How to Make Healthy Smoothies (+ 20 Nutritious Recipes!)

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The most delicious smoothie recipes including a complete guide for making fruit and vegetable smoothies that are nutritious, tasty, and come together in no time.

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Welcome to your ultimate smoothie guide! In today's post, you will learn how to make a healthy smoothie PLUS all about the best protein powders, yummy add-ins, nutrition boosts, and the all-time best smoothie recipes. Let's get started!

It's no secret that smoothies are a healthy breakfast on the go. Smoothies provide you with an easy way to get your daily servings of fruits and vegetables, and they can be prepared in minutes! They are portable, delicious, and perfect for almost any time of the day. 

But, how do you make a healthy smoothie? In this post, we will explore how to make all the best fruit smoothies, green smoothies, veggie smoothies, protein smoothies, smoothie bowls, and more - from the different types of ingredients needed, what type of blender is best for making them, to our favorite recipes.

Let's do it!

What Is A Smoothie?

There really isn't an exact definition of a smoothie or what sets it apart from other drinks like shakes or juices. Honestly, a smoothie is a blended drink that is usually made with fruits and/or vegetables and liquid. Fruit is typically blended and thinned out with a type of milk.

There are lots of ways to make high-sugar and unhealthy smoothies. Just because you find a recipe that is called a "smoothie" doesn't necessarily mean that it will be good for you. Many smoothie shops sell smoothies that are loaded with added sugars, processed juices, and unhealthy fats.

When you make smoothies at home, you get control of the ingredients and therefore can make sure your smoothie is packed with good-for-you ingredients. 

Fruit Smoothie Recipes

Discover delicious fruit-forward smoothie recipes that are naturally sweet! These smoothies are perfect for kids and tasty enough for adults. 

This creamy PB&J Smoothie with Greek yogurt, strawberries, and peanut butter is a protein packed smoothie that tastes like the classic sandwich. Easy, nutritious, and filling.

This Blueberry Banana Smoothie is easy to make, tastes sweet without added sugars, and is packed with good-for-you ingredients. Plus it will keep you full and energized.

This easy Apple Banana Smoothie is packed with good for you ingredients including apples, bananas, oats, yogurt, and flaxseeds. It is naturally sweetened with no added sugar and will keep you full and energized all morning.

This Raspberry Chia Smoothie made with frozen berries, banana, chia seeds, flax seeds, and almond butter is a nutrient-packed smoothie that is sweet, creamy, and refreshing.

This creamy Orange Creamsicle Smoothie is a healthier version of your favorite treat. This smoothie is packed with fresh oranges, bananas, Greek yogurt, and oats making it filling and delicious.

Fruit and Vegetable Smoothie Recipes

Looking to up the nutrition in your smoothie? Try one of these tasty fruit and veggie smoothie recipes. Trust me, they all taste amazing! You won't even know they are packed with veggies.

This nutritious Mango Spinach Smoothie tastes like a tropical vacation! It's creamy, refreshing, and a healthy way to get in your greens.

These tropical Green Smoothie Bowls made with pineapple, mango, banana, and spinach taste amazing and are packed with healthy ingredients and 18 grams of protein.

This delicious carrot smoothie recipe will surprise you with tons of natural sweetness and refreshing flavors. A delicious combination of carrots, mango, banana, ginger, and lemon.

This delicious Mojito inspired Pineapple Smoothie with fresh mint and lime juice is the perfect refreshing treat. It's perfect for warm mornings and is a refreshing treat after a workout.

This hydrating Pineapple Cucumber Smoothie packed with pineapple, cucumber, bananas, and spinach is creamy, sweet, and the perfect way to add vegetables to your morning smoothie.

This Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie made with a delicious combination of bananas, oats, peanut butter, and cocoa powder tastes like dessert but is healthy enough to have for breakfast or a post-workout snack.

Unique and Nutritious Smoothie Recipes

Looking for something new to try? Reach for one of these smoothies. 

This chocolate breakfast shake recipe is made with silken tofu, almond milk, banana, and cocoa powder. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and packed with plant-based protein. Any day that starts with a delicious chocolate shake is bound to be a great one!

This creamy Pumpkin pie smoothie is a healthier way to enjoy all the flavors of pumpkin spcie in a delicious, protein packed smoothie.

This easy Mocha Coffee Smoothie combines your morning coffee and smoothie in one! It's a healthier twist on a blended coffee drink that's packed with nutrients to keep you energized all morning.

This super creamy avocado smoothie made with bananas, avocado, and cocoa powder tastes like a chocolate shake but is so much better for you. Easy to make, full of nutrients, and filling.

Oatmeal smoothies can be made with your favorite combination of fruits, oats, and milk for a filling and healthy breakfast that is ready in minutes.

This vanilla cinnamon protein shake is the perfect after-workout drink. Made with bananas, flax seeds, and ground cinnamon, this protein smoothie is naturally sweetened with dates and almond butter.

This hearty Creamy Banana Oatmeal Smoothie combines a rich smoothie with your morning bowl of oatmeal. It's hearty, packed with nutrients, and will keep you full all morning.

How to Make a Healthy Smoothie

It's important to pay close attention to each of the ingredients you add to your smoothie. Follow recipes that call for whole ingredients that will nourish your body.

So, what makes a smoothie healthy? Well, let's break down the main components and learn how to make sure that each part is as good for you as possible.

1. Choose your fruits and veggies

The first (and most important) part of the smoothie is the produce - this is what makes your smoothie healthy. To get the most nutrition out of it, always use either fresh or frozen produce that isn't stored in syrup.

In other words, it's okay to use frozen mango chunks, but you should avoid using pre-made smoothie mixes that are sweetened with lots of added sugar. 

Almost any fruits and vegetables can be used in smoothies, even things you may not initially think of like leafy greens, cauliflower, beets, broccoli, and bell peppers. With the right combination, smoothies work with so many different types of produce.

2. Choose your liquid: milk, coconut water, juice, or water

Almost all smoothies include some type of liquid, but for creamy smoothies, I prefer milk. I like to make my smoothies non-dairy, so I always use unsweetened almond milk, cashew milk, oat milk, or soy milk.

If you are using non-dairy milk, always use the unsweetened varieties. This will keep the amount of sugar lower in your smoothies. You don't need sweetened milk in smoothies because it is sweet enough already from the fruit.

When I am making a smoothie that’s more icy than creamy, I almost always use coconut water. This makes it hydrating and the coconut flavor is subtle and doesn’t overwhelm the other flavors in the smoothie.

You can also use fruit juice, like orange juice or apple juice, or even water.

3. Add a sweetener if needed

Sweeteners are optional!

If you make a smoothie with more veggies than fruit, you might want to sweeten it a little bit. If you do choose to add some, avoid using sweeteners that will cause blood sugar spikes. This includes white or brown sugar or corn syrup.

The best types of sweeteners will have a low glycemic index rating. This means they don't cause your blood sugar to spike and then dramatically fall (which feels like hunger, causing you to eat more). White table sugar has a glycemic index of 65, which means your blood sugar will spike very quickly.

Here are my favorite types of sweeteners to use in smoothies, along with their glycemic index:

  • Maple Syrup: GI 54
  • Stevia: GI 0
  • Honey: GI 58
  • Agave Nectar/Syrup: GI 30

5. Get creative with flavors

It is always best to use whole foods like fruit and vegetables to flavor your smoothies. Avoid using tons of other things like candy bar pieces or sugary mix-ins.

Spices are another healthy way to add more flavor to a smoothie. I use cinnamon in lots of my smoothies because it adds a spicy and nutty undertone. Ginger, turmeric, and matcha or green tea can also be delicious.

6. Add protein and nutrients

The thickness of a smoothie is an entirely personal preference. Low-fat Greek yogurt is one of the healthiest options for this purpose.

You can also use chia seed, flax seeds, or hemp seeds in your smoothies as they create a thicker texture and add more protein too. Nut butter can also make a smoothie thicker and we even love to use rolled oats in smoothies to make them more filling. 

Blueberry banana protein smoothie with chia seeds being held by two hands,

Best Ways To Add a Protein Boost To Smoothies

Here are my favorite ways to add protein to smoothies. I have used these ideas in various smoothie recipes (and I am sharing these recipes with you below).

  • Nut or Seed Butter
    • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
    • Protein: Approximately 7 grams
  • Chia Seeds
    • Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
    • Protein: About 2 grams
  • Flax Seeds
    • Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
    • Protein: Around 1.3 grams
  • Protein Powder
    • Serving Size: 1 scoop (around 30 grams)
    • Protein: Approximately 20-25 grams
  • Greek Yogurt
    • Serving Size: 1 cup
    • Protein: About 20 grams
  • Cottage Cheese
    • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
    • Protein: Roughly 14 grams
  • Hemp Seeds
    • Serving Size: 3 tablespoons
    • Protein: Approximately 10 grams

Best Protein Powders For Smoothies

Be careful when you add protein powder to your smoothies. Some of them will leave a chalky or gritty texture behind because they don't blend well with fruits and milk.

These are the most popular protein powders that people love to add to smoothies because they blend in well and add the perfect taste and texture.

Blender filled with kale, spinach, celery, green apples, cucumbers, and lemon.

Best Blenders for Smoothies

The type of blender you use depends on how often you will be using it and how many servings you will be making at once. Do you need a heavy-duty blender that makes your entire family smoothies all day? Or, do you just need a cute mini blender to make yourself one every once in a while?

Here are my top picks for the best types of blenders for healthy smoothies based on how you will use them:

Best Single-Serve Blender

The NutriBullet Pro is one of the most popular single-serve blenders on the market. It has a fantastic price and comes with everything you need to make two smoothies and take them with you on the go. You can literally blend the smoothie and then drink right from that very glass.

It's so easy to use that anyone can make their own fruit drinks. You just fill it with the ingredients, add the lid (that has the blades), and then press it down on the engine/base. It even comes with a recipe book.

The blades and engine are powerful enough to puree frozen fruit and ice. It's wonderful if what you need is something to make just one smoothie at a time.

Best Heavy Duty Blender

You just can't go wrong with a Vitamix Professional Series blender - it will last you for years! Small businesses love this blender and use it in their coffee shops and even gyms.

The best feature of the Vitamix is that the way the blades move actually whip air into the mixture, giving you a light and creamy smoothie-like nothing else can.

Another fantastic thing about the Vitamix is that it can do so much more than just smoothies! You can use it to make homemade ice cream, healthy shakes, and even soups.

This heavy-duty machine can also puree tough things like kale and nuts into your smoothie. There are so many reasons this blender is worth the splurge.

Best Value

The Oster Reverse Crush Counterforms Blender has a 6-cup dishwasher-safe pitcher, and you can often find it for under $75. It has a powerful 600 watt motor with multiple settings. The blender features "ice crusher" blades that will easily puree ice and frozen fruit for your smoothies.

Another fantastic feature of this option is the reversible blade technology which actually helps prevent clogs! It's fantastic.

You really can't beat the price and value of the Oster.

Meal Prep Smoothies

The best way to meal-prep smoothies is to create smoothie packs. After you puree your smoothie, it will last maybe a day in the refrigerator before it starts to separate and the texture changes. This is why I prefer to prepare the ingredients ahead of time. Then, all I have to do is grab the smoothie pack, add everything to the blender, and it's ready to go!

Smoothie Bags

Store the solid parts of your smoothie - the fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds - in a mason jar or freezer-safe bag. Then, all you have to do is add the contents of your blender with the liquid and any add-ins, (like sweetener, yogurt, protein powder) to the blender, and you are ready to go.

If you don't know when you will make your next smoothie and want to save your prepped contents for a longer length of time, I suggest storing them in the freezer. Just put your fruit/veggie and seeds mix in freezer-safe bags. Then, you can grab a bag, add the contents to a blender, and add your milk and yogurt.

Smoothie Ice Cubes

If you have a high-powered blender, you can also blend everything ahead of time with a small amount of liquid. Then freeze into ice cubes. 

When it is time to make your smoothie, simply blend the smoothie ice cubes with your liquid and you ready to go!

Orange creamsicle smoothie with sliced oranges and bananas in a glass.

How to Make Smoothie Bowls

Some mornings you may not want to drink your smoothie, instead grab a spoon and make a smoothie bowl. All of these recipes can be made into a bowl, simply use less liquid so that the smoothie comes out thicker. Then add all your favorite toppings. Some favorites include:

  • Fresh fruit like peaches, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, pineapples, and mango
  • Nuts and seeds like chia seeds, hemp seeds, almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pepitas
  • Crunchy toppings like granola, grape nuts, toasted oats, or shredded coconut
  • Fun drizzles with peanut butter, almond butter, low sugar chocolate syrup, or yogurt.

Best Smoothie Toppings

When adding in toppings and other ingredients, make sure to be mindful of what you are adding in as some are better for you than others. I'll be honest, the mix-ins are a lot of fun, though!

Think about the healthiest options that will make your smoothie look and taste more delicious. Here are my favorite choices:

  • Thin-sliced nuts: My favorite is thin almond slivers. I sprinkle just a few on top of my smoothie and then munch on them at the end.
  • Spices: I like to sprinkle cinnamon or allspice into some of my nuttier smoothies.
  • Herbs: Top with some fresh mint.
  • Oatmeal: This adds a nice amount of fiber to the smoothie.
  • Fruit Slices: Place a few pieces of fruit on top of your smoothie.
  • Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips: You can still add chocolate chips, but just watch the calorie counts and use sugar-free chocolate chips first.
  • Granola: If you are watching your sugar intake, choose one that is low in sugar and high in fiber.
The Recipe
Green spinach and mango smoothie served in two glasses.

Base Smoothie Recipe

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  • 1 cup frozen fruit (mango, pineapple, berries, etc)
  • 1/2 banana (or 1/2 cup Greek yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or coconut water)
  • 1 cup baby spinach

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Add the liquid and baby spinach to the blender. If using a low-blended blender, blend this first. Add the fruit and banana/Greek yogurt. Add anything additional to your smoothie like nut butter, chia seeds, avocado, oats, protein powder, etc.

Spinach, mango, banana, and avocado in a blender.

Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust sweetness or flavor as needed. Add more liquid if the smoothie is too thick.

Creamy green smoothie in a blender.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1 smoothie
Amount Per Serving
Calories 160
Calories from Fat 16
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
Saturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 103mg
Total Carbohydrate 37g
Dietary Fiber 5g
Sugars 24g
Protein 3g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

On Base Smoothie Recipe
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