Part Two: 7 Foods NOT to Add to Your Fruit and Veggie Smoothie

As promised, here are the last four ingredients you need to steer clear of in your fruit and veggie smoothies.  For the record, it is super entertaining to dredge up these memories with the kiddos.  That being said, there is also a pretty good reason you don’t see any of these ingredients on the menu in Jamba Juice’s Whole Food Smoothies.


LETTUCE. Frothy, fluffy mass of ick will glug out of your blender should you choose to blend it in rather than use it elsewhere.  This blender full of goodness was reminiscent of foamy pond water you were told as a child not to drink for good reason.

Back away from the foamy pond water and thank us later for trying that one for you.

Really, kale and spinach are much better options. Keep using lettuce for salads, with burgers or for wrapping things that usually find themselves nested in some type of carbohydrate.


BEETS.  Genius to add them to the brownish looking smoothies as a way to disguise the true color of the smoothie. Yikes, was it gross and I LOVE beets. I only used a ½ inch cube of a cooked beet, figuring a little would go a long way.

I thought the beautiful purple/red color would be awesome, Mother Nature’s natural food coloring for our brownish looking fruit and veggie smoothie. It was such a small amount no one would know how tricky I was. Boy was I wrong, a little went a really long way!  Hubby’s comment was and I repeat verbdum, “huh, it tastes like dirt. How come? What did you do to it?”

It’s NEVER a good sign when someone asks, “What did you do to it?” Leave the beets out.

Blackberries do a much better job at changing our orangey, greenish brown colors to more acceptable purple colors.


CONCORD GRAPES. These are the grapes with a deep, rich perfect grape scent you can smell in the fall. The cool, crisp autumn air tells you they are ready.  As kids (ok and even now),we would slip the deep purple skin, chuck it on the ground for the worms and slurp down the sweet slippery remaining sphere into our bellies.

Using concord grapes to sweeten our smoothies would keep me from having to buy grape juice. I loved that frugalista math. My dad had bushels of them so I was only in it lots and lots of time washing off spider webs and pulling the grapes from their stem.

Except when using even just a ¼ cup of concord grapes with skins and seeds our throats felt tingly and weird. Clearly, we slipped the skin and swallowed those slippery eyeball looking grapes whole for a reason.

In the blender, the skin and seeds are pulverized. I don’t know what specific compounds were causing the unusual feeling in our throats – anyone else detest organic chemistry? I do know you can buy grapeseed extract at the health food store and it is made up of seeds, skin and stems.

Grape seeds contain oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs) that have been touted as powerful antioxidants which promote heart health.

So blending the seeds and skin really was a clever idea except for when the side effect made us wonder if anaphylaxis was on its way.

Regular purple grape juice and water are our go to liquids most nights in our smoothies. I composted at least 10 one gallon sacks of grapes that year, lucky worms.


Celery. Celery kills kids. At least it’s what my then 3 year old (now 13) told me as she was dissecting a soup I had made for dinner long ago.  She was swirling her spoon in the broth, put her hand on her chin and asked, “what’s the green stuff mom? I replied short and sweet, “celery.” She processed my reply for a moment and in all sincerity she looked up at me and said, “celery kills kids.”

Needless to say, we have never been a big fan of celery. For the most part we don’t mind it cooked and soft in soups but otherwise it’s something I buy about once or twice a year when I am making a turkey.

Per frugalista guide lines, it’s always better to eat what we spend our hard earned grocery dollars on rather than piling up unused produced in the compost bin. I decided that although we don’t dig celery I was going to add some to the smoothie anyway. Previously, many things my kids hated or would never eat went into the blender and were undetected.

Celery was detected and shot down. Lesson learned.

Sometimes you may add something and it sneaks by without being detected by the picky police. Sometimes, you may add something and it not only gets detected, it gets washed down the drain or dumped into the rose bushes.

More isn’t always more. Lesson learned.

These mistakes were all driven by harmless, rational thought.  These 7 ginormous mistakes I made at our house don’t stop me from blending or trying new things. You never know what your next big hit will be.

Take for instance my “pudding” fail last week that turned into a major win.

Vanilla chia pudding (1 ½ cups milk, 1/3 cup chia seeds, vanilla and maple syrup to sweeten – stir together and let sit for 3-5 hours in the fridge). It is very similar to tapioca pudding but no one really loved it because it looked like frog spawn and chia has a little crunch to it. Most pudding doesn’t crunch, just sayin’.  Rather than pouring it down the drain, I dumped it into the smoothie and got rave reviews.

Tiny tip when using chia seeds in smoothies: add them within minutes of drinking otherwise you won’t drink your smoothie you will spoon it into your mouth. Spoonable smoothies filled with fruits and veggies are not well received at our house.

I’m sure you have plenty of your own legendary moments with your blender too. Share below in the comments! I would love to hear them.

Happy Blending!


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