Okay, this is a good one. I’m bummed that I couldn’t find fresh passion fruit or 100% passion fruit juice in my area, nevertheless, this smoothie was still a great one that I’ll be making again. It’s a copycat recipe of the famous restaurant chain Panera Bread’s Green Passion Smoothie, which is already pretty low in calories at an impressive 250 calories per 16 fluid ounces.
My goal with this one wasn’t so much to make this smoothie healthier. I was just in the mood for something new and exotic tasting. And even though I didn’t have fresh passion fruit, the concentrated stuff was just going to have to do the trick. For those of you that can get your hands on the real deal, I’m jealous. And if you happen to use the real deal when you make yours, let me know if it turns out AMAZING, okay?
Ingredients Needed for Green Passion Smoothie (Copycat)
If you know me, then you know I like to get my veggies whenever I can. And this mindset is no different when making my smoothies. In fact, my veggie of choice when it comes of smoothies is 100%, hands down, green and leafy, nutrient-dense, SPINACH.
Spinach is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It’s got vitamins A, C, K1, iron, folic acid, and calcium. And a slew of beneficial antioxidants including lutein, zeaxanthin, and quercetin.
Research also shows that spinach is a source of inorganic nitrate, which may help lower your chances of developing heart disease. Among other benefits of course, such as:
- helping with wound recovery
- increasing the amount of iron you absorb
- fighting free radicals
- supporting eye, hair, skin, and nail health
- cutting risk of iron deficiency anemia
- having anti-inflammatory properties
The mango in this recipe helps add to the tropical flavors. And the nutrient profile is also quite impressive.
By using fresh or frozen mango (you can use either), you’ll be adding potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. A great addition to any healthy meal or snack. It is a nutrient-dense food that provides an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, while providing minimal to no sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol, or added sugars.
For a quick read-up on the health benefits of mangos from myself and other dietitians, check out this article.
Just like other fruits and veggies, peaches also provide many health benefits.
They have vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber among other nutrients. These help in supporting heart health, eye health, and fighting against inflammation.
And at the time I’m posting this article, its almost peach season! Which is at its peak during the summer months, so you can use fresh peaches in place of frozen ones for this recipe if you like. Although I prefer at least one of the fruits (mango and peach) to be frozen in order to give it that wonderful frozen drink texture.
White Grape and Passion Fruit Juice
I’ll say it again. I’m bummed I don’t have actual passion fruit here, but I substituted Welch’s Passion Fruit flavored fruit juice drink. This is a blend of grape juice, apple juice, and passion fruit juice- all from concentrate. All together its got only 17% juice according to the container.
But you know what? The kids loved it and and I felt pretty darn good about them getting some fruits and veggies in. Still a win in my book!
Besides, it’s still an “excellent source of vitamin C”.
I truly believe that all foods can fit into a balanced diet. No need to cut out anything you love. Substitutions sometimes need to be made and you shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for doing so.
Can I Use Different Types of Fruit?
Yes. You absolutely can. In fact, that’s how great smoothie recipes are made- from experimenting! Try berries, other stone fruits. What you like and are in the mood for really. Just make sure to add appropriate measurements so the smoothie doesn’t turn out too thin or too thick. Adjust as you go.
Can I Use Kale Instead of Spinach?
For sure! Even though I prefer spinach, you can definitely use kale, which is another wonderfully nutrient-dense, green leafy veggie. I’d use the same measurements for the kale as the recipe calls for with spinach.
Can I Use Water in Place of Juice?
You can ultimately use any type of liquid to blend your smoothies with- including water. By substituting water, just keep in mind that you will not be getting any added flavor that a juice would have provided. But this may be a small price to pay for someone who is watching their weight and opting for a calorie-free, sugar-free liquid such as water.
By using water, you can also expect the flavors of your fruits and veggies to be more prominent, as that’s where all the flavor is going to be coming from.
More Smoothie and Heart-Loving Recipes
Click here for a fabulous article on smoothies that includes two types of smoothies and a free “Build Your Own Smoothie Guide”, written by fellow RD, Angela Lago from The Mental Wellness Dietitian website.
And if you love making smoothies as much as my family, here’s another copycat recipe for Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s Bahama Mama. I call it my (Heart Healthy) Tropical Smoothie Bahama Mama Recipe.
Or for other heart-healthy recipes, visit the recipe section here.
Green Passion Smoothie (COPYCAT)
- 1 blender
- 1 ½ cups baby spinach
- 1 cup mango chunks frozen
- 1 cup peach slices frozen
- 2 cups Welch's Passion Fruit Juice blend
- Ice cubes or water as needed to thin
- Add all ingredients to blender, with exception of ice cubes and extra water.
- Blend for about 2-3 minutes or until all ingredients are blended well.
- If your smoothie is too thick, add some extra water and blend an additional 30 seconds. If you'd like it more cold and icy, add a few ice cubes and blend for and additional 30 seconds. Enjoy!
Share with me: What did you think of this Green Passion Smoothie recipe? Did you try this with any substitutions? Do you have a favorite, healthy, smoothie recipe you make often?
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Kiran Campbell is a registered dietitian and entrepreneur with 13 years of experience. She has a degree in psychology as well as dietetics. She is also a proud member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ and its Cardiovascular Health and Well-being Dietetics Practice Group among others. Kiran proudly presents and promotes the most up-to-date, science-based nutrition information on all things heart-related. She aims to serve not only individuals with heart disease, but also those wanting to protect against it. Learn more about Kiran by visiting her About Page.