Green Hawaiian Paradise: How to make a great smoothie

  • Rachel Gonzalez of Rachel’s Everlasting Farm demonstrates smoothie-making techniques during a workshop series at Quabbin Harvest last week in Orange. Staff Photos/Dan Little

  • The Purple Sunrise smoothie made by Rachel Gonzalez, of Rachel’s Everlasting Farm, during a smoothie-making workshop series at Quabbin Harvest on Tuesday afternoon in Orange. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • The Purple Sunrise smoothie made by Rachel Gonzalez, of Rachel’s Everlasting Farm, during a smoothie-making workshop series at Quabbin Harvestlast week in Orange. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Ingredients for the Purple Sunrise smoothie made by Rachel Gonzalez, of Rachel’s Everlasting Farm, during a smoothie-making workshop series at Quabbin Harvest last week in Orange. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • The Purple Sunrise smoothie made by Rachel Gonzalez, of Rachel’s Everlasting Farm, during a smoothie-making workshop series at Quabbin Harvest on Tuesday afternoon in Orange. Staff Photo/Dan Little

Staff Writer
Published: 5/15/2019 7:00:25 AM

The sharp taste of ginger comes first. And then, in the backswing, is a sweet and lingering aftertaste of mellow fruit. Making smoothies is an art, and no two drinks are ever exactly the same. 

But there’s also a science to it. Smoothies are filled with ratios of favorite fruits, vegetables, and even spices, which deliver many healthful nutrients in one alkaline elixir. 

“My favorite? I don’t have a favorite. It’s like picking my favorite kid,” said Rachel Gonzalez of Rachel’s Everlasting Farm, which is based out of Mission Covenant Church on Pleasant Street in Orange.

Gonzalez shared her smoothie-making techniques recently at Quabbin Harvest on North Main Street during the last of the co-op’s seasonal ‘Free Farmers Workshop Series.’ Gonzalez, who has been making smoothies for the last eight years, demonstrated two original smoothie recipes, the “Green Hawaiian Paradise” and “Purple Sunrise.” Since founding her business in 2012, Gonzalez has sold her smoothies at the Orange Farmers’ Market, the North Quabbin Garlic & Arts Festival, the Mutton & Mead Festival in Montague and the Westminster Farmers’ Market.

“They are different every time,” Gonzalez said, plucking a large pineapple her bowl of assorted fruits. She sliced the sweet fruit, placed the pieces in the bottom of her blender, added pieces of banana and chunks of apple, and topped everything off with a handful of grapes, which tumbled into crevices created by the other fruits. Then came the kale. The bottom half of the blender was a hotchpotch of yellows, greens, reds, soon to be blended into a pale green liquid with the click of a button and the whir of metal blades. 

Gonzalez doesn’t measure the ingredients in her smoothies. She starts by putting the large, sweet fruits — like pineapple, banana, apple — in a four-quart Vitamix blender, which she praises as “the Cadillac of all blenders” — it’s sturdy, high-powered and reliable, she says. 

“One thing I’ve learned: stick with what works,” Gonzalez said while preparing a new batch of her “Purple Sunrise.” The recipe contains what could be thought of as unconventional ingredients for a smoothie, such as cabbage and ginger, in addition to other more typical ingredients like blueberries. The reactions from people who take a sip of the sweet, tangy smoothie have told her she’s on to something. 

“When coming up with this, I thought, ‘What can go with the blueberries?’” Gonzalez said. The similarly colored red cabbage turned out to be the answer. 

Gonzalez’s smoothies contain vegetables, rather than solely fruits. For example, in the case of the “Green Hawaiian Paradise,” she uses kale and celery.

“I put a wedge of lemon in there whenever I’m using something like kale because it cuts the greens nicely,” Gonzalez said. 

For the “Purple Sunrise,” Gonzalez again adds celery to the red cabbage. Celery is an important ingredient because of its natural sodium content, which balances the flavor of the smoothies, Gonzalez says. 

The red cabbage, despite perhaps seeming an unlikely ingredient to some, is mostly undetectable in the “Purple Sunrise” and blends well with the apples, pineapple, and grapes in the smoothie, she noted. 

“Red cabbage also has a lot of fiber in it, and it’s a great way to get nutrients in your body,” Gonzalez said. 

Vegetables, like the red cabbage in Gonzalez’s “Purple Sunrise,” are added after the fruit. Smaller food items like grapes, almonds or celery, are added on top.

Spices can be added, too. For example, what makes “Purple Sunrise” stand out from the “Green Hawaiian Paradise” is Gonzalez’s use of ginger. While the “Green Hawaiian Paradise” is mostly a sweet drink, a medley of different fruits, plus kale, almonds and celery, the “Purple Sunrise” has a sharp taste from the ginger.

“It’s a little different than the green one,” Gonzalez said. 

When everything is in the blender, Gonzalez adds water incrementally, blending the fruit and veggies periodically before adding more water, to achieve her desired thickness. All of Gonzalez’s smoothies are water-based and without milk or dairy. By making them this way, Gonzalez says she doesn’t have to worry about lactose intolerance. Additionally, the smoothies are lower in calories, and with the right ingredients, Gonzalez says lactose-free smoothies can be just as tasty as those made with milk. 

For those who want more creaminess in their smoothies, Gonzalez suggests adding coconut or coconut milk in place of some of the water. 

Over the years, one thing Gonzalez says she has learned about making water-based smoothies is their taste is very dependent on the quality of water that’s used. When she first started making smoothies, Gonalez says she used unfiltered tap water. But Gonzalez says she noticed the chlorine in Orange’s municipal water was affecting the taste of her smoothies. 

Because of this, Gonzalez suggests filtering the water before adding it to smoothies, so as to not interfere with the tastes of the fruits and vegetables in the drinks. It makes a difference, Gonzalez said.

Before she started her business, Gonzalez says she made juices at home. She switched to making smoothies after reading “Green for Life” by Victoria Boutenko and realizing that she could make them in a much shorter time —  just as nutritious, if not more — without producing as much waste as juice. 

“I thought that this is so cool, feeling healthy and using all these fibers and greens like kale,” Gonzalez said. “It’s raw. It’s alkaline and we need more alkaline. All our cooked food, it’s acidic, so this is a great way to get chlorophyll and enzymes.” 

David McLellan joined the Greenfield Recorder in February of 2018, covering eastern Franklin County. Reach him at or 413-772-0261, ext. 268.

How to connect

Coming up, you can find her Rachel’s Everlastings Farm vendor at the West Brookfield Asparagus and Flower Heritage Festival in West Brookfield on Saturday, May 18, and Thursdays, starting May 16, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Orange Farmers’ Market. 

Green Hawaiian Paradise 

Ingredients (experiment with ratios to change the flavor):











The larger items — pineapple, banana, apple and papaya — are sliced and added to the bottom of the blender, followed by kale and the smaller items — almonds and grapes.

Both a wedge of lemon — for its tartness — and a few small sticks of celery — for its sodium — can be added to contrast the kale and natural sugar in the smoothie, respectively.

A small amount of water should be added to the blender first, followed by blending, which will result in a thicker smoothie. Water should continue to be added, alternating with blending, until the smoothie is thinned to perfection. 

Purple Sunrise





Red cabbage










Larger fruits, including pineapple, banana, apple, papaya and orange, should be sliced and added to the bottom of the blender.

A few sliced pieces of red cabbage may be added on top of the fruits along with the grapes, blueberries and almonds. Again, a wedge of lemon and celery sticks are suggested for their “balancing” properties, Gonzalez said. Water should be added, followed by blending, incrementally to achieve one’s desired smoothie thickness. The ginger in the smoothie may also be added incrementally throughout the process to achieve the right amount of ginger taste! 

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