The Only 4 Smoothie Recipes You'll Ever Need

Fresh fruit, a good blender, and a little know-how are all you need.

Katie Walker April 6, 2015
four great smoothies
PHOTOGRAPH BY: THOMAS MACDONALD

Simplifying Smoothies

Smoothies are everywhere: in the mall, at fast-food restaurants, in coffee shops. But for the most part, those smoothies might be better termed fruit milkshakes. Stuffed with sugar, frozen yogurt, even ice cream, they do more harm than good. But made properly, smoothies condense large amounts of fruits and vegetables into one compact and very tasty drink. Just one go-to smoothie recipe won't do, though. Plants are most nutrient-dense at peak season. So when putting together a smoothie, try to use the freshest organic ingredients from the garden or farmers’ market. When something is in season, it packs the healthiest punch.

First: Our Top Tips

1. Invest in a blender with at least an 800-watt motor. (Vitamix is the gold standard.)

2. Prepare frozen fruit ahead to save time. Cut and freeze on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag or container.

3. Frozen bananas go a long way. Peel, slice, and freeze them. This go-to smoothie ingredient adds thickness without taking over other flavors.

4. Add ingredients like milk, yogurt, water, or juice first to get the blender moving. Then, add lighter, drier ingredients, like leafy greens, followed by heavy ingredients like ice and fruit pieces.


 

Photo: Quentin Bacon

Strawberry Mango Spring Smoothie

Makes 3½ cups

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 banana, peeled, sliced, and frozen
  • 1 mango, skinned and chunked
  • 5 large strawberries, hulled

Combine ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

 

Photo: Mitch Mandel

 

Summer Stone Fruit Smoothie

Makes 2 cups

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 plum, pit removed, flesh roughly chopped
  • 1 peach, pit removed, flesh roughly chopped
  • 1 nectarine, pit removed, flesh roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Combine ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

 

 

Photo: Mitch Mandel

Pumpkin Pie Fall Smoothie

Makes 3 cups

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon agave syrup
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 apple, cored
  • Dried cranberries

Combine all ingredients except cranberries in blender and blend until smooth. Top with cranberries.

 

Photo: Mitch Mandel

Winter Greens Smoothie

Makes 3 cups

  • 1/4 cup carrot juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup roughly chopped kale, ribs removed
  • 4 small broccoli florets, sliced and frozen
  • 1 banana, peeled, sliced, and frozen
  • 1 appled, cored and roughly chopped

Combine ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Photo: Mitch Mandel

Top Smoothie Add-Ins

Keep these smoothie staples on hand for an easy and intense nutrition boost:

  • Hemp seeds.
    Vegan protein source with a mild, nutty flavor.
  • Flaxseed.
    Rich in fiber, protein, and omega-3s.
  • Wheat germ.
    One gram of dietary fiber per tablespoon.
  • Sunflower seeds.
    Use shelled seeds for a boost of copper, magnesium, and selenium.
  • Chia seeds.
    Fiber-loaded and protein-rich to control blood sugar; take on flavor of other ingredients.

 

Photo: Mitch Mandel

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