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8 Staple Smoothies You Should Know How to Make

I know it’s January. I know it’s like -30 degrees outside. Some of you may even have snow (oh snow, how I miss you, come back to me!). But I’m a believer that it is never too cold to have an awesome smoothie! Since smoothies are such a tasty way to pack in a ton of nutrients, I put on a big sweater and happily drink them even when the temps are frigid.

I thought I’d pull together a comprehensive how-to on making eight staple smoothies. I consider these smoothies “classic” because they are great flavor and health combos that please everyone! These are the kinds of smoothies that I think everyone should know how to make, and chances are, you’ll find a favorite combo among these recipes.

There really is no wrong way to make a smoothie, but I think these recipes are a great jumping off point if the blender intimidates you. I’ve included the full recipe for all eight smoothies below. I’d love for you to share your favorite classic smoothie in the comments!

But, before we dig into the recipes, I want to serve up a big glass of Smoothie 101 for you. Here are my smoothie “rules” that I stick by to help me make sure my smoothies are always yummy:

Use a good blender. If you’re in the smoothie-making business, you should invest in a great blender. Trust me, it’s worth the cash not to have to chew your smoothie. I worked with a lower quality blender for years, and it was always frustrating to make a smoothie (and I broke the thing twice!).

Vitamix and Blendtec are both well-loved and highly recommended. I personally use a Ninja Ultima. I love it because it’s just as powerful as those “big” brands, but a lot more affordable. No need to take out a second mortgage on your house just to make some smoothies.Use your (unsweetened) milk of choice. If you’re a fan of coconut milk, use it. Like cow’s milk? Go for it. A fan of almond milk? Cool. Use whatever milk you like in your smoothies—you can’t go wrong. I just recommend you stick to unsweetened and unflavored versions. That gives you the most control of the smoothie.Sweeten to taste. All of these smoothies here use frozen banana as a base (more on that in a sec), and bananas vary in sweetness. My recommendation is to blend up your smoothie without any added sweetener, then taste. Add in honey or maple syrup to taste. Many times, I don’t need to add anything! Another great natural option for sweetening: pitted Medjool dates. Throw in one or two of those bad boys and let the blender do it’s thing. You’d be amazed at how sweet your smoothie will be!Stock the freezer for easy smoothies. I throw a frozen banana into every single smoothie I make. It adds a lot of creaminess, sweetness, and nutrition, and honestly, bananas are just yummy as all get out. When I go grocery shopping, I buy the biggest ripe bunch I can find. Then when I get home, I peel them, break them into chunks, and then freeze them flat on a cookie sheet. When solid, I transfer them to a ziptop freezer bag.Use your creativity for mix-ins. The smoothie recipes below are plain—no chia-hemp-protein powder concoctions. But if you want to expand your smoothie horizons, go for it! Toss in chia seeds or protein powder or hemp seeds or flax or whatever else makes your heart happy. If you have a standard set of mix-ins you like, you can even freeze them into booster packs—great for really quick and easy smoothies!

And if you want to make it your own, here are my suggestions:

Don’t like or can’t eat bananas? Sub in 1/2 cup additional plain Greek yogurt (to add creaminess) plus 1 tablespoon additional sweetener and a handful of ice cubes in place of the frozen banana in these recipes. Other options: canned pineapple, sweetened yogurt, canned pears. Adding half a ripe avocado can really help make up for the creaminess that bananas usually add, too.Want to make them vegan? Use plant-based Greek yogurt (there are really great coconut milk ones out there now) and stick to maple syrup and plant-based milks.

Alright, enough of me lecturing you. Let me dig into my eight classic smoothie recipes. Master these guys, and you’ll have an awesome repertoire of smoothie knowledge to tap into anytime you want to fire up your blender. Happy blending


It doesn’t get more healthy that a green smoothie, now does it? Green smoothies sound (and, honestly, look) like they wouldn’t taste the greatest, but if you do them right, they are sweet, balanced, and have no flavor of the greens! I’m a lightweight and use fresh baby spinach in my green smoothies because you can’t taste it at all. If you’re a little more hardcore on the health food front, you can try kale, collards, or even chard! The truth is, you can make almost any smoothie a green smoothie by tossing a handful of greens in. The end result might look yucky (the combo of strawberries and spinach results in a particularly gross gray color), but it’ll taste delicious!

To make it, blend together:

1 frozen banana1 cup greens (baby spinach, destemmed kale, collards, chard, etc.)1 cup unsweetened milk (nut, soy, animal)Honey or maple syrup, to taste


Who needs ice cream when you can make a smoothie that tastes like your favorite frozen treat? It’s really important to have a high-powered blender for this one, because standard blenders can’t handle the orange slices very well.

To make it, blend together:

1 frozen banana1 orange, peeled or 2 clementines, peeled1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract1 cup unsweetened milk (nut, soy, animal)Honey or maple syrup, to taste


This is another dessert-like smoothie—you can’t beat the classic combo of peanut butter and chocolate! You can adjust the chocolate intensity of this smoothie by tweaking the amount of cocoa powder you add.

To make it, blend together:

1 frozen banana1 cup unsweetened milk (nut, soy, animal)1 tablespoon natural peanut butter1–3 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powderHoney or maple syrup, to taste


This smoothie is Juniper’s favorite! Mama likes it, too, because not only is it super tasty, but it’s got a nice boost of protein thanks to the Greek yogurt and peanut butter. I usually throw in a handful of spinach, too.

To make it, blend together:

2 frozen bananas2 tablespoons natural peanut butter1 cup unsweetened milk (nut, soy, animal)1/2 cup plain Greek yogurtHoney or maple syrup, to taste


This is a healthy virgin version of your favorite tropical cocktail! Coconut milk really adds to the tropical flavor, but if you don’t have any, other kinds of milk will work fine, too.

To make it, blend together:

2 frozen bananas1 cup pineapple chunks (canned or fresh)1 cup coconut milk (from the can)Honey or maple syrup, to taste


If you walk into any smoothie bar or coffeehouse, you’ll probably find a strawberry-banana smoothie on the menu. And that’s because it’s a yummy combo that everyone loves!

To make it, blend together:

1 frozen banana1/2 cup frozen strawberries1 cup unsweetened milk (nut, soy, animal)1/2 cup plain Greek yogurtHoney or maple syrup, to taste


If you’re a coffee-aholic, this smoothie is for you! It uses leftover coffee to add lots of java flavor. My tip for dealing with leftover coffee—pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze. Then you have coffee cubes ready for mocha smoothies (or iced coffee) whenever you need them.

To make it, blend together:

1 frozen banana1 cup strong-brewed coffee1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder1/2 cup plain Greek yogurtHoney or maple syrup, to taste


If you head to the frozen fruit section at your local grocery store, you’ll probably spy a few bags of mixed berries. They usually contain strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. These are perfect for an antioxidant-packed, tasty smoothie!

To make it, blend together:

1 frozen banana1 cup frozen mixed berries1 cup unsweetened milk (nut, soy, animal)1/2 cup plain Greek yogurtHoney or maple syrup, to taste

There you have it! My favorite eight staple smoothie recipes.

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