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How to Make a Smoothie

Posted on Jul 3, 2013 in Favorites, Health, Kitchen Adventures

This smoothie formula (not really a recipe but a collection of principles) is decades tested and brother-in-law approved (he still talks about when we first met and I made him a real smoothie).ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS (2 modest servings)

  • 1 Banana (sweetness and texture, can be fresh or frozen)
  • 1 (6-8oz) Yogurt (vanilla & fruity taste the best, but plain can work with enough flavor support from other ingredients)
  • Fruit (or Vegetables) – Packed to the top of your container *SOME MUST BE FROZEN* for the right temperature and consistency
  • Liquid (juice preferred, but you can also use milk) – Filling in the gaps between your fruit.  Start with what you think will be too little – just a splash – and then add more gradually stopping the blender if the smoothie seems too thick, or the blender has trouble processing.


  • Fruits (fresh or frozen), be mindful of seedy berries, and if you’re really particular, colors….brown smoothies aren’t as appetizing as pink or purple.  Strawberries and blueberries are my recommendation for your first attempts.  Mango and peaches are also a hit around here.  Hint* – buy a ton of fruit when it’s on sale and cut up a bunch to freeze.
  • Vegetables (fresh or frozen), be mindful of chunkiness – vegetables often make smoothies more pulpy in texture.  Our favorite is fresh kale or spinach.  This is a primary way we get our kids to eat vegetables.
  • Juice, I like apple, fruit punch, or orange juice the best.  Be careful with cranberry or grapefruit, which can overpower the flavor.


  • Flax seeds or powder – I do this almost every smoothie for some extra Fiber and Omega-3’s
  • Nuts – if your blender can handle it.  Tyler also does raw oats or coconut sometimes, but I don’t prefer it.
  • Avocado.  YUM.  I know it sounds gross, but you’ve got to try it….adds great texture, could potentially be a substitute for banana.
  • Tapioca balls (available at most Asian markets) – for those of you who like snow bubbles
  • Peanut Butter or Whey for protein (although I haven’t actually tried this)

ICE? – No. Unless you’re cheap…but use sparingly and be sure to try out an ice-free smoothie first so you know what you’re missing.

SUGAR? – no need if you include all of the essential ingredients.  Sugar syrup is the worst….when you see a smoothie on the menu that has sugar syrup and ice, run.  That, my friends, is not a smoothie.  It’s a slushie dessert of some sort, will be way too sweet, and is definitely not worth the calories.

ICE CREAM? – Sure, but that crosses the line into Milkshake territory.  Might as well add chocolate while you’re at it.  A good smoothie will be delicious without adding ice cream, sugar, honey, etc.

We have the Magic Bullet and use it almost every day – – our blender broke a few years ago and we have lived happily without it since just using the Bullet. I recommend it if you’re in the market 🙂  It’s really easy to clean, the personal cups have lids that make them easy to take on the go, and I even use the special flat blade for grinding my coffee beans.


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