Throughout my life, smoothies have been a staple, a balm, a lifesaver.  The idea is simple, and the execution is simpler.  You dump a bunch of things in the blender; 30 second later, you have breakfast.  Done right, it’s that old cliché – delicious AND nutritious.  And reasonably inexpensive. And very little to clean up (especially if you drink from the blender!) 

Smoothies are great for the whole family, too.  Adults and teenagers, older folks who might otherwise drink Ensure™, little children and even infants.  My daughter was less than a year old when we started giving her sips.  By two, it was the daily breakfast.  She’s five now, and they’re still breakfast most weekdays.  I feel great about doing it, and you should do.  Especially when you’re trying to round out a diet that gravitates to the beige.  They’re a fantastic vehicle for all sorts of nutrition.  I mean, you don’t want to try and put all your herbal supplements in the blender.  Not all of them taste good…  But fish oil, vitamin D, probiotics, fiber supplements, Lion’s Mane mushroom for brain support, even a little immune-strengthening astragalus root – no problem!  

Supplements notwitstanding, our smoothies are still mostly what you’d call “culinary,” i.e. made from real food ingredients that taste great.  So let’s start there.   


1. There are no rules.  However, there are guidelines… 

2. A smoothie needs weight and heft.  And by that I mean protein and fat (and ideally fiber).  I can not stress this enough.  Just plain blenderized fruit may taste sweet, but it will not satisfy.  Even a single spoonful of cashew butter, or a half-cup of full-fat yogurt, and your erstwhile slushy will transform into a deeply satisfying meal.  Add a big scoop of high quality protein powder, and it will keep you running through lunch. 

What else adds weight and heft? 

  • Full-fat yogurt has protein, fat, and probiotics.  
  • Any kind of nuts and seeds 
  • Raw cacao powder is a surprisingly fiber-rich food, with a decent amount of fat to boot. 
  • Half a block of tofu, or some boiled eggs go right in the blender, no problem.\ 
  • Avocado is a smoothie superstar 
  • Don’t underestimate ricotta cheese.  It’s a lean, mean, protein machine! 

I try to follow the “three-egg rule.”  In other words, I shoot for the amount of fat and protein I’d get in 3 hard-boiled eggs at least.   

3. You don’t always need a great blender, but…  it sometimes helps!  I like the flexibility of putting whole nuts in my blender, not just nut butters.  I like adding flax seeds sometimes.  I’ve even made a “carrot cake smoothie” with raw carrot, dates, and cardamom.  For that kind of roughage, a Vitamix-level machine is necessary.   

4. Use something frozen.  You just get a nicer texture when you do.  Frozen fruit is great.  I always have one or two kinds in the freezer.  And if you have fresh fruit, freeze it!  (Obviously, peel the banana or section the apple first).  This is a great way to salvage fruit that’s past its prime.  I’m no longer afraid to buy bananas!  

If you don’t have frozen fruit, drop in a handful of ice cubes.   

5. Be ready to spend money on ingredients – to start.  Smoothies are not expensive on a per diem basis. But your startup costs – when you buy a 2-pound sack of protein powder, 5 pounds of frozen fruit, chia seed, probiotics, nuts, oils, etc. all at once — will be significant.  Just try and remember, you’re buying 2 weeks’ worth of breakfast.  

6. Embrace creativity!  More than any other “genre” of food, smoothies are about improvisation and using what you’ve got. Take these recipes as suggestions only. Follow the format of: some sweet, some fat, some protein, some fiber, and whatever comes out will be good. 


I make this all the time, but I just named it today.  Because it needs a name.  And it’s pink.  And rosy.  I use more fruit and less water in this one, since watermelon is already pretty watery. 

  • 2 C cubed watermelon 
  • 1 big splash rose water 
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey 
  • 2 Tbsp macadamia or cashew butter, or coconut manna 
  • A little bit of water 
  • 1 scoop-and-a-half of sweetened vanilla protein powder 


Sort of a Persian / Middle Eastern flavors, I think.  Sesame is one of the world’s healthiest foods! 

  • 1 ripe bosc pear, cored leave the peel on 
  • 3 Tbsp sesame tahini 
  • 1 fat pinch cardamom 
  • 3-6 pitted dates pitted Medjool dates 
  • A good amount of water 
  • 1 scoop sweetened protein powder 


All the dark colors and strong flavors make this an antioxidant powerhouse.  This one, you want a strong blender for, and you’ll want to run it a long time to puree the hazelnuts.   

  • 5 oz frozen dark cherries 
  • ½ C toasted hazelnuts 
  • ¼ C raw cacao powder 
  • A good amount of water 
  • A small glug dark amber maple syrup 
  • 1 scoop sweetened protein powder