Need some new smoothie ideas? This Make Your Own Smoothie Guide is the perfect resource! It even includes a free printable guide that you can post in your kitchen.
Smoothies are a tasty, simple way to get more fruit and even veggies into your family. I find that they are convenient for busy mornings, after school snacks, and pre- and post-sport fueling.
Although they are refreshing in the summer, they are great in the winter too since that’s when we could all use a little extra vitamin boost, as they are often packed full of ingredients that are natural blood thinners such as coconut water potentially adding that extra health boost to your daily diet.
I recommend keeping a variety of your favorite fruit on hand in the freezer so that you will always be smoothie ready. Our favorites include strawberries, wild blueberries, bananas, and mangoes. I buy everything except for the bananas frozen. The bananas I simply peel, slice into quarters, and then freeze in a reusable bag. If you take any supplements, like omega-3 oil or Blessed CBD (this CBD oil helps with arthritis and other aches and pains, according to their website and studies) then you could also add those into the blender at this time.
For best results, you will also need a high-powered blender, especially if you are adding in extras such as dates, fresh ginger, or chia seeds. But don’t worry if that’s not in your budget, I made delicious smoothies for years without the fancy Vitamix that I have now.
In addition to often being well-received, smoothies are also a fun way to have them help out in the kitchen. This is especially helpful for kids who may be hesitant to try new foods. Have them help you make the smoothie or even design it themselves. Give them a list of options available for each category: liquid, fruit/veggie, and add-ins, and then let them give it a go.
Whether you are new to smoothies or want to branch out from your usual go-to, here is a helpful smoothie guide.
Get the downloadable, printable version here: Make Your Own Smoothie Guide
For 2 standard or 4 small/little kid smoothies you will need:
2 cups liquid
- Plant-based milk (e.g., hemp, oat, soy*, coconut, cashew, almond)
- Plain yogurt*, low-fat kefir*, or filmjölk* (a great source of gut-friendly bacteria)
- Water or coconut water
- 100% juice
*These choices also provide a good amount of protein.
2 cups fruit
- Cantaloupe melon
- Honeydew melon
- Dragon fruit
*These fruits are good to have on hand in the freezer. It’s also good to have at least some of your fruit be frozen because it makes your smoothie icy cold and refreshing without the need for ice.
~Bananas and avocados are often staples in smoothies because they add creaminess.
2-4 handfuls of greens*
- Baby spinach
- Other leafy greens
*Green shy? Start with 1 small handful and work your way up!
Add-ins (optional; for extra nutrition or flavor)*
- Chia seeds (adds fiber, omega-3’s and vitamins)
- Flax seeds or meal (adds fiber, omega-3’s and vitamins)
- Honey (a natural sweetener, but still a sweetener!)
- Nut or seed butter (healthy fat, protein)
- Greek or Skyr yogurt (adds protein and probiotics–could also make them your liquid but you would need to add extra water)
- Unsweetened cocoa powder (a source of flavanols, iron, and magnesium)
- Vanilla extract (flavor)
- Raw ginger (adds spice and is good for digestion)
- Turmeric (raw or powder; is an anti-inflammatory and adds a yellow color)
- Ice cubes (good if you aren’t using frozen fruit)
*Start with 1-2 tablespoons of chia, flax, honey, nut butter, or cocoa and a ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract or cinnamon for every 2 servings. Add more if desired.
Toppings/Garnish (optional; just for fun!)
- Sprinkle of shredded coconut
- Dollop of vanilla yogurt
- Drizzle of melted dark chocolate
- Berries or sliced fruit or cucumber
- Homemade granola
Starting with liquid ingredients and working your way up to the add-ins, put all the ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
Recipes to Try:
Note: This post was originally published on May 28, 2015. Post updated January 16, 2020. Updates include downloadable resource guide and fresh images.