Savory Smoothies: Sapping the Joy from My Morning

With all of our recent travels and visitors, s’mores and dark chocolate honey mints, martinis and more martinis, my body has been thrown entirely off-kilter and is telling me so with all kinds of interesting and very uncomfortable symptoms, which I will not describe because I like you and because this isn’t that kind of blog.

My solution involves lots of probiotics and a return to normal eating—which my husband already thinks is fairly extreme, given the amount of leafy greens I consume—via a more extreme no-sugar, no-alcohol, no-grains, no-fruit kind of plan until things feel normal again. Basically, I’m giving up all of the things that make life worth living. But I added chicken back into my diet for the moment, so at least I have that.

I thought it would only be a few days before I felt back in balance again, but it’s taking a little longer than that. As a result, I’ve done something I’ve been avoiding for years: I’ve begun researching savory smoothies.

By savory smoothies I mean smoothies without fruit. Kind of like cold, blended vegetable soup. Which is just why I’ve avoided them for so long.

Before I could change my mind, I found seven savory smoothie recipes online and I went shopping.

Today’s has kale, tomato juice, half of a fresh hot pepper, a cucumber, curry powder, scallions, celery, and ice.


Don’t worry: It looks better than it tastes. Actually, the flavor’s not too bad; the texture is the real challenge. A straw helps.

My three-year-old son, adventurous chap that he is, took a sip. He gagged and said, “There’s lettuce in my mouse!” (which, because he can’t pronounce a TH sound, translates to, “There’s lettuce in my mouth!”). Of course, there’s no lettuce in the smoothie, but I didn’t bother to correct him. I just got him a glass of water and a bowl of raisins.

I’ve got six days of recipes remaining, and I’m going to stick with it until I get through them all. By the end of the week, I may or may not feel back in balance physically, but I’m pretty sure that I will no longer fear death.

Related articles (but this is NOT the recipe I tried this morning)


  1. I can’t help but be amused at the contrast between how I perceive the savory smoothie and you you think of it. I tried the fruit smoothie and said yuck, too sweet, I want a savory non fruit smoothie. So I’ve been googling for new ideas for savory smoothies to quench my craving for them. You on the other hand see them as punishment. Perhaps because I’m not restricting fruit makes the difference? I hope they made you feel better anyhow. 🙂


    1. I learned to love savory smoothies after I found a few recipes that really hit the spot for me. There are links to those on my post “50 Shades of Green,” but they’re all on Tess Masters’s Healthy Blender Recipes blog. The only thing that I would love to find is a savory smoothie I like that doesn’t call for avocado. I love avocado, but we can’t always get good ones where I live.

      Thanks for your comment, Sarah!


  2. Hi CJ,

    Years ago, during a family vacation to Texas, I encountered my first Whole Foods supermarket (it was before I moved to their market region on the east coast). I was fascinated by the veggie drink Barista near the front of the store. Situated in his own cafe area behind a long food bar, he wielded a Champion juicer (a big “Pro” model) and he knew how to use it.

    In addition to a selection of veggie/fruit combinations, clients could optionally request fresh clippings from a big tray of grass that he grew under a UV lamp. (I vaguely recall that it was Spirulina, but upon Googling that term today, it appears to be an algae and not a grass…It may have been some other plant). Who knows? Perhaps the grass bit was just part of the probiotic mystique.

    The drinks reminded me of the freshly prepared veggie juices in New York City–in tiny diners and also at the massive 6th Avenue Food Festival.

    Succumbing to the Jack LeLane spiel, I ordered my own Champion juicer and began preparing health drinks for anyone who could overcome their predisposition for sugar or ice-cream in any liquid that wasn’t coffee.

    But the thing that most fascinated me about my new juicer was the same thing that led to its long term basement storage in my home. I was always amazed at how efficiently it extracted liquids from pulp and fiber. If you juiced carrots, you got a liquid from one spout and a dry almost-yellow powder from the other…

    But why, exactly, are we tossing away the fiber?

    A nutritionist pointed out to me that a juicer can be a healthy option for a family that wants to expand beverage options, or with a picky child that still complains about chewing or pulp. But why, she asked me, am I so enamored with removing a significant portion of my veggies? What’s wrong with eating the carrots, oranges, or beets exactly as they grow? That got me to thinking… I love those things. I simply need to ensure that they are with me when I leave the home.

    Although my $350 juicer is still in mothballs, I still see a few benefit to juicing: A beverage is more compact, portable, easy to keep chilled. It quenches thirst. It lends variety and a wholesome aura in our sugary, fast-food world. And let’s face it! In the summer, a “Smoothie” just seems more palatable than a plate of carrots and beets.

    Juice on, neighbor…And when you create the ultimate concoction, invite me over to try one. I can be there in 20 seconds!

    -Ellery (


    1. Thanks for the comment, Ellery!

      We had a juicier for several years, a centrifugal model that was a pain to clean and left an embarrassing amount of waste for the amount of “juice” it generated, especially when juicing leafy greens. I got rid of it when I got my high-powered Vitamix blender since I could completely break down all manner of vegetables in the blender and not lose the fiber. (Basically the difference between a smoothie and a juice.) I’ve considered getting a masticating juicer for those days when I’m really craving a nice, smooth juice with no pulp rather than a smoothie, but so far the idea of spending the money and sacrificing the storage space for something I might use only a few days every couple of months has kept me from going back to juicing. (The waste doesn’t bother me as much anymore since a masticating juicer produces less waste and since I could make the leftover fiber into crackers—if I bought a dehydrator.) Mostly, the Vitamix gets the job done to my satisfaction and allows me to drink the fiber with the juice, but this morning’s concoction would have been much better from a juicer, I think. Or maybe just with more water, as thebalancedsoul suggested.

      If I find a good one, I’ll be sure to invite you over to share it!



    1. I remember how much I disliked green smoothies when I first tried them, so I’m not willing to give up yet! Thanks for the tips. I think more water would be a great modification.


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