Smoothie Formula for the Perfect Blend

6.9.2021

Ever wonder how to get the perfect blend every time? I’ve got the not-so-secret smoothie formula that creates a no fail smoothie creation.

Best smoothie formula

If you’re looking for the perfect blend in every smoothie you make, then I’ve got the no-fail smoothie formula for you. Seriously, this is the method that started my smoothie journey, and it can help yours too. I’m also throwing in some smoothie tips for some all too common blending mistakes… See if any of these can help you achieve the perfect blend!

How to make the perfect blend

For a 2 serving smoothie, I use the 2-2-3 method for blending. That means 2 cups of leafy greens, 2 cups of liquid, and 3 cups of fruit. You can mix + match your leafy greens within those 2 cups as well as use a variety of fruits to come up with 3 cups.

For example, the #1 rate best smoothie ever uses 2 cups of spinach, 2 cups of water, and 3 cups of fruit (a mix of pineapple, mango, banana) for a 2 serving smoothie.

If you’re just making 1 serving of smoothie, then half the smoothie formula: to 1 + 1 + 1.5.

How to blend a smoothie

Once you gather and measure your ingredients, it’s time to blend! First, add the leafy greens, then liquid to your blender. Blend until there are no leafy chunks. Depending on your blender, this might take 10 seconds or 60.

Then add the remaining ingredients and blend again until smooth. If you want that refreshing smoothie to be cold, make sure at least 1 of your fruit ingredients is frozen.

I often boost my smoothies with plant based protein powder or superfoods to give my body the most benefit I can.

Pro smoothie tip: by adding protein + healthy fat to your smoothie, you can stay full longer + not get a sugar crash from the natural fruit sugar.

Perfect formula for blending

FAQs

What ingredients to buy for smoothies?

Leafy greens like spinach or kale, fruit like pineapple, mango, banana, and berries. If you want a liquid base other than water, then buy (or make) dairy free milk like almond milk or oat milk.

What is a good base for a smoothie?

There are so many great liquid bases for smoothies. I keep all mine dairy free, to avoid upsetting my stomach. My fav bases are water, coconut water or nut milk such as almond or cashew.

Are smoothies better with milk or water?

Both! It depends on the smoothie, really. I like to use water (or coconut water) when blending tropical fruits, and milk when adding ingredients like cacao, dates, cinnamon, or cauliflower.

How do you make a smoothie step by step?

The easiest smoothie formula is this: blend liquid + leafy greens first, until there are no chunks. Add remaining ingredients to blender and blend again until smooth. If you want a cold smoothie, make sure to add at least 1 frozen fruit.

Top 5 blending mistakes

So, you bought your ingredients, dusted off the blender, and yet your smoothie still isn’t perfect…. what went wrong?! I asked the Simple Green Smoothies community for their most common blending mistakes, and they provided some great ones! Here are the top mistakes as well as how to fix them:

Common blending mistakes

Blending Mistake #1- adding too many frozen ingredients

In almost every green smoothie recipe I share, I advise to add at least 1 frozen fruit (or ice cubes) so that your smoothie comes out chilled and refreshing. Yet what happens when all the fruit is frozen, and the blender just can’t cut through the frost? The easiest solution: make sure the smoothie has a mix of frozen and fresh fruits/veggies. If that isn’t an option (yay for prepped ahead smoothie ingredients!), then I’ve still got you covered:

  • Let the frozen ingredients thaw in the fridge overnight, so they are still cold, yet thawed enough to blend more easily. 
  • Or, place frozen ingredients in the blender, then pour the liquid over them and let the ingredients sit while you get ready for the day. The liquid can thaw the frozen ingredients out a bit before blending, so the blender isn’t working quite so hard.
smoothie tips for the perfect blend

Blending mistake #2- not adding enough liquid

We’ve all been there and heard that noise. You know, the one where the ingredients are all added, the blender turned on, the blender blades start out fine. Then, all of a sudden, a high-pitched whine starts along with an increasingly louder motor.

Depending on the blender, it may sound like a car engine stuck in a low gear (lookin’ at you, Vitamix). Most likely, there wasn’t enough liquid added at the start, and the ingredients are now in an unmoving blob. Never fear, a simple smoothie tip is here!

Adding a bit more liquid can get that blender on the move again.

Some superfoods like to absorb the liquid (like chia seeds). Adding gluten-free oats (for some extra protein) can also soak up the liquid. Using frozen fruits can take away some liquid. Start by adding in 1/4 cup of extra liquid (above my smoothie formula) at a time, then maybe use a spatula to break up the ingredients before starting the blender again.

smoothie formula + smoothie tips

Blending mistake #3- not blending greens + liquid first

Depending on the kind of blender being used; dumping ingredients into the blender then blending, can leave leafy chunks… and green stuff between our teeth all day.

Blending the leafy greens and liquid first until there are no visible chunks is a simple way to avoid a blemished smile, and keep the smoothie smooth. Every blender is different, so if this hasn’t happened to you then skip to the next smoothie tip and #kaleyeah!

Blending green smoothies

Blending mistake #4- Using the same greens every day

Ever feel stuck in a leafy green rut? It may not just be affecting the tastebuds. Even good foods can be consumed too often. I recommend changing up those leafy greens (while still using my smoothie formula for measurements) not just to add in some new flavors to those smoothies, but also to get different health benefits.

Leafy greens come in all shapes, sizes, and health benefits. While kale and spinach are both leafy and green, they’re actually in 2 different plant families, and carry different nutrients that our bodies need. Make sure to pick greens from a different family every few weeks.

Green smoothies are highly customizable, so feel free to swap out the leafy green listed in any smoothie recipe with another one.

How to blend the perfect smoothie

Blending mistake #5- not blending long enough

In blending mistake #3, I talked about making sure those leafy greens were thoroughly blended to have a chunk-free smoothie. Yet, overall blending time should also be long enough to ensure the whole smoothie can fit through a straw.

I don’t want any chunks cramping my sippin’ style! Even with a high powered blender, blend that green smoothie for over a minute to ensure every last ingredient breaks down smoothly. Smoothie tip: For a non high powered blender, give the blender contents a stir half way through blending (with the blender off, of course!). That way no ingredients stick under the blades. This extra step, as well as following the smoothie formula above, will ensure a smooth drink every time.

Still can’t drink that smoothie?

Followed the fixes above, yet that smoothie still isn’t drinkable? Check out the honorable mentions below for a little extra help (thanks rawkstar community!):

  • Freezing fruits that act as part of the liquid: If fruits with a higher water content are added, then I lower the amount of liquid in the recipe since those fruits act as liquid + fiber. Freezing these fruits, then adding less liquid to blend can cause difficulty in blending since the ratio is off. Make sure to add a little extra liquid if using frozen ‘liquid fruits,’ or use fresh, so they can act as the liquid needed to blend the perfect drink. 
  • Adding the ‘kitchen sink’: This is a common mistake for beginner and veteran rawkstars. #greensmoothiefails One reason I chose the name SIMPLE Green Smoothies, is to remind us that keeping it simple almost always wins. Limit the superfood additions to one or two options, and focus on fruits that compliment each other. Follow the 1-1-1.5 method when making a new creation for the best possible outcome.
  • Leaving in the fridge for too long: Ever blend too much smoothie, or blend then leave for a little later? While a green smoothie is best consumed within 15 minutes of blending, it’s perfectly fine to consume 24 hours later (after giving it a good shake!). The problem comes when that smoothie sits in the refrigerator more than 24 hours… it starts to break down a bit more, and become undrinkable. Don’t waste all those nutrients by forgetting to drink that delicious smoothie!

Have any other smoothie tips to share? Drop a comment below to teach or to learn. Every smoothie should be made + consumed with as little frustration as possible. As always, happy blending! 

01
#1 Green Smoothie Of all Time— no joke!
02
HOW TO MAKE A MEAL REPLACEMENT SMOOTHIE
03
DIY FREEZER SMOOTHIE PREP ON A BUDGET
About Jen Hansard

Mom of 2, ran across the Grand Canyon and lover of smoothies, coffee & tacos. I transformed my family's health with a plant-based diet. I also found myself again along the way.

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  1. Chalsey joseph says:

    Do you drink this all day or once a day???

  2. Roxanne says:

    I’m a new to creating smoothies. This article has been very helpful with ingredients and quantities. Thank you.

  3. Tami says:

    I am trying to lose weight and have energy to keep up with the grandkids and my kids

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      Those kiddos are such a great reason to blend smoothies, Tami! Keep fueling your passion – you’ve got this!

  4. Karen says:

    Hi, new again to this smoothie. My question (I forgot) do you prep. the kale,spinach, and fruits at one time for a week?
    Thanks Karen

  5. Anne-Marie says:

    I am new to making smoothies and in search of a “how to” and some recipe’s, I came across your website. I am trying this for a different way to get my nutrients, of course to be on the healthier side of things and if weight loss happens, what a great added bonus and there will be no complaints from me!
    Prior to coming across any recipe’s, these last 2 days I tried making my own smoothies for breakfast with what I had on hand (fresh kale, fresh bananas, fresh blueberries). Turned out way better than I thought and looks not so bad, but tasted amazing! It’s even better to see your perfect blend recipe and know that I am on the right track. I LOVE everything I have seen so far on your website and am excited to give the 7 day green smoothie a try. I love they way you present things, some of your thoughts and insights seem to be my own lol

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Welcome, Ann-Marie! That’s great to hear, I think you’re going to find a lot of green smoothie recipes here that you love! We also have some really delicious meal recipes, definitely try some of those, also. 🙂

  6. Mary says:

    Can you please share the contents of the smoothie you have pictured on the front. It’s the chocolate one.

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Hi Mary! The front of where? Not sure what you’re referring to.

    • Mary Palmer says:

      The Pinterest page of your recipes has a picture of a chocolate smoothie & it says something about the benefits of cauliflower in smoothies. I was wondering what was in that particular smoothie as it looked so good?

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      You know what, I don’t know! We have a bunch of really delicious smoothies that have cacao powder in them, I’m sure it’s one of them but I just don’t know which one. If you go to the recipes section and search “chocolate” you’ll find all our recipes that have chocolate in them. You can also copy and paste this url: simplegreensmoothies.com/?s=chocolate. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Great! Thanks!

  7. Lauren B says:

    I love these recipes but I’m allergic to pineapple and melon. What would be a good alternative for the pineapple? Thanks!

  8. Alice says:

    Did I miss the formula? One cup leafy greens. How much liquid and fruit?

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Hey Alice! The Rawkstar Formula is 1 cup leafy greens + 1 cup liquid + 1.5 cups fruit for one serving (~16 oz.) of green smoothie. Use 2:2:3 if you are making two smoothies. And, if you find you want a smoothie that’s not as sweet or has fewer natural sugars, you can flip the ratio and use 1.5 cups leafy greens + 1 cup liquid + 1 cup fruit. Happy blending! 🙂

    • Joan Collins says:

      2 cups leafy greens, 2 cups of liquid, 3 cups ripe fruit

  9. Michelle Childress says:

    Thank you so much for the perfect recipe. This has change my life!!!! I love them. How are these if you blend, put in frig. and drink later at work?

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Hey Michelle! You can definitely blend a smoothie and save it in the fridge for later. It will last a day or two in the fridge and a week or longer in the freezer. Make sure you shake it up before you drink it though, since it will settle a little bit. But don’t worry! That’s what happens when you make a smoothie with natural, whole foods instead of gross additives and preservatives.

  10. Diane Hudson says:

    I had previously messed around making my own smoothies, Loving these ! Gives me amounts to use.
    I wanting to speed up my weight loss, would having two a day of these help that please

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Hi Diane, although weight loss can be a happy side effect of incorporating green smoothies into your diet, we always want to remind our community members that weight loss doesn’t happen the same way for everyone. Any long lasting change takes time and healthy eating is no exception. If you stick with it, you’ll eventually see results. Many of our Rawkstars love to drink a smoothie for breakfast and one for lunch and then eat a healthy, plant-based meal for dinner. In fact, some of our resets and cleanses are based on this schedule. If you are interested in learning more about those, you can find that here: https://simplegreensmoothies.com/7-day-cleanse

  11. LeeAnn Baxter says:

    I stumbled across your site while looking for healthier, plant-based recipes to add to my diet while in quarantine. I have always used a smoothie in place of breakfast or lunch but relied on using greek yogurts as a base rather than plants. I have enjoyed all of your recipes and their benefits and will continue to use them throughout the rest of this lockdown and beyond!

  12. Njideka Samuel says:

    Thanks so much. Is it right to add coconut milk and oil in the same smoothie? Thanks for all your helpful advises.

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Yes, you can use both in the same smoothie if you like!

  13. Michelle says:

    Love this! Thanks so much for helping us be more healthy!
    Curious when you drink and how long does it fill you up?

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Hi Michelle! So glad you found our Rawkstar Formula and love it! Many of us enjoy drinking our smoothies with breakfast or for breakfast. If you want to make a meal out of your green smoothie, you’ll want to add a healthy fat + a plant-based protein to avoid feeling hangry before your next meal ;-). Here’s an article explaining that more–> Turn Your Green Smoothie Into a Meal!. Happy blending!

  14. Marlene Mangan says:

    What is maple water that you mention can be used as a liquid base? Thanks for all your tips!!
    Marlene

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Hi Marlene! Maple water is a clear liquid that flows from maple trees for a short time in early spring. Also known as sap, maple water goes through a natural process that infuses it with nutrients. It contains half the calories of coconut water and has a milder taste. Glad you’re loving the tips + tricks! 🙂

  15. Pei says:

    Love day3 ‘s smoothie!! It taste like pineapple and oj,, love it!!

  16. Sharon says:

    Thanks for typing out the formula for a green smoothie. I’ve been makeing fruit smoothies for years but was at a loss on what to do to make it green. Thought it was just greens and water and didnt sound very appealing. Sometimes the best things are the easiet and in this case I only have to add some greens to what I already make.

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      I am so happy to hear that this was helpful to you! It really is so simple to make a green smoothie and we love reaching new people and spreading the simpleness of it all 🙂

  17. Nancy says:

    I am a low-carb person (keto as they’re now calling it to make it sound like they’ve reinvented the wheel when it’s really the same concept as Atkins or South Beach). I tend to lean toward just the berries for my fruits, as they contain the least amount of carbs and I stay away from fruits like bananas, mangos, figs, etc.. I know fruits are supposed to be “good carbs” but I still try to stay under 20 gms/day. I also need that protein to help me feel full – I know you said Kale is a good source of protein, which I didn’t know, probably never even looked into since I tasted it raw once and spit it right out…YUCK!! I like to add a scoop of low carb vanilla protein powder which also adds to the overall taste since berries are sometimes a little tart and the powder is sweet.

  18. Phyllis Lipford says:

    Great info, thanks!

  19. Emily says:

    I have used greek yougart in my smoothies with almond milk. Turns out yummy. I would start out with 1/2 cup and blend. Taste. You can always add more:)

  20. Kristina says:

    Has anyone tried using yogurt as a liquid? I want to use Oikos Triple Zero because it will give protein. Also thinking of adding protein powder. Thoughts?

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      Hey Kristina,

      We tend to stay away from dairy with our recipes. However, if you do not have an intolerance to dairy then I would say, go for it! We have never tried it though so we cannot recommend how it will be.

  21. Chris says:

    I am on a blood thinner and it limits the amount of vitamin K I can take in a day. Does anyone know how this will effect me physically.

  22. Darlene Littlechild says:

    This is great! Everything we need all in one place! Well done! So thankful for Jenn and rawkstar team! Green smoothie challenges are great, as well as all the rest of the information. Keeping it simple for all of us!

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      Hey Darlene,

      Thank you for your feedback, that was so sweet! We love hearing how our rawstars are doing and how much you enjoy our challenges 🙂

  23. Ro says:

    All your instructions are so simple and easy to follow.
    I also love your greeting at the beginning of your fail email. What size zip log back do you use to put all the ingredients in? Thanks for what you to! Keep up the good and unselfish work!

  24. Tao says:

    Hey there! I was curious if you still your perfect blend formula as a poster at all. Whenever I go to experiment with making my own smoothies, I always look at this first, and I’d love to hang it in my kitchen. 🙂

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      Hey Tao,

      We do not have a PDF of this but you could totally take a screen shot of it from your phone and then print it out that way.

      Hope that helps!

  25. Helen says:

    Hi, absolutely delicious, so refreshing. I love this challenge and I’m totally hooked on your fresh smoothies. And literally 5 mins to make. I look at your page every day lol! Glad I found you too!

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      Hey Helen,

      Yay!! We are so happy you found us and are now hooked on green smoothie goodness!! 🙂

  26. Colleen says:

    I’m curious why soy milk is not listed as a choice for a liquid base. (Just bought your smoothie book and am excited to get started!)

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      Soy milk is not one of our “go to’s” for liquid base. However feel free to use soy milk if you would prefer that over the other substitutes.

  27. Jenny Miller says:

    Thanks for this formula, it encourages me to use up leftover fuit, fresh and frozen. Ah, the possibilities…

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      Hey Jenny,

      So happy this formula was helpful to you!

  28. This is a really great way to simply spell out how smoothies are made! Very well done and an easy read. I am enjoying the smoothie challenge! Glad I found you Jen!

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      Hey Daniel,

      Thanks for sharing your feedback! We are so happy you found us as well 🙂

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