It's not easy, drinkin' greens.
June 3, 2012 1:40 PM   Subscribe

Seeking "green powder" type supplement to add into my usual protein shakes. Can't be too nasty tasting, like the "green powder plus" I just gave away.
posted by Kalatraz to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Adding and blending fresh dark green vegetables (spinach, or anything in the broccoli family like kale) is going to be far healthier and tastier than a "green powder."

Alternatively, if you like the convenience of powder, but don't mind caffeine, you could try something like matcha powder (the cheap food/cooking grade stuff should been fine) for something a little different.
posted by yeolcoatl at 1:57 PM on June 3, 2012

What else is in your shakes? I'm a bit partial to putting actual leafy greens into my smoothies. ie

fresh pineapple + water + banana + spinach or chard
green pepper + broccoli + banana + dollop of plain yogurt + water + fresh blueberries

i love match tea on its own but i've yet to come up with a smoothie that i particularly like with it. YMMV but the best i've found is crushed ice, bit of milk, and tea, but it's not my favorite.
posted by lyra4 at 2:00 PM on June 3, 2012

I use super food by biotest. Tastes great in shakes. It is pricey but it is what it claims to be.
posted by zephyr_words at 2:04 PM on June 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

A lot of my friends swear by Spirulina
posted by sarastro at 2:04 PM on June 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

I use the berry flavor of Amazing Grass, and I've never had a problem with the taste. But then, I do blend a lot of stuff into my smoothies including a shit-ton of baby kale, frozen blueberries, a banana, Truvia sweetener, kefir, Coromega fish oil, coconut oil and a squirt of lime juice (supposed to cut the taste of the greens, but I just like the tanginess.)
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 2:16 PM on June 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Well, all greens taste kind of nasty, but I think the least nasty tasting ones are the favors by Amazing Grass. They have berry and chocolate.
posted by smalls at 2:17 PM on June 3, 2012

Oh, and one thing I've learned: put half a banana in there (or a whole one), and it will mask the taste of greens quite well. I do this for when i add spinach and kale to my shakes as well.
posted by smalls at 2:19 PM on June 3, 2012

-Get 100% cold-milled hemp powder. It's pure ground hemp seeds (no, eating it doesn't get you high). Chock-full-o-good-stuff for a body. There are cultures up in the Himalayas that subsist largely on hemp-seed because nothing else so nutritious grows where they are. Has naturally a slightly hempy, vegetal flavor, quite tasty in its own right.

-If you can afford it, get fo-real Vitamix. Yes, it's kinda $pendy (buying one at your summer county fair is usually a decent way to walk home with one), but if you really wanna be blending down broccoli and whole greens into your smoothies, you want something as powerful as a Vitamix. Because otherwise you will have chunks of vegetable matter in your so-called smoothie. The horsepower difference between your above-average store blender and a Vitamix is MASSIVE.

Also because as the broccoli and thick greens continue to burn out the motors on the lower-grade blenders that cost less, eventually you'll go through enough of them that you may as well have ponied up for the Vitamix in the first place and have been having chunk-free smoothies all along.

-Whatever you put in, a teaspoon of vanilla and dollop of cocoa makes a delicious smoothies. Nut butters also mix well. Try raw cacao if you can get it.

On a different angle, frozen berries in the mix will make a delicious smoothie, and then you don't need to add ice. Frozen bananas are great.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 2:25 PM on June 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

I used to demo greens drinks at natural foods store. Most of them taste best mixed with some sort of fruit juice. That said, they usually still taste nasty to me.

Of the dozens I have tried Amazing Grass had the best flavor, especially their greens/protein Vanilla Chai blend.
posted by cat_link at 2:40 PM on June 3, 2012

Wow, great suggestions so far. Typically I do unflavored whey protein, almond milk, stevia, and sometimes frozen fruit if I have it. Unsweetened cocoa or vanilla extract or almond extract. Sometimes a few nuts. My blender can't really handle "real greens" and I'm not so good at remembering to buy and use them up before they go bad.
posted by Kalatraz at 3:07 PM on June 3, 2012

I buy greens and dehydrate them, then make them into a powder using a coffee grinder (one that has never seen coffee in it's life). It's cheaper than commercial powders, and doesn't take very long. Two gallon bags, stuffed to capacity with kale (~3 bunches), took about 5 hours to dry in my dehydrator (you can use the oven for faster results, but watch it closely), and made about a cup full of powder that will last a very long time in my cupboard. You can use any type of green, or a mixture.
posted by LyndsayMW at 3:29 PM on June 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

Unfortunately, the powdering process removes most of the insoluble fiber from the greens so as to make the final product more, well, soluble. Insoluble fiber is really what makes greens -- and other fresh veggies -- so important to our diets. We just don't digest right without roughage.

If fresh greens are tough on your blender, you're better off taking the money you would be spending on the powder and instead buying a better blender and using grass from your yard -- after all, that's what will comprise the bulk of your average green powder.

Or keep your blender, and just tear up the leaves with your fingers as you put them in.

Also, you can ditch the whey protein. If you eat a relatively balanced diet, you get all the protein your body needs, no matter how much you're exercising. There is no benefit to protein-loading.
posted by patnasty at 3:37 PM on June 3, 2012

I really like the flavour of Vega One in natural. It isn't "just greens," there's some vegetable proteins and omega 3's and other good stuff in it, but I find it's a good way to get a LOT of nutrition in at once. It tastes really good blended with almond milk and a sliced up frozen banana. (which, if you're making smoothing, totally slice and freeze a couple very ripe bananas to add in, they improve the texture of pretty much any shake x1000).

I've seen it at health food stores in little sample sized bags, so you could try it without being out a ton of money if you don't like it.
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 3:39 PM on June 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm seconding spirulina and also recommending chlorella although some people have problems with the latter.

If you just happen to know anyone in Japan (or use rakuten for shopping) aoi jiru or "green juice" is OK -- it's usually spinach, cabbage, and something else green. No added sugar, preservatives, etc. The taste isn't great on its own, but it disappears in green smoothies and fruit smoothies.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 12:00 AM on June 4, 2012

I like the berry-flavored greens powder from Trader Joe's. It goes well with vanilla whey powder and fruit.
posted by Maarika at 10:41 AM on June 4, 2012

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