I’m often asked about how to make a smoothie or what to put in it, as if I might have some magical combinations. And maybe I do!
Though I find smoothie recipes to be silly. Smoothies are like salads… just toss everything you like in a bowl, and see how it tastes. You will figure out about how much you like of certain things and what combinations work the best.
I only use smoothies in 3 situations…
1/ A quick meal, like breakfast where you can put everything you in need in one, easy to consume, edible item.
2/ Post workout as a way to get valuable nutrients back into the body quickly after a heavy workout
This will be different for what you’re training for and your given goals. Most do not work out hard enough weight wise to need a separate smoothie. They can just continue on with regular balanced meals, with maybe a few more carbs on lifting days. Endurance athletes have different needs than heavy lifters, and both have different needs from those trying to lose weight.
3/ A means to get tons of super foods in one place, easily.
So, that being said. I don’t have recipes, but I have suggestions that make for the most sound and clean smoothie that isn’t just sugar and fluff.
Start with a base.
This could be anything of substance. Think frozen berries, a banana, canned pumpkin, cooked sweet potato, anything that is… creamy or thickening, if that makes sense. Use pineapple if you want. Frozen mango is delicious. But really… choosing one of these works… Too many and you might get some strange flavors but hey, do you.
Add a liquid or yogurt.
This could be almond milk (unsweetened), coconut milk (unsweetened), coconut water, hemp milk, regular milk… could be anything. You could use juices, but it will not be as thick. You can also use yogurt or kefir if you’re into that. Creamy liquids, make creamy smoothies… water is just ehhh… not that yummy in a smoothie.
Add in protein, fiber, healthy fats, greens, flavors and super foods.
This is all optional. Maybe you want some of these, maybe you want one, or maybe you want all of them… it’s really up to you.
Protein (I use a plant based vegan protein from aloha)
Greens powder (I also use aloha)
Chia seeds (these can get gummy though)
Spirulina (a teaspoon will be fine, any more and it will get bitter and overpowering)
Collagen (I use neocell)
Almond butter (the natural kind) usually don’t need more than a tablespoon
Peanut butter (the natural kind) usually don’t need more than a tablespoon
Kale or spinach (a big handful will be fine, any more and it will overpower the smoothie)
Lemon, ginger, etc. (start small with these potent flavors)
Maca (be careful with this, I find men really like it but it can really bother with women’s hormones)
Any other supplements that make sense to you and your goals.
If you want to sweeten?
Agave, honey, stevia
I find it to make the smoothie airy and I like my smoothies thick and substantial, so I never use ice. It can also tear up your blender if you don’t have a strong enough blender that is made for ice. I also freeze all the fruits I put in smoothies, to keep them nice and cold and thick.
Everything is better thick.
// Final Thoughts
There’s no recipe. Play around with what you like and need. I use them as a means to an end (something nutritious, all in one place, otherwise I eat whole foods.)
Use these suggestions and add in anything else you might like, or leave them as is. All fruits are frozen (except bananas and pineapple) juice should be fresh as well if you can get it, all milks unsweetened. These are from a smoothie menu I created years ago, but still use many of these combos with my super food additions.
A green smoothie that actually tastes good // Pineapple + Banana + Kale + Almond Milk
Simple // Banana + Strawberries + choice of milk
// Raspberries + Coconut Milk + Banana + Honey
// Mixed Berries + Yogurt / Milk + Honey
// Black and Blueberries + Yogurt/Milk + Apple Juice (optional)
// Pineapple + Mango + Honey + Coconut Milk
// Peach + Banana + Pear + Strawberries + Honey + Milk
// Blueberries + Banana + Wheat Grass Shot + Milk
// Mango + Pineapple + Milk or OJ
// Strawberries + Blueberries + Banana + Apple Juice
// Banana + Mango (optional) + Almond Butter + Almond Milk
// Banana + Cocoa Powder + Maca + Honey + Hemp Milk