Making a smoothie is a great opportunity to pack fruits, vegetables, protein, and good fats into a drinkable meal or post-workout snack. We've put together this simple chart to show you how to make a nutritious and well-balanced smoothie.
You'll begin with a liquid base, including water, juice, non-dairy nut milk, and even green tea or coconut water. From there, you build the base up with protein and fat (nut butter, beans, yogurt, silken tofu, avocado), a flavor boost (try fresh citrus juice, puréed ginger, or cocoa powder). Next, pack in the vegetables by adding kale or spinach, or possibly parsley and beet greens, maybe cucumber and celery. Then it's time for the prime-time players: toss in the frozen fruit or ice cubes, and give it a whirl.
Now you're ready to take on the day!
Find one you like in Allrecipes' smoothie recipes collection.
Rules For Making a Healthy Smoothie For a Meal
- Use more vegetables with a small amount of fruit
- Add a protein (nut butter, plain yogurt, garbanzo beans, seeds)
- Add a fat (coconut oil, avocado)
- Use low-calorie or low-sugar liquids (water, coconut water, almond milk)
- Be aware of portion size! Keep your smoothie between 8 and 12 ounces
- Enter your ingredients into apps like MyFitnessPal to keep your calories, protein, fat, and carbohydrates in check
How nutritious are smoothies? Eating fruit is certainly good for you -- although it's possible that drinking your fruit is less satiating than eating fruits whole and may result in feeling hungry sooner. That's something to be aware of. Adding healthy proteins and fats, along with fiber- and vitamin-packed greens and other veggies to your fruit-based smoothie is a smart way to go. Protein and fats like nut butters, coconut oil, and avocado will help delay the sugars from spiking your blood sugar levels and help you feel full longer.
Another genius move? Pick fruits like blueberries and apples that are lower on the glycemic index and higher in fiber. Store-bought smoothies can be jammed with added sugar, so making your smoothies at home lets you control how sweet they are.
Check out these veggie smoothies and these green smoothies.
Top Tips for Making Smoothies
- When smoothie recipes call for frozen fruit, try ice cubes instead.
- To freeze bananas, peel and cut into 1-inch pieces.
- To freeze fresh berries, spread on a jellyroll pan, freeze, and store in resealable freezer bags. Check out more tips on How to Freeze Fruits.
- Add yogurt, milk, flax seeds, silken tofu, wheat germ, or coconut oil to the blender for an extra hit of nutrition.
- If a smoothie recipe calls for sugar, try it first without. You might not need it, depending on how sweet the fruit is.
- To make clean-up easier, take a second to rinse out the blender right after you use it, even if you're planning to wash it later.
There's only one more thing you need. A blender! Check out our tips for How to Buy the Best Blender.