Fabulous Folate Smoothie

Green smoothie rich in folate

Putting Knowledge Into Action

So the last two posts have been about folate versus folic acid.  (First post and second post.)  Lots of science to explain why the folate from real foods is better than folic acid from enriched, processed foods and vitamins.  But let’s put it into action!  How can we get folate into ourselves and our families?  Smoothies.  Everybody likes a smoothie.  Right?

Smoothies are deceptive foods.  A banana.  A spoonful of nutbutter.  Some yogurt.  A little chocolate.  A splash of sweetener.  Taste.  Needs more banana.  Oops.  A little bit more of nutbutter.  Add some ice.  Taste.  Dang.  Overshot.  Needs a little more sweet.  Have the kids taste.  Needs more chocolate.  How about some vanilla?  Perfect.  Kids drink half theirs.  I drink all mine and all their leftovers.  So much for a “healthy” snack.  Guarantee I’ll have a carbohydrate crash nap after about an hour.  Zonk.

But a well-placed smoothie with a purpose.  Now that’s a shaker.  That’s what I like.  To reach dietary folate goals, I started drinking green smoothies during pregnancy.  My kids weren’t too hip on them.  The greens can really impart bitterness.  But I didn’t want to give up!  I get tired of chopping up vegetables for a folate rich salad the family will all eat or cleaning the skillet from sautéed greens.  I deserve a break–in the form of a blend!  Well,  finally, here is a recipe that I and my kids can all agree on.  (In fact, my daughter made the photo design for this post.)

Fabulous Folate Smoothie

1 cup of loosely packed spinach (Any greens will work but spinach has the best folate profile.)
1 well-ripened large mango which is about 1 generous cup (Mangoes are a fruit rich in folate.)
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 ripe banana
1 tablespoon maple syrup (Or use honey or Stevia to taste or whatever you use for sweet.)
10 ice cubes (I use two single handfuls.)
Enough liquid to blend, if needed (Choose one of the following:  your favorite tea, Kombucha which will add even more folate, orange juice which will add even more folate, or your favorite kind of “milk”.)

Place into blender and blend until smooth.  I put the greens in last so the mixture blends evenly.

This recipe made the above two glasses full you see in the photo.


Smoothie Folate Content and Recommendations From the National Institute of Health Fact Sheet

The folate content of this green smoothie is about 160 micrograms.  Recommended folate intakes are as follows in the table taken from the National Institute of Health Folate Fact Sheet.  DFE refers to dietary folate equivalents.


Table 1: Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Folate [2]
Age Male Female Pregnant Lactating
Birth to 6 months* 65 mcg DFE* 65 mcg DFE*
7–12 months* 80 mcg DFE* 80 mcg DFE*
1–3 years 150 mcg DFE 150 mcg DFE
4–8 years 200 mcg DFE 200 mcg DFE
9–13 years 300 mcg DFE 300 mcg DFE
14–18 years 400 mcg DFE 400 mcg DFE 600 mcg DFE 500 mcg DFE
19+ years 400 mcg DFE 400 mcg DFE 600 mcg DFE 500 mcg DFE

* Adequate Intake (AI)

Smoothie Carb Count

The carb count for those interested is about 71.  If I’m the only one drinking this, I will often use only half a banana and Stevia instead of maple syrup.


Eat real folate!  It’s good for you!  Try to get your nutrients from food if you can.  Make every bite count!

Do you drink green smoothies?  Do your kids?  Does your spouse?  I’m converting mine over finally!  Two years.  Two years into this.  It’s not a fast-paced game to convert your family to this way of eating!  But it is worth it!

Have a great day!


22 thoughts on “Fabulous Folate Smoothie

  1. Youngish Sister

    Love the artwork! :). And I will have to start adding some spinach to my smoothies. Thanks for the idea!

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I hope it suits! Even my picky ones liked it–the ones who got their mom’s sweet tooth. I like to try to keep our smoothies contained to what we’d actually eat for just a snack. Smoothies make it easy to overconsume anything!

      1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        I really think the lime juice helps cut the flavor of those strongish greens but then you have to counter to balance the sour of the lime. And I remove any big stalks on kale or chard, too; the stalks seem more bitter.

  2. mommytrainingwheels

    Smoothies are yummy! And if I can get my folate in the form of a smoothie (the two older males at my place – my partner and younger brother don’t like leafy greens) then it’s a win in my book.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I know what you mean! If you’re the only one to eat something, sometimes it just doesn’t feel worth the effort. I hope you like the smoothie. I worked on getting one the kids would consume, too, and it took awhile.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Water spinach? Had to look that one up! Definitely not something in our supermarket! Great vitamin A and vitamin C source! Decent magnesium source. Didn’t see much in the way of folate for it. You don’t have “regular” spinach!? Like Popeye eats? (Well, his was canned.) No wilted bacon spinach salads? Mmm. Missing out. Hope your week is great!

  3. My Tropical Home

    Thanks for the RDA on Folate. For various reasons, we now try to go as “natural” as we can with our family’s diet, giving in to the occasional “junkie treat” on weekends. I can only imagine how much of a workout we gave our livers and other organs cleaning up our insides from all the processed food we consumed in the past.

    Not a smoothie fan, though. Just thinking of all the washing up afterwards makes me exhausted. So we take them in their raw form as much as we safely can 🙂

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      “…How much of a workout…” I know! I lived on white flour products. Cereals. Breads. Pop Tarts. Pizza. Cookies. Pasta. You name it. I loved it. The first month I cut all this out, I felt amazing! Then, I think the body keeps cleaning, and that’s when it comes to making sure all the necessary “cleaning products” (vitamins and minerals and micronutrients) are available to keep the “deep cleaning” going to keep feeling better and better. (Sorry. Just thinking aloud! 🙂 )

      Yeah. Smoothies are a bit of work! I agree!

  4. Hélène

    beet greens, dandelion greens, swiss chard or any baby greens are all less bitter and strong. but real men drink kale shakes! 😉
    i have found salt helps and fat. a little shake or two is all. all those coffee drinks and mcdonalds shakes add salt, brings out the sweetness too. i use a very green banana half sometimes and i swear it tastes just as good as banana. so does green plantain…yup, RS baby!
    if you want to avoid the crash, use stevia glycerite in place of fruit. put some eggs in too…PROtein.
    cheers -clinkglasses-

  5. Hélène

    Also check out culinary herbs…parsley would be a great green in here. Herbs are pounded FULL of nutrients, even compared to veggies.
    (not as high in folate, but half a day’s VitC in 1/2 cup raw parsley!–take *that* high-carb oranges lol)

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Helene, First I’ll apologize for not being able to get the accents on your name properly! So sorry about that! And secondly, I’ll apologize because I’m running way behind. I notice several comments you kindly left on posts, but I will not get to replying and posting them until later. They are not being ignored! And thirdly, you are SO right about herbs. I learned that they can pack a punch when I did the calcium post a couple (few?) years back. So I try to use them generously, dried or fresh.—-Terri


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