I’ve been drinking green smoothies since mid-2008, so I’ve gotten really good at flavor combining. I’ve tried hundreds of fruits and greens combinations and I can rattle off a tasty smoothie recipe for almost any fruit, veggie or green you can think of.
However, my experience and expertise has come with a price. I have had my fair share of disgusting, vomit-flavored, gelatinous sludge-like smoothie failures. Sometimes, fruits and greens that taste great on their own don’t play nice inside your blender pitcher.
While flavor is in the “taste buds of the drinker”, so to speak, I want to share with you some epic smoothie failures that I’ve had in the past. I’m not saying you can’t try them yourself, but you can’t say I didn’t warn you. While some of them have been salvageable, others were just plain undrinkable.
Smoothie Fail #1: The Vomitous Detox Smoothie (with dandelion and blueberries)
This might not sound like an undrinkable combination, but when you mix these two ingredients in your blender, you get a smoothie that tastes exactly like vomit! You really can’t save this smoothie. It is that gross. You either have to plug your nose and chug it, swallowing quickly before the gag reflex takes over, or toss it down the drain.
Smoothie Fail #2: The Funky Asparagus Disaster Smoothie
I think I’ve given this thin, little green veggie enough tries to start banning it from my smoothies. You wouldn’t think it would be that bad. I love asparagus and I was determined to create a delicious asparagus smoothie. However, I’ve tried blending it with everything from pineapple to oranges and I still didn’t like it. I started with about five spears and went down to three. I was finally able to “hide” one asparagus spear in a large smoothie, but at that point, the asparagus is nutritionally pointless. I say skip this one.
Smoothie Fail #3: The Blackberry-Kale Gelatinous Sludge Smoothie
These are one my list for two reasons. First, they don’t taste all that great together since they are both a bit bitter. You can, however, easily fix this smoothie by adding a banana and an orange or two. The main reason they are on my list is because they congeal into a nasty, gelatinous, jiggly sludge when it sits. This is not a smoothie to make now and drink later. If you make a kale or blackberry smoothie, drink it right away unless you like to eat gelatinous kale pudding with a spoon.
Smoothie Fail #4: The Broccoli Bleck Smoothie
At the risk of sounding like a contradiction (yes, I love broccoli and banana blended up together in a smoothie), I will say that broccoli can turn a good smoothie bad. Broccoli doesn’t play nice with every other fruit, like most greens. You need to know just how to use it.
When Davy and I first made a broccoli smoothie, it was one of the worst drinks we’ve ever had. Davy put the entire head of broccoli (why not, more broccoli means more nutrition – and apparently, grossness!) in a smoothie with some pineapple. It was extremely thick, undrinkably bitter and just plan G-R-O-S-S!
I have since given broccoli another chance, but I keep broccoli smoothies very simple. I add one banana per 1/2 cup of broccoli florets. Usually, I add an orange because citrus makes even the bitterest of greens sweet in a smoothie.
Smoothie Fail #5: The Sweet Guacamole Smoothie
You can definitely add avocado to your smoothie, just make sure you add enough water to blend it – and don’t add too much. I never use more then 1/4 of an avocado in a smoothie recipe. The first time I made a smoothie with avocado, I put the entire avocado in with pineapple, banana, peach and lots of spinach. What I ended up with was some very green, pineapple-flavored guacamole.
I’ve made plenty of other bizarre-tasting, accidental concoctions. Vomit flavored, metallic flavored – you name it, if fruit and greens can get funky together, I’ve tasted it.
Tracy Russell is the creator of the Green Smoothie Weight Loss Program, the 30-Day Whole Foods Challenge and founder of Incredible Smoothies. She is passionate about helping people improve their health with green smoothies and a whole foods lifestyle.