You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Magazine

Cooking

Drink your vegetables

Start your year with delicious green smoothies.

Kale apple ginger smoothie.

Photograph by Jim Scherer / Styling by Catrine Kelty

Kale apple ginger smoothie.

With another holiday season signed, sealed, and delivered, many of us are now looking to clean up our dietary acts. To my friend Elizabeth, ditching the treats and upping her intake of green, leafy vegetables is “going on the natch,’’ to her mother, it’s “twigs and ice water.”

But maybe you don’t have to ditch the treats. Green smoothies, with vitamin-packed ingredients like kale and spinach, make great breakfasts and snacks. I always include some thinly sliced frozen banana for sweetness, consistency, and a little chill. Likewise, chunks of frozen pineapple and mango are good but need to be thawed a bit before use so they don’t kill the blender.

KALE-APPLE-GINGER SMOOTHIE

Serves 2 (makes about 3½ cups)

Continue reading below

One tablespoon of minced ginger gives a mild zip; use more if you like it stronger.

3 ice cubes

1¼ cups apple cider

2 packed cups torn, stemmed kale leaves

1 ablespoon minced fresh ginger, or more, to taste

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Salt

1 medium apple, chopped

½ banana, sliced and frozen

Place the ice in the blender and pulse to crush. Add the cider, kale, ginger, lemon juice, and a tiny pinch of salt; pulse to begin breaking up the greens and then blend, at first on medium and gradually adjusting to high, to liquefy, 20 seconds to 1 minute, depending on your blender. Add the apple and banana, and blend until the mixture is uniform, thick, and moves easily in the blender jar, about 45 seconds. Taste and adjust with additional ginger, if desired (blending to incorporate), and serve.

SPINACH-MANGO SMOOTHIE

Serves 2 (makes about 3½ cups)

3 ice cubes

1½ cups orange juice, cold

2 cups, packed, baby spinach or torn, stemmed mature leaves

Salt

1 medium mango, peeled, pitted, roughly chopped (about 1 cup), and frozen; thawed to soften a bit

½ banana, sliced and frozen

Place the ice in the blender and pulse to crush. Add the orange juice, spinach, and a tiny pinch of salt; pulse to begin breaking up the greens and then blend, at first on medium and gradually adjusting to high, to liquefy the solids, 20 seconds to 1 minute, depending on your blender. Add the mango and banana, and blend until the mixture is uniform, thick, and moves easily in the blender jar, about 45 seconds, and serve.

SPINACH-CUCUMBER-MINT SMOOTHIE

TIP: High-speed blenders like the Vitamix handle all the ingredients at once, but with most standard-issue blenders, it’s a good idea to chop the ice and greens with the liquid thoroughly before adding other ingredients.

Jim Scherer / Styling by Catrine Kelty

TIP: High-speed blenders like the Vitamix handle all the ingredients at once, but with most standard-issue blenders, it’s a good idea to chop the ice and greens with the liquid thoroughly before adding other ingredients.

Serves 2 (makes about 3½ cups)

This has a clean, green flavor with a faint sweetness. If you prefer a sweeter drink add 1 tablespoon of honey, or more, to taste. If you opt for baby spinach, there’s no need to remove the stems. This is inspired by a recipe on Thugkitchen.com.

3 ice cubes

1 cup pineapple juice

2 cups, packed, baby spinach or torn, stemmed mature leaves

cup, packed, mint leaves

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon honey, or more, optional

Salt

1 small cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped

½ banana, sliced and frozen

Place the ice in the blender and pulse to crush. Add the pineapple juice, spinach, mint, lemon juice, honey (if using), and a tiny pinch of salt; pulse to begin breaking up the greens and then blend, at first on medium and gradually adjusting to high, to liquefy the solids, 20 seconds to 1 minute, depending on your blender. Add the cucumber and banana, and blend until the mixture is uniform, thick, and moves easily in the blender jar, about 45 seconds. Taste and adjust the seasoning with honey, if desired (blending to incorporate), and serve.

KALE-COCONUT-PINEAPPLE SMOOTHIE

Serves 2 (makes about 3½ cups)

3 ice cubes

1½ cups light coconut milk

2 cups torn, stemmed kale leaves, packed

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

Salt

1½ cups roughly chopped pineapple, frozen; thawed to soften a bit

½ banana, sliced and frozen

Continue reading below

Place the ice in the blender and pulse to crush. Add the coconut milk, kale, lime juice, and a tiny pinch of salt; pulse to begin breaking up the greens and then blend, at first on medium and gradually adjusting to high, to liquefy the solids, 20 seconds to 1 minute (depending on your blender). Add the pineapple and banana, and blend until the mixture is uniform, thick and moves easily in the blender jar, about 45 seconds, and serve.

KALE-BANANA-DATE SMOOTHIE

Serves 2 (makes about 3½ cups)

3 large ice cubes

1½ cups almond milk, cold

2 packed cups torn, stemmed kale leaves

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Salt

¼ cup chopped pitted dates (about 2 large)

1 banana, sliced and frozen

Place the ice in the blender and pulse to crush. Add the almond milk, kale, lemon juice, and a tiny pinch of salt; pulse to begin breaking up the greens and then blend, at first on medium and gradually adjusting to high, to liquefy the solids, 20 seconds to 1 minute, depending on your blender. Add the dates and banana, and blend until the mixture is uniform, thick, and moves easily in the blender jar, about 45 seconds, and serve.

Send comments to cooking@globe.com.

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week