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Swamp Thing Smoothie*

* Or, Oddly Alluring Blend of Mudlike Green Vegetables to Clear Your Sinuses


[Don’t you expect a giant, hairy, muddy hand to suddenly lurch from under the surface of that liquid, and grab you?]

I’ve enjoyed green smoothies for several years now, and they’ve always been a staple when I need a quick and nutrient-rich breakfast.  Until recently, however, I’ve always added blueberries to a green smoothie as a way to “mask” the color and create a more palatable palette.  Well, not this time!

Remember in grade school when you played with water colors and, in an attempt to discover a new shade of say, red, you combined orange and yellow AND blue?  And what you were left with was a cloudy, miry composite that resembled the distinctive grayish-brown of, maybe, a mud puddle, or perhaps a wet greyhound, or sort of like a cup of stale coffee, or–most likely–a stretch of swampland?  

Today’s smoothie isn’t quite that bad. . . only mildly resembling fungus in color.  To me, the shade of this smoothie evokes moss and green olives and slightly overcooked asparagus. . . green, yes, but tempered with a hint of gray. 

Still, desperate times required desperate measures.  Stricken with a nasty bug over the past few days (which, from what I’ve been reading, is making the rounds through the foodie blog world), I decided I needed to pull out the big guns–or, in this case, the big cucumbers–and create a smoothie that would soothe, nourish, and fight viruses and bacteria, all in one green, velvety solution.  A Superhero Smoothie!

Well, maybe more like a monster smoothie. Still, who knows why certain monsters are appealing–enticing, even? I mean, Fay Wray’s Ann Darrow fell in love with King Kong, right?  Beauty was bowled over by The Beast.  And why would the Princess kiss a frog in the first place? Like this smoothie, they all had a certain je ne sais quoi that drew people to them.  Or maybe it’s just my febrile imagination talking.  Either way,  the smoothie seemed to do the trick: it got me through the morning feeling a little less congested and a little more energetic.  And, for some reason, the more I drank, the more I liked it.


[Attack of the swamp thing!  All that’s left are the smoothie remains. . . “]

One caveat: if you’re a fan of fruity or slightly sweet breakfast smoothies, this one is definitely not for you.  It’s quite tart, with a texture more like a vegetable cocktail than a milkshake. Think of it as a refreshing veggie juice and you’re more likely in line with this beverage. 

I based the recipe on similar ones posted here, but this is my own concoction.  Feel free to play with proportions and ingredients to your own taste.

Swamp Thing Smoothie


Look! It can actually seem vaguely attractive in this light! This smoothie is great when you’re feeling fatigued or when your body needs an immune boost.  The vegetables are alkalizing, the herbs detoxify, the juice adds Vitamin C and the garlic fights illness-causing organisms like viruses and bacteria. 

3-4 large leaves lettuce (your choice; I used green leafy)

1 stalk celery, trimmed, cleaned and chopped

1 small clove garlic (or 1/2 a large clove), optional

1/4 cup (60 ml) cilantro or parsley, or a combination

2 leaves fresh basil

6″ (15 cm) piece cucumber (leave skin on if organic)

juice of 1/2 lime

1/3 cup (80 ml) unsweetened cranberry juice

1/2 avocado, peeled and cut in chunks

about 1/2 cup (120 ml) water

1 tsp (5 ml) agave, if desired, or 2 drops stevia

Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until very smooth.  Pour into a glass and enjoy immediately.  Makes 1 large or 2 small servings.

Last Year at this Time: Holiday Bundt Apple Cake

© 2009 Diet, Dessert and Dogs


33 comments to Swamp Thing Smoothie*

  • Eve

    That smoothie sounds like it would taste so fresh! Definitely good for a cold! Funny that you should mention grade school paint mixing – that’s what I always think about when I make my green smoothies! I recently started adding more kale to my simple berry-banana-kale blend, and my morning drink tends to turn out more black than green. Oooghy indeed! 🙂 -Eve


  • My go-to sick drink is Trader Joes’ lemon ginger echinacea blend. It has similarly rock star qualities on the sinuses. A lot more sugar than yours, though!


  • Oh Ricki, I hope you’re feeling better. The ingredients here sound good, maybe for soup, and the color is nice, too, maybe for clothes! I’m embarrassed to admit that as health-conscious as I am, I’ve never had a green (or brown!) smoothie. Just can’t. I’m probably the only commenter who will say this, so I’m glad I’m first! But I want to. I want to.


  • I have yet to have a green smoothie, mainly because I’m afraid my blender isn’t up to the task (and, honestly, I’m a bit lazy when it comes to cleaning it), but I’m sure I’d love it. Yours sounds great! I hope it did the trick with the nasty bug, and you’re feeling better.


  • Jes

    It certainly looks like it **has** to be good for you! I haven’t been able to jump on the green smothie bandwagon yet…but maybe thinking of it like drinking a swamp would help out. If only there were little alligators floating around in it 🙂


  • Courtney

    Oh no–so sorry to hear you are not feeling well 🙁 I *love* my green smoothies…this one sounds great with the fresh herbs! Yum. When I make them for people, I just tell them that I know it looks like swamp juice, but it actually tastes really good! It works…sometimes 🙂

    I hope you feel better soon!


  • “Don’t you expect a giant, hairy, muddy hand to suddenly lurch from under the surface of that liquid, and grab you?”

    That’d be perfect for Halloween! 😀


  • Green smoothies are yummy. 🙂


  • Despite the color, I am sure your smoothie was good! I am not a smoothie fan, but my boyfriend makes them a lot. He’s had some really gross looking ones. (Then he wonders why I won’t drink them, haha)


  • you are a brave brave lady putting garlic and celery and avacado in a smoothie! i’m not quite at that level yet!
    glad it did the trick though! feel better!
    (and thank you for the FF @reply!! i need to jump on that bandwagon asap!) have a nice weekend!


  • I am sooo guilty of the blueberry mask! Though I have ventured the truly green smoothies as of late, yours seems just a bit more adventurous than I am ready for!


  • I prefer sweet smoothies to vegie juice but don’t mind some vegies to temper the sweetness so maybe I could play with some of these ingredients

    And I am worried to hear that people are catching tummy bugs from reading food blogs 🙂


  • I LOVE a good swamp thing smoothie! I can’t believe how beautiful your photographs are, I can never make my smoothies or juices look even half as appealing. I like the addition of cranberry juice, I will definitely try that.


  • Oh, I remember those days all too well when I tried to get a great paint color and totally botched it.

    Love your pics!

    I’m off to make my green smoothie now. 🙂



  • Funny, I’ve been drinking a lot of green smoothies in the past few weeks. Mine are something like kale, apple, and ginger, or dandelion greens and tomatoes. You are very adventurous! Now if only I had a VitaMix…


  • avocado, cranberry, cucumber – i would have never thought of such a gloriously tasty recipe, Ricki. you’re too awesome! i cannot wait to give your swamp thing smoothie a try! i loooove me some green smoothie goodness. mmmmmmmmmmmmm!


  • Eve,
    The mix of kale, banana and berries sounds great to me, whatever the color!

    Sounds like an interesting mix of flavors–though right now, I wouldn’t be able to try it w/ any sugar.

    I think a soup would be a great idea–it’s sort of like a blended gazpacho, I guess. Thanks for the well-wishes; I do feel (a bit) better. And just use my blueberry masking technique, and you’ll never even know the greens are in there!

    Thanks so much! I used to make green smoothies long before I bought the VitaMix, so I think you’d probably be safe. 😉

    You mean that drinking from a swamp sounds more appetizing than drinking blended veggies?? 😉

    Thanks so much! I do feel better. I like your technique of serving smoothies. . . will try that next time w/ the HH!

    You are SO right! I should have saved this post for then!

    I must concur!

    It was good, though I must admit I’d have preferred it with a bit of banana as well.

    Thanks so much! Brave or foolhardy. . . not sure which!

    It might have been a bit more adventurous than I myself was ready for!

    I prefer the sweet ones, too–but still waiting to have those again. And who knew germs could jump through computers? 😉

    Voracious Vegan,
    You are too kind, seriously. But thank you! Let me know what you think of the cran juice addition. 🙂

    Kristen’s Raw,
    Weren’t the good ole days so much fun? But smoothies are good, too. 🙂

    I love the dandelion/tomato version–will give that one a try!

    Thanks! Glad you like the swamp thing idea. 🙂


  • Haha, love the name of your smoothie!!!

    And sorry you’re sick! I hope you feel better soon! This is one time I’m glad I live all the way across the ocean! I’m hoping it will provide me some protection from this blogger bug!


  • I’ve actually become a fan of green smoothies too, although mine do tend to err more on the sweet side. It’s such a painless way to get in loads of leafy greens!


  • “only mildly resembling fungus in color.”
    you slay me, Ricki.


  • Pam

    Oh, I love green smoothies…enjoy!


  • Mmm….I love green smoothies! And I love that you call it a swamp thing smoothie. One of my favorite cocktails, that I usually partake of during a layover in Houston IAH airport (terminal E, @ Papadeaux’s) – The Swamp Thing! It’s a layered frozen concoction of various beverages – margarita, hurricane, daiquiri, ect. – 7 in total. It’s so good!


  • Halloween has come early!

    I have a green swamp monster smoothie every morning, and in a couple of days, I’m about to do Meghan Telpner’s smoothie cleanse, so I appreciate the recipe to add to my repertoire!

    Oh goodness, imagine if you added some grated ginger to this and it got “hairy” with the fibres?? Now THAT would be scary!


  • Vegetation,
    I’m sure you’re safe over there. . . but it really is an awful bug!

    My thoughts exactly!

    Glad to be of service. 😉

    Thanks! Me, too. 🙂

    I think your cocktail sounds a lot better than this smoothie. . . !

    Scary or not, it’s a great idea! I think I’ll do the smoothie cleanse this time, too. 🙂


  • VeggieGirl is right, a good Halloween “cocktail!” I like the straw placemat and the green & white napkin with it too, Ricki.


  • May not be the prettiest, but that recipe actually sounds quite good to me! I’ve juiced some very similar ingredients many times.

    LOVED exploring your blog, Ricki!


  • Well, it may not be the prettiest smoothie, but I think it sounds fantastic. My sinuses can always use a good cleaning!


  • OK – best recipe title EVER! And it’s a superhero smoothie, you should make him a little cape! 🙂

    I’ve missed your blog during my long blogging break!


  • This sounds awesome! I love smoothies that are packed full of good stuff. I’ve made smoothies with spinach and fruit but never tried a straight up vegetable smoothie. I should branch out one day and try it. The wet greyhound description made me laugh.


  • It was delicious! Thanks for the great recipe 🙂 In fact, that’s what I blogged about! Just wish I had had the fresh herbs…


  • Mudlike green vegetables, how can I say no? 😉


  • The pictures are wonderfully retro. I imagine seeing these in a cookbook from three or 4 decades ago!


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