save for pregnant ladies? Maybe this could inspire you to write a whole post about that topic. I’m currently struggeling with the question which superfoods – Bee pollen, Maca, Spirulina – are safe for future mamas.
    Hope you can help me out with this one.

    Love and thanks a lot,

    • That’s such a great question! I would first and foremost ALWAYS check with your physician no matter what health blog or article says! Generally those are ‘safe’ to consume, but again check with your physician.

  • This is so perfect for today! I’ve already been on sugar overload this week, so I need this!

  • Taskeen

    This looks amazing! I actually love low sugar green smoothies and this one’s got my fav ingredients!

  • Meg

    This smoothie looks really good! My question might seem weird, but where did you find the t-shirt you are wearing in the picture? I love it!
    Thanks! 🙂

  • Yum! This sounds super good. And def post a costume pic!

  • merilyn

    Halloween is a relatively new thing in aus
    thankyou for sharing your very nutrition packed recipes
    with us and your photographs are great! appreciated by m:)X

  • Hi McKel! Just tried this today for breakfast and LOVED it. Thanks for the recipe! I feel so energized.

  • I made this and it was fantastic! Perfect Monday morning pick-me-up. Thanks for sharing McKel!

  • KC

    Just made this as an afternoon pick-me-up and loved it!! There are so many sweet/banana-based green smoothies out there so it was a nice change to find one with such a unique, tart taste! I added a teaspoon of spirulina. Very refreshing and love that it’s low sugar! Will definitely be adding this recipe to my smoothie repertoire–thanks so much!!

  • Just made this and am sipping on it right now. I really like that it’s not too sweet, yet doesn’t doesn’t taste like a liquified salad. The tartness from the citrus and apple are splendid :). Well done and thank you for sharing!

  • Karissa

    Totally plan on making this after I stock up on fresh produce!

    Just wondering – how much chocolate do you “limit” yourself to daily? One or 2 squares of the darkest stuff you can find? I found a small bar of organic Denman Island Chocolate – 72% cocoa mass, infused with ROSEMARY essence – and was only going to have 2 of the 6 squared bar… But ended up eating them all over the course of an evening, because it was AMAZING. Any tips to actually only eating a few squares once you peel open that foil? Thanks! 🙂

    • Everyone’s goals are different for chocolate and without knowing your goals and entire lifestyle I won’t make that recommendation, you know yourself better than anyone and it seems you may have already answered your own question! 😉

  • Carly

    Hi McKel! Quick question..do you usually take the skin off your fruits & veg before blending them in smoothies? (In this case the cucumber & apple) Thanks for your help!

  • Anika

    Hi Mckel,

    this smoothie looks very delicious. I will try this. But I have candida and try to eliminate it at the moment. Can you tell me, if i can eat beepollen? I don’t know it and i can’t find any information’s. Maybe you can help me.

    Thanks for your help 🙂 !

  • Whitney

    Just made this for the first time this morning — An amazing kickstart and refreshing change from my normal smoothie recipe. Thank you!!


    • McKel Hill

      So glad you enjoyed it Whitney! It’s delicious with extra ginger and lemon/lime juice too 🙂 #supertart

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