When You’re Feeling Under the Weather, It’s Time to Bust Out This Get Well Green Smoothie!

Just when the excitement of the season begins to calm down, that’s when sickness seems to set in.

Vertical shot of two tall glasses of green smoothie, with red and white striped paper straws, on a dark and light blue patterned cloth with bunches of kale and bananas in the background, printed with orange and white text.

I think it has something to do with having all the parties, gatherings, and festivities to look forward to before the year draws to a close.

If you have something to look forward to, you tend to be able to power through any little tinge of sickness that might be lurking in the back of your throat, with an extra boost of energy and positive vibes that helps you to survive the holiday season.

As soon as New Year’s Day has passed, more often than not, I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. All of the effort and energy I put into the holidays seems to catch up with me, and I start to feel like I am lagging.

It’s not the best way to start the new year, you know?

With all the resolutions we make and try to keep (at least for the first month or so…), getting sick makes it impossible to get yourself on a good schedule for the first week of the year.

Oblique vertical shot of apples, bananas, kale, and two green smoothies with red and white striped straws, on a dark and light blue cloth with a triangular pattern.

That’s why we all need to focus on being healthy, and not for the traditional weight-loss reasons that everyone jumps on board with at this time of year.

At the beginning of the year, while the weather is chilly, you’re at the dead center of cold and flu season. As soon as you begin to feel those first aches and pains or a touch of congestion, it’s time to take serious action to focus on health and wellness.

Two tall glasses of green homemade smoothie with red and white striped straws, on a dark and light blue patterned cloth with apples, bananas, and kale in the background, against a brown horizontally striped backdrop.

In addition to a good night’s sleep, and plenty of healthy hydration and nutritious foods, that’s where this easy-peasy get well green smoothie comes into play.

If you haven’t started making your own green smoothies at home yet, you need to hop on this bandwagon ASAP. And if you’re already a fan, you absolutely must add this recipe to your rotation.

It’s fruity and flavorful, with tons of healthy vitamins and minerals to help to you fight off whatever’s got you feeling run down.

Overhead shot of two glasses of green smoothie with white and red striped straws, on a dark and light blue patterned cloth with green kale and red apples.

Before you try this recipe, or any other smoothie for that matter, be sure to check out our article featuring smoothie solutions to make the best blended beverages. Whether you are whipping up this recipe or another, you will get all the pro tips you need to make it perfectly.

The most important thing to pay attention to when you’re making a smoothie is how you layer up those ingredients. If you have a traditional blender that you load from the top, be sure to add those liquids and softer ingredients towards the bottom.

Those ingredients need to be closest to the blade. Then you load up the harder, frozen ingredients like frozen fruit and ice on top.

Why, you ask? Loading it this way means those frozen ingredients will help push everything else to the bottom, toward the blades without getting stuck in them.

Vertical oblique shot of two tall glasses filled with green smoothie and striped red and white straws, on a dark and light blue patterned cloth, with fresh produce in the background.

That way, your smoothie will come out perfectly every single time, without having to stop it and stir it up a few times in between pulses. Just be sure to pay attention to the notes in the Cooking by the Numbers section below if you don’t have a traditional blender that loads from the top, because the process will be a bit different.

This recipe makes one for you and one for a friend, so you can share with your loved ones, or save it in the fridge for a bit to enjoy a second dose of goodness later.

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Two tall glasses filled with a green smoothie with red and white striped straws are at the center of the frame, surrounded by kale, bananas, and apples on a dark and light blue patterned cloth, on a dark brown surface with a lighter brown background.

Get Well Green Smoothie

  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 smoothies 1x


Cold and flu season is here to stay. When you feel the first sign of sickness, it’s time to make this get well green smoothie.


  • 1 cup orange juice, more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon agave syrup (or honey), or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chia or ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup packed torn kale leaves with stems removed, or spinach
  • 1 banana, cut into quarters
  • 1 small apple, cored and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup frozen mango or pineapple chunks


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, adding them in the order listed.
  2. Process until smooth. You can add a little more orange juice if it seems too thick.
  3. Pour into two glasses and serve.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Smoothie
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: Drinks

Keywords: smoothie, greens, kale, spinach, fruit, healthy recipes, clean eating

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep Produce and Measure Remaining Ingredients

Overhead shot of a banana and an apple, and small round and square glass bowls of torn green kale leaves, orange juice, frozen pineapple chunks, chia seeds, and honey, on a dark brown wood table.

First, be sure to wash all of your produce well.

Remove the stems and tear the kale until you have a packed half cup in total. If you are using spinach instead, measure it out. This should also be packed into the measuring cup.

Peel and quarter the banana.

Core the apple, and cut it into large chunks.

Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed.

Step 2 – Layer Ingredients

Apple, banana, and kale in a clear plastic blender pitcher, on a dark brown wood surface.

To achieve the best smoothie possible, be sure to layer the ingredients in the blender as they are listed – starting with the liquids, and ending with the frozen fruit.

If your blender canister is loaded and then flipped over to blend, fill it up in the opposite order, starting with the frozen fruit and ending with the liquid.This is a common arrangement for personal blenders like the Nutribullet and Ninja models.

Head-on shot of the side of a clear plastic blender pitcher with ingredients to make a smoothie layered inside, with liquid ingredients closest to the blade and frozen items at the top, on a dark brown wood table with a light and dark brown backgrop with horizontal irregular stripes.

That way, the order will be right for your setup with the ice on top when you blend.

Step 3 – Process and Serve

Overhead shot of a frothy green homemade smoothie in a clear plastic blender pitcher on a dark brown wood table.

Process the mixture until it is smooth, pulsing at first and then turning it on for about 30 seconds. Be sure to follow the blending directions for your individual model, since all blenders run a bit differently.

If the mixture seems too thick, you can add a little more orange juice.

A pitcher-style blender is filled with a green smoothie mixture, on a dark brown wood surface with a lighter brown background.

Divide the smoothie between two glasses and serve.

Be Sure to Rotate Your Greens

When I was growing up, serving leafy greens in smoothies was not a thing.

Two tall glasses filled with a green smoothie with red and white striped straws are at the center of the frame, surrounded by kale, bananas, and apples on a dark and light blue patterned cloth, on a dark brown surface with a lighter brown background.

At least in my neck of the woods, if they did occasionally appear, they were generally deemed disgusting and no one drank them.

Little did I know, we were really missing out! If you’re not a greens fan, blending them up and serving them in a smoothie is so good for you, packing in protein, vitamins, antioxidants, dietary fiber, and so much more.

If you are already big on eating lots of greens or drinking green smoothies, be sure to rotate out the greens that you use. Focusing on the same healthy greens each day might mean you’re missing out on other essential nutrients that these don’t offer. Rather than dining on the same recipes each day on repeat as part of your healthy diet, be sure to include a variety of leafy greens and other vegetables. Eating the same ones over and over actually has the potential to make you sick, funny enough.

Overhead shot of torn kale leaves at the bottom of a clear pitcher-style blender canister, with a glass bowl of frozen pineapple chunks and a banana in soft focus on a dark brown wood surface.

It’s rare, but you can easily avoid it by rotating out your kale for spinach, and so forth every once in a while.

Looking for even more healthy green deliciousness for an added boost of nutrients in the morning? Don’t miss our recipes for the following:

And you can see all of our produce-packed smoothies and homemade juice recipes.

For this smoothie, will you use kale or spinach? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to come back to rate this recipe after you try it out.

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on December 6th, 2011. Last updated: November 1, 2021 at 10:10 am.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

The staff at Foodal are not medical professionals and this article should not be construed as medical advice. Foodal and Ask the Experts, LLC assume no liability for the use or misuse of the material presented above. Always consult with a medical professional before changing your diet, or using supplements or manufactured or natural medications.

About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

4 thoughts on “When You’re Feeling Under the Weather, It’s Time to Bust Out This Get Well Green Smoothie!”

  1. Hi Meghan, just a little correction, substitute the honey with a few dates, maple syrup or rice malt syrup for this to be vegan. Honey is not vegan as it involves stealing honey from bees who use it as a food source when there are no flowers to feed off.

    • Thanks for catching our mistake! The recipe card has been updated. Agave syrup can be used as a vegan substitute for the honey. Enjoy!

  2. Where is the recipe??? Please add a jump to recipe link so this isn’t such a headache to read with unnecessary scrolling up and down

    • Thanks for the valuable feedback! This is something we included in older posts, but we’ve phased it out.


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