Around this time, folks like to get their health game back on track. I like adding smoothies into my diet (and Toddler Spawn’s) to get those greens in. There are tons of smoothie recipes that I’ve adapted or used – one of my favorite sites is Simple Green Smoothies. They even have a book out with their recipes. But first, you gotta have the basic things to make a smoothie!
Here are some of my go-to ingredients. Note – this post contains affiliate links.
Basic Ingredients for Smoothies
Blender – Any blender will work. That’s the definition of a blender, right? I did retire my 18-year old Black & Decker basic blender and upgraded to a Vitamix a few years ago. Then I was lucky enough to win a Nutribullet 600, and that, too, has seen a lot of use in our home. (The Black & Decker blender is so old, I can’t find it on Amazon!)
I know there are lots of folks who love their Ninja blenders. I am not a fan of sharp blades anywhere near my toddler’s grubby hands. With the Blendtec and Vitamix blenders, the blades are dull and they are attached to the carafe. The dull blades on the Nutribullet are attached to the base. I believe the Ninja blades are detachable from the base for easy washing.
Fruit and Veggies –
- Bananas – They’re in almost all smoothie recipes because they help thicken a smoothie. Note: You can buy non-organic because you’re not ingesting the skin. All good, yo.
- Apples – Take your pick. I like green, but The Wife likes red. Apples help thicken a smoothie too, if you’re sick of bananas.
- Berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries – buy them in the frozen section to save cost.
- Avocado – They make your smoothies smooth and they’re full of good fat. (Another good thickener if you don’t like bananas.)
- Oranges (or orange juice)
- Lemon (or lemon juice)
- Ginger – I love to add slivers of ginger for a kick. Hack: Slice up your ginger and store in a ziploc in the freezer. You’ll always have ginger ready to go.
Liquids – I tend to use almond milk, water, green juice, coconut water or coconut milk for my smoothies. You can use any liquid you prefer. You can experiment with other fruit juices or plain water. Remember that you’ll likely have a few ice cubes in the blender, which already adds a little bit of water to your blend.
I like coconut milk for its fat content. It keeps me full longer than plain water. But… it’s fat. So add this at your own risk. If you want to be extra decadent, you can try coconut cream. I’ve started using coconut cream in my cold brew coffee instead of creamer. Or you can go nuts and add coconut oil or coconut butter.
Superfoods – I love superfoods. They punch up any smoothie! (No pun intended.) These are always in my pantry:
Cacao nibs are great for when you want a chocolate-y taste to your smoothie without the added sugar. You can also use cacao powder if you don’t like the bits. Cacao powder is a great source of antioxidants and magnesium and iron. (Remember, you are looking for cacao. Not cocoa.)
Chia Seeds – You can throw chia seeds right into your smoothie and blend, or you can let them soak a bit so you get that fun chewy consistency. Chia seeds are filled with omegas, protein and fiber. You can make a week’s batch of chia pudding as a snack or treat.
Goji Berries – These little superfruit berries can be eaten alone, but they give smoothies a kick. A little goes a long way. They carry a lot of antioxidants and aminos. You may see them sprinkled on Asian desserts or even cooked down.
Protein Powder – It took a long time for me to find protein powders that I liked. I tried to stay away from whey. I’ve tried flavored but they tend to contain stevia, my nemesis. #FYOUSTEVIA. I’ve discovered two awesome protein powders that are unflavored and not sweetened. They’re both by Garden of Life!
The basic combo is this: fruit + veggies + liquid + ice.
Then add: superfood + protein.
Combining all six parts has been my goto.
Of course, you add more superfoods like maca powder or goldenberries or hemp seeds. But start with the basics and move on up from there. Smoothie ingredients shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. They’re smoothies!
There are plenty of recipe books and websites that will give you different combinations. A few of my favorite books include:
Do you have a favorite blender you use for smoothies?
What about a favorite smoothie?
Let me know in the comments!
Post contains affiliate links.