HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >



I finally got a new blender. I want to start making good smoothies. What do you put in yours?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have at least one smoothie every day with my brunch. If I cannot sit and eat a meal with my smoothie, I will dump in a scoop of protien powder in any of the smoothies. Otherwise, I don't usually have the protien powder with it.

    Apricot Smoothie

    1 cup almond milk
    4 canned apricot halves (packed in juice)
    1 small orange
    1 banana

    Chocolate Peanutbutter Banana Smoothie

    1 banana
    1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
    1/2 cup low-fat chocolate almond milk
    2 tablespoons reduced-fat all-natural peanut butter

    Pear and yogurt smoothie

    1 1/2 cups plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt
    1  pear
    1 small sliced banana
    2 tablespoons protein powder
    3/4 cup almond milk (or reg milk or soy milk)

    Most of the time I never measure, I take my fruit, and slice it, and put it in my glass and then fill up the glass almost to the top with the blending liquid of my choice.   Usually some kind of almond milk or yogurt.   This way you dump the glass contents into the blender and you have the perfect amount, since yoi used the glass to measure.  Regular combos include:

    1 peach
    1 apple 
    1 carrot

    1 apple
    1 pear
    3 leaves of romaine lettuce

    1 apple
    1 orange
    1 carrot

    1/4 watermelon 
    1/4 honey dew
    1/4 cantaloupe (I like to blend this one with a little juice instead of a milk product)

    1 banana
    1 apple
    3 leaves of romaine
    Big tbs of almond butter
    Tbs flax seed

    1 banana
    Some frozen strawberries (or any other berry)

    1 banana
    Some frozen cherries 
    Nice blended with chocolate almond milk 

    Or if you have a good high speed blender / emulsifier like mine, you could do an all veggie v-8 style drinks or green smoothies:

    1 red pepper
    1 large ripe tomato
    4 oz white cabbage
    1 carrot
    1 celery stick 
    Scoop of ice

    Green apple
    1 pear
    1 cucumber
    1 stick celery
    3 leaves romaine
    Scoop of ice

    1 cup spinach
    1 small cucumber
    2 stalks of celery with leaves
    A quarter size piece of ginger root
    A handful of parsley
    1 apple
    Juice of 1 lime

      1. My go-to 30 second smoothie consists of (these are approximate quantities):
        1/3 cup juice (pomegranate is what I'm currently using, as they have it at Trader Joe's)
        1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt (I've used Greek yogurt, Straus European style, and others - all of them work)
        1 tablespoon agave syrup or honey
        1/2 cup frozen berries (I like a mix of strawberries and blueberries)

        If I have any flaxseed around, I grind them up in my spice grinder and toss them in too. Blend it all up on high power for a good 30 seconds.

        1. my favorite smoothie, serves 2:

          - one bunch of greens (kale or baby spinach or romaine)
          - 6 dates
          - 1 cup nonfat greek yogurt
          - 1/2 of an avocado
          - 4 tbsp flaxseed meal
          - 1 banana
          - two servings of frozen berries
          - half a lemon or lime squeezed
          - enough water for a nice consistency

          makes a deliciously sweet and creamy smoothie that i feel good about drinking. i usually stuff as many greens in there as it can take. baby spinach comes out super smooth, romaine a little more texturey, kale took a little getting used to.

          1. My favorite is carrots, celery, apple and ginger. We all like cantalope and peach with a splash of orange or apple juice.

            1. Very Cherry Berry Smoothie

              (recipe by “Oishii!”)

              makes 2 servings

              2 cups (9 ounces) frozen strawberries
              1/2 cup (2 ounces) frozen raspberries
              1 cup vanilla yogurt (I like Dannon brand
              ) 1 cup 100% red tart cherry juice (Trader Joe’s brand is great or see below for substitute)
              2 tablespoons honey


              Process all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Divide between two glasses.

              Prep Tip: Purchase fresh fruit when it is on sale, clean, and freeze it in single layers in plastic freezer bags.

              Ingredient Note: A cheaper alternative to 100% red tart cherry juice is to use canned frozen cherry juice. Old Orchard makes delicious 100% fruit juice blends such as cherry pomegranate. You can skip the honey if you use these already sweet juices.

              1. Purple Berry Smoothie

                (recipe by “Oishii!”)

                makes 2 servings

                1 1/2 cups (7 ounces) frozen blueberries
                1 cup (4 ounces) frozen blackberries
                1 cup vanilla yogurt (I like Dannon brand
                ) 1 1/4 cups grape juice (100% fruit juice)


                Process all ingredients in a blender. Divide between two glasses.

                2 Replies
                  1. If you're in New York (I hope you're not) you may be breaking the law:

                    25 Replies
                    1. re: todao

                      Funny, I was reading about all these smoothie recipes & I thought to myself, " some of these peeps are downing a ton of sugar/carbs"!

                      Some of these recipes have an excessive amount of sugar/carbs (like the purple berry smoothie above - wow)! I think some folks are impressed by all the fresh fruit, protein and calcium and lose site of the calories/ carbs of the total smoothie. Also, I don't think many are aware of how many carbs are in stuff like flax seeds and chia seeds (8g/1oz & 12g/1oz).

                      Don't get me wrong, I love smoothies, but I watch my sugar/carb/calorie intake when making mine. One cup of kale, some almond milk, half an apple, half a banana & a cup of pineapple. That's about 30 carbs and 250 calories.

                      1. re: lynnlato

                        1. My smoothie serves 2 and uses one tablespoon of chia - 4g of carbs, so 2g apiece.

                        2. What's wrong with a few whole-food carbs?

                        1. re: sandylc

                          Absolutely nothing is wrong with "a few whole-food carbs". I was referencing the recipes with excessive amounts of carbs.

                          1. re: sandylc

                            That berry recipe gets almost all of its calories from sugar, a LOT of sugar. That's not a few, and whole doesn't matter to your pancreas; a carb gram is sugar.

                            1. re: mcf

                              Whole DOES matter; the fiber slows the uptake of sugar, as do the protein and fat consumed along with it.

                              Also, what berry recipe are you referencing? Am I forgetting/missing something? Sorry.

                              1. re: sandylc

                                I testl my sugar after everything I eat. Maybe if I ate a bale of hay... if you test your blood sugar after meals for control and monitoring, you know that isn't much of an effect at all. Protein slows or prevents a spike in moderate carb meals, fat and fiber not so much. I'm referring to the same one lynnlato did, above, from MichaelBeyer, 105 grams of sugar.

                                That would require two bales of hay. :-)

                                1. re: mcf

                                  WOW! Just looked at that recipe - you're right, a ton of fruit and sugar (in the juice). Hubby and I share the recipe that I posted somewhere around here-

                                  One apple, with skin
                                  One pear, with skin
                                  A few cubes of frozen mango
                                  About 1 1/2 cups water
                                  1-2 T. chia seeds (sometimes)

                                  Once in a while:

                                  A FEW berries

                                  So, as you can see, our shared smoothie, served with a protein/fat food, isn't all that pumped up with sugar.

                                  1. re: sandylc

                                    It would spike me all to hell, but for two non metabolically challenged folks as part of a protein and fat meal, you could do a lot worse. As you just saw. :-) Yours is roughly about 40 gms of sugar if those are med sized pears and apples and .33 cup of mango chunks. Around 50 grams carb total.

                                    1. re: mcf

                                      Thanks for the info! We usually use small pears and apples, as that's what's available in bagged organics.

                                      1. re: sandylc

                                        Here's a GREAT download that you can keep on your desk top, or you can just use the data base online: http://www.ars.usda.gov/main/site_mai...

                                        The amount of nutrient data for each item is incredible, down to individual amino acids, minerals, etc...

                                        1. re: mcf

                                          That is really really really cool!!! Thanks....I will take a look....

                          2. re: lynnlato

                            Too each his own, but smoothies are by definition sweetened drinks containing whole fruit. While I don't recommend drinking smoothies every day, if you are counting calories and carbs that closely, have a Diet Coke or glass of water instead. I most certainly will not be putting kale in my smoothies any time soon either.

                            1. re: MichaelBeyer

                              Just looked up smoothie in the wiki - they say "sometimes sweetened". Also, the folks who essentially invented smoothies (health-types) would never dream of putting sugar in them. The sugar thing probably came along when someone decided to make money off of the idea and set up shop in the mall - working with the ideas that everyone loves/wants sugar and what they don't know won't hurt them, they pumped their products up with sugar to entice folks.

                              Also, OMG, who who ever recommend a Diet Coke for health??????

                              1. re: MichaelBeyer

                                As you said, "to each their own". Why would you tell me to drink a diet soda or water? I can have a healthy smoothie with low sugar/carbs if I choose. And if you don't want to put kale in your smoothie, well that's certainly your right not to do so. Nobody said you had to. Many folks drink smoothies as a healthy treat or nutritional meal replacement option, fyi.

                                1. re: MichaelBeyer

                                  Whole fruit smoothies are healthy AND yummy. We don't put fruit juice in because that just defeats the whole fruit thing. Sometimes we put a little spinach or parsley in because you can't really taste it and it's good for us. We use smoothies as a way to get some fruit into us easily and enjoyably for a good energy start to our day. They're delicious and fresh and naturally sweet all on their own; to add sugar or fruit juice would make them cloying, IMHO.

                                  1. re: sandylc

                                    "We" are mostly in agreement. Cheers to your good health.

                                    1. re: MichaelBeyer

                                      Not the royal we; the hubby and I we....interesting how you interpreted it.

                                    2. re: sandylc

                                      Whole fruit smoothies *can* be healthy, but too often are not because people confuse fruit with health food and forget to balance with adequate protein and fat. Natural carbs and sugars stress your organs and metabolism as much as refined ones.

                                      1. re: mcf

                                        Thanks, and you are correct. We are careful to create a balanced meal to go with our smoothies; it always includes fat and protein. We just choose not to put it in the smoothie itself. I don't view protein powders and the like necessarily to be good things; instead we have yogurt, eggs, cheese, meat.....etc.

                                        1. re: sandylc

                                          You eat a balanced meal in addition to hundreds of calories from carbs? How big are those meals? When I made smoothies, I added walnut oil or almonds, or nut butters and yogurt or whey protein... my daughter just added raw eggs and nut butters.

                                  2. re: MichaelBeyer

                                    There is no requirement for added sweetener in smoothies. They started out as health foods, have morphed into bucket sized desserts.

                                2. re: todao

                                  It's true that smoothies are not low calorie drinks. However, I think it is highly unfortunate that fresh fruit and fruit juice get lumped in with conversations about Slurpies and soda.

                                  1. re: MichaelBeyer

                                    There's nothing healthy about fruit juice, it's all a sugar bomb. Some quantitities of fresh fruit can be part of a very healthful diet, but quantities should be sharply limited. There's nothing natural about the fruits folks buy now, they're hybridized for size and for much greater sugar content than natural wild fruits produce. Your pancreas doesn't care where those hundreds of grams of glucose come from.

                                    1. re: MichaelBeyer

                                      it is not often that i agree with mcf, but Michael Boyer, this is the time:
                                      fruit juice SHOULD be lumped in with unhealthful foods:




                                      and on and on and on.
                                      there are hundreds of legiitimate researchers that concur.

                                  2. chocolate banana smoothie:

                                    1 ripe banana
                                    1 1/4 cups soy milk
                                    2Tbl valrhonna cocoa powder
                                    sweetener to taste
                                    enough ice cubes to give it that slushy texture

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                      Freezing the banana (and only using half, in my case) really improves texture, too.

                                    2. Simple but healthy and fresh:

                                      One apple, skin included
                                      One pear, skin included
                                      A few chunks of frozen mango
                                      1 1/2 cups of water
                                      a Tablespoon or two of chia seeds

                                      baby spinach
                                      berries of any kind

                                      1. I start all my smoothies--I only make fruit ones-- with fat-free Greek yogurt, some water and a splash of vanilla. Once that's blended it drop in frozen fruit bit by by--mixed berries and mango are 2 favorites from TJs--in order to make it cold and slushy. Banana if I have it or whatever other fresh fruit. No sweetener.

                                        1. I like fruit smoothies.
                                          1 banana
                                          1 cup of strawberries
                                          1 scoop protein powder
                                          1 cup orange juice
                                          1 cup of ice
                                          Some peach or papaya is good in it, too. My son and I like these on a hot summer day or for dessert. Some of the vegetable ones I see here would go down better as a bowl of soup, to me.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: jmcarthur8

                                            Here's the carb breakdown: banana 23 grams of carbs/sugar, strawberries, 12 grams carb, orange juice, 29 grams carb, for a total of mostly fast acting sugar 64 grams and there are usually about 3 in protein powder. The protein is wise, but it really packs a big sugar punch.

                                            1. re: mcf

                                              That's okay. Even with an occasional smoothie or candy bar (Milky Way 43gm carbs) or slice of pie (key lime 52gm carbs), I still lost 50 lbs. in the last year, and have a healthy balanced diet.
                                              I don't have a blood sugar problem (actually, it reads a little low usually), so 64 grams of carbs now and then is no big deal.

                                              1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                You know what they say about an ounce of prevention, right?

                                                Low blood sugar usually means you *do* have a problem over secreting insulin, usually, in response to excess carbs, it's called reactive hypoglycemia. Eventually, your pancreas loses a lot of its insulin producing cells from the excess demand and that's how type 2 diabetes develops. Hyperinsulinemia to lower gluose after a carb load til you can't keep up the production any more.

                                                1. re: mcf

                                                  Yep, you're exactly right about an ounce of prevention. That's why I eat a healthy balanced diet, and have kept my reactive hypoglycemia under control since it was diagnosed 15 years ago. No spikes up or down, all is good. Coming from a diabetic family ( types 1 and 2), I've found that it's always good to check now and then.
                                                  Having said that, I will continue to have my carb-filled desserts occasionally, and will continue to not obsess about it.

                                                  1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                    You just said yours runs low. Glad to know that you aren't spiking post meal, especially if you're making sure to test one hour after your first bite. I very occasionally have an off plan dessert if it's something out of the ordinary special, but having reversed my diabetic kidney and nerve damage about 14 years ago with diet alone, and staying in normal numbers since without meds, it's not worth excursions off plan regularly.

                                                    But if I ever find out I'm terminal, I'll skip the smoothies and have a slice of fresh, hot NY pizza WITH the crust! And an everything bagel chaser. But not unless and until. This works for me and I don't miss anything any more, I love the food I eat and I eat only food I really love.

                                          2. Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino

                                            Here's a delicious, rich, chocolate mocha Frappuccino you can make at home in about a minute. The secret to its being rich and thick and keeping it from tasting watery is the pudding.

                                            The calories are about 120 for 12 oz.

                                            I think this tastes better than the one from Starbucks, and it doesn't cost $ 4.00 for 12 oz.

                                            1 cup Vanilla Almond Milk
                                            1/2 cup Coffee Mate French Vanilla Creamer - sugar free (liquid creamer)
                                            1/3 cup powdered non-dairy coffee creamer
                                            2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
                                            2 Tbsp instant coffee crystals
                                            1 (3.25 oz) Jello Vanilla or Chocolate Pudding Snack Pack (prepared pudding cup) - sugar free
                                            2 cups ice cubes

                                            Add ingredients to blender in order given.
                                            Blend on HIGH for 45-seconds or until smooth.

                                            Makes about 4 cups. 48 oz.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Antilope

                                              Another real simple and really good one:

                                              Peach Smoothie

                                              1 (28 oz) can peaches in their own juice, undrained (if desired, add any type of sweetener, also)
                                              2 cups ice cubes

                                              Blend on high until smooth.

                                            2. 2-3x a week A green drink powder http://empoweredherbals.com/about.htm and a many other things I have available such as almond or coconut milk ,banana ,sweet potato , mango ,pineapple etc .Try oatmeal with flaxseed oil add blueberries and it tastes like a muffin .

                                              1. My husband's favorite apple-peach smoothie (the only way he will eat fruit):

                                                I make a mix ahead of time, and throw it in the freezer so it's ready for breakfast. For one meal-size smoothie, it's 6 ounces chopped peaches, 2 ounces chopped apple, a teaspoon of lemon juice, a tablespoon of sugar, and a pinch of salt. Blend with your hands and throw it into a plastic freezer bag. When it's solid, you can break up the fruit pieces with your hands to make it easier to blend-it never freezes entirely hard.

                                                To make the smoothie, throw into the blender one baggie of fruit, half a banana, a cup of apple juice, and whole milk to your ideal texture-a little over half a cup or so.

                                                This amount serves 2 if it's part of a larger meal. The sugar can be eliminated and replaced with a couple of dates, if desired, added with the banana. Alternative fruit blends can be subbed for the apples/peaches, and for tropical flavored smoothies, canned coconut milk instead of the cow's milk.

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: LadySaiga

                                                  I like the coconut milk option!

                                                  Do you peel the apple and peaches, or just blend them till the peels disappear?

                                                  1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                    No peeling! Too lazy, don't wanna lose good vitamins, and also peach skin makes a nice pinky color. My blender is very cheap and the skins become tiny confetti, it really does nothing to harm the texture of the smoothie and it looks good, I think.

                                                    I've been contemplating a tropical variation on the recipe like this:
                                                    8 oz mango chunks, or maybe 6 ounces mango and 2 of papaya, with the lemon/sugar/salt, frozen,

                                                    blended with orange or pineapple juice, the half banana, and coconut milk.

                                                    I don't know if the liquid quantities would need to be adjusted. Probably a bit. I think I would use the cream off the coconut milk, and I highly recommend AGAINST the boxed type of coconut milks. They are very watery and not the same at all.

                                                    1. re: LadySaiga

                                                      You've reminded me of my very first smoothie - back in 1972, a little hippie joint called Seva' near Ohio State University. They had an excellent one that had banana, strawberry, OJ, and the magic ingredient..papaya. The papaya made this smooth, rich, earthy flavor and texture.

                                                      I haven't had one with papaya in years. I think I will try one.

                                                      1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                        I don't care for papaya, it's the weird buttery/custardy texture. Smoothies are the perfect way to avoid that for me. They ARE sweet, and I think the flavor would pair well with strawberries especially. Good luck!

                                                    2. re: jmcarthur8

                                                      I should mention that I'm very unlikely to put protein powder or anything else processed in the smoothies. I struggled with that for a bit, and decided I'd much rather have a nice egg or two, and share the smoothie with my husband, than drink my whole meal and have fake stuff in there. Smoothies can get like medicine, everybody wants to put fancy schmancy ingredients in. Simple is yummy.

                                                      1. re: LadySaiga

                                                        I use protein powder in my fruit smoothies to give them that Orange Julius flavor. What would be a good substitute to provide the creaminess?

                                                  2. My current smoothie recipe:

                                                    1 banana
                                                    1 pear
                                                    1 orange
                                                    hand full of kale

                                                    add ice and blend. I don't add any liquid myself because I prefer a thicker smoothie.

                                                    don't dismiss the Kale, it's actually OK when used with something that has a strong flavour like pineapple.

                                                    1. I like this one.Sorry I don't use measuring cups on fruit.I use frozen fruit.
                                                      1/2C coconut milk
                                                      1/2-1C almond milk
                                                      4-6 large spoons of plain fage
                                                      2TBS milled flax
                                                      2TBS wheat germ
                                                      1/2 banana or 1 medium
                                                      handful each of wild blueberries,blackberries,& red raspberries
                                                      3 lg strawberries or 4-5 med
                                                      It may sound kinda loud,but I like it.Been my regular for about a month now.

                                                      1. Inspired partly by this discussion, Leena Trivedi-Grenier published this round-up of 7 Smoothies to Kickstart Summer: http://www.chow.com/food-news/152055/...

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                          Does anyone know if I can put avocado in the freezer to add to my smoothies? I just bought 5 at Costco and don't think they will last in the fridge if I use only 1/2 a day on my smoothie.

                                                          1. re: lilmomma

                                                            I peel and freeze avocado (in chunks) for smoothies, and it works fine. That said, I eat about 1/3 of an avocado nearly every night in my salad and the unused portion is fine in the fridge at least for a few days. Just leave the seed in and you can shave off the exposed flesh that turns brown if that bothers you.

                                                            1. re: lilmomma

                                                              Yes, in fact Trader Joe's sells bags of them halved, frozen. Try peeling, halving, freezing on a sheet pan or plate, then storing in a Ziplock.

                                                              1. re: lilmomma

                                                                Yes- but! Don't freeze until they are ripe! If u freeze hard avocados you'll just get flavorless defrosted avocado

                                                            2. Mango, banana, 1/2 cup of yogurt and/or milk, plus water. If you are weight conscious leave off the milk and banana (use pineapple and yogurt), add a bit of apple cider vinegar (no kidding!) jazzes up the taste. Don't forget to add fresh herbs, e.g. spearmint; or spices, e.g., cardamom (goes with milk); also vanilla. Mix it up on another day with oranges, grapes and a bit of apple. Try not to add sugar or other sweeteners to your smoothie, and experiment by pairing a bit of carrot (juice it first) with oranges, lettuce with apples etc.

                                                              1. This is an odd suggestion but if you mAke your own yogurt, as we often do, and strain the whey out to thicken the yogurt, the liquid whey makes a great liquid protein for smoothies. I'm not sure how much sugar is in it but I think very little since the cultures in the yogurt have eaten much of the sugar in milk.
                                                                For my kids I pour liquid whey over a large plastic cup of cut up fruit or frozen fruit. In the morning when it's par-thawed I blend with my immersion. My kids say it's their favorite breakfast, so I can't complain.