Choose from 4 delicious smoothie recipes that are ready in less than 10 minutes AND learn how to make smoothies that are healthy and filling!
If you're ever made a smoothie and felt hungry an hour later, this guide was made for you!
I'll walk you through how to make four different filling and balanced smoothies. All of these recipes can be modified to meet your dietary needs without sacrificing texture or flavor.
What you'll find in this guide
- My go-to "formula" for making a balanced smoothie
- Four different smoothie recipes (and only one has bananas in it!)
- Recommended equipment
Build a better smoothie
All of my smoothies use a simple formula to make a satisfying smoothie: fiber + healthy fats + protein.
I always add one of each of these components to my smoothies to make them more balanced. A lot of these ingredients overlap across categories.
Let's break down each part.
Fiber has so many benefits, one of which is that it helps you keep full for longer.
Some of these ingredients are higher in fiber than others. I don't worry about the specifics too much as long as I'm adding a variety of ingredients.
- Fruit: Both frozen and fresh berries, peaches, pears, apples, and bananas. Leaving skin on peaches etc. increases fiber but may effect the texture, so I usually remove the skin.
- Veggies are surprisingly good in smoothies. Add fresh or frozen spinach, kale, shredded zucchini, etc. for a boost of fiber and nutrients. Avocados are also a great addition.
- Rolled oats are a fiber-rich whole grain. I usually add them right to the smoothie but you can soak rolled oats in milk overnight to make them easier to blend.
- Seeds like chia seeds, flaxseed and hemp seeds add a small amount of fiber.
Protein is also important because it helps keep you full and gives long-lasting energy.
- Nut/seed butters like almond, cashew, peanut and sunflower seed butter. I think peanut and almond butters go best with apples and bananas, whereas cashew and sunbutter are more neutral and versatile.
- Beans: Yes, beans are great in smoothies! Try cooked black beans, white beans and green lentils for the most neutral flavor. Start with ¼ cup and increase as desired.
- Yogurt: I like to use Greek yogurt because it’s high in protein, but soy and pea-based yogurts are great vegan options because they have more protein than most almond and coconut yogurts.
- Milk: Soy and pea-based milk provide a similar amount of protein as cow's milk. Oat milk, cashew milk and almond milk are lower in protein but are still delicious in smoothies.
Learn more about the best vegan sources of protein.
Healthy fats contribute to heart and brain health, among many other things. Fats help slow digestion and when this happens, you stay full for longer.
Adding fats is also a great way to make smoothies creamier. I mentioned most of these in the fiber and protein sections:
- Avocado: Try adding ½ an avocado to make a super rich and creamy smoothie.
- Nuts and nut butters
- Seeds like chia seeds, hemp hearts, flaxseeds
What about the fun stuff? A smoothie needs to taste good to be enjoyed.
- If using bitter fruit like blackberries, consider adding fruit juice for additional flavor and sweetener. I like adding orange juice, mango juice or apple juice. Choose juice that has "no sugar added".
- Chocolate: Make it a chocolate smoothie by adding one tablespoon of cocoa powder.
- Toppings: Add shredded coconut flakes, granola, chopped nuts or chia seeds for texture and extra nutrition.
4 Smoothie Recipes
Before we jump into these recipes, I want to say that one serving size does not fit all, especially when it comes to smoothies!
You can always add in or take out more nut butter, extra seeds, and fruit to make a smoothie fit your needs.
Frozen berries combine with orange juice, yogurt and sunflower seed butter in this bright and zesty spring smoothie.
This one is somewhere between breakfast and dessert. I like to add coffee to make it mocha-flavored, but that's optional!
This smoothie is super creamy and zesty thanks to a lot of frozen fruit and fresh minced ginger.
This recipe combines frozen blueberries with lemon and rolled oats to make a light and satisfying smoothie.
Most smoothies can be made with a simple, inexpensive blender.
I use an old Oster blender that I found at a thrift store and have never had trouble making any of the above smoothies.
A high-powered blender can be beneficial but really isn't needed for most recipes, so don't worry if your blender isn't top of the line.
If you ever have trouble getting a smoothie to blend just add an additional ¼ cup liquid or more. This usually does the trick.
How to freeze fruit
Buying frozen fruit is convenient but it gets expensive quickly. It's easy to freeze fruit if you have a little extra time and freezer space.
Here is how I freeze fruit for more than just smoothies:
- Rinse and slice/chop the fruit. Let air dry completely or pat dry with a towel to remove any water.
- Layer on a cutting board or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Be careful not to overlap pieces.
- Transfer to the freezer. It's okay to leave it uncovered because it won't be in there for too long. It will take anywhere from 1-4 hours to freeze the fruit, depending on size and type.
- Place frozen fruit pieces in a freezer safe container. Keep frozen for up to 3 months.
Smoothie FAQ and expert tips
- Added sugars can add up fast. Start with plain yogurts and unsweetened non-dairy milk if you’re watching your sugar intake. This way, if you need extra sugar you can add it to taste later.
- Flavors: Some ingredients go better together than others. It's hard to go wrong with fruit smoothies, but be careful when adding in vegetables and nut butters. Start with small amounts and add as you go. Too much of a strong ingredient like peanut butter or kale can really overpower a smoothie.
Blenders work best, but you can usually use a small food processor. If using a large food processor, you may need to double the recipe to make sure that it's thoroughly blended.
Liquid sweeteners like maple syrup, agave syrup or honey work best. Fruit juices like orange juice or mango juice are another great way to sweeten a smoothie.
I don't recommend making smoothies in advance because they lose their iciness when the frozen ingredients thaw in the fridge. However, you can keep them in the fridge for up to 24 hours before the quality starts to degrade. Another option is to add all freezable ingredients to one container. For example, you can freeze fruits, seeds, nuts and veggies together.
Short answer: no. Long answer: If you're removing skins from fruit then you will lose some of the fiber. But unlike juicing, blending a smoothie doesn't decrease the fiber because the entire fruit is still included.
This might have to do with your blender but usually it's because you didn't add enough liquid. Add another ¼ cup to ½ cup of liquid to see if this helps the blender break the smoothie down.