The amount of smoothie combinations are endless. If you browse the internet for smoothies, you will find smoothies made with oranges, cinnamon, collagen, coconut, pumpkin, or kale… the list goes on. I have seen recipes that include 3 ingredients and I have seen recipes that include 15 ingredients. When it comes to building a good smoothie you may be asking “should I add more”, “is protein powder and milk enough”, “do I really need to add fruit”, “am I adding enough nutrients”, etc.
Whether you are trying to gain weight, lose weight, or gain muscle, a smoothie should be a meal that fuels you. Your smoothie should keep you feeling full, help you obtain beautifying nutrients, and make your taste buds happy.
A smoothie should be filled with macronutrients.
- Protein– This is what will help you to fuel your muscles and it will help keep you full
- Healthy Fats– This is what will fuel your brain, help your fat soluble vitamins absorb, and promote a healthy weight
- Carbohydrates– This is what will give you energy
You will also want to add in some micronutrients.
- Vitamins and minerals– These are key in supporting healthy skin, hair, nails, immune function, healthy organs etc. Think Vitamins C, K, A, and SO many others that we should all be getting daily in whole food form (not just in a vitamin tablet)
Another essential nutrient is fiber, which comes in plant form. This is important for keeping you satiated and full longer. This is also important to healthy digestion.
It all starts with a good quality, high speed blender. A blender is definitely an investment, but it is worth it. I use my blender daily for smoothies, soups, dips, and sauces.
Now it is time to build your smoothie! These ingredients below are my favorites. There are SO many different foods you can choose from so you do not have to stick to my list!
Step 1: Start by choosing your base, which will be your choice of liquid. Choose from one of the following (or feel free to combine 2 together!)
- Water- slushier smoothie consistency
- Coconut Water- filled with potassium (essential for post workout)
- Almond Milk- gives your smoothie a creamy consistency plus it adds calcium
- Coconut Milk- lighter than almond milk, but it will keep your smoothie creamy plus it adds healthy fats
- Oat Milk- gives your smoothie a creamy consistency as well as oat flavor. Oat milk is naturally higher in sugar.
- Cashew Milk- If you like it extra creamy, this is the way to go!
Step 2: Pick your protein! Choose 1
- Protein Powder – I love vanilla protein powder because it can be combined with almost any smoothie ingredients! It also adds a smooth texture to your smoothie. Keep in mind that collagen powders are not filled with essential amino acids like a protein powders (try to find a protein powder that has essential amino acids which are important for healthy muscle)
- Seeds- pumpkin, hemp, and chia seeds are great sources of protein. Hemp seeds are one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet
- Quinoa- this is a complete protein that is great if you don’t have a protein powder
Step 3: Pick your fats! Choose 1
- Avocado- mellow in flavor; creates a smooth texture; high in fiber
- Almond butter- nutty in flavor; adds a creamy texture; high in fiber
- Peanut Butter- creamy texture; higher fat content than almond butter per serving
- Coconut (raw coconut meat)- rich in essential vitamins and nutrients; high fat content; great addition to fruity smoothies; pairs great with pineapple
Step 4: Pick your fiber Choose 1-2
- Flax Seeds- high in fiber; they are just about flavorless in a smoothie; adds thickness to smoothie
- Chia seeds- high in fiber; they are just about flavorless in a smoothie; adds thickness
- Oats- high in fiber; adds an oat flavor to smoothies
Step 5: Pick your carbohydrates: Choose 1-3
- Apple- Supports blood sugar regulation; pairs well with oats and cinnamon
- Banana- Great source of B6, Vitamin C and Potassium; pairs well with almost any smoothie; pro tip- freeze slices of bananas to add to smoothies for a creamy smooth texture
- Blackberries- Full of manganese, Vitamin C and Vitamin K; great addition to smoothies if your goal is weight-loss
- Blueberries- High in Vitamin C and Vitamin K; anti- inflammatory properties; pairs well in almost any smoothie; I love wild blueberries (in most frozen aisles)
- Cauliflower- Low in carbohydrates; great source of Vitamin C; if you usually use frozen bananas in your smoothies, frozen cauliflower is a great low carb alternative
- Dates- Acts as a natural sweetener; very high in carbohydrates; pairs well in just about any smoothie
- Mango- High in carbohydrates; great source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A; pairs well with coconut water and coconut
- Orange- High in Vitamin C; great for immunity health; pairs well with coconut water and coconut
- Papaya- Great source of Vitamin C; pairs well with mango
- Peaches- Great source of Vitamin A and C; great addition to smoothies if your goal is weight-loss; pairs well with raspberries and coconut milk
- Pineapple- Full of manganese and Vitamin C; pairs well with ginger or coconut
- Pumpkin- High in Vitamin K; great for skin health; pairs well with oats
- Raspberries- Great source of fiber and Vitamin C; pairs well with berry smoothies
- Strawberries- Great source of Vitamin C; pairs well with most smoothies
- Cherries- High in Vitamin C; great addition to smoothies if your goal is weight-loss; pairs well with blueberries
Step 6: Add some greens (optional) Choose 1-2
- Spinach- works well in most smoothies; flavorless in smoothies; great sources of Vitamin A and K
- Kale- works well in most smoothies; flavorless in smoothies; great source of Vitamin A, C, and K
- Celery- works great with peanut butter and almond butter; hydration booster
- Green powder- There are many green powders on the market. Most are dark leafy greens dried and ground into a powder. They are an easy way to get in nutrients
- Spirulina (powder)- high in nutrients; works well with pineapple or bananas
Step 7: Add some extra flavor! Depending on your smoothie, you may want to add in some extra flavoring! (optional) Choose 1-2
- Ginger- Pairs well with pineapple, spinach and coconut water
- Cacao powder- Works well with peanut butter and almond butter
- Mint Leaves- Works well with avocados and cacao powder
- Vanilla- Works well in most smoothies
Step 8: Add your supplements (optional) Choose 1
- Collagen Powder- Promotes hair, skin, and nail health
- Maca Powder- High in Vitamin C; Nutty flavor
- Adaptogens- Help improve focus and stress levels (there are protein powders pre mixed with adaptogens on the market today)
My best tip when making a smoothie is to not over fill it. Smoothies, in my opinion, should be filled with essential macro nutrients as well as micro nutrients. your smoothie should also taste great. Avoid trying to put too many different ingredients in your smoothie. If you are concerned about getting enough micro nutrients and supplementing, change up your smoothie frequently. Example: Alternate between a berry smoothie and a papaya mango smoothie, or alternate between adding collagen and adaptogens. A smoothie is a meal that is meant to be enjoyed, you don’t need to pack in 7 different fruits and veggies to create a healthy and great tasting smoothie!
Below is one of my favorite smoothies!
8 oz. Coconut Milk
1 Scoop Protein Powder premixed with adaptogens
1 tsp chia seeds
2 tbsp almond butter
1/4 cup spinach
1/4 cup kale
1/4 cup frozen blackberries
1/4 cup frozen wild blueberries
handful of ice
Let me know your favorite smoothie combo!