How to Make Healthy Smoothies and Five Easy Recipes

Learn to make a healthy smoothie with these simple tips and recipes.

A glass of green goddess smoothie sits next to fruits on a table.

A smoothie is a thick but smooth liquid that contains pureed fruit and/or vegetables, as well as a liquid base such as water, juice or, any type of milk. Seeds, supplements, nuts, and nut butters are common additives.

You can add a variety of things to a smoothie and blend it up. All you need is a blender, some ice, and the ingredients for the smoothie you want to try.

Smoothies are often a great way to get the recommended dose of fruits and veggies in your diet. You’ll often see premade smoothies sold at health-food stores and fitness centers, but not all smoothies offer the same health benefits.

In fact, many are packed with sugar and carbs, which can weigh you down and cause you to feel sluggish. Whether you are buying premade smoothies or blending them yourself, it is important to pay attention to each ingredient to make sure you are getting the most nutrition out of your smoothie.

Replacing some ingredients with healthier options can lighten the macronutrients and make it a much healthier choice. For example, nut butter and Greek yogurt are two healthy additions to boost the protein of a smoothie.

It's important to strike a healthy balance between fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy fats. When prepared with the right ingredients, smoothies can be a great healthy snack or meal replacement.

Related: Tips to Help You Get the Most from Your Produce

Healthy smoothie recipes

Here are a few smoothie recipes to get you started:

Green Goodness Smoothie

  • 1 medium banana
  • ½ cup frozen or fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • ½ cup coconut water
  • ½ cup low or nonfat milk
  • 1 scoop whey protein powder (optional)

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 tbsp. peanut butter or nut butter
  • ½ cup chocolate almond milk
  • ¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup ice cubes

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

4-Ingredient Strawberry Smoothie

  • 10 Frozen Strawberries
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 cup yogurt

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Cinnamon Roll Breakfast Smoothie

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 1 frozen banana

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Pineapple Coconut Mock Mojito Smoothie

  • ½ ripe avocado
  • 12 oz. coconut milk
  • ½ cup coconut yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen pineapple
  • Ice
  • Mint leaves – optional

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Tips for healthy smoothies

The ingredients you add to your smoothie will impact the consistency and how healthy it is in terms of the nutrients provided.

If you like a creamier smoothie, try freezing the bananas before blending them. Simply slice up several bananas and freeze.

Prefer a smoothie that is crisp and cold? Add more ice as you blend the ingredients.

When using frozen or canned fruit in smoothies, make sure to select options that don’t contain any added sugar. Only add one cup of fruit to avoid extra calories and carbs.

Keep an eye on the amount of added sweeteners like honey, agave, and coconut sugar. These additions can have an effect on blood sugar levels and can lead to easy weight gain.

When using nut butter, choose natural options that don’t add a lot of artificial ingredients or sweeteners that can increase the fat content and calories. Try adding either almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, or tahini to get a dose of flavor with some health benefits. Stick to one to one and a half teaspoons of nut butter to avoid going overboard.

Related: Eat (and Drink) Your Way to Hydration

Now that the weather is warming up, it’s the perfect time of year to enjoy in-season fruits and vegetables in the form of a cold, refreshing beverage. Blend up a healthy smoothie for breakfast or to sip on between meals.

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