Smoothie 101 + My Favorite Combinations

Mango Ginger Super Greens Smoothie.jpg

When I was new to making smoothies, I'd throw a bunch of random things into the blender, thinking it'd turn out fine! Well, I've had some pretty horrible smoothies because of this. 

What I've learned through a lot of trial and error is that simple is best when it comes to making smoothies. And to save you from the same mistakes I made, I've come up with my basic formula below. It makes mornings or post-workout so much easier. Choose one or two items from each category and your'e good to go! 

As far as optimizer options are concerned, I'll add protein powder if I want my smoothie to be more of a meal and know I won't be eating for a while after. Superfood powders and adaptogens are great, but definitely not necessary. I like maca for a boost of energy and spirulina for its detox properties. And ddding cinnamon to your smoothie not only tastes good, but also helps balance blood sugar. 

One last note that I find very important when having a smoothie - Chew it! Yes, take your time to actually taste and chew your smoothie. Try eating it with a spoon if you have to. This helps your belly register the meal and makes it much easier for your body to digest and assimilate the nutrients.

The Basic Formula

1 large handful leafy greens (spinach, kale)
As much as you can handle. Try adding a few chunks of frozen zucchini or steamed cauliflower too! I promise you won't notice the taste. It just makes for a super thick and creamy smoothie. Frozen veggies are also a great low sugar swap for banana as you still get the creamy smoothie texture. 

4-8 ounces liquid (raw coconut water, unsweetened nondairy milk, or no fruit green juice)
Volume depends on how thick you like your smoothie

1-2 Tbs. healthy fat (nut butter, chia seeds, hemp seeds, ground flax, avocado, raw coconut meat)
Try a mix of several, such as 1 tablespoon nut butter and 1 tablespoon hemp seeds.

1/4 - 1/2 cup frozen organic fruit (berries, pineapple, mango, cherries, banana, etc.)
Try to stick with low glycemic fruits such as berries. Only use up to 1/2 a banana per serving.

1 serving protein powder or 3-4 Tbs. hemp seeds
Always look for a vegan protein powder without brown rice. I like this brand, but personally prefer adding the hemp seeds instead — single ingredients are always best!

Optimizer Options (get creative!):
1 scoop greens powder
1 Tbs. raw cacao powder
1-2 tsp. spirulina (blue-green algae)
1 tsp. maca powder
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
fresh herbs (basil, mint)
several dashes cinnamon

Place all ingredients in blender and puree until thick and smooth. Put your greens and liquid at the bottom to ensure the greens really break down. 

Notes: If you don't have a high speed blender, I find that blending the greens with the liquid first, before adding the other ingredients, helps to make a smoother consistency.

Favorite Combinations

All smoothies are one serving unless otherwise noted. If protein powder isn’t listed, it’s always an option depending on your needs + hunger level.

Coconut & Greens
6 ounces Harmless Harvest coconut water
1/3 cup frozen raw coconut meat
1 handful kale
1 handful spinach
1 Tbs. hemp seeds
1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries

The Alkalizer
6 ounces Harmless Harvest coconut water
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 huge handful spinach
1/2 cucumber
1/2 avocado

Power Smoothie
8 ounces water or nondairy milk
1 serving plant-based protein powder or 1/4 cup hemp seeds
1 heaping Tbs. almond or peanut butter
1/4 banana or 5-6 frozen zucchini slices
small handful of ice

Mint Maven
6 ounces coconut water
one handful kale
1/2 avocado
1/4 frozen banana
5-6 fresh mint leaves

The Lean Green
4 ounces full fat coconut milk
4 ounces coconut water
1/4 cup mango
1/4 cup pineapple
1 Tbs. goji berries
one large handful baby spinach

Cinnamon Spice
6 ounces cashew milk
1/4 cup frozen raspberries
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
2 Tbs. hemp hearts
1 pitted medjool date (optional)
one handful baby spinach
several dashes cinnamon

Cherry Almond Cacao
6 ounces unsweetened almond milk
1 large handful spinach
1/2 cup frozen organic cherries
1-2 Tbs. almond butter
1 Tbs. raw cacao powder
1 tsp. ground flax seeds
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Coconut Matcha
1 cup light coconut milk
1/4 frozen banana
1 Tbs. hemp seeds
1 tsp. matcha powder
1 handful baby spinach
drizzle raw honey (optional)

Strawberry Cashew
6-8 ounces filtered water
2 Tbs. raw cashew butter
1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
1 Medjool date (optional)
splash vanilla extract
pinch cardamom
pinch sea salt
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

Kiwi Spinach Chia
4-6 ounces coconut water
1 kiwi, peeled
1/4 English cucumber
1 handful baby spinach
1 Tbs. chia seeds
juice from 1/2 lime
small handful fresh mint (optional)

Pineapple Detox
8-12 ounces coconut water
1 Tbs. coconut or MCT oil
1 tsp. spirulina or chlorella powder
1/4 cup frozen pineapple
big handful baby spinach
small handful cilantro
juice from 1/2 lime
optional: 1 scoop collagen powder

Vanilla Almond Dream
1-2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 Tbs. raw almond butter
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
dash cinnamon
big handful kale or spinach
optional: 1/4-1/2 frozen banana

Blueberry Coconut Hemp
8-12 ounces coconut water
1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
1 Tbs. hemp seeds
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
splash vanilla extract

Chocolate Raspberry Chia
1-2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop chocolate protein powder or 1 Tbs. raw cacao powder
2 Tbs. chia seeds
1/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
big handful baby spinach

The Cold Buster
6 ounces coconut water
1/4 cup frozen pineapple
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1 large handful baby spinach
dash cayenne pepper (optional)

Sweet Potato Cinnamon
1/2 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato (no skin)
1/3 cup frozen coconut meat
6 ounces unsweetened nondairy milk
1 Tbs. flax meal or chia seeds
1 softened medjool date or splash maple syrup (optional)
several dashes cinnamon
pinch coarse sea salt
small handful ice cubes (to make it colder, optional)
half scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)