How to make a healthy smoothie healthy, fast, and inexpensively using food in your refrigerator. Also included is a beginner smoothie recipe as well as a free smoothie chart download. And watch the video to learn how to make it grab and go!
Learning how to make a smoothie is a useful skill because when made healthily this drink contains a ton of nutrition, fills you and provides energy for the day. My favorites such as my chocolate smoothie, my meal replacement smoothie and my strawberry smoothie power me through the most difficult mornings.
Below I'll tell you how to make a smoothie using whatever is in your refrigerator at the moment and at the bottom of this post, I provide you with a delicious beginner smoothie recipe that is basically fail-proof.
Why Drink Smoothies?
Smoothies are an easy way to consume the 5 servings of fruits and vegetables experts recommend that we eat each day. In fact, according to one study, eating exactly 5 servings a day can help you live longer, 13% longer.
The Best Ingredients
The best smoothies are built with a combination of four elements:
1. a vegetable or fruit or both
2. a creamy base
3. a liquid
4. optional additions
- Leafy greens - spinach and kale work best in the baby version for mild flavor and ease in blending.
- Cooked vegetables - sweet potatoes, beets, cauliflower, pumpkin and butternut squash provide thickening and nutrition.
- Raw vegetables - peas, carrots, zucchini, beets, avocado, and cucumber provide vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, thickening and nutrition.
- Berries - high in antioxidants and fiber, low in sugar.
- Green Grapes - also high in antioxidants and fiber, and provide a blank slate of sweetness, much like a less-ripe banana would.
- Mango - the best way to make a smoothie creamy and full of fiber, again just as a banana would.
- Watermelon - rich in essential electrolytes, and sweetness.
- Pineapple, Peaches, Pears - great for providing creamy texture and essential nutrients, and creamy texture.
- Dragon fruit, Acai - best for protein and color, try my unicorn smoothies.
- Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Papaya
A variety of options can serve as a creamy base. Here are a few. The rolled oats are used raw and uncooked, but the milks, yogurt, fruits and veggies are best used frozen for a thick, frosty base. Pour the milks and yogurt into ice cube trays to use frozen.
- Yogurt - Keep it dairy-free for vegan smoothies.
- Coconut Milk, or another high fat milk
- Rolled oats - Use uncooked and looked for certified gluten-free brand for a GF smoothie.
- Chickpeas or White beans - use unsalted and canned for a mild flavor
Typically I use dairy-free milk, water, coconut water, canned coconut milk, and teas of all kinds, matcha, hibiscus, and even ginger juice or fruit infused water. Coffee also can be used, and occasionally juices although only fresh or not from concentrate with little sugar.
The world is your oyster, so the saying goes, regarding additions you can toss into your smoothie to increase flavor and nutrition. Seeds and nut butters add protein and fiber. Here are my favorites.
- Seeds - Flax seeds, chia, hemp seeds, wheat germ, and pumpkin seeds.
- Nut butter - Anything goes to bring in healthy fats and protein. Try peanut butter, cashew butter, hazelnut butter, almond butter and combos. Just choose one whose ingredients are just the nut and no additional sugar.
- Sweetener - To keep the smoothie healthy, try to get most of your sweetening from the fruit you add. However, adding a date increases the nutrition and sweet flavor considerably. Buy Medjool dates, and pit them before adding to a blender. Or make date paste, keep it frozen or in ice cube trays and add a few to sweeten a smoothie. Here is my date paste recipe.
- Spices - Spices increase the health factor by stimulating digestion and boosting immunity. Try cinnamon, cayenne pepper, ground or fresh ginger, and turmeric.
How to Blend
Step 1: Add liquids first, and leafy greens next. This will ensure the leafy greens are close to the blades and would more efficiently be processed.
Step 2. The next layer would be harder vegetables or fruits, or frozen ingredients next to give the blades close access and power to tear them up. If you want, you can blend now, before adding the last and easiest to blend ingredients but that's only optional. I usually only blend once.
Step 3. The final and top layer, furtherest from the blade, are the soft ingredients and spices. Blend just to combine.
Step 4. Drink now, or refrigerate for 24 hours, or freeze into ice cube trays for longer storage.
Make It Vegan & Gluten-free
1.Substitute the milk and yogurt with dairy-free version. For the dairy free milk, choose creamy ones such as oat milk and cashew milk, or more nutritious almond milk. For the yogurt, choose coconut or cashew yogurts. Or swap it out for more milk or a ½ banana or ½ cup frozen zucchini since the yogurt is there to thicken your smoothie.
2. Check that rolled oats are gluten-free. Oats are naturally gluten-free but some brands process them in factories that also process non-gluten-free products. So choose a brand that labels their product as certified gluten-free.
Making a smoothie is fairly simple but there are some tricks to help it turn out right.
1. Add only half the fruit at first, blend and taste-test. See if you can get away with less fruit, which means less sweet. That will make your smoothie all the healthier.
2. To get into a smoothie-a-day routine, take your favorite fruits and freeze them, or buy them frozen. The more frozen ingredients you blend, the creamier and frostier your smoothie texture will be. I even keep a stock of milk frozen into ice cube trays to use in smoothies.
3. Most vegetables you'll add to a green smoothie are not cooked, however there are a few, like cauliflower, that do better steamed for texture.
6-Day Smoothie Challenge
While we are talking smoothies, I'll just pop in here and invite you to my FREE 6-Day Smoothie Challenge. I email you recipes and you make them, drink them and feel awesome. Sound good?
Sign up by simply dropping your email in the sign-up box and you’ll receive an email with a welcome instructions and grocery list so you can begin as soon as you’d like.
Can you make smoothies ahead of time?
What Not To Put In A Smoothie
1.Don't put bitter veggies such as large leaf kale, or green onions or any other veggies you wouldn't want to eat raw.
2. I also suggest you do not add refined sugar or even artificial sweeteners. It is possible to get enough sweetening from fruits.
3. Do not add sugary liquids such as fruit juices high in just sugar, and try not to add milks that have added sugars. Water is actually best as a liquid; you should be adding whole fruit for the fiber and nutrients rather than juice anyway.
Free Smoothie Chart Download
Here is my Free Smoothie Chart. It has a list of essential building blocks so you can create your own smoothies. I have also written a smoothie book you might want to check out. It has 100 recipes for smoothies each only four ingredients!
Scroll on below to check out my beginner smoothie recipe!
Other Healthy Smoothies
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How to Make A Healthy Smoothie
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1 cup blueberries, frozen
- 1 cup dairy-free milk
- 1 medjool date
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- Freeze the blueberries, freeze the milk in an ice cube tray, soak the dates for ten minutes in just-boiled hot water,
- Add spinach and yogurt first. In this case the yogurt serves as the liquid since the milk is frozen into ice cubes.1 cup yogurt, 1 cup baby spinach
- Add the blueberries, milk cubes, date and oats next, and blend until processed.1 cup blueberries, frozen, 1 cup dairy-free milk, 1 medjool date, ¼ cup rolled oats
- Taste-test and add another date if you need the smoothie sweeter.
Serve & Storage
- Drink right away or refrigerate for 24 hours. To store after that, pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Store in a sealed container in the freezer for three months.
1.Be sure fruits & veggies are frozen 2.Add more water if the smoothie is too thick 3.Add more dates if you want the smoothie sweeter Make it Vegan & GF 1.Substitute the milk and yogurt with dairy-free version. For the dairy free milk, choose creamy ones such as oat milk and cashew milk, or more nutritious almond milk. For the yogurt, choose coconut or cashew yogurts. Or swap it out for more milk or a ½ banana or ½ cup frozen zucchini since the yogurt is there to thicken your smoothie. 3. Check that rolled oats are gluten-free. Oats are naturally gluten-free but some brands process them in factories that also process non-gluten-free products. So choose a brand that labels their product as certified gluten-free.