Smoothies have been all the rage as of late. After all, they are quick meals that you can put together in just a few minutes. If you have a good blender, all you have to do is load it up with the right ingredients for a healthy meal in a glass. Get out your crazy straw and enjoy!
Done right, your smoothie can provide your body with mega nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, healthy fats, and so much more. Use smoothies for breakfasts, post-workout drinks, snacks, and desserts. If you’re running the town and don’t have much time to cook dinner, just whip up a healthy and delicious smoothie for a meal replacement.
Below you’ll learn how to make a smoothie in just 8 simple steps by choosing the right liquid base, greens, vegetable, fruit, protein, fat, power booster, and flavoring. Try different combinations for a well-rounded nutrition profile.
Step 1: Choose a Liquid Base
Add one cup of liquid base to your blender or Vitamix. If your smoothie turns out too thick after mixing all the ingredients, you can add more of the same liquid base or water. Following are some great choices.
- Nut Milk (flax, almond, cashew, coconut)
- Vegetable Juice (kale, carrot, tomato)
- Iced Coffee (low sugar)
- Iced Green Tea
Step 2: Choose a Dark, Leafy Green
Dark, leafy green vegetables will provide your body with a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients (antioxidants). They are loaded with vitamins like Vitamin A, K, and B9 (folate) as well as minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium which will build your immunity and keep all of your organs functioning properly. Choose one to two cups of the following.
- Beet Greens
- Dandelion Greens
- Swiss Chard
Step 3: Choose a Vegetable
To add more power to your smoothie, add another nutrient-dense vegetable. If you don’t like vegetables, no worries! The other ingredients blended in will make your smoothie so tasty.
- Beets, ½ cup
- Celery, 1 to 2 stalks
- Cucumber, ½ cup
- Pumpkin, ½ cup
- Sweet Potato, ½ cup
Step 4: Choose a Fruit
Also nutritious are fruits. However, they can be packed with sugar depending on which one you choose. If you are trying to lose weight, you may want to stick to the ones that have less sugar (they’ve been marked with an asterisk).
- Apple (peeled and cored), 1 small
- Banana (fresh or frozen), ½ to 1
- Blackberries (fresh or frozen), ½ to 1 cup*
- Blueberries (fresh or frozen), ½ to 1 cup*
- Kiwi, 1 medium
- Mango, ½ cup
- Peach, 1 small
- Pear (peeled and cored), 1 small
- Pineapple, ½ cup
- Raspberries (fresh or frozen), ½ to 1 cup*
- Strawberries (fresh or frozen) ½ to 1 cup*
- Watermelon, 1 cup
Step 5: Pick a Protein
Protein is an important building block for every cell in your body including muscles, cartilage, bones, blood, and skin. It’s also important for keeping hormones regulated and making enzymes. Choose one of the following.
Greek Yogurt (plain)
Step 6: Choose Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids will provide your body with energy, make up cell membranes, and produce important hormones. They will also help your body absorb vitamins and minerals. Following are some healthy fats that you can add to your smoothie.
- Almond Butter, 1 to 2 Tbs.
- Almonds, 1 to 3 Tbs.
- Cashew Butter, 1 to 2 Tbs.
- Cashews, 1 to 3 Tbs.
- Chia Seeds, 1 to 2 Tbs.
- Flax Seeds (cold milled), 2 Tbs.
- Peanut Butter, 1 to 2 Tbs.
- Sesame Seeds, 1 to 2 Tbs.
- Walnuts, 1 to 3 Tbs.
Step 7: Choose a Power Boosting Superfood
- Take your smoothie to the next level with a highly nutritive superfood.
- Acai Powder, 1 scoop
- Bee Pollen, 1 capsule or scoop
- Cacao Powder, 1 scoop
- Goji Berries, 1 Tbs.
- Greens/Berry Powder, 1 scoop
- Maca Powder, 1 scoop
- Spirulina Powder, 1 capsule or scoop
- Wheatgrass, 1 scoop
Step 8: Choose a Natural Flavoring
Depending on your taste buds, you may want to add a flavoring.
Make it Sweet
- Stevia Extract, a few drops
- Dates, 1 to 4
Make it Nutty
- Almond Extract, a few drops
Make it Woody
- Cinnamon, ½ to 1 tsp.
- Vanilla Extract, a few drops
Enjoy Your Smoothie!
Smoothies are a great way of getting in tons of nutrients that would be difficult to get in otherwise. Enjoy experimenting and learning how to make a smoothie by mixing and matching ingredients.