Parsley & Pineapple Green Smoothie

by Gena on May 8, 2012


Almost there! Biochem in the morning, and Orgo lab exam on Thursday eve, and then this semester is finally done; good riddance to it. As I study glycolysis and fatty acid oxidation and all of that, I’m simultaneously filling up with the very energy sources I’m reading about: fats, carbs, and proteins, and the sugars and fatty acids and amino acid products they provide. I’ve said before that I try to be sure my meals (be they a simple lunch salad or something more complex) have all three of these macronutrient food groups; if one meal is less well rounded than usual (for example, when I’m in the mood for a primarily nut based raw dish that’s a bit low on the complex carbs), I’ll be mindful to fill up on whatever was missing in another meal.

In other words, you don’t have to obey the protein/carb/fat formula at the expense of your cravings and tastes within each meal, but overall balance is a good goal. And when a meal can serve up all three components at once, so much the better. Most of my smoothies are infused with a little vegan protein (usually a protein powder and/or hemp seeds) and a source of fat (avocado, nut butters, and homemade nut/seed milks are the norm). These things, along with fruit sugar, help to keep me full and energized, and this parsley pineapple smoothie is no exception. What is exceptional is the addition of an herb that we usually associate with savory food; what gives?

Nothing, really. Putting herbs like cilantro and parsley into a blended drink is certainly no weirder than using broccoli—and last week, we established that broccoli can be very delightful in a smoothie!! I’ve also been known to add celery to my smoothies, and leafy greens—spinach and kale and romaine—are a constant.

It took me a relatively long time to get used to green smoothies; my logic was always “I eat greens by the metric ton each day; why should I need to blend them up?” The answer is that, so far as I know, you really can’t get too many greens. So long as you digest them well, more is probably better. I also like the funky color. And if you have a hard time munching on salads all the time, green smoothies are an efficient and easy way to get more greens into your diet without any “ick” factor.

So long as you use only a small handful of parsley in this recipe—I literally used a small fistful—you shouldn’t be able to taste it. Pineapple and banana cover the taste up well, and avocado adds some serious creaminess. If you do like the parsley taste (which I do), go ahead and add some more to the recipe. Parsley is a very good source of folate and Vitamin C, and it’s also rich in flavonoids, which are thought to aid in immunity and disease prevention. Parsley is also a very mild diuretic, so it’s a great thing to juice or blend or chop into salads when you’re “in your moon,” as the yogis say. Or if you’re a little bloated for any other reason.

If you don’t have parsley, try cilantro in this recipe. It’s also fantastic, and goes well with the tropical theme!


Parsley & Pineapple Green Smoothie (vegan, raw, gluten free, soy free)

Serves 1

1 cup pineapple
1/2 small banana
1/4 avocado
2 tbsp hemp protein
1 cup hemp/almond/soy/cashew/rice/coconut milk (+ extra if needed)
1 small fistful parsley
1 small fistful spinach (if the combination of two kinds of leafy green is too much for you, leave this out!)

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender till smooth. Enjoy!


With that, it’s back to the books I go. Hope this smoothie gets you excited for warm summer days and tropical flavors ahead!


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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

lauren May 8, 2012 at 3:40 pm

interesting combination! I will have to try this.


Ela May 8, 2012 at 4:39 pm


I also happen to think both cilantro and parsley are fantastic paired with pineapple–for a different context, think pineapple salsa. I would reiterate your point that a little parsley goes a very long way–it is so incredibly mineral rich. I find that if I put too much parsley in (which is easier to do in a smoothie context) I get a little heartburn, but with a small amount, I can feel the blood singing green through my arteries!


Beth May 8, 2012 at 4:54 pm

This sounds fantastic, and reminds me of my favorite juice combination when living in Brazil — pineapple and mint — but more substantial than “suco de abacaxi com hortela.” This just might be tomorrow’s breakfast!


Nada (One Arab Vegan) May 8, 2012 at 5:11 pm

I love pineapple and parsley in a green juice so this is right up my street! I was wondering what your take on fortified soy milk is? Taste wise I prefer almond milk but I’m trying to be more mindful of eating more fortified foods as of late and the only store bought almond milk in the UK unfortunately contains copious amounts of sugar.


Gena May 8, 2012 at 7:19 pm


I’m fine with it, though my taste preference is for almond or hemp. I used to think it made me bloated, but I’ve been drinking it plenty lately (campus coffee beverages), with no bloat at all, so that was either temporary or in my head. And I do love the Eden organic, unsweetened one. Just opt for organic, non-GMO if possible. The nice benefit is that it’s also a bit higher protein than almond!



Marissa May 8, 2012 at 5:14 pm

This recipe looks great Gena, although I do have one question. You put protein powder in many of your smoothie recipes (as you mention in this post); is it simply to balance that singular meal out, or are you finding that you aren’t getting enough protein in your day without it? I ask because I usually don’t worry about protein, but I’m also not super-concerned about putting it in every meal. Just curious about what your thoughts are.

Good luck with all of your tests; I know you’ve been working hard, and that will show, especially in the lab test!


Gena May 8, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Thanks, Marisa!

It’s to balance out the meal. I’m not obsessed with protein, either, and if I ran out of hemp protein I’d hardly freak out. But greens, fruit, and almond milk is not a generous amount of protein for a whole meal, so I like to add the hemp seeds or protein powder for a boost. I tend to think that 40-60 grams per day is a good number for most women (there are exceptions, and it’s not a rock solid rule), so I like to get at least 10-15 grams per meal. Hope that helps!



Averie @ Averie Cooks May 8, 2012 at 6:36 pm

From broccoli last week to parsley this week, you’re really working in the creative greenery into the smoothies!


Juliette May 8, 2012 at 7:04 pm


I love reading up on ur quirky yet delicious combos :) Quick question – will omitting fats out of green smoothie decrease its “effectiveness”? I work out in the morning and usually have my smoothies right after and I’ve been told fats are best avoided after working out as they slow down the process of protein n carbs absorption which is much needed to repair the muscles. Would love to hear your thoughts :)



Pure2raw Twins May 8, 2012 at 9:24 pm

we adore parsley!! we love it! we love funky colors too so making unique colored smoothies is always fun for us :) haha


Rachel May 8, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Love how you bring in the chemistry! I actually really appreciate this post today, having just finished a second day of the live below the line challenge…essentially eating on less than $1.50/day. It’s making me realize how important greens are to one’s happiness and well-being (not to mention digestive health)! This may have to be my celebratory drink once the week is over. Thanks for another fun recipe and good insight. Good luck on finishing exams!

Reply May 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Sounds amazing! I make my parsley smoothie with melon. It’s sweet like candy, you can’t even tell there’s parsley in it (and I put lots of parsley).


Lisa May 8, 2012 at 11:11 pm

This looks great!
Some greens that I would love to eat more of like brocoli , green cabbage leaves , brussel sprouts ect make me extremely ill and bloated and cause bad digestive issues. I know these foods are good for you and you can never have enough but if People react to these vegies does that mean they are doing more harm to your body than good?


Ali May 9, 2012 at 1:10 am

wishing you all the luck in the world for your final final! Also, I think parsley AND cilantro could go in this!


wendy@healthygirlskitchen May 9, 2012 at 7:37 am

While I love cilantro, I’m not so sure I would love it in a smoothie! Celery and parsley, on the other hand, are two favorites of mine in smoothies. I try to make my smoothies as green as possible. Bok choy is another great addition.


Julie May 9, 2012 at 8:06 am

There is a juice at the Dekalb Farmers Market (most AMAZING farmers market I have ever been to) that has Pineapple, Romaine, and Parsley and it is literally the best tasting thing I have ever put in my mouth. They make it fresh daily, and I have TRIED to make it myself but I strike out every time as it never tastes as good as theirs. Your smoothie reminds me of that juice, so I have to try it.

As for cilantro, I know how healthy it is and I do A LOT of stuff I hate for health reasons, like drinking 4 cups of green tea daily (hate hot liquids and these are super-bitter), flax seeds/oil (hate the flavor so bad), etc, but Cilantro is where I draw the line. I will literally spit food out like a 2 year old at a nice restaurant if I detect cilantro. I have to be vigilant at Thai restaurants, as they kill their food with it sometimes. I am not a fan of mexi food, so I dodge the vast majority of it.


Holly August 20, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Do you use boiling water in your green teas? If so, don’t. I used to hate green tea until I went tea tasting in a Japanese tea shop in San Francisco and learned that you never use boiling hot water on greens…makes them bitter, go figure, ’cause that’s why I never liked it…bitter. Anyway, let the water cool just enough that you can touch it but it’s still hot, and you’ll proiably suddenly enjoy your green tea. Well, if you buy high quality loose leaf organic green teas. I like dragonwell. I stopped drinking green tea though when I realized going a day or two without it gave me headaches just like quitting coffee does. Still caffeine in green teas….


Kathryn May 9, 2012 at 10:27 am

Ha ha – I was just thinking the other day about using the term “moon”. I think it is funny.

I find the uglier the smoothie color the better it seems to taste!


Hannah May 9, 2012 at 10:39 am

This sounds really refreshing, actually! One thing that bothers me about green smoothies is that sometimes they taste too banana-y – kind of heavy, in a way. This sounds crisp and summery!

Ugh – totally procrastinating on studying my French by commenting, ahahaha. I can’t wait to be done with studying, too! We are almost there :D


Amy @Health Hungry May 9, 2012 at 10:55 am

Keep those green smoothie recipes coming! I would imagine that this one tasted incredibly fresh…


bitt May 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm

I love pineapple with cilantro, and I think parsley would be great too. And basil, well that’s amazing too. It just works.

Sorry behind on posts, busy and having trouble getting to computer much. Sorry you are feeling down but glad yoga helped.


Tara (Such Different Skies) May 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Gena- good luck with your exams! It breaks my little heart to see your blogs posts and tweets about your school stresses… im sure youll do just fine ;)


Hannah May 10, 2012 at 5:16 am

Or for winter nights and frozen toes and not wanting to get out of bed in the morning but doing it on the basis that getting out of bed means into the kitchen for herbilicious green smoothies.

Oh yes, I’m a queen of the segue I am.
It is 7:43pm here, which means it is 4:43am where you are, which means…. hopefully in 12 hours you’ll be done and blissfully sinking into a couch with a book and a cuppa to relax, or out with friends celebrating. Hugs and luck and sunshine for you, my dear. xo


Vegan Raw Food May 15, 2012 at 11:18 pm

What a great combination. Love your photos!! Wish I could lick the screen especially since I’m on day 22 of my 30-40 day cleanse. Always love your blog!!


Anna February 28, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Had this smoothie this morning, but didn’t have hemp protein, so subbed chia instead. The resulting smoothie was thicker, but no less tasty.


Evelyne May 18, 2013 at 7:03 pm

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AR Fans January 27, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Delicious, pleasurable drink. We make it often! Gena, I don’t know how you come up with all your recipe ideas… but we find them very good and satisfying!!! FYI: my husband will eat/drink almost anything healthy as long as it has a good taste and is filling… your recipes make that happen! Your fans! :)


terry theobald April 7, 2014 at 7:22 pm

great recipe.
all leafy greens and others are made of cellulose which must be ripped to shreds
in order to release their nutrients. dr. joel furman stated that eating greens only allows 20%-30% assimilation. blending boosts nutrient availability into the 90%


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