Successful Smoothie Making 101 {+ a new recipe!}

Happy spring weekend friends! There’s nothing better than a stretch of days that finally feel like a change in seasons, right? Anytime the weather starts getting warmer I’m inspired to whip up my go-to quick & delicious smoothies. Because really, it doesn’t get any easier than throwing a bunch of stuff into a blender and grabbing a straw! Those of you that follow me on Instagram know that I make smoothies. A lot of smoothies. And a few of you have even asked me to share the recipes. Which frankly, is super flattering. You like my picture? You want to eat the food I’m making? It’s pretty awesome. (so thanks!)

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Today I’ve decided to take you up on your request and share one of my favorite smoothie combinations. However, first I want to talk about the basics of smoothie making. Because there’s that whole “give a man a fish he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” saying. And really, I have so many different smoothie combinations I like that I could make a book! Those of you just looking for the recipe – use this time to just scroll all the way down.

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Step 1 of successful smoothie making: have a good blender. You can use a food processor or a blender, and you can get all fancy with a Vitamix, or get low-cost high-functioning like my favorite, the Kitchen Ninja. Whatever you use, you want to make sure that it can handle frozen fruits and leafy greens and get everything blended quickly and efficiently. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than a smoothie that feels like water and bits of unchewed kale in your mouth. Ew. Power in your blender is key.

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Step 2: Frozen fruit! This might be totally obvious, but your ingredients are totally going to make or break your smoothie. The best way to get them really cold and delicious is use frozen fruit. I always go with frozen fruit because it tends to be cheaper than fresh, and then there’s no need to toss in ice. Because let’s be honest, ice never really breaks all the way down and then you have something that resembles a snowcone rather than a smoothie.

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Step 3: Leafy greens! I really have two main ingredients that I never leave out – spinach and frozen blueberries. It might sound crazy, but spinach breaks down so well you can’t even taste it. And getting a bunch of leafy greens into you first thing in the morning makes you feel so much better about life in general.

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Step 4: Protein! Another thing I can’t ever leave out of my smoothies is some form of protein. I have a bit of a touchy blood sugar thing, and I can never eat fruit on it’s own without also eating some nuts or beans or other form of protein too. Plus, this makes you feel full longer. I recommend a vegan protein powder, like VegaOne, but I always use less than they say you need. Because really, do I want like 3 tablespoons of protein powder? No. One will do just fine, thanks. And then the flavor is a nice addition rather than a total overload. I also run out of protein powder pretty frequently. In those cases, a dollop of peanut or almond butter works just fine.

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Optional Step: More stuff! I really am hit or miss on all the little extras I toss in. If I have chia seeds or flax meal in the fridge I put them in the smoothie too. Are they key to the overall success? Yes, I think so if you’re using the smoothie as a meal replacement, as I often do for breakfast. But is it detrimental if you don’t add them in? Absolutely not.

Step 5: Liquid. This might seem obvious, but you need a decent amount of liquid to get all those fruits and veggies chopped up and smooth. You want a smoothie not a lumpy. It takes a lot more liquid than you might originally think. As a rule of thumb, I like to pour in unsweetened almond milk until it reaches near the top of the food once it’s in the blender. You can also feel free to use a combination of almond milk/coconut water or plain water. I see no point in juice – it adds extra sugar and no fiber to the mix – but if you like juice, by all means use that instead. I’m a right-to-juice kind of person.

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Step 6: Blend & Check! Clearly the easiest step. Blend it all up. Stop and check if everything mixed well and if you think you need more liquid. Give it another little blend to be sure. I like to drink my smoothie with a straw (it keeps those darn strawberry seeds and blueberry skins from getting too caught in your teeth). But to each their own.

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Pictured throughout this post has been one of my favorite smoothies, a very berry chocolate blend. The recipe is below. But just remember, if you use about these same ratios of fruit to greens to liquid, you can throw whatever you darn well please in there. Get creative! Feeling tropical? Toss in some pineapple. Peanut butter banana? No problem! The world is your blender. Now, have you learned to “fish?”

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Very Berry Chocolate Smoothie

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 3 minutes
  • Difficulty: super easy
  • Print

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 1/2 cups spinach
  • 3/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate vegan protein powder
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

What You’ll Do:

  1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor
  2. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!
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