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Quick, Healthy (and yummy) Smoothie Recipes!
Healthy "on the go" food
Are you ready to try some recipes that are not only fast and easy to prepare, but also healthy and delicious?
In my very first hub, "How to Sneak more Fruits and Vegetables into your Day", I talked about two main ways to incorporate fruits and veggies into our family's diet - Juicing and Smoothie
Today I'd like to talk specifically about smoothies and share five specific recipes with you! I have either tried all of these - or at least close variants- and they include some of my favorite ingredients that I like to add on a regular basis.
There are really so many kinds of smoothies and smoothie recipes available. Depending on the ingredients, they have various benefits for our health and energy. But the bottom line is: Smoothies that contain fruits and veggies are going to not only help to increase your over-all health, but are quick and easy to make, and downright delicious!
And if you have children, it's a fun way to get them to "eat those greens". I have two very picky eaters at my house (who don't even like salad) and I can attest that it's one of the best tools I have in helping them get more leafy greens into their diets. (In fact, my fourteen year old was just handed a green smoothie today and gave it a thumbs up for "yum factor"!)
So, let's get started! Before I dive into the recipes, let's take a look at a few of my own personal "go to" ingredients...
Use your imagination when trying various ingredients
Perhaps you are a smoothie pro and have been making them for decades. But if you are just starting out, let me mention my own personal base ingredients for most of my smoothies.
Now, I realize more and more people are dairy-free these days, and if you or a family member are one of them, you can indeed make smoothies without any dairy at all!
But this is my personal base for most of my smoothies because
1) I like to get in as much calcium as I can and
2) I like the taste and texture of smoothies made with yogurt
Fruit flavored yogurt is also a great base, specifically for kid-friendly smoothies, because it sweetens up the smoothie from the get-go, making it easier to "sneak in those veggies"!
Milk (or Almond, soy or coconut milk or coconut water)
Again, I like to add just a tad bit of milk for the two main reason mentioned above. But I also add some when I am wanting too add liquid and stretch the quantity of the smoothie. This can also be done with almond or coconut milk, which I do sometimes use on occasion. Coconut milk (or coconut water, which I've also sometimes used) not only adds liquid but special nutrition and flavor!
In a bind, if I've had fruit yogurt on hand but was temporarily out of fruit, I've made do. But it's just not the same!
Especially part of my necessary ingredients, I find that fruit not only adds flavor and texture, but it is vital in getting those vitamins and antioxidants that our bodies need.
Fresh fruits are wonderful for providing the peek of nutrition, but I actually prefer frozen berries- primarily because they add the texture I enjoy and make the smoothie colder. This is especially appreciated in summertime, but I enjoy it this way year-round.
Frozen or fresh berries are packed with antioxidants, benefiting resistance to disease - and also can aid in the anti-aging process.
Another kind of fruit I almost always have to include is a banana.
It adds essential texture and sweetness, not to mention great nutrition such as potassium. When I'm out of bananas, I find my smoothie lacks the thickness I enjoy. Plus, when adding greens to your smoothie, it helps to sweeten it up!
Last but certainly not least...
Two of my favorite greens to add to smoothies is baby spinach leaves or kale.
This is my first year not only eating kale regularly, but the first year we grew our own. We still have a large supply in our garden so I throw it in the blender almost every day.
Both spinach and kale are known as "superfoods" which are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Spinach is known for providing a good supply of iron and other vitamins, and kale has a huge supply of C, K, and A. It can also help to detox the system, help prevent diseases and is anti-inflammatory. Good stuff! But it's not the type of food my children will grab out of the fridge for a snack, but they will consume it in a smoothie when it's disguised with yogurt, bananas and frozen berries.
Yummy Yogurt Blend
- 6-8 oz yogurt (any flavor)
- approx. 1 cup of milk (dairy or non-dairy)
- approx. 1 cup frozen berries
- 1 small banana
- handful of kale
- (optional) 1 tbsp coconut oil
Blend on high speed in blender- about two minutes. ENJOY!!
Makes about two servings
Peach-Mango Power Smoothie
- 1 Mango, pitted
- 1 peach, pitted
- 1 cup milk, or almond or coconut milk
- 1 cup yogurt- vanilla or peach
- 1 cup crushed ice
- 1 half cup to 1 cup spinach or kale
- 1 small banana
Blend all ingredients on higher speed- about 3 minutes. Yummy AND healthy!
Fun kid-friendly recipe video
Instant Breakfast Smoothie
If you're tired of grabbing toast in the morning - and love the taste of peanut butter- here's a super easy breakfast to make, grab and go!
- 8 oz glass of milk (regular, soy or vanilla)
- 1 large banana
- 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
- (Optional) one half cup of crushed ice
Blend together on medium (or high speed if you are using ice) for 1-2 minutes, Pour into a tall glass or covered cup with straw and feel free to hit the road with a healthy, quick breakfast in hand!
- 6-8 oz vanilla yogurt
- 1 banana
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon honey
- (optional) 1\4 to 1\2 cup crushed ice
Using a fine grater, grate a fresh piece of ginger until you have about a teaspoon. Add this, along with the other ingredients, to the blender and blend on med high for about a minute. Serve and enjoy!
For a taste of the islands, along with some great health benefits, try this:
- 1 and 1\4 cup almond milk
- 1\2 cup coconut water (or 1 tbsp coconut oil)
- 1 cup papaya, cubed
- 1 cup mango, cubed
- 1\4 cup crushed ice
- (Optional) 1 small banana
Blend all ingredients well, pour into glasses (preferably with little umbrellas) put on some Hawaiian music and enjoy a virtual visit to the islands!
Papaya and mango are rich in beta carotene, vitamin C, and may have anti-aging benefits!
How often do you currently enjoy smoothies?
I hope these recipes will serve as a launching board to help you incorporate more smoothies into your daily life. Remember, for those of you with kids, it is one of the best ways I know to increase their consumption of raw greens- and have them actually enjoy it!
There are countless other smoothie recipes out there to try. You can also simply experiment a bit on your own! You don't have to have an exact recipe in order to make a delicious, healthy smoothie but it does sometimes take trial and error, and lots of adding "a little more of this, a little more of that".
One more thing...Feel free to add some extra healthy items to any of the smoothie recipes I listed, including hemp seed, flax seed or oil, chia seeds or wheat germ just to name a few examples!
So, go on and give one of these recipes a try, or make one of your own!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I hear a smoothie calling my name!