How to Make Healthy Smoothies

By Sally Cameron on January 08, 2012

Smoothies, Juices & Drinks, the daniel plan

Smooth, creamy and bursting with nutrition, healthy smoothies are easy to make for breakfast, plus they are customizable for your nutritional and taste preference. Whirl ingredients together in a blender at high speed and enjoy. If your morning is crazy, set them up the night before to shave a few minutes off your busy morning.

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How to Make Healthy Smoothies

As a follow on to my homemade almond milk post, here is my recipe for healthy smoothies. We drink these almost every morning for breakfast. I’m not one for big, heavy breakfasts and have found that if I stick with drinking smoothies I feel good and my energy is high throughout the morning.

“Milk” Options

My basic recipe starts with easy, homemade almond milk (recipe here). You can also use boxed or refrigerated almond milk, coconut, rice, oat, or hemp milk. Be sure to read labels and get unsweetened, unflavored plain versions to avoid added sugars and unwelcome additives like carrageenan. You can also make your own coconut milk using organic canned coconut milk. It tastes terrific, is always in the pantry and you can use it half and half with water or vary the blend to your dietary need.

Protein Options

There are an overwhelming number of protein powder options on the market, from whey (cow and goat milk) and egg white, to excellent plant-based, collagen, and vegan options based on brown rice and pea protein. When choosing a protein supplement powder, read labels for added or hidden sugar, additives, and high sodium. For help on choosing a protein powder and non-powder options options, read this post

If you are looking to stretch your grocery budget and protein powders seem expensive, try using half a serving and boosting with plant-based ingredients such as shelled hemp seeds and chia seeds. 

How Much Protein Do You Need?

The minimum for a woman is 46 grams and for men it is 56 grams as a minimum. Another way to figure your need is by multiplying your weight in pounds by .36 (or .8 grams per kilo). If you are active or have special health needs, you will need more. Current studies show that the needs for optimal health are higher.

Fruit, Fiber and Sweetening

Frozen frozen blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are terrific low-sugar berry choices for healthy protein smoothies. Use about a half cup.  A little banana makes a smoothie creamy and is a good source of potassium. Choose a greenish banana as they are lower in sugar, or use just a half. Mango is good too (especially with coconut milk), but overall, watch how much sugar, even natural sugar, you add to your smoothies.

Because the American diet is low in fiber and getting the recommended 25-35 grams per day is a challenge, I add a scoop of powdered fiber. It’s like insurance. We use organic acacia fiber. It disappears into the smoothie and you’ll never know it’s there.

To sweeten your smoothies, add a few drops of flavored liquid stevia, a little honey, maple syrup or a chopped date. The stevia drops are made by Sweet Leaf and come in more than a dozen flavors. Find them at many markets and online.

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Supplements for Extra Nutritional Power

Just the few ingredients I’ve listed make a healthy and satisfying smoothie. If you want to take your smoothie one step further, try adding superfood supplements for extra nutritional power. Here is a list of possible power add-ons:

  • Acai powder – The small, dark purple Amazonian berry (ah-SIGH-ee) that provides exceptional amounts of antioxidants, omega fats, protein and fiber, plus it’s an immunity and energy booster. We now use frozen acai packets. Trader Joes has them at the best price.
  • Superfruit smoothie mix –  This potent package provides a plentiful and diverse supply of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in each serving, a combination acai, pomegranate and goji berry all mixed together.
  • Omega 3 fish oil – We use an ultra high potency brand (Dr. Lam) with a light lemon taste. It disappears into your smoothie and you’ll never know its there (some taste terrible). Store it in the freezer.
  • Raw organic cacao powder – A top source of antioxidants, magnesium, iron along with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, even protein and fiber!
  • Chia seeds  – Chia is a great source of healthy omega fats, protein, antioxidants and dietary fiber. It has a neutral flavor and because it absorbs water, it thickens liquids.
  • Maca powder – Maca is an adaptogen, a natural substance that works with your body to help manage stress and energy balance. This ancient Peruvian superfood was highly prized by Incan warriors to increase stamina and combat fatigue. For more on adaptogens, read here.

These extras may seem pricey, but we believe they are worth investing in because of the nutritional boost provided. If you are looking for a super way to start your day, try healthy protein smoothies. They work for a quick power lunch or post-workout too.

matcha avocado smoothie |
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How to Make Healthy Smoothies

This is what we enjoy for breakfast almost every day; a protein, fruit and nutrition-packed smoothie. Smoothies are creamy, taste delicious and are easy to make in a high-speed blender. Customize it for your taste and dietary preferences. A homemade almond milk recipe is on this site.
Course Beverage, Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword Smoothie
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 419kcal


  • blender


  • 10 ounces unsweetened almond, oat, or other milk
  • 1-2 scoops protein powder of choice
  • 1 small greenish banana
  • 1/2   cup frozen berries or mango
  • 1 teaspoon acacia fiber
  • 1 tablespoon MCT or coconut oil optional
  • 6 drops flavored liquid stevia, honey or maple syrup optional


  • Blend together at high speed in a blender and enjoy right away. If it’s too thick, add a little more almond milk


If you look at nutrition numbers, they will vary depending on what you use for this smoothie.


Calories: 419kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 30mg | Potassium: 493mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 145IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 438mg | Iron: 8mg
  1. Mathilde - January 10th, 2012

    your blog is beautiful, i love your pictures and recipes sound delicious, they are well presented, makes me want to try them all !
    Thank you and keep doing what you do =)

  2. Kim - January 10th, 2012

    Love your blog. I too am a smoothie addict but I use Hemp Protein powder and almond milk, I have milk allergies, two bonuses are it already contains Omega 3 plus it is very high in fiber.

  3. sally - January 13th, 2012

    Good tip on the hemp protein powder Kim. Thanks!

  4. Nina 1100 Reviews - January 12th, 2012

    I love nothing more than making smoothies at home. The kids and their mates love them as well.

  5. feyza - January 15th, 2012

    can we use these ingredients for kids?

  6. Janna at Joy of Smoothies - January 15th, 2012

    I also start almost every day with a smoothie. It’s funny, I used to be a big breakfast person but once I started this smoothie habit, I no longer crave solid foods for breakfast, even on the weekends.

    It’s a great way to get a ton of nutrients FAST in the morning. I usually make 4 cups per morning, sip the first half in the car (which isn’t fun in the wintertime when it’s freezing outside, but i do it anyways 🙂 ), and then sip the 2nd half throughout my morning or workday.

    It’s nice because it fills me up just enough so I can get by with light healthy snacks and moderate sized meals throughout the day. A natural way to control your appetite and curb cravings.

  7. susan - January 23rd, 2012

    these are beautiful, Sally. Isaac and I share a smoothie every morning. So yummy!

  8. Katie - May 11th, 2012

    Greek yogurt is a great way to boost your protein, too, if you don’t want to buy the powder stuff (or you don’t like the flavor). I like peanut butter in my smoothies too but I know some people are opposed to it for it’s fat content.

  9. lrnelson2112 - May 11th, 2012

    I tried this recipe and ummm ummm good. Thanks

  10. Lisa - May 19th, 2012

    Hi Sally. This shake is great. I have been drinking it 2-3 times a week for several months now. It has made a difference in my energy and my hair and nails! So important to get enough protein and super-foods like acai. Thanks!


  11. Catheryne - May 26th, 2012

    Would adding soft tofu be a good option, and more natural, to boost the protein intake as well? Since tofu contains complete proteins, instead of inulin, for example.

  12. Sally - May 26th, 2012

    Adding tofu is just another option for smoothies. As the protein powder I use provides 25 grams of whey protein, that works for me. You’d have to experiment and see what works best for you.

  13. Kate - March 22nd, 2013

    I would add chia seeds. Great source of fiber.

  14. Sally - March 22nd, 2013

    Hi Kate. Agreed! Chia seeds are an excellent addition. Because they thicken liquids so quickly, you could skip the banana or use maybe half a banana. I love to add chia seeds to steel cut oatmeal. That recipe is coming soon.

  15. Pam Fontaine - March 25th, 2013

    I am allergic to nuts and dairy what is a good alternative to add rice milk or coconut milk and what can I add for fiber

  16. Sally - March 25th, 2013

    Hi Pam. So you are allergic to nuts and dairy, so no nut milks or cows milk. For smoothies, yes to alternative “milks”, like coconut or rice. What about hemp milk? Hemp is a seed, not a nut. Would that work? Oat milk? For fiber, you need to be eating lots of vegetables and leafy greens, and maybe adding fiber (as I do) to my smoothies. Are you allergic to all dairy? I have one client who is allergic to cows milk but not goat milk. You may want to be tested (if you have not been) for more information, so you can make better decisions.

  17. Florian - May 22nd, 2013

    It’s actually a great and useful piece of info. I am happy that you shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  18. Johne627 - April 30th, 2014

    I really like your writing style, great info, thank you

  19. Johne799 - May 13th, 2014

    Thanks for the post.Really looking forward to read more.

  20. Ellie @ best blender - January 2nd, 2017

    Yummy! The healthy protein Smoothie looks incredible, such beautiful imagery and easy to make recipes, thank you for sharing!

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