ingredients on table to explain how to make a smoothie

How to Make a Smoothie

If you have questions about smoothies, you’ve come to the right place. Follow this guide to learn how to make a smoothie that’s creamy, tasty and filling every single time. We’ll cover the best blenders for smoothies, go-to ingredients to blend, tips to prep and even walk you through the steps of creating the perfect blend.

Drinking a daily smoothie is the #1 habit that transformed my health. I went from exhausted to energized in days just by drinking a daily smoothie. Now, you can follow along to learn how to make a smoothie that’s tasty, easy and healthy.

Now, not all smoothies are created equal. Some are packed with sugars, dairy and artificial ingredients that taste like candy (and do more harm than good). Others are blended with so many strange superfoods you have to gag it down. Around here, you don’t have to worry about either of those extremes.

I really try and create the best smoothie recipes using real fruits and vegetables that taste amazing, packed with nutrients and are love at first sip. 

Mango recipe that's on table with fresh fruit and succulents
jen hansard demos how to make the best smoothie

The Perfect Smoothie Formula

Making a tasty and healthy smoothie isn’t rocket science (yet it can feel like it at first!). Which is exactly why I created this simple formula to help you make your own smoothie recipe. As you blend more often, feel free to customize the formula. If you’re craving greens, add more leafy greens to your recipe. Smoothie tasting too sweet? Decrease the amount of fruit you put in them. Maybe you prefer your smoothies thinner… just add more liquid.


Fruit — 1 1/2 Cups

  • Apple
  • Apricot
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Cucumber
  • Fig
  • Grapes
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Mango
  • Melon
  • Nectarine
  • Orange
  • Papaya
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes

Greens — 1 Cup

  • Bok choy
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Kale
  • Microgreens
  • Romaine
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Watercress

Liquid — 1 Cup

  • Coconut water
  • Herbal tea
  • Kombucha
  • Nut milk
  • Oat milk
  • Water

Superfood Boosters — 2-4 tbs

  • Almond butter
  • Cacao powder
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Fresh herbs
  • Hemp hearts
  • Protein powder
  • Rolled oats
  • Spices

How to Blend the Perfect Smoothie

With over a decade of blending at least one smoothie a day, we’ve determined how to make a smoothie that’s amazing every time. It all depends on the order in which you place your ingredients in the blender affects your overall blend. Every blender is a little different, but the sequence we share below is a great plan for most standard blenders.


Tightly pack any leafy greens in a measuring cup and then toss into blender.

Pour liquid on top of the leafy greens to help create more space in the blender.

Blend together until all leafy chunks are gone.

Add chopped fresh fruit and veggies (1-inch pieces or smaller if using a blender under 300 watts).

If using dry ingredients, add to the blender after fresh fruits and before frozen fruits.

Add frozen fruits and blend on medium-low for 10 seconds and increase to high speed for about 30 seconds. If it’s not creating a vortex, add additional 1⁄4 cup of liquid to pull the ingredients toward the blade.

Pour into a glass and sip like a rawkstar!

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Go-To Ingredients for Smoothies

Learning how to make a wholesome tasty smoothie is a huge part of my wellness success. To boost the health benefits, I recommend adding a handful of leafy greens to your smoothie as often as possible. This can really improve your overall health without ruining the flavor (trust me!). 

Fresh Produce

  • Bananas are a great natural sweetener, plus they are packed with potassium and make a smoothie super creamy. When a smoothie is just a little “off”, toss in a banana and it’ll usually perk it right up. Bananas contain good carbohydrates, which the body quickly and easily converts into energy after a workout. By eating a banana after a workout, you help your body recover quickly and rebuild muscle faster.
  • Oranges have a lot of vitamin C and potassium, which are really important nutrients to replenish after a workout. They also are packed with hydration, allowing you to use less liquid and still creating the perfect blend.
  • Strawberries are a low sugar fruit that I love to add to smoothies. I use frozen strawberries since they chill the smoothie and aren’t harsh on the blender blades. If you’re curious how to make a smoothie with strawberries, check out this Strawberry Banana Smoothie.
  • Spinach is the mildest-tasting green, which makes it a great choice for a delicious smoothie.
  • Apples contain a powerful antioxidant called quercetin, who’s main role in the body is to deliver more oxygen to the lungs.When you get more oxygen to your lungs, you have greater endurance. This makes it so much easier to get through that hour-long spin class!

Fruit gets a bad rap because of its sugar content, known as fructose. The sad thing is, Americans don’t consume enough fruits and veggies as it is. Yes, we want you to be mindful of what you put in your body (especially if you’re monitoring your blood sugar levels), but don’t avoid fruit as a part of your healthy diet just to decrease how much sugar you consume!

Frozen Fruit FOR SMOOTHIES

Learning how to make a wholesome tasty smoothie is a huge part of my wellness success. To boost the health benefits, I recommend adding a handful of leafy greens to your smoothie as often as possible. This can really improve your overall health without ruining the flavor (trust me!). 

  • Frozen Peaches are high in beta-carotene (just like carrots!) and vitamin C, making them one of the most rawesome free-radical fighters in the produce section. Peach power all the way! So what does this really mean for you? Well, vitamin C is essential for the production of healthy collagen, which keeps your skin smooth and youthful.
  • Frozen Mango is a heck of a lot easier to blend thanks to the skin and seed already being removed.

There’s a great sugar debate about how much fruit should be in a green smoothie. We stand up for fruit because it has many health benefits—including our favorite superstar, fiber. Fiber is your body’s internal broom; it sweeps out the gunk in your gut, which is vital for keeping your body in tip-top shape.

Jen Hansard
  • Frozen Pineapple is loaded with antioxidants that help you recover from your workout quicker and build muscles faster. Add in the bonus of bromelain, an enzyme that helps keep injury inflammation in check, and you can see why we use pineapple often!
  • Frozen Avocado are a great natural sweetener, plus they are packed with potassium and make a smoothie super creamy. When a smoothie is just a little “off”, toss in a banana and it’ll usually perk it right up. This Avocado Smoothie uses frozen avocado, which is getting easy to find in most grocery stores lately (and is often more affordable).
  • Frozen Berries are a great way to boost the antioxidant content and add additional fiber without adding much sugar.

Best Liquids for Blending

The type of liquid used in a smoothie can change the consistency, flavor and nutrients by a lot. Liquids like water, green tea, and coconut water tend to blend thinner smoothies, while liquids like almond milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, oat milk, and rice milk create creamier smoothies.

  • Water is great at hydrating the body, has zero calories and doesn’t alter the taste of a smoothie.
  • Almond Milk is one of the most popular non-dairy alternatives on the market. It’s affordable, has a mild taste and is widely available in most grocery stores. Discover our favorite brands of almond milk.
  • Oat Milk is super creamy and has a natural sweet taste. It goes will with berries and bananas and is commonly fortified with vitamins and minerals. Best oat milk brands of the year.
  • Coconut Water is loaded with electrolytes, and is terrific for replenishing electrolytes lost during your workout. It can be an strange taste, so if you’re new to coconut water, try doing half coconut water and half regular water in your next smoothie, then increase your ratio as you fall in love.
  • Chilled Tea, like green tea, is great for a natural energy boost as well as metabolism mover. Try herbal teas to soothe the stomach and calm the body.

What Makes a Smoothie Unhealthy?

Not all smoothies are created equal. Some are packed with sugars, dairy and artificial ingredients that do more harm than good. When making (or buying) a smoothie, we suggest you avoid a few items to get you the best long-term results.

What to Avoid in smoothies

  • Refined sugar is extracted from the sugar cane or sugar beet in a process that leaves you with a nutritionally-void sweetener. It’s acidic and leaches nutrients from our bodies, highly addictive and can contribute to mood problems, weight gain and tooth decay. It also leads to spikes in our blood sugar, giving us false “highs,” followed by crashes in energy that leave us more tired than we were to begin with. If you need something to sweeten your smoothie, opt for natural sweeteners.
  • Dairy is highly acidic and can be quite difficult to digest. It can also contribute to excess mucus formation in the body. Replace dairy with unsweetened almond milk, rice milk, oat milk or any other nut or seed milk.
  • Additives (gums, natural flavors, zero calorie sweeteners) often contain damaging chemicals and artificial substances that wreak havoc on a gut. Artificial sweeteners can suck nutrients from our bones, our cells and our entire system due to their acidity. They also place a huge burden on our liver and kidneys (which are responsible for breaking down chemicals), making it harder for our bodies to function properly.

We’re very intentional about avoiding the ingredients above in our recipes because we know many people are highly sensitive to them and they can trigger allergies and upset tummies. You may not even know you have a sensitivity to any of these foods until you remove them from your diet. If you’re wonder if this could be you, I suggest trying a plant-based cleanse which has an elimination phase to help you determine food sensitivities.

Health Benefits of Smoothies

When you drink a daily smoothie, you’re giving your body permission to transform naturally and happily. This is not a short-term program or a diet where you’re counting down the days until it’s over. There’s no endgame with smoothies, just a starting point to a life of health and wellness. Ready to enjoy these awesome health benefits? 


Strengthened Immune system

Blending fruits and veggies that are high in vitamins A and C boosts the immune system, which is your body’s natural defense system against infections and viruses.

Regular bowel movements

The fiber found in smoothies acts as an internal broom to help digested food inside your body “move along.” Over time, regular bowel movements can help with bloating, acne, and weight loss.

Weight loss

Smoothies are loaded with nutrients and packed with fiber, which all aid in weight loss. Plus, fiber and healthy fats keep you full and energized, making working out even more doable. Oftentimes, our smoothie challenge rawkstars lose weight without even trying.

Glowing skin

A diet high in leafy greens means you are loading up on chlorophyll, which helps purge toxins from the inside out, replenishes cells, and restores the skin quickly. Get your glow on with healthy, happy skin when you toss in a handful of spinach or kale to your smoothie.

Sharper clarity and focus

The combination of high-fiber plants gives you steady, stable, consistent energy. Say adios to brain fog and hello to quick wit and focus!


recipe demo on how to make a smoothie in yoru kitchen
5 from 3 votes

How to Make a Smoothie

Follow this recipe tutorial to learn how to make incredible smoothies at home every single time.
Prep: 3 mins
Blending Time: 2 mins
Total: 5 mins
Author: Jen Hansard
Course: Smoothie
Cuisine: Healing
Serves: 1

Ingredients  

  • 1.5 cups fruit banana, frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup leafy greens spinach, baby kale, etc
  • 1 cup liquid water, nut milk, etc
  • 2 tbsp superfoods chia, hemp, flax, etc

Instructions 

  • Toss leafy greens and liquid into blender.
  • Blend on high speed until all leafy chunks are gone.
  • Add fruit and superfoods and blend on medium-low for 10 seconds and increase to high speed for about 30 seconds.

Notes

  • If blender isn’t creating a vortex when blending on high, add additional 1⁄4 cup of liquid to pull the ingredients toward the blade.

Nutrition

Calories: 326kcal, Carbohydrates: 63g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Sodium: 44mg, Potassium: 483mg, Fiber: 14g, Sugar: 40g, Vitamin A: 1541IU, Vitamin C: 17mg, Calcium: 182mg, Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe? Show me!Mention @SimpleGreenSmoothies or tag #SimpleGreenSmoothies!

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Comments

  1. Is there any way to blend in the morning and take to work for lunch? Will it still be ok?

    1. Hey Gina – great question! You can totally blend a smoothie in the morning and refrigerate it until lunch time – just be sure to give it a good shake, as some of the ingredients may start to separate. I always like to offer that the most ideal time to drink your smoothie is right after blending, as there will be some nutrient decrease about 15 minutes after blending, plus fresher is always better. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Do you have any advice for making a smoothie that keeps well until the next day? I’ve tried but often get separation of blended fruit/liquid, some browning, etc. in the fridge. I’d love to make a batch of smoothies in advance that would be as good as if I’d just made it. Thanks for your blog and any tips you can give!

    1. Hey Mandie— check out How to Meal Prep Smoothies. My #1 suggestion would be to make smoothie packs, rather than blending in advance, as you’ll lose nutrients and it just won’t be as fresh. Smoothie packs are all the measured and prepared ingredients in a freezer safe bag or container, minus liquid bases or dry ingredients, like nuts or powders. This will save you so much time! Dump your pack into the blender, add liquid base and blend! Super fast, easy and fresh!

  3. 5 stars
    This is a very helpful post. Thank you! I’m so excited to start blending 🙂