smoothie with flowers

Smoothies are great because they’re breakfast in 60 seconds or less, packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients and protein and healthy oils. Plus, they’re delicious if you do them right. Seriously, though, it’s pretty hard to do them wrong...

The following recipes are meant as inspiration only. Improvise! Each is a hearty meal, or 2 snacks. Most are not too sweet; you can always add something.  [Debra says: Got a Vitamix? These terrific blending machines make every smoothie velvety in seconds. We’ve got the Vitamix 7500, with its lower profile, quieter and much more powerful motor at a great price, $479. Colors? Red, white and black.]

The Classic Berry

Everyone ought to have a sack of frozen berries in their freezer. You never know when they’ll come in handy. You can toss them with sliced pears and bake, for a quick cobbler. Or simmer with honey and orange zest for a drizzle-sauce on ice cream, blintzes, etc. The Frutti Di Bosco mixed berries from Asiago Foods are wonderful – raspberries, blackberries, bilberries, and red currants.

  • 1½ scoops plain or vanilla protein powder
  • 1 C frozen berries
  • ½ banana
  • ½ Tbsp fish oil, or 1 Tbsp flax oil
  • enough water or juice (suggested: mulberry juice) to get the blender running
  • suggested add-ins: rose water, orange blossom water

The Choco-Banana-PB’Splosion

Flecks of raw cacao nib give this one textural interest. The darker, earthier flavors here work especially well with earthy-tasting add-ins like maca and bee pollen.

  • 1½ scoops plain, vanilla, or chocolate protein powder
  • 1 heaping Tbsp nut butter of your choice
  • ½ banana
  • ½ Tbsp fish oil or 1 Tbsp flax oil
  • 1 Tbsp raw cacao nibs (maybe more, if not using chocolate-flavored protein)
  • enough liquid (hemp, coconut, or nut milk) to get the blender running
  • suggested add-ins: pinch of salt for that “Reeses” flavor, pinch of cardamom for that Persian flavor… Maybe a little espresso powder?

The Bird of Paradise

This isn’t really that different than the #1 Classic Berry, just we use golden-orange-yellow tropical fruit instead of dark purple berries.

  • 1½ scoops plain or vanilla protein powder
  • 1 C tropical fruit (pineapple, mango, papaya, peach, cupuacu), frozen
  • ½ banana
  • ½ Tbsp fish oil, or 1 Tbsp flax oil
  • enough liquid to get the blender running (water, coconut, melon juice).
  • suggested add-ins: lucuma powder for that vanilla ice cream flavor

The Swamp Thing

This gets its protein from cultured dairy instead of protein powder, and its healthy oils from the avocado. It looks an awful lot like something you wouldn’t want to drink….

  • 1 C plain kefir or vanilla lassi
  • ½ avocado
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, purple if you can get them. Reserve one for garnish.
  • lime juice and honey or agave nectar to taste

The Turkey Day

Pumpkin pie spices make this a seasonal treat. Deliciousness make it a year-round favorite. Since the pumpkin is so thick, you need to ease back on the protein.

  • ½ C canned or creamed pumpkin
  • 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds, ideally soaked overnight
  • ½ scoop plain, vanilla, or chocolate protein powder
  • ½ banana
  • ½-1 tsp pumpkin pie spices (either store-bought blend, or roughly 2 parts cinnamon, to 1 part each nutmeg, cloves, allspice, cinnamon)
  • enough milk or milk substitute to get the blender running
  • suggested add-ins: a little maple syrup, perhaps


  1. In every smoothie, you’re going to want at least one thing that’s very thick, or one thing that’s frozen.
  2. If you like a little texture, you can add hempseeds, flaxseeds, or chia to any smoothie. They’ll add protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
  3. Supplement add-ins like bee pollen, green drink (“salad in a bottle”), Maca (“Peruvian ginseng”), etc., can be added to any smoothie.

… Adam Stark