Spinach, kale, beets and broccoli -- they're not the first ingredients you'd expect to find in a smoothie. But a healthy, if not quirky, frozen drink they make. Add a shot of vitamins or a supplement (bee pollen, anyone?) and you'll get an extra nutritional boost.
"I have one each morning instead of coffee," says Ashley Messina, 23, manager of Jamba Juice in Stony Brook, referring to the different smoothies in the store. "It's so refreshing, and no sugar."
Here's a look at how a handful of Long Island smoothie shops are thinking beyond the basic blended fruit. (All prices are for the smallest serving size.)
HOW MUCH $5.25
WHERE All Natural Blends (also known as All Natural Juice and Blends), Babylon
THE DRINK This health food store that aims to use only organic ingredients is better known for its juicing, but the smoothies also follow the credo of using real vegetables and no added sugar. A favorite? Broccoli Blue, which blends blueberries, broccoli, cranberry juice and vanilla ice cream. It's surprisingly refreshing, although the taste of broccoli is evident.
ALSO If you don't mind the zip of fresh ginger, the ginger green blends kale, spinach, blueberries, grated ginger and alkaline water. Odd to be drinking something so delicious and at the same time picking pieces of kale from between your teeth.
HOW MUCH $5.19
WHERE Jamba Juice, Stony Brook and Roosevelt Field
THE DRINK One of the more unusual veggies to hit a smoothie has to be in "Berry upBEET," a mixture of beet juice and fruits. Normally an acquired taste, the beet flavor actually was tart but yummy.
ALSO Tropical harvest, with butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, peaches and mangos -- a moderately sweet, filling drink.
Bee pollen protein smoothie
HOW MUCH $6.49
WHERE Cornucopia, Sayville
THE DRINK Made of bee pollen, hemp protein, coconut water, vanilla and frozen fruit, it's a satisfying drink, despite not having any added sugar. With the help of coconut water, the strawberry and blueberry flavors of the frozen fruit made it cold and sweet enough.
ALSO The goji berry smoothie ($6.49) has goji berries, raw cacao (a raw form of chocolate), agave and frozen strawberries.
HOW MUCH $5.49
WHERE Madison's Smoothie Café , North Bellmore and Bethpage
THE DRINK One slurp of the Nutty Party, and it tastes like drinking a peanut butter sandwich, something the kids will love. Besides peanut butter, the icy drink has whey protein, bananas and nonfat yogurt.
ALSO Dylan's treasure, which tastes like chocolate-covered bananas with nonfat yogurt ($4.79), is another kid favorite.
Triple berry oat smoothie
HOW MUCH $5.42
WHERE Tropical Smoothie Cafe, with locations all over Long Island, including Huntington Station, Levittown, Smithtown
THE DRINK Instead of eating your oatmeal, sip it. Flaxseed and whole-grain oats give it a mealy texture, while fruits -- strawberries, blueberries, cranberries -- sweeten it up. Whey protein, Splenda and a multivitamin get thrown in, too.
ALSO Green is a juice mix with pineapple, banana, mango, spinach, kale and turbinado sugar -- it's sweet and green.