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Green Lemonade

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The healthiest drink in the world?

green lemonade

Lemonade stands will never be the same.

I don’t think I ever sold lemonade as a kid. I ran a cookie stand and a hot chocolate stand, and my friend and I once sold flowers we picked from her mom’s garden. (Not a good idea; nobody bought flowers, and her mom yelled at us for ruining the flower beds.)

Sorry to say, I missed out on selling lemonade. But I didn’t miss out on drinking it: my favorite was when lemonade tasted really sour, not the super-sweet pink stuff my sister loved because it was her favorite color. I always wished they’d made blue lemonade.

With its vibrant green hue, this crazy-healthy recipe comes close:

green juice

The best part about blender recipes is that, unlike with baked goods, you can keep adding ingredients if you’re not happy with the initial result. I kept playing with this recipe, tasting along the way, and suddenly the flavors just popped. It’s surprisingly delicious!


Green Lemonade

(no added sugar)

Recipe inspired by this drink.

  • 1 to 2 very large apples (200-400g)
  • 1 to 2 cups kale (or another green, or omit) (40g)
  • 1 to 2 stalks celery, broken into a few pieces, and bottoms cut off (80g)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup water
  • optional: a small piece of fresh ginger (or more, for a spicier juice)

Core the apples (no need to take off the skin), and combine all ingredients in a super-high-powered blender like a Vita-Mix. Blend until completely pulverized. I like it thick, so I never bother with this next step: Unless you prefer a ton of pulp like I do, you should pour the blended mixture through the finest strainer you own. Discard pulp or use for a different recipe. (Google “juice pulp recipes” if you need ideas.) Use one apple for a more tart drink and two apples for a sweeter drink.

View Nutrition Facts


green lemonade2

Question of the Day:

Did you ever sell lemonade as a kid?

Sadly I don’t see very many kids selling lemonade anymore. Now they’re always out there selling Kool Aid… for $5 a glass!

Link of the Day:

grasshopper pie

……Chocolate Grasshopper Pie

It’s also green, thanks to a secret healthy ingredient. No, not spinach or avocado!


Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. I remember I had a lemonade stand once. A cute old lady came up and gave my brother and I $5 and didn’t even want any of our drinks lol. That’s all the money we made but we considered it a huge success!

  2. We just bought a Vitamix and I can’t wait to be able to make all of your yummy Vitamix recipes!

  3. Kelsey says:

    hi katie! love your site:)

    OH MY GOODNESS I am all over this drink!

  4. Ah, yes, I used to sell lemonade. Not many people would stop to buy some, though. I live in a neighbor where the majority of the people who live there were older and not many people drove by my house. Oh well.

  5. This looks so good! Too bad I don’t have a Vitamix… And yes! I definitely sold lemonade as a kid, we did that all the time on our street, but never made much money!

  6. Sarah says:

    My neighbor’s grandson sells lemonade every year at the bike race in Philly since it goes through my neigborhood. He sells it for 25 cents and with all of the people drinking alcohol that day, I’m sure he makes a killing when they need something non-alcoholic to drink!

  7. Christina says:

    Do you cook the kale first?

  8. Rachel says:

    I used to sell iced tea haha ths looks good! I don’t have a vitamix though

  9. I love the recipe. I’ve been meaning to try out juicing. I just got a high power blender and I would love to have a healthy drink like this for my afternoon snack! Thanks Katie!

  10. Ashley says:

    I never sold lemonade as a kid- probably because we lived in the desert and it was always too hot in the summer to be outside in the daytime! But I am a sucker for a good glass of sour lemonade:)

  11. I have been making a similar recipe since I went vegan 6 years ago. I use romaine lettuce instead of kale, add ice & blend in my Blendtec (instead of a juicer).

    & never sold lemonade as a kid.

  12. I never sold lemonade because I lived out in the middle of the country where no one would pass by for hours. My parents would have definitely bought some though! I take it that you lived in a very populated area? Was your business venture successful? 😀

    My brother and I did have mini-garage sales with each other though. We’d pick cheap nick-knacks from our room (like bouncy balls, envelopes, fast food toys, slinkies, Pokemon cards…) and price them at 5 or 10 cents apiece. If we ran out of money we went couch diving!

  13. Well like you I never sold lemonade as I kid. I never had any sort of stand come to think of it…oh well!

    I do very much like the way this lemonade looks and with my favorite veggie, KALE, in it it must be a winner :)

  14. It’s so GREEN! Love it- usually wake up to yummy spinach smoothies :)

  15. Rachel Ngom says:

    This looks awesome! I’ve made something similar in the juicer, but not in my blender! I will have to give it a shot!

  16. Ashley says:

    Do you use granny smith apples? Or a sweeter variety?

      1. Sunnie says:

        Ah, I LOVE pink lady apples. I just ate one today. :) Looks like a yummy recipe, Katie! Have you ever had limeade?

      2. Meredith says:

        I just ate one about two minutes ago! Wish I could try this recipe, but all I have is a food processor and I don’t think it could handle this :/

      3. Ani says:

        I’ve made a similar juice in a food processor before. It will just come out slushier, like a slushy instead. Try it; still delicious!

  17. Meg says:

    What a fabulous idea! I am so trying this!

  18. CARA says:

    I found 2 lemons, 1 LARGE (inedibly so ) cucumber, a little bit of agave nectar and some kale or spinach or both to be THE best lemonade slushy! :) less calories too because of the cucumber instead of apples. Believe me with the apples piling up I was tempted. :)

  19. April says:

    I’m definitely trying this recipe out. I LOVE super sour lemonade!!

  20. Sherry says:

    I throw kale, 1/2 a peeled lemon, spinach, an apple, 1 celery stalk, piece of ginger, 1/2 a cucumber, cilantro and parsley in my juicer in the morning, and it’s delicious! No pulp just a dark green juice. I like the color of your bright green juice!

  21. tiffany says:

    I never had a lemonade stand but I did have a mini carni game lol. I got a bunch of toys I no longer wanted and set up a game for people to play to win a toy….a couple people played and gave me money but no one would take a toy. I think they figured I would be sad losing some of my own toys.

  22. Jasmin says:

    For the lemon juice, is it pure lemon juice? Like freshly squeezed stuff?

  23. No, but I just saw a lemonade stand on the corner about an hour ago. In fact, I’ve seen them more than ever this summer!

  24. Kavli says:

    Katie do you think this can be made in a food processor? I don’t have a vitamix and my blender probably won’t do this. It looks so delicious and sounds good too!

    1. Sorry, I haven’t tried it so I really don’t know.

      1. Kavli says:

        Okay I tried it! :) It was super thick but I usually like juices with all that pulp so I really really enjoyed it. It’s super delicious! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  25. I love sour lemonade! I never did a lemonade stand as a kid, but always wanted to. My friends’ kids had one this summer and made 75$ in an hour! It’s just crazy…. (not what they used to be, that’s for sure)

  26. Never sold lemonade either! I love sneaking in super healthy ingredients that despite the color you would never know were there. This sounds SUPER refreshing!

  27. Ohh this looks delicious! I make a similar green drink in my juicer and always add lemon and lime! So yummy and so good for you! And I definitely had a lemonade stand growing up with my best friend– she had this special little stand thing too that had a chalkboard on it and counter and we would sit behind it and sell lemonade for 50 cents! I can’t believe kids are selling koolaid now for $5! Crazy! PS Love that you had a hot chocolate stand… looks like you were a chocolate girl from the beginning!

  28. Jade C says:

    Hmmm I make a similar drink, but with my juicer 😀
    Also, try adding a banana in place of some of the water – makes an awesome breakfast!!

  29. Goodness, this looks amazing, I have got to try it! Do you think it would work in a magic bullet?

    1. Not sure the apple would process…

      1. Anonymous says:

        Yes, I cut up and core apples in my nutri bullet and it works great!

  30. Debbie says:

    I love all these green drinks popping up everywhere. They are all so delicious. Never had a lemonade stand, we lived at the end of a dead end street.

  31. Cayce says:

    OMG! So green! I gotta try this!
    Thanks for the recipe! :)

  32. It’s like a green smoothie! 😉

  33. Colleen says:

    Hi Katie,

    My comment says “awaiting moderation”, which hasn’t happened before. Do you know why?


    1. Sorry, I don’t see another one from you. Did it have links? Spam often picks up comments if you put in links.

  34. Joanna says:

    First off, I love your food photography; it’s so pretty! (I need background designs and a pricey camera…)

    I never sold lemonade as a kid but I recently noticed two little sisters selling lemonade around their neighborhood – it was adorable. =)

    Also, this recipe reminds me a lot of the delicious juice made in the documentary “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.” It’s such a great and inspiring film. Have you watched it?

    Take care! <3

    1. I haven’t! I will have to look it up :).

  35. Gen says:

    Our celery is actually pretty bad here…..can I sub something or just omit it?

  36. Megan E. says:

    Looks interesting! I’m a little confused though, why would 1 apple make it more tart and two make it less so? Is it the lemon juice being diluted?

    Might be worth a shot though for an end of summer drink!

    1. It’ll be sweeter, because the apple is what gives the juice its sweetness. :)

  37. I love how you didn’t peel the apples! It’s such a shame that most recipes require that the apple peel–the healthiest part–be removed! I wonder if this could work in a regular blender . . . maybe if I steam the apples and celery first?

  38. Alanna says:

    I think I’m a weirdo — I actually can’t stand lemonade (even the pink kind)! That and Sour Patch Kids… I can’t understand the fascination. Just the thought of it is making the sides of my mouth tingle, lol. I love lemons with seafood, but even lemon juice in my water is blech. For years I would only eat the meringue part of lemon meringue pie, too… fortunately my uncle loved the lemon part, so we’d swap. :)

    This juice/lemonade looks so pretty, but I doubt my wimpy blender could handle apples. :/ It kind of reminds of the Naked brand Green Machine smoothies, though… those are obviously thicker, but I think they have apples too and they’re so yummy!

  39. jenica says:

    This is kind of terrifying looking! It looks like it should be at a halloween party. I will definitely be trying it though. I used to have lemonade and cookie stands as a kid and made BANK. Except my standards of what a lot of money was were very different then, so it’s relative. I think it was probably in the range of $15-20? For many hours of work. Probably not worth the pay off.

  40. Colleen says:

    Hi again, Katie! Once my kids had a stand, though they always want to, but it’s not what people are looking for, so I avoid it! Anyway, lemonade at our house is ice water and juice of a lemon, so not too fun for neighbors — no sugar! But they smiled and were happy with their sales! Still, I bet then they went home and made some Country Time! Your drink is similar to Dr Oz’s green drink that I make a lot, but it comes out more like a smoothie — . I bet my kids would go for your green lemonade more than they go for our green drink since it’s thinner!

  41. Colleen says:

    Ok, there was another thing your green lemonade reminded me of! Chia Fresca! (here’s a link with some awesome benefits of chia!) Do you ever have chia? Love it! You could add some to your green lemonade to add some MORE nutrition to your already super-nutritious drink! Since you’re a runner too, I bet you would love the book Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Ever Seen by Christopher McGougall !! Have you read it?

  42. Lauren says:

    I’ve never been much for lemonade, even as a kid, although I do love lemons! The color of this drink is just beautiful! Normally green might turn me off, but here it looks so quenching.

  43. JenniferH says:

    This looks fantastic! I love fresh squeezed lemonade, and can’t stand the fake stuff. But apples are a great way to get sweetness and nutrition! Tonight, I think I’m going to go pick a couple of apples from the apple tree!

  44. Coco says:

    I saw the nutritional facts and kind of confused how it can be so low. One medium apple alone is about 75 calories so how can it be that this is only 65 calories?

    1. It makes more than one serving.

  45. Katie, this is amazing! Thank you for such a wondermous recipe!
    On a side note, the foam on your images is beautiful! That’s always my favorite part of a juice/smoothie.. the super foamy cap on top! :)

  46. Megan says:

    This looks delicious! I absolutely LOVE kale. I’m excited to give this a try! Green is such a pretty color too…and it just looks healthy :) I sold lemonade all the time when I was little. Now I have this promise to myself that whenever I see a lemonade stand I HAVE to stop…I know how exciting it is to get a customer!

  47. Kids in our neighborhood sell lemonade all the time. I’m sure it’s *fake* lemonade, but lemonade nonetheless.

  48. Sara Nickel says:

    I must get a juicer! I’ve been jonesing to by one all summer for drinks just like this.

  49. Wow, that’s the healthiest lemonade I have ever seen! :)

  50. I love how bright green this lemonade is! And I also love how it incorporates apples!! Definitely one of my favorite fiber-rich foods of fall.

  51. this is my breakfast every day!! i love how fresh it tastes! great photos!

  52. sunidhi says:

    Hi this dring is looking very nice and beautiful in color. thanks for posting such a wonderful drink.

  53. Sarah the official CCK drooler says:

    I actually drink this almost each morning and have for a couple of years. Giada’s recipe is very similar… but mine is exactly yours! But I put mine through the juicer instead of the vita mix. Just a preference, I guess. try it through a juicer! the vita mix makes it too thick for my liking.

    1. LOL I don’t actually own a juicer!

  54. Sabrina says:

    Me and my mom actually make this all the time! We found a little cafe down the road and they call it a “rejuvinate juice” I LOVE THIS STUFF

  55. Sophie says:

    That lemonade actually sounds really good! I’ve been wanting to try a green sort of juice for a while now, and this might be the perfect recipe. I’ve only got two questions for you:

    Do you think it would work in a different blender? I have a pretty powerful one that I make smoothies in all the time.

    And, though this is a bit off topic, do you have any good green smoothie (not juice) recipes? The only one I’ve ever had was not so good, but I’m looking to give the super healthy drinks a second chance.


    1. Sorry, I haven’t tried a different blender. For the green smoothie, try my mint chocolate chip milkshake! :)

  56. Moni Meals says:

    Fabulous, Katie. I love the photos too! POP!

  57. Hannah says:

    I definitely sold lemonade as a kid. I don’t think mine was quite this good though! Can’t wait to try this recipe. It looks fantastic.

  58. Maddy says:

    I had this at Peacefood! So good! Could you just use a juicer instead? Thanks!

    1. I’m sure you could, but I don’t own a juicer.

  59. Nicole says:

    I can’t wait to try this tomorrow. I love drinking green things.

  60. Dawn says:

    Thanks for making this recipe. I loved it.

  61. WOW! When I first looked at this, I didn’t think that this could possibly have no sugar
    or be as healthy as it is!!! It looks so refreshing!
    -Grace Gilbert :)

  62. This was very yummy. I doubled the recipe so I could drink on it all morning, like a cleanse. I used three very large apples. 5 stalks of celery (they were on the small side), 2 big handfuls of spinach (in place of kale), the water, and I did 1/3 C. lemon and then 1/3 C. lime. Made it even more tart. And the ‘green’ part is not detectable in taste, probably moreso because I used spinach. Thanks for this great, healthy lemonade. Will be making this at least once a week. xx

  63. Fran says:

    My neighbor and I once ran a “lemonade” stand selling Hawaiian Punch and bananas. We did it in front of her house on a side street instead of at my house, which was on a main street and would have gotten more traffic. (What keen entrepreneurial minds we had.) Our only customers were my sister and her boyfriend driving by. They laughed at how much we charged, but I’m pretty sure it was around fifty cents per item back in the 90’s. I don’t think that was outrageous if kids are charging $5 these days :-)

  64. No way — this is SO cool! Inever would have thought to make GREEN Lemonade. And it has so many good things in it! Thanks, Katie! 😀

  65. Kelly says:

    I just made my first batch in a traditional blender (just added the ingredients slowly in thirds and it was fine) and I love it! I think I’m going to mix it with a little mint and seltzer for a mid day mocktail.

  66. Leah says:

    can’t wait to try this! i never had a lemonade stand but my 5 year old daughter did this summer–she made $42 and donated all her money to the local humane shelter where we purchased a dog…couldn’t be more proud of her!

  67. Christy says:

    this drink is so refreshing and yummy! by far the bast lemonade ive ever had, and i like my juice/lemonade pulpy too! 😀

  68. Alps says:

    Green lemonade, I think it might take me a while to get over the color difference, but maybe not since lemons are pink but pink lemonade is sold. I have to wonder though, how much does it really taste of lemon with all the more that is called for in comparison to the other ingredients. Wouldn’t the other ingredients overpower the lemony taste?

  69. Tina says:

    How many serving are there in the recipe?

  70. Cassandra says:

    Hey! I’m a leader for WW and you can’t consider this drink a “Zero Points Plus” value food. Juicing concentrates the nutrients/carbs/etc. It would actually be 1PP per serving. Just wanted to give you a heads up!

  71. Abby says:

    I didn’t have a lemonade stand… I went door-to-door and sold lemonade! Most people were nice and gave me $5 without even wanting the drink. I even sold my own drawings… and popsicles! Haha :-)

    This recipe looks great. I love anything juiced lately.

  72. Stephanie says:

    I never had a lemonade stand – I was WAY to shy to go face to face with the public like that. I have a young neighbor who sells lemonade once or twice every summer, for just 25 cents – I’m thinking she’s probably losing money at today’s prices!
    I’m so upset, I have everything I need for this except the lemon juice, which I forgot to buy at the store today! Definitely going to get more tomorrow, because it looks like you’ve rescued lemonade from the clutches of high fructose corn syrup and artificial colorants!
    I won’t strain it, I like the pulp :) !

  73. Susann Codish says:

    In general, I love what you accomplish with white beans and garbanzos in cookies, bars and cakes – kudos on that! – but this post puzzles me. What makes this a detox drink? In general, what is meant by detox? Is there something physiologically measurable going on or is it a buzzword? Still and all, Happy New Year!

  74. Kate says:

    hmmmmmmm I don’t have a high powered blender like a vita mix but I do have a juicer….I think I’ll try this in that! :) Also, for the pulp…yesterday I made several juices in advance for my family this morning…….so the pulp we had leftover was lemon, strawberry, orange & apple..I stirred it into oatmeal for my daughter & for me I just added some fresh oj to it & ate it up. It was really good lol I imagine it would be tasty over some granola too kind of like a brazilian bowl…especially if you too, the pulp & pulvarized it in a food processor some. :)

  75. Marissa says:

    How often do you drink it, I.e. 2/day, one meal for three days, etc.

    1. However many times you want ;).

  76. Bliss says:

    Delicious and refreshing. Used my Vitamix, did not strain and then blended with a glassful of ice. Excellent. Thanks.

  77. Crisel says:

    How often can you drink this stuff and how much? I just made it today on a regular blender and turned out super yummy! I also added a spoon of fiber mix.

  78. lisa says:

    I always add beets and carrots to my morning veggie shakes so they aren’t really green… but I am going to try this one today.

  79. Shannon says:

    Oh Katie! Yes, I did sell lemonade once or twice, but I spent most of my time selling cookies in our neighborhood!
    One day there was a garage sale up the road and I had no cash. So I picked four lilacs off my mom’s bush and went door-to-door selling them for a quarter. The last lady said, “Did your mom say you could?” and I said “Uh, no, but I can ask her.” and she replied, “Well if your mother says it’s okay I’ll buy one from you. And she did (they were already picked so my mom figured – why not?). Made my day! I got to go to the garage sale with a whole dollar in my pocket! :-)

  80. Tracy says:

    A little random tidbit for you: My town participates in Lemonade Day. It’s a cute program that familiarizes kids (maybe 4th-5th grade age?) about running a business. Kids sign up, get a “business kit” with tools to set up a lemonade stand and sell lemonade on a designated day. Super cute! And on that day, we see tons of kids out selling lemonade! There are some kids that donate their profits to charities. I believe the program started in Houston. Random, but this made me think of that. It would be great if this program were expanded to more cities.

    I absolutely love your blog! You are SO creative!!

  81. IRENE says:

    kids don’t sell lemonade anymore because people complain, the cops come and cite the kids for not having a permit, and the fun is just ruined.

  82. Kelly says:

    A detox drink!you do NOT need any detox you are already so thin.

    1. tina says:

      Listen here just because she is thin does not mean you can’t say she can not healthy ! Katie is a sweet loving girl with a fast metabolism do not go around hiding her!!!!

  83. Sarah says:

    Could you just use a juicer for this recipe? Sounds so delicious!

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      If you use a juicer, you should probably quadruple the recipe at least to have enough to get a lot of juice.

  84. Cathe B. says:

    I don’t owna Vita-Mix but I was wondering if I could put everything in a food processor first and then into a blender…do you think that would work?

    1. I would think it’d be ok! Be sure to chop the apple up, though.

  85. Rebecca says:

    I just made this and am drinking it with the pulp. Delicious! Thank you CCK!

    1. Sarah says:

      I know! I made it too! I didn’t get any pulp… maybe it just depends on the juicer. I could taste the celery. This didn’t bother me at all, because I like celery. But my friends drank it too. Two of them didn’t like celery, but kept chugging the juice. I think it was the lemon and the apples. We added just a bit of honey and it tasted just like bad-for-you lemonade. It wasn’t just the taste that was amazing, it was the texture. I have never had a drink that was so…. light! Its like the difference between eating ice and snow! It was awesome and I am definately making this again! Thanks Katie, and sorry for the long post. I just kind of needed to express how great this is!

  86. Jackie Rybeck says:

    Ha! When I pin a recipe on Pinterest, so many times it links me to Chocolate Covered Katie! This is green! No chocolate! And it links me to Chocolate Covered Katie! Who knew?? I’m going to try this tomorrow, sounds so much tastier than many other detox drinks I’ve seen………Thanks Katie for another great recipe!

  87. Diane says:

    I was apprehensive about how this would taste but it was good. I used raw broccoli in place of the kale.

  88. Sami says:

    If you don’t have a super fine strainer (like me) you can always put a paper towel over your cup and pour the drink SLOWLY into the cup. The paper towel acts as a strainer and catches all the pulp. I do this when I make iced tea and the tea bag bursts.

  89. I never sold lemonade as a kid, either. But I’m definitely trying this recipe! And it’s a detox drink, too?? WINNING!

  90. Cynthia says:

    This recipe looks good but lacks specifics. For instance, which type of apple did you use? Have you tried other types as well? Do sweeter types of apples work better for this recipe? And what about the kale? How does the taste change if you omit it? Have you ever used even the tiny bit of any kind of liquid sweetener? What could work if we like our lemonade just a little tart but with some sweetness to it as well?

  91. Andrea Alexander says:

    Hi :)
    Is there some other fruit besides apples i could use? Apples make me very sick.

  92. Marlies says:

    With a few alterations I just made a healthy breakfast smoothie in my blender. I used spinach, subbed milk for the water, and added some oats, almonds and yoghurt. Tastes (and looks) great!