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Ginger Cilantro Green Shake

ginger cilantro green shake gluten free

The idea for this green smoothie comes from the amazing Sarma of oneluckyduck.com.  I recently purchased her book Living Raw Food and am loving it.  While some of the recipes can be complex, she has many that can be made in minutes. 

This Ginger Cilantro Shake is a hybrid of her Cilantro-Pineapple Shake and her Bangkok Baby.  Here is my version, a nice healthy green drink for Saint Patrick’s day.

Ginger Cilantro Shake


  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 cucumber (no need to peel), cut into pieces
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ½ finger length ginger (no need to peel)
  • 5 little pieces pineapple
  1. In a vitamix, combine cilantro, cucumber, lime juice (and a little water if needed to help blend)
  2. Blend in ginger and pineapple until smooth
  3. Pour into a big glass
  4. Sip slowly like wine, to help with digestion

I recently read a great article in Fast Company about the Ten Most Inspiring People in Sustainable Food.  Of course, the usual suspects such as the fabulous Michael Pollan were in it; however, they also mentioned some very unusual and fascinating people and ideas in this article including a proposed plan for vertical farming in cities created by a professor at Columbia University named Dickson Despommier

Here’s a big shout out to Professor Despommier –wish you had been at Columbia when I was a student there many moons ago!

After looking further into vertical farms I found another inspiring bit –a site called windowfarms.org in New York City.  This is an amazing idea!

Happy green day to all of you for Saint Patrick’s!

posted on March 16, 2010, 29 comments

  1. Wow, this IS a green smoothie. Will it bring us good luck? Elena, I think I have the same glasses as you – in fact, I’m sure of it!

  2. Love those green smoothies. Just found your blog – beautiful and inspiring!

  3. Wow, this looks fabulous!! Can’t wait to try it :)

  4. Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen) @ meghantelpnerblog.com

    You know I love a great green smoothie!

  5. Diane-The W.H.O.L.E. Gang @ thewholegang.org

    This looks really good. I have all of the ingredients and can’t wait to give it a try. I’m waiting for my new VitaMix to arrive and this will be what I make first! Thank you.

  6. Bill

    I am so happy that I found this site. I recently had liver failure and have had to change my diet dramatically. Your site will be very helpful. Thanks!

  7. Betty

    Thank you Elana for the cilantro shake recipe! I LOVE cilantro and this is just what I need right now. LOVE your site!!

  8. kerri

    looks and sounds great..I can almost smell it through the screen :)
    don’t own a blender..what is a good one to try that will handle greens? I’m afraid that the vitamix is too loud for me (I have tinnitus from a car accident several years ago and very sensitive ears), and there are so many models(5200, vitaprep?). do you need a tamper as blend tech does not, and are they all so tall? thanks!!

  9. Cassi @ cassifriz.com

    must be the season for green smoothies- i’ve been drinking them daily for a week now! i love sarma- she’s got an amazing life-force and it really carries in her works. now i have a new book to dream about. raw food real world was such a lush gorgeous book i had to tell everyone just to read it for the experience. thanks for the delicious blend. i’m not crazy about cilantro, but ginger is on the menu again!

  10. Noel9i

    This sounds like a great recipe, thanks for posting. I started with green smoothies 2 years ago; it’s been a great way to crank up my veggie intake, however, have two notes of advice:
    1) According to Teresa Holler (see below), cilantro is one of the most powerful natural detox substances. I recall her saying, make sure your elimination system is good, as some detox agents will dislodge bad stuff like lead out of parts of your body so you need to make sure it gets out of your system (excellent digestion), otherwise it’ll float around and get to your blood stream (backfire effect). Obviously having tons of fiber in shakes like this, will be a great help in itself. This warning is specially important for a couple preparing for conception, pregnant or breastfeeding women.
    2) I did about 5 months of frequent green smoothies (which are packed with proteins) 2 years ago per Green for Life (Boutenko). I had frequent colds; smoothies might have trigger detoxing, but I noticed that I didn’t necessarily felt stronger. Late last year, my alternative medicine doctor warned about the fact that protein doesn’t get absorb by the body without the presence of fat in that meal, and in turn can deplete the body of vitamins as increase of bowel elimination happens. That made sense to me in a hind sight. The solution I found?: throw in a squirt of olive (~1 TSP)or other healthy oil into your smoothie and that will help solve the down side of green smoothies.

    Teresa: Great researcher on proven environment items harming our health and how to take immediate and simple action. First book: Holler for your Health, STOP TREATING! START PREVENTING!

    • sarah @ syrupandhoney @ syrupandhoney.typepad.com

      For fat, another idea that sounds tasty to me would be to add coconut oil or coconut milk. Thanks for the information…I tend to not worry about the science of things when I’m eating a varied diet, but when I get on a kick (like green smoothies), I like to make sure they’re balanced in and off themselves.

  11. Beverly Becker @ whatsonmyfood.org

    I feel healthier just reading the recipe. I’m a cilantro-addict so I can’t wait to try it and others. thanks for 2 shots of fresh air: one to drink, one to think (about) with vertical farming. Hmmm. Food and drink for thought and health.

  12. I love cilantro, but I’ve never tried it in a smoothie. Sounds refreshing with the cucumber and lime. I wonder…half an avocado might bump the fat in the smoothie and make it more of a meal…might have to try both ways!

  13. cool smoothie and I love the youtube video too! I want to live there!!

  14. yay for green smoothies! It is such an easy way to get so much nutrition!

  15. Maria

    After seeing the picture of the green shake from your website, my four year old asked to make it. I had all the ingredients on hand, so why not? It was delicious! He drank three glasses full! So much better than green beer!

  16. katie h

    Just made the green smoothie and am drinking it right now. It is a big step for me considering I used to really not like cilantro. I wanted to like it and have slowly learned to like it by eating small quantities periodically. The smoothie is quite good! May add more pineapple next time b/c I can’t taste it. (Though the cilantro I bought is especially potent so that may mask the subtle flavor of the pineapple.) Thanks for the recipe, Elana! – Loved Maria’s comment above, too!!

  17. kelly

    I have been alternating for the past week between this smoothie and the greena colada. I like both equally. Thank you Elana. You have the knack for finding and creating the best ‘green’ drinks. I especially love being able to get all of the fresh cilantro into a glass and to have it taste so refreshing is absolutely wonderful.

  18. Thanks for posting that youtube video! You have no idea how often I imagine stuff like that when I walk through cities :) If only!

  19. Regarding your comments about copyrights and recipes. When I did research for my website, I learned that recipes cannot be copyrighted, but the directions can. So if one changes the directions, nothing can be done. It’s also very hard to prove “ownership” of a recipe.


  20. Deni

    I just made the cilantro lime smoothie and added Marks Daily Apple Meal Replacment Vanilla Protein powder and it is SO good! It makes the smoothie a little less “zingy” when you drink it! It makes a lot of drink since the powder fluffs it up but it is SO good! Thanks for the nummy green Smoothie recipe!

  21. I love your site and visit frequently. I am not gluten intolerant, but a close friend of mine is, and I love that your recipes have simple ingredients that are easier to find than the ingredients in many other GF baking recipes.

    I recently started making green smoothies because they kept popping up here, so I figured I would give them a try. I am a total convert! I made this with half a mango instead of pineapple, and the zest and juice of one lime since I don’t have a juicer, and it is delicious! I love the spiciness from the ginger, and how I have to drink slowly because of the thickness. The green smoothies really do have the texture of a milk shake. I make mine with an immersion blender because that’s all I have, and it totally works. Thank you for introducing me to green smoothies!

  22. Maegan

    I just made the smoothie but used just 1/2 a lime, self squeezed. No juicer. I love cilantro but wow, that is potent. It’s a sipping drink like Elana said. Might try to add a little something to tone down that zip. It is for sure the most unique green smoothie I’ve had to date. Love your site!

  23. Is the shake still good without ginger? I’m not a fan of ginger, but I do love cilantro!

  24. Eryn @ Pumpkin's Pantry @ pumpkinspantry.blogspot.com

    My husband was tested for metal toxicity earlier this year and his aluminum levels were off the charts (97 percentile). So we have been researching self chelation with natural foods and peer reviewed literature says that cilantro is the best way to go. So we have bought several bunches a week (I can’t get it to grow here in my hot garden in Georgia), and I have been searching for a great smoothie recipe. We discovered this recipe this week and have been having these smoothies as much as we can. Thanks for this recipe!

  25. Dabney

    Thanks Elena for all your hard work. We really appreciate you!

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