[Healthy Smoothies] How to Make a Smoothie + 5 Healthy Smoothie Recipes
Overwhelmed by complex dietary advice? If so, we’ve got a simple way to reap all the glorious benefits of superfoods in just a few sips.
There are so many amazing guidelines, books and recipes available that offer excellent advice on all the superfoods to include in your diet.
But wouldn't it be amazing if there was a way to pack all that goodness into one compact, efficient and nutritious drink, filled with the vitamins and minerals your body needs?
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Imagine, a delicious elixir that could help:
cleanse your system from toxins
boost your metabolism
aid your digestive system
boost your immunity
Well, it sort of already exists in the form of superfood smoothies. In this guide, we take you step-by-step through how to make a smoothie you will love. We also include a few of our favorite smoothie recipes so you can test your newfound skills.
How to Make a Smoothie
To make a perfect smoothie, all you need to understand is the core building blocks to a healthy smoothie and in 5 simple steps you can build some of the healthiest while at the same time yummiest concoctions your taste buds have ever experienced.
There are a myriad of ways to build these nutrient-packed wonders, but here’s how to do so in a way so that your body receives the vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants it needs most to be its best (read: healthiest) self.
How to Make a Smoothie #1: Greens Are Your Foundation
One of the secrets of any healthy smoothie is to determine the right ratio between veggies and fruit. If you are just starting your healthy smoothie journey, you may want to slowly accustom your palate by choosing a 50/50 veggie-to-fruit ratio.
After a few days to a week, you should aim at taking it up a notch by tilting the ratio in favor of more veggies and less fruit (as fruit contains a lot of sugar) with a 70/30 veggie-to-fruit ratio.
To ease into this, prioritize mild-tasting greens such as spinach, arugula, romaine and lettuce before moving into dark leafy greens such as kale – hands down, one of the healthiest vegetables on earth – and chard, for instance.
Greens Should Be a Fixture in Any Healthy Smoothie
Spinach is a popular leafy green vegetable known for its antioxidant properties and the ability to help prevent cancer and reduce blood pressure levels. It is extremely nutrient-rich and contains high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron and calcium.
Kale is a trendy member of the greens family and the epitome of a superfood. It is one of the healthiest, nutritious foods you can consume as it is low in fat and calories, but loaded with vitamin K, vitamin C and vitamin A.
Additionally, Kale is very high in antioxidants which help fight aging as well as prevent a host of diseases, including cancer.
Cucumber is 0% fat, low-in calories and rich in water (it is 95% water to be exact). Their nutrient-rich skin also contains antioxidants and vitamin K.
Wheatgrass is at the top of any health buff's grocery list, and for good reason. Available as a juice, powder or supplement, it contains eight essential amino acids as well as chlorophyll, a green plant element associated with a host of health benefits.
Wheatgrass also contains several important antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, which help prevent cancer, reduce cholesterol and alleviate inflammation.
In short, to get your foundation right, where possible, always include fresh and organic (i.e. pesticide-free) veggies from your local farmer's market or organic grocery store, wherever possible.
How to Make a Smoothie #2: Include a Superfood Fruit
Fruits are the most fun addition to any smoothie so definitely include them, just be sure to prioritize the ones that are particularly rich in essential nutrients.
Apples are high in acetic acid and have been shown to lower blood sugar, fight diabetes, reduce belly fat, aid in weight loss, cut down cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Wow, right?
Avocado, though often mistaken for a veggie, is an incredibly healthy and delicious fruit that contains 20+ different essential nutrients (notably vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium and super healthy Omega-3 fatty acids).
Avocado is also low in saturated fat and has no cholesterol or sodium. This heart-healthy powerfood helps prevent cancer, relieves arthritis and supports weight loss. Added to your super healthy smoothie, it will give your drink a yummy silky texture.
Blueberries are tasty little treats that pack a lot of punch. They are loaded with fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K and other essential nutrients. Most importantly, they are one of the best sources of antioxidants, which keep you youthful, protect from cancer, lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease, to only name a few of its benefits.
More than that, blueberries add a wonderful tart-sweetness. Plus, their color gives your smoothie a cool blue note. We love adding them for the color alone.
Goji berries are one of the healthiest berries you can consume as they are a great source of vitamin C, fiber, iron and antioxidants. Most notably, they boost your immune system, aid in weight loss and keep your skin and eyes clear and healthy.
Lemons are a refreshing citrus fruit you may want to add to your superfood smoothie as they are loaded with potent vitamin C that supports heart health, weight control, digestive health and cancer prevention.
The list of superfood fruits could also be extended to:
Bananas, which are rich in fiber, antioxidants and minerals including potassium.
Raspberries which are one of the most powerful antioxidants of all fruits and also feature vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B, folic acid, copper and iron.
Oranges which are a great source of vitamin C, folate, potassium and magnesium, just to name a few.
You may want to enjoy fruit in moderation, to avoid your smoothie turning into a sugar bomb.
And for all fruit, either use it fresh (no juice concentrates!) or try it frozen as this adds thickness to your smoothie's texture.
Also, wherever possible, make sure to drink the pulp of your fruits (much more of a problem when juicing, yet important to know) as that is where much of its antioxidants and dietary fiber are. Fiber helps maintain your digestive health, regularizes your bowls and is important as it slows down your body’s absorption of fruit sugar to a more steady and sustainable pace.
How to Make a Smoothie #3: Boost Hydration With a Healthy Liquid Base
Believe it or not: not all smoothies are created equal! Many of the store-bought options are made of sugary fruit concentrates which is as counterproductive to creating a healthy drink as you can get.
The core reason why smoothies help you cleanse your system and flush out toxins is their hydrating effects, so a good liquid base is absolutely imperative. Filtered water, coconut water as well as unsweetened nut milks (cashew and almond are great options) are a much better base than the simple syrup, banana puree or apple juice concentrate included in many unhealthy store-bought smoothies.
How to Make a Smoothie #4: Add Superfood Nuts and Seeds For Healthy Fats
Not all fats are evil! Some like the so-called Omega-3 fatty acids are actually crucial for a healthy, well-balanced diet as they help retain precious fat-soluble nutrients contained in a host of vegetables, fruits and greens.
Take vitamins A, D, E and K as well as beta-carotene and lycopene – they all require a healthy fat to be fully absorbed by your system.
More than that, Omega-3 fatty acids have been thoroughly studied by science and found to feature more than 17 important health benefits: from supporting brain health, to fighting depression, lowering the risk of heart disease and aiding with inflammation, to name just a few.
In addition to avocado mentioned above, the following superfoods are great sources of healthy fats. You may want to incorporate a few of these into your regular healthy smoothie routine:
Flaxseed is an ancient crop known for a range of health benefits since documented history. Just a small serving acts as an incredible source of many of the nutrients you need.
Flaxseed are especially rich in Omega-3, an essential fat proven to reduce inflammation, lower risk of heart disease, and reduce risk of stroke.
Chia seeds feature minimal calories and maximum nutrients like fiber, protein and calcium and are simply one of the healthiest foods in the world. They are also rich in antioxidants, known for lowering inflammation and good for loosing weight.
Fun fact: hemp seeds are the same species as cannabis, but don't worry, they are the safe and nutritious variety. Hemp seeds are rich in healthy fats such as Omega-3, protein and various minerals. They promote a healthy heart, beautiful skin and good digestion.
Coconut, which is available in many different forms including oil, water and milk, has a high concentration of healthy saturated fat known to burn bad fat, boost energy, reduce risk of heart disease and promote brain health. Reducing hunger, it helps you eat less and lose weight.
Almonds are rich in healthy fats too as well as fiber, protein and several key nutrients like vitamin E, magnesium and more. In fact, they are one of the best sources of vitamin E known to lower risk of cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. They also reduce hunger, making them a very effective weight loss superfood.
How to Make a Smoothie #5: Add Superfood Powders and Spice For a Finishing Touch
At this point, your smoothie is near 100% perfection. However, there are a couple of optional additions — superfood supplements and spices — that could give it a nice health and flavor boost.
People with special diets, including vegans or people with other dietary preferences and restrictions, may use their smoothie to add a protein boost in the form of a supplement to their diet. This may help stimulate their metabolism and make them feel full. Additionally, protein supplements are quite popular amongst athletes and workout enthusiasts who engage in strenuous physical activity that requires an increased protein intake to support both muscle development and muscle repair.
Explore our favorite superfoods powder
Ora Organic produces a range of healthy and organic superfood powders to boost your smoothies.
If you also want to add some refined aromatic notes that hold powerful health benefits, superfood spices are another add-on that will deliver just that:
Ginger root is an herb and spice that has a laundry list of medicinal properties. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and is relied on for a range of benefits from improving digestion and brain function to lowering cholesterol and reducing cancer risk.
Its spicy flavour will not let you down when it comes to adding aromatic intensity to your smoothie, especially when preparing more seasonal fall and winter smoothies.
Turmeric is an ancient Indian spice with powerful medicinal and health properties that support the brain and body in many ways. Curcumin is the primary active ingredient in turmeric which is a strong antioxidant and has powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
Nutmeg is known to offer rare health benefits, including the ability to relieve pain, improve digestive issues, strengthen brain function, detoxify, provide for clear skin, increase immune system function, and prevent cancer.
Nutmeg is also a great source of a host of minerals, including potassium, iron, manganese, thiamin, folate, magnesium, copper as well as vitamins, including B1 and B6.
Dark chocolate is a dream for any healthy detox smoothie. It has more antioxidants than even blueberries, is one of the best sources of iron and has high amounts of calcium, copper, manganese and magnesium.
This heart-healthy, brain-improving ingredient also improves mood, helps prevent cancer and protects against a host of other health issues. And above all, it is delicious.
Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents and known for lowering blood sugar and preventing diabetes. It also reduces risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.
And of course, a few sprinkles of cinnamon on top of your smoothie, not only make it very instagrammable, but also rich in spicy Christmas flavors.
How to Make a Smoothie #6: The Right Equipment
Of course, if you are going to start making amazing smoothies at home you need a good blender, but as a beginner choosing the right machine can be a daunting task. That’s why we thoroughly read through dozens of expert reviews and around 150+ consumer reviews to spare you the time and energy of having to research this yourself.
Our guide to the four best blenders for smoothies provides an honest and unbiased assessment of the best machines in the market — and reveals the blender we ultimately settled on.
Test Your Smoothie Skills With Our Five Favorite Smoothie Recipes
With the building blocks mentioned above, you are sure to create both super delicious and healthy smoothies. Now, we’ve handpicked a few easy favorites for you to test out your newfound smoothie making skills.
1. Super Green Superhero (1-2 servings)
1 cup spinach
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
½-inch chunk fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon bee pollen (or raw honey)
2. Very Berry Indeed (1-2 servings)
1 cup kale
2 tablespoons rolled oats
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup raspberries
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 cup almond milk
3. Season's Greetings Immunity Boost (1-2 servings)
1 cup kale/arugula blend
1 cup coconut water
1/2 tablespoon ground chia seeds
½-inch chunk of fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
4. Oriental Delights (1-2 servings)
1 cup kale
1 cup cashew milk
1 tablespoon goji berries
2 tablespoons rolled oats
1/4 cup ground almonds
2 pitted dates
5. Dark Chocolate Dreams (1-2 servings)
1 cup of arugula
1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
½-inch chunk of fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 pieces of dark chocolate
Bonus: Superflush Detox Drink (2 servings, drink hot)
2 cups filtered water
1 squeezed lemon
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 Tablespoon raw honey or bee pollen
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