I picked up a great batch of delicious fuji apples the other day and felt inspired to revisit another blog oldie today -- the simple apple basil combo that will forever remain a favorite. A few summers ago I discovered the joy of pairing basil with all kinds of fruit (and subsequently proceeded to include it in everything, of course...). One day I decided to give apples and basil a go -- such a simple way to play up the apple flavor and add an extra dose of nutrition to your day!
This smoothie is quite light and refreshing -- definitely not a thickie. In fact it's almost juice-like when you sip on it. Yet it's packed with simple good-for-you nutrients that make this a wonderful recharging pick-me-up. A good, sweet, crisp apple gives it a lot of flavor. The basil adds an interesting note -- a subtle depth and a nice change from a typical apple juice...
Everyone knows the good ol' "an apple a day" saying... but I was actually surprised to learn that basil is an herb that's jam-packed with amazing benefits too, and it has therefore become a "green" ingredient I use quite frequently in many of my smoothies. I don't usually talk about nutritional properties of ingredients because I find pretty much all wholesome foods are packed with things that are good for you anyhow -- I therefore don't dissect things too much or over-analyze. Yet when I read up on basil I was still amazed that this herb is so jam-packed with all kinds of goodness.
Like many greens, basil's got some amazing nutritional properties to its name:
- It's super anti-bacterial and has been shown to reduce bacterial growth in the body.
- It's anti-inflammatory, and is therefore a very beneficial food for those with gut inflammation and food sensitivities (and any other inflammatory conditions).
- It's a wonderful source for vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, copper, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, iron, folate, and omega-3 fats. (See full nutritional values here).
Amazing, right? The world of plants will never cease to amaze me! Makes me question why I've always treated basil like a side-kick and not like an incredible healing food... Well, now you have more reasons to make this simple smoothie and add a bit of extra dose of wholesomeness in your day.
Apple Basil Smoothie
A light, refreshing apple smoothie with the added hint of basil for depth of flavor.
- Prep Time: 3 minutes
- Total Time: 3 minutes
- Yield: Just over 1 cup
- Category: Drinks
- Method: Raw
- Cuisine: Refreshment
- 1 large apple, roughly chopped
- ¾ cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
- 1 handful fresh basil leaves (5-6 large leaves or to taste)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (or sweetener of choice to taste)
- ½ tbsp lemon juice
- a few ice cubes (if you want it cold)
- Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth and drink up!
Note: As per feedback below in comments, this recipe may be more suitable for a high power blender, like a Vitamix to come out smooth.
I'm not keen on any kind of milk, would regular water work in this do you think?
Hey, it would work, but the flavor will change. The milk adds a smoothness and richness. Water will probably give it a "thinner" taste and I imagine some of the flavors will become more pronounced (like the basil). But you can always play around and add / subtract things you like to make a tasty apple basil based concoction :) That's the beauty of a smoothie. You can also maybe try coconut water instead if you like that. I can sort of see that working well.
Caroline Graff says
I left out the syrup because I used a honeycrisp apple and those are plenty sweet for me. I used full fat coconut milk and did add ice. I loved this. Herbs in smoothies are SO refreshing. I would not have thought to pair apple and basil. The addition of the lemon juice was delicious.
Hi Caroline, thanks for the feedback and sharing your swaps. I'm glad you enjoyed this pairing!
We had a lot of basil from our garden and was looking for different ways to use it when my husband came across your recipe. We tried it and loved it. We didn’t have any non dairy milk so used skim milk instead and didn’t use the lemon juice because we were afraid it would sour the milk. Loved the addition of pure maple syrup. Thanks for the recipe.
So glad you liked it, Pat. Having an abundance of basil is heavenly :) -- lucky you!
Loved this smoothie! Instead of maple syrup, I threw in a ripe banana. I also used Good Karma Flax Milk. The basil, lemon and apple go together wonderfully (the other ingredients work well in there too). Thank you so much!
I'm so glad you enjoyed the combo, Grace! Thanks for the feedback.
We loved these! I have a regular non-high-speed blender, so I just chopped up the apples really find me in the food processor first, and that worked just fine. I kept the skin on the apples too.
I almost forgot - I added vanilla protein powder.
Hi Ellen, that's great. Thanks for sharing those tips. I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)
I am not a healthy person. My family is not healthy. Mom died from from a heart attack at age 37, my sis died from cancer at age 30. I am 33... it is long overdue... but time for me to get healthy. I came across this cause my friend Michele gave me a basil plant. I had all ingredients except dairy free milk- so I used my 2% milk in my Ninja. THIS WAS AMAZING. If this is what healthy tastes like then girl I am in!!! Thank you for sharing this recipe. ♡
Hi Jean. I'm sorry to hear about your family. I'm glad you enjoyed the smoothie and I wish you much success with your journey towards better health.
Michael J LaVigne says
Quite yummy! Thanks for the idea and the recipe. :-)
Thanks for the lovely feedback, Michael! :)
This was pretty good! I made the following adjustments - 1/2 cup cashew milk and 1/2 cup water. No sweetener is needed. Also my protein powder I added weighed down to the bottom so it was important to stir each time before taking a drink otherwise all powder at the bottom of cup. Love the basil flavor!
Hi Kari. Thanks so much for sharing. Makes sense with your substitution, as cashews are naturally somewhat sweet already.
I made this in my Vitamix with "Good Karma" variety milk for the milk ingredient (refrigerated section of Whole Foods) because it has some protein. I used 18-20 basil leaves (yum!).
My variations were (1) adding 1/3c white beans for some complex carb/protein, and (2) 1T Natural Calm magnesium citrate powder to make that afternoon slump easier! (The magnesium CITRATE powder only works in recipes that are complemented by a citrus touch, which this one really does). Also, I used stevia instead of maple syrup.
This was really tasty! I have been craving basil (hence the 18-20 leaves!!), and this recipe really handled a good amount without getting overpowered. I put it in my freezer gel tumbler I keep in the freezer and sipped as I answered work emails late afternoon! Kept my energy up nicely, and, again, VERY tasty! Thanks so much.
Hi Jill. Thanks for the lovely feedback -- I'm glad the recipe inspired you to create something unique that works for you.
Emma @ GreenSmoothieLover says
Very rich healthy smoothie. but i use some fresh herb along with the instruction and it works great for me. I workout 4 days a week, and its really help me out after workout.
Thanks for sharing, Emma. I'm so glad you're enjoying it! :)
Tesa Jordan says
Loved it! May be my blender...didn't chime out "smooth" but I'll work on that. Taste is amazing!
So glad you liked it, Tesa :)
And yes, a power blender definitely does the trick for smoothness. I remember being in complete disbelief comparing the smoothies I used to make in my Oster vs. when I first got a Vitamix -- day and night when it comes to certain ingredients especially (I'm looking at you, carrot greens... :D ).
Tesa Jordan says
do you peel the apples first?
Hi Tesa, I usually don't, but you can if you prefer -- it will work either way.
Quite refreshing with the ice cubes. I used a Granny Smith Apple. Very clean and fresh and almost minty tasting, I added some blueberries just because and W*O*W! The maple syrup is perfect as sweetener. This is on my favorites list now.
Thanks for sharing!
So happy to hear, Amy! Thank you for the lovely feedback. I'm glad you're enjoying this, and the addition of blueberries sounds lovely -- I absolutely adore blueberries and basil together, so can see how they'd be delicious in this.
Laura B says
I would strongly advise against the maple syrup as sweetener. The combo of licorice-y basil and maple was just terrible haha. I used real syrup, not a sugar free replacement or anything like that so the maple flavor was probably much stronger than intended. Next time I will try agave and maybe a citrus fruit for balance. It definitely has potential but I totally botched it by using syrup. Which is not the author's fault, I might add for clarification.
Hm... interesting! Thank you so much for sharing your feedback Laura. I love maple and basil, so to me they taste good, but it's always good to have different perspectives shared too since everyone's taste is so different. Agave works too, and I sometimes add lemon or orange too, so good thinking :)
Kyra @ Vie De La Vegan says
I love the pairing of apple and basil in this smoothie! My son has been obsessed with apple smoothies lately...I'm definitely going to try this smoothie out tomorrow (because I know my son will request another apple smoothie, haha).
Wow, you taught him well :) I wish I was requesting apple smoothies as a kid!
I really need to buy more basil! Wow! I had no idea just how good it was for you. This combo sounds wonderful and with apples a plenty these days, I need to try this and soon!
Isn't it wonderful? I had no idea either until I read up on it. I always just thought it was a delicious herb, but nature is just so amazing. Another favorite of mine for this pairing is adding chopped apples and basil to a salad -- love it.
Actually, for some reason my comment just reminded me of willow and her quinoa salad :D Gotta catch up with your blog soon and see what that little creative munchkin's been up to <3
The blush on those apples is stunning. Ive never thought to put basil n my smoothies - inspired!
Thanks Ruby! Those apples are really cute, aren't they? :) I couldn't resist snapping a photo. And gosh, basil goes into most smoothies here -- so good! Try it with mango, pineapple, melon, strawberries -- all pair so well with it.
Bethany @ Athletic Avocado says
The apple and basil combo sounds amazing! I would love to make this in my vitamix asap!
Go for it, Bethany! :)
Natalie | Feasting on Fruit says
Those are some good looking apples and one gorgeous smoothie <3 I never realized basil was such a super leaf either. I need to try this combination, it's a totally new on to me!
Thanks Natalie :) I love these fuji apples too -- not sure why, but this batch is extra delicious. And basil is great with pretty much all fruit and berries -- have fun :)
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
Beautiful! The apple basil combo sounds so intriguing! I like it! I just love adding fresh herbs to everything! The simplest foods are some of the most "healthful" (and flavorful!)
Yes, I think wholesome is often simple :) And I love fresh herbs in things too, though basil will always be my favorite.
Mary G says
This is the best smoothie!!!! I have a Vitamix so my smoothies always blend everything super good, probably too good at times. Thanks for the recipe!!!!!
Thanks so much, Mary! I'm so happy you liked it. I love this flavor combination so much as well. Enjoy it!
Sorry, but this is the worst smoothie I've ever made! It's slushy and hard to blend completly and I have a good blender... There still are full have pieces of apple and basil leaves.
Sorry to hear it didn't work out for you. I use a Vitamix and my smoothie blends down very well each time without any pieces whatsoever -- perhaps it's just a recipe more suited to a high power blender (like a Vitamix). Anyways, sorry it didn't work out, but thanks for sharing your experience.