How to Make a Smoothie + 27 Simple Smoothie Recipes to Try

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8 Staple Smoothies That You Should Know How to Make

I’m a believer that smoothies are the perfect meal or snack no matter what the weather. It is never too cold to have an awesome smoothie! Since smoothies are such a tasty way to pack in a ton of nutrients, I put on a big sweater and happily drink them even when the temps are frigid.

I thought I’d pull together a comprehensive post on how to make a smoothie, plus give you my favorite simple smoothie recipes. I consider these smoothies “classic” because they are great flavor and health combos that please everyone! These are the kinds of smoothies that I think everyone should know how to make, and chances are, you’ll find a favorite combo among these recipes. There really is no wrong way to make a smoothie, but I think these recipes are a great jumping-off point if the blender intimidates you. 

Blender

Are smoothies healthy for you?

Before we dive into the quest of how to make a fruit smoothie, let’s dive into the why. Our philosophy here at Wholefully is that smoothies can be an incredibly nourishing part of your diet. Just like with our juicing recipes, we say it’s always better to eat whole fruits and veggies where possible. But smoothies do make it easy to pack in all the nutrients of your favorite produce into one drinkable cup—which is great when you’re on the go or short on time.

While e don’t recommend you replace all your meals with smoothies—or honestly, even most of your meals with smoothies, we do think smoothies make a great snack or a great addition to a more well-balanced (less liquid-y!) day of eating. Smoothies can easily “fit” into a healthy day of eating. But even more importantly, they can be a super delicious, really refreshing, and totally enjoyable thing to sip on! If you are enjoying your smoothie, then we think it’s healthy!

How to Make a Fruit Smoothie

Making a fruit smoothie is as simple as tossing ingredients in a blender and letting it rip, but we want to make sure you succeed every time, so here’s our exact process:

  1. Add liquid to your blender. I typically use unsweetened almond milk, but you could use any other kind of milk, fruit juice, or even just water.
  2. Add in any fibrous foods. If you are adding in spinach or other greens, this is the time to toss them in.
  3. Add in your frozen fruits and vegetables. I like to keep at least frozen bananas and frozen strawberries on hand for smoothie making. Any frozen fruit works!
  4. Add any fresh fruits or veggies you’d like to use. Here is where you’ll toss in fresh strawberries or an avocado half.
  5. Top it off with your favorite nutrition mix-ins. Add protein powder, collagen, chia seeds, turmeric—whatever you’d like to boost the nutrition of the smoothie.
  6. Blend away! I like to start my blender on low and then slowly ramp up to full speed. This makes sure everything is mixed well and the blades don’t get stuck. I blend until the smoothie looks silky, and then I pour and enjoy.

What’s the best blender for making smoothies?

If you’re in the smoothie-making business, you should invest in a great blender. Trust me, it’s worth the cash not to have to chew your smoothie. I worked with a lower quality blender for years, and it was always frustrating to make a smoothie (and I broke the thing twice!). Vitamix and Blendtec are both well-loved and highly recommended. I personally have used both a Ninja Ultima and Vitamix Professional series. And I’ve had great results with both!

Overhead shot of smoothie ingredients in the carafe of a blender.

What’s the best liquid for making smoothies?

We like to use (unsweetened) milk of choice. If you’re a fan of coconut milk, use it. Like cow’s milk? Go for it. A fan of almond milk? Cool. Use whatever milk you like in your smoothies—you can’t go wrong. I just recommend you stick to unsweetened and unflavored versions. That gives you the most control over the smoothie.

Do you put ice in a smoothie?

We recommend using frozen fruit to both chill and thicken your smoothie. This gets you the right texture and temperature without watering it down. However, if you are fresh out of frozen fruit, you can toss in a handful or two of ice cubes into the blender to make your smoothie frosty and thick.

What do I use to sweeten a smoothie?

All of these smoothies here use frozen banana as a base (more on that in a sec), and bananas vary in sweetness. My recommendation is to blend up your smoothie without any added sweetener, then taste. Add in honey or maple syrup to taste. Many times, I don’t need to add anything! Another great natural option for sweetening: pitted Medjool dates. Throw in one or two of those bad boys and let the blender do its thing. You’d be amazed at how sweet your smoothie will be!

Wholefully Protip

When I go grocery shopping, I buy the biggest ripe bunch of bananas I can find. Then when I get home, I peel them, break them into chunks, and then freeze them flat on a cookie sheet. When solid, I transfer them to a ziptop freezer bag.

How can I make my smoothie healthier?

The smoothie recipes below are plain, but if you want to expand your smoothie horizons, go for it! Toss in chia seeds or protein powder or hemp seeds or flax or whatever else makes your heart happy. If you have a standard set of mix-ins you like, you can even freeze them into booster packs—great for really quick and easy smoothies!

Smoothie Booster Packs

How do I make smoothies if I don’t like bananas?

Lucky for you, we have an entire post of recipes to make a smoothie without banana.  Try those recipes, or tweak any of the recipes below by:

  • Subbing in 1/2 cup additional plain Greek yogurt (to add creaminess), plus 1 tablespoon additional sweetener and a handful of ice cubes in place of the frozen banana in these recipes.
  • Other options: canned pineapple, sweetened yogurt, canned pears. Adding half a ripe avocado can really help make up for the creaminess that bananas usually add, too. 

How do you make vegan smoothies?

Use plant-based Greek yogurt (there are really great coconut milk ones out there now) and stick to maple syrup and plant-based milks.

Alright, enough of me lecturing you. Let me dig into my eight classic smoothie recipes. Master these guys, and you’ll have an awesome repertoire of smoothie knowledge to tap into anytime you want to fire up your blender. Happy blending!

Classic Green Smoothie

Classic Green Smoothie

It doesn’t get more healthy than a green smoothie, now does it? Green smoothies sound (and, honestly, look) like they wouldn’t taste the greatest, but if you do them right, they are sweet, balanced, and have no flavor of the greens! I’m a lightweight and use fresh baby spinach in my green smoothies because you can’t taste it at all. If you’re a little more hardcore on the health food front, you can try kale, collards, or even chard! The truth is, you can make almost any smoothie a green smoothie by tossing a handful of greens in. The end result might look yucky (the combo of strawberries and spinach results in a particularly gross gray color), but it’ll taste delicious! To make it, blend together:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup greens (baby spinach, destemmed kale, collards, chard, etc.)
  • 1 cup unsweetened milk (nut, soy, animal)
  • Honey or maple syrup, to taste

Orange Dreamsicle Smoothie

Orange Creamsicle Smoothie Who needs ice cream when you can make a smoothie that tastes like your favorite frozen treat? It’s really important to have a high-powered blender for this one, because standard blenders can’t handle the orange slices very well. To make it, blend together:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 orange, peeled or 2 clementines, peeled
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened milk (nut, soy, animal)
  • Honey or maple syrup, to taste

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie This is another dessert-like smoothie—you can’t beat the classic combo of peanut butter and chocolate! You can adjust the chocolate intensity of this smoothie by tweaking the amount of cocoa powder you add. To make it, blend together:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened milk (nut, soy, animal)
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
  • 1–3 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Honey or maple syrup, to taste

Creamy Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

This smoothie is Juniper’s favorite! Mama likes it, too, because not only is it super tasty, but it’s got a nice boost of protein thanks to the Greek yogurt and peanut butter. I usually throw in a handful of spinach, too. To make it, blend together:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup unsweetened milk (nut, soy, animal)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Honey or maple syrup, to taste

Pina Colada Smoothie

Pina Colada Smoothie

This is a healthy virgin version of your favorite tropical cocktail! Coconut milk really adds to the tropical flavor, but if you don’t have any, other kinds of milk will work fine, too. To make it, blend together:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks (canned or fresh)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (from the can)
  • Honey or maple syrup, to taste

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

If you walk into any smoothie bar or coffeehouse, you’ll probably find a strawberry-banana smoothie on the menu. And that’s because it’s a yummy combo that everyone loves! To make it, blend together:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened milk (nut, soy, animal)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Honey or maple syrup, to taste

Mocha Smoothie

Mocha Smoothie

If you’re a coffee-aholic, this smoothie is for you! It uses leftover coffee to add lots of java flavor. My tip for dealing with leftover coffee—pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze. Then you have coffee cubes ready for mocha smoothies (or iced coffee) whenever you need them. To make it, blend together:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup strong-brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Honey or maple syrup, to taste

Mixed Berry Smoothie

Mixed Berry Smoothie

If you head to the frozen fruit section at your local grocery store, you’ll probably spy a few bags of mixed berries. They usually contain strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. These are perfect for an antioxidant-packed, tasty smoothie! To make it, blend together:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 cup unsweetened milk (nut, soy, animal)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Honey or maple syrup, to taste

Are you looking for even more smoothies? No worries, we’ve got you covered:

  • Clementine Avocado Smoothie. If you’ve never added avocado to your smoothie before, you are missing out! The flavor is so mild, that you can’t taste it, but the texture is dreamy, creamy smooth, and the healthy added fats help keep your fuller longer.
  • 8 No Banana Smoothies. We see you banana haters who are begging for a smoothie without banana! We have an entire list of eight smoothies without a single spec of banana in them.
  • Cold Buster Smoothie. When you’re feeling under the weather and your throat is sore, this smoothie for colds is soothing and nourishing.
  • Coffee Smoothie. Get a jolt of caffeine and your breakfast all in one cup! This is packed full of coffee flavor.
  • Persimmon Smoothie. Packed full of autumnal flavor, this spiced smoothie is creamy and sweet!
  • Spinach and Pear Smoothie. Bright green and fresh in flavor, this smoothie is a perfect light breakfast.
  • Sweet Potato Smoothie. Sweet potato in a smoothie? YUP! It tastes like a delicious pie. You’ll love it!
  • Apple Smoothie. This smoothie is packed full of healthy spinach, but tastes like apple pie!
  • Pumpkin Pie Smoothie. This pumpkin smoothie is perfect for the weather is still warm but your heart wants fall to show up.
  • Dark Chocolate Raspberry Smoothie. This smoothie is rich and dark, and it tastes decadent enough you could sip on it for dessert!
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie. All the flavors of your favorite sandwich in a tasty smoothie! Pick your favorite jelly to add to this peanut butter smoothie
  • Tart Cherry and Spinach Smoothies. We show serving this cherry smoothie as a light breakfast in a bowl, but you could easily pour it in a glass and sip away!

And check out some of our favorite smoothie hacks, too:

  • How to Freeze StrawberriesThere are lots of ways to use frozen strawberries, but smoothies are definitely one of my favorites!
  • Smoothie Booster Packs. Never let spinach go bad again! Drop these frozen smoothie packs into your smoothies to boost the nutrition.
  • 3 Ways to Meal Prep Smoothies. Yes, you can make ahead smoothies! And we have three ways to show you how.

 

 
Simple Smoothie Recipes

Simple Smoothie Recipes

Yield: 1 smoothie
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Welcome to Smoothie 101! Learn my tips and tricks for making smoothies, plus get 8 of my favorite smoothie recipes all in one place

Ingredients

For the Classic Green Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup greens (baby spinach, destemmed kale, collards, chard, etc.)
  • 1 cup unsweetened milk (nut, soy, animal)
  • Honey or maple syrup, to taste

For the Orange Dreamsicle Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 orange, peeled or 2 clementines, peeled
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened milk (nut, soy, animal)
  • Honey or maple syrup, to taste

For the Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened milk (nut, soy, animal)
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
  • 1–3 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Honey or maple syrup, to taste

For the Classic Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup unsweetened milk (nut, soy, animal)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Honey or maple syrup, to taste

For the Pina Colada Smoothie

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks (canned or fresh)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (from the can)
  • Honey or maple syrup, to taste

For the Strawberry Banana Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened milk (nut, soy, animal)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Honey or maple syrup, to taste

For the Mocha Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup strong-brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Honey or maple syrup, to taste

For the Mixed Berry Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 cup unsweetened milk (nut, soy, animal)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Honey or maple syrup, to taste

Instructions

For all flavors, blend all ingredients together until smooth.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.
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