It’s near impossible to screw up a smoothie. Throw any combination of milk, fruit, nuts, and other goodies into a blender and presto: You’ve got drinkable meal.
Before we dive into our faves, here are a few pro tips to make your smoothie taste even better:
- Pour in liquids first and add ice last.
- Start with the lowest blender speed and work up to higher speeds once the mixture smoothes out.
- Divvy up leftovers into an ice cube tray for easy blending the next time.
- Top smoothies with fresh fruit, seeds, chopped nuts, or shredded coconut for a texture change.
- Freeze fruit for a thicker consistency. Chop first for easier blending.
- Try your smoothie from a bowl if you're not in a sipping mood.
- All recipes below serve one.
Check out 54 of our favorite recipes to sip pre- and post-workout, plus dairy-free varieties, ones loaded with greens, and more that are perfect for breakfast and dessert.
Try these smoothies 30 to 60 minutes before a workout (but remember: If you guzzle down too much, it might be tough to bounce around on a treadmill). A snack before hitting the gym can provide the body with the fuel it needs to gain muscle and burn fat.
Photo: Kath Eats
Since oats are slow digesting carbs, they’re a great pre-workout smoothie enhancer for lasting energy on the road or at the gym. This mix also features kefir, a probiotic-packed drink that may help support immunity and better digestion.1
Note: This smoothie has a thick, doughy consistency unlike fruit- and ice-based ones.
Ingredients: 1 banana, 1/4 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup plain kefir, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 tablespoon almond butter, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, Pinch cinnamon.
- [The influence of probiotic fermented milk product on colon microbiota, hematological parameters and cell immunity in rats]. Kuznetsova GG, Trushina ÉN, Muatafina OK. Voprosy pitaniia, 2012, Oct.;81(3):0042-8833.
This smoothie's the right one for lasting energy ahead of a long workout. Raisins, skim milk, and honey are especially good to fuel a cardio sesh.
Ingredients: 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 1 banana, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon honey, 1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt, 1/4 cup nonfat milk, 10 almonds, 1 tablespoon raisins, 3 ice cubes.
The prep for this delicious drink is a little different than the others. Instead of a blend-and-go smoothie, it’s best to let the chia seeds soak overnight in the fridge, then give it a whirl the next day.
Ingredients: 1 peach, 2 cups spinach, 2 tablespoons chia seeds, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 orange, 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 1 date (optional).
Nothing says summer like fresh, juicy watermelon—but we won’t judge if you sip this guy during the other three seasons too. This superfood melon is low-calorie and contains lycopene, an amino acid that helps protect us from the sun’s UV rays. Don’t forget: Strawberries are a superfood too.
Ingredients: 1/3 cup milk, 3/4 cubed of a seedless watermelon, 1/2 cup strawberries, 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt, 2 teaspoons vanilla whey protein powder, 3 ice cubes.
Many of these smoothies include banana, but it takes the spotlight in this coffee version. The superfood is mostly known for its potassium punch, but it also has carotenoids, which are especially good for our eyes.
Ingredients: 1 cup coffee, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder, 1 banana, 1/4 cup oats, 1 tablespoon raw cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom.
Chia seeds are known for their hydrating properties, making them a great pre-workout energizer. Blend up the fruit, then add yogurt or kefir until it reaches your desired consistency. Add the seeds and let them soak for a few minutes before knocking it all back.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup frozen strawberries,1/2 cup frozen banana, 1/2 cup kefir or Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, Splash of vanilla extract.
This smoothie needs only three ingredients to get the job done. Whey protein has been shown to help increase strength (as long as resistance training is included in your fitness regimen).
Ingredients: 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder, 1 cup orange juice, 3 ice cubes.
This smoothie has the antioxidant power of blueberries, plus the energy-boosting power of maca, a root that Incan warriors used for endurance and strength.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 banana, 1 teaspoon hemp seeds, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1 teaspoon dried lavender, 1/2 tablespoon maca powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla.
This smoothie may remind you of an ice-cream sundae, but it’s a lot healthier. Instead of ice cream, this treat uses fruit, yogurt, and chocolate milk to recreate the classic flavor combo.
Ingredients: 3/4 cup low-fat chocolate milk, 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt, 3/4 cup sliced strawberries, 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed, 1 scoop vanilla or chocolate whey-protein powder, 3 ice cubes.
Pawing for a protein drink after working up a sweat can help build stronger muscles, increase training efficacy, and speed up muscle recovery time. Packing in the protein can help the body rebuild throughout the day.1
- Contemporary issues in protein requirements and consumption for resistance trained athletes. Wilson J, Wilson GJ. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2006, Jun.;3():1550-2783.
Photo: Running to the Kitchen
This is like peanut butter and jelly, but way better—and you don’t even have to chew. Almond butter beats out peanut butter for fiber, iron, and vitamin E.
Ingredients: 3/4 cup almond milk, 1 tablespoon almond butter, 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1/2 frozen banana, 1 tablespoon jam, 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 ice cubes.
Be thankful for this delectable vegan shake (or as we like to call it, fall in a glass). The sweet potato helps replenish glycogen stores after a solid workout.
Ingredients: 1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk or rice milk, 1 1/2 cups mashed, cooked sweet potato, 1 frozen banana, 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg,1 tablespoon flax oil (optional), Pinch sea salt, 1 cup ice cubes.
Tofu not only thickens this fruit-heavy smoothie, but also sneaks in eight grams of protein. The red tea adds sweetness, antioxidants, and a pretty hue to boot.1Cherries may even help aid in muscle recovery after strenuous exercise.
Ingredients: 3/4 cup water, 2 bags rooibos tea, 6 ounces silken tofu, 2 cups frozen sweet cherries, 1 cup frozen grapes, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries.
- Antioxidant potential of green and black tea determined using the ferric reducing power (FRAP) assay. Langley-Evans SC. International journal of food sciences and nutrition, 2000, Aug.;51(3):0963-7486.
Smoothies don’t always have to be for the sweet-tooth sippers out there. Ginger adds spice to this savory beverage and might help ease sore muscles. Cayenne pepper has also been shown to suppress appetite and boost metabolism.
Ingredients: 6 ounces carrot juice, 1/2 cup avocado, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon grated ginger, Pinch cayenne pepper.
This smoothie has a whole half of a cantaloupe (superfood alert!), which helps hydrate after a sweaty workout (since it’s 89 percent water). Plus, one cup of the fruit has as much potassium as a medium banana.
Ingredients: 1/2 of a cantaloupe, seeded and roughly chopped, 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon honey, 3 ice cubes.
This mix is extra thick thanks to the yogurt. Greek yogurt has double the protein compared to the regular stuff, which is important to speed up recovery time after a workout. In addition to vitamin C and potassium, this smoothie also contains folate and manganese.
Ingredients: 1 cup water, 1 cup fresh or frozen peach slices, 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
Coconut water is a great substitute for water after a workout because it’s been found to offer the same hydration as leading sports drinks (minus some of the calories and sugars). This smoothie highlights superfood pineapple, which boosts the immune system and has a ton of vitamin C.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup coconut water (or try coconut water ice cubes), 1/2 cup frozen pineapple, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 tablespoon shredded coconut, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Turmeric, the bright yellow spice known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties, adds a kick to this smoothie that gets added nutrition from hemp seeds.
Ingredients: 1 cup water, 1 banana, 1/4 cup frozen raspberries, 2 tablespoons hemp seeds, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 3 stalks collard greens.
Chocolate milk can help the body recover after exercise because of its 4:1 carb-to-protein ratio.1
And combining chocolate, peanut butter, and banana is always a win.
Ingredients: 1 cup fat-free chocolate milk or low-fat chocolate soy milk, 1 banana, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 4-6 ice cubes.
- Chocolate milk: a post-exercise recovery beverage for endurance sports. Pritchett K, Pritchett R. Medicine and sport science, 2012, Oct.;59():1662-2812.
Whoever said it’s not easy being green never met a green smoothie. The hue of these blends may be startling at first, but popping some spinach, kale, or chard makes these smoothies extra good for you.
Photo: My Fiance Likes It, So It Must Be Good!
We’re not talking Swiss Miss here—we mean Swiss chard, a great source of calcium and potassium.
Ingredients: 1 bunch swiss chard, 1/2 cup frozen raspberries, 1/2 cup frozen pineapple, 1/2 cup frozen peaches, 3 tablespoons chopped mint, 1/4 cup orange juice, 3 ice cubes.
Ingredients: 1 cup spinach, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 cup frozen raspberries, 1 banana, 1/2 cup milk, 2 tablespoons oats, 1 tablespoon sugar (optional).
Mmmmm, pumpkin. The delicious fall favorite has nearly no fat but adds a creamy thick consistency to any recipe. It’s also loaded with antioxidants, like alpha- and beta-carotene, which convert into vitamin A in the body. This harvest drink also uses cinnamon, which can help fight inflammation.
Ingredients: 1 cup kale, 1 cup unsweetened rice milk (or other non-dairy or dairy milk), 1 frozen banana, 1/4 cup pumpkin, 1/8-1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, Dash cinnamon, honey (optional, to taste).
So we know spinach is great for us, but this smoothie has the benefits of flaxseed too. The high-fiber seed has a heavy concentration of omega-3s, which are good for the heart because they may help lower blood pressure and reduce blood clotting.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt, 1 cup milk, 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter, 2 cups spinach, 1 frozen banana, 3 strawberries, 1 teaspoon flaxseed.
While the color of this tasty potion isn't exactly desirable, the taste and health benefits certainly make up for it. The spinach provides a good dose of iron and fiber, and the blueberries and cocoa powder throw antioxidants into the mix.
Ingredients: 2 cups spinach, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk.
Kale can definitely be a bit bitter, so this mixture will taste best with a very ripe banana. The leafy green is a great low-cal source of fiber, calcium, and iron. Hemp is one of the highest plant-based sources of complete protein.
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk, 1 1/2 tablespoons almond butter, 1 frozen banana, 2 cups kale, 1 tablespoon hemp seeds.
Not only does this guy have some greens, it’s got all sorts of other colors too. (Warning: It may not look as pretty as it tastes.) For a thicker smoothie, let the chia seeds soak in the water for ten minutes before blending. (They absorb up to ten times their weight in water.)
Ingredients: 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup water, 1 carrot, 2 cups spinach, 1/2 cup frozen berries, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 tablespoon hemp protein, 1/2 teaspoon stevia.
This list of ingredients produces the prettiest, brightest green smoothie ever. The coconut extract is a must, and the coconut milk makes it super creamy. Feel free to nix the honey if you’d like to take the sweetness down, since a little goes a long way.
Ingredients: 1 cup chopped kale, 1 banana, 1 1/2 cups coconut milk, 1 tablespoon flaxseed, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract, 3 ice cubes.
Sure, this one sounds like it should be in the dessert section, but it’s got spinach hiding inside. Just a cup of spinach contains more than 300 percent of our daily recommended amount of vitamin A. Plus, peppermint adds a refreshing zing.
Ingredients: 1 cup frozen spinach (or 2 cups fresh), 1 cup almond milk, 2 scoops chocolate protein powder, 1/4 cup rolled oats, 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract.
Not everyone can stomach dairy, so we've got nine smoothies without it. Try milk substitutions—like hemp, rice, soy, almond, and coconut—or use dairy-free yogurts.
Photo: Daily Bites
Talk about refreshing. For a thirst quencher that mimics the not-so-good-for-you lemonade powder, this smoothie has all the taste without the sugary guilt.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, 1 large pitted date, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 tablespoon raw cashews, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, 3 ice cubes.
Tart-but-tasty pomegranate juice has a high concentration of antioxidants and is also linked to heart health.
Ingredients: 2 cups mixed berries (fresh or frozen), 1 cup silken tofu, 1/4 cup pomegranate juice, 2-3 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed, 1 teaspoon grated peeled ginger.
Sounds like a scent from Bath and Body Works, but thankfully this smoothie is edible. Mango not only tastes sweet and tropical, but one fruit supplies nearly 100 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C.
Ingredients: 1/2 sliced banana, 1/2 diced mango, 1/3 cup coconut milk, 1 lime, zested and juiced, Pinch ground cardamom, 3 ice cubes.
We have a confession to make: Here at Greatist, we’re kind of obsessed with avocados. Pairing it with pear makes this smoothie extra delectable.
Ingredients: 1/4 cup avocado, 1/4 cup silken tofu, 1/4 cup pear juice, 1 teaspoon honey, 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 3 ice cubes.
This smoothie-juice hybrid is pretty and pink and ups veggie intake. Bonus: Grapefruit has been shown to have weight-loss benefits.
Ingredients: 1/2 peeled and diced cucumber, 1/2 small peeled and diced raw beet, 1 diced apple, 1 large grapefruit, juiced, 3 ice cubes.
Almonds are a nutritionally dense nut (meaning they provide a ton of nutrition for the amount of calories they pack). For this smoothie, place the almonds, dates, cocoa, and hot water in the blender and let it rest, unblended, for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the tofu, then ice, and blend.
Ingredients: 1/4 cup almonds, 1/2 cup pitted dates, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 cup boiling water, 1/2 cup silken tofu, 3 ice cubes.
This smoothie is pretty and purpley, but also has the health benefits of the superfood beet. They house a ton of potassium, fiber, and antioxidants.
Ingredients: 8 ounces organic soft tofu, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup precooked beets, 1/2-1 tablespoon honey, 1/4 cup ice.
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups nut milk or coconut water, 3 tablespoons hemp seeds, 1/2-1 teaspoon spirulina, 4 tablespoons lime juice, 1 avocado, 1 frozen banana, 2 pitted dates, Handful fresh mint leaves (20-25 leaves).
This tasty treat makes us think of Thanksgiving. But we’re totally OK with that. It’s got healthy fats—coconut butter and nuts—as well as lots of fruit. Pro tip: Soak the cashews in water or milk overnight for easier blending.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 1/4 cup cranberries, frozen, 1/4 cup raw cashews, 1 small apple, diced, 1/4 an orange, peeled (or a splash of OJ), 2 tablespoons coconut butter, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
There are plenty of reasons you should be eating breakfast. Skipping the first meal of the day has been linked to obesity, increased risk of heart disease, and diabetes, among other not-so-great consequences.1
Luckily these smoothies are quick to whip up and take on the go.
- Skipping breakfast: longitudinal associations with cardiometabolic risk factors in the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health Study. Smith KJ, Gall SL, McNaughton SA. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 2010, Oct.;92(6):1938-3207. Association between eating patterns and obesity in a free-living US adult population. Ma Y, Bertone ER, Stanek EJ. American journal of epidemiology, 2003, Jul.;158(1):0002-9262.
Photo: Eat Live Run
Instead of a java-induced boost in the a.m., try green tea. The green stuff’s got fat-burning power and can improve cholesterol levels. Brew two bags for a strong flavor that won’t get lost among the other ingredients.
Ingredients: 1 frozen banana, 1/2 a large honeydew melon, 3/4 cup strong brewed green tea, 1 teaspoon honey, 1/4 cup almond milk
The tangy strawberry-banana yogurt adds all the sweetness and flavor this smoothie needs, and the pineapple makes it extra tropical. The yogurt alone provides 14 grams of protein—plenty to stay full until lunchtime.
Ingredients: 3/4 cup nonfat or lowfat milk, 1 cup strawberry-banana Greek yogurt, 1 frozen banana, 1/2 cup frozen pineapple, 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract.
This mango version of the traditional Indian yogurt-based drink has only three (delicious) ingredients.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt, 1/2 ripe mango, 1 teaspoon honey.
To get your morning caffeine kick—plus the added benefit of fruit and protein—this is your guy.
Ingredients: 1/2 frozen banana, 1 cup chilled coffee, 1/2 cup nonfat milk, 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 1/2 teaspoon sweetener of choice.
This interesting combo is a good source of vitamin C and potassium, and has 7 grams of fiber. If you can’t find raspberry juice, pop in some extra frozen raspberries and O.J.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup avocado, 1/3 cup orange juice, 1/3 cup raspberry juice, 1/4 cup frozen raspberries.
A high-protein breakfast like this one can help reduce hunger pangs throughout the day. Plus, it’s got all the fixins for an easy, tasty way to get the morning going.
Ingredients: 1/4 cup skim ricotta, 1/4 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest, 1/4 peeled and diced orange, 1/4 cup apple juice, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
This simple smoothie is sweet from the date’s natural sugars, and you can bank on 2 grams of fiber for each small fruit.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt, 1/2 cup nonfat milk, 1/2 cup pitted dates, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 ice cubes.
Chai is usually served hot, but we suggest trying this cool and refreshing take on the spiced beverage. Instead of using all of the spices, you can get a similar taste by brewing a bag or two of chai tea in the milk and chilling it before blending.
Ingredients: 1 frozen banana, 1 cup milk of choice, 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, Dash each of cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla.
This unexpected duo is a refreshing way to get the morning started. The cup of blackberries adds eight grams of fiber to the concoction, and the vanilla adds a touch of extra sweetness without added sugar. Bonus: The oil in basil can help maintain healthy, clear skin.
Ingredients: 1 cup blackberries, 1 medium frozen banana, 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 small handful basil leaves.
These smoothies don’t just have to be for after dinner, they just taste deliciously dessert-y. If they are a pre-bed treat, lots of the blends are filled with fiber to keep you full until morning.
Photo: Minimalist Baker
We already know avocado and chocolate are a divine duo, so this smoothie’s ingredient list came as no surprise.
Ingredients: 7 ounces chocolate coconut water, 1/4 tablespoon chia seeds, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/8 cup ice, 1 tablespoon salted peanut or almond butter, 1/2 tablespoon hemp seeds, 1/4 tablespoon flaxseed.
A pie in a cup—no baking required! This all-too-exciting flavor profile tastes naughty, but it’s got 6 grams of fiber from the nice helping of pumpkin puree and banana.
Ingredients: 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses, 1/2 frozen banana or 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder, 3 ice cubes.
Yes, this smoothie is a bit over the top, but it’s got a healthy helping of cherries, an antioxidant superfruit. And since they don’t have a very long shelf life, you can always freeze cherries fresh and use them in smoothies year round.
Ingredients: 15 black cherries (fresh or frozen), 3/4 cup cranberry juice, 2 scoops low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract.
Unlike the authentic layered dessert of deliciousness, this smoothie isn't half bad for ya. Throwing some ricotta into the blender ups the protein profile without adding an insane amount of calories (plus it makes it thick and creamy).
Ingredients: 1/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, 2 tablespoons low-fat plain yogurt, 1/2 tablespoon slivered almonds, 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder, 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed, 1/2 teaspoon finely ground coffee, 3 ice cubes.
Now we’re talkin’. This sweet, fall-inspired treat is raw, vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free. If there's no apple pie spice hanging out in your pantry, make your own with cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom. While hemp protein isn’t the most common of the powdered add-ins, it’s a great plant-derived source of essential fatty acids and protein.
Ingredients: 1 apple, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/4 cup cashews, 1 scoop hemp protein, 2 pitted dates, 1 cup almond milk, 1 teaspoon apple pie spice, 3 ice cubes.
Talk about comfy-cozy (and holiday themed)! The pear may be unforeseen, but one medium fruit touts 6 grams of fiber, so this dessert-y beverage will hold you over until morning (or until Santa comes).
Ingredients: 1 cup almond milk, 1 diced pear, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 3 ice cubes.
The addition of cinnamon cream cheese wedges (just 45 calories each) make this smoothie incredibly smooth. For added creaminess and tons of protein, the yogurt and cottage cheese work wonders. Garnish with graham cracker crumbs for extra fun.
Ingredients: 1 frozen banana, 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese, 2 Laughing Cow cinnamon cream cheese wedges.
Peanut butter and banana are a game-changing combo. And this smoothie comes with a yummy topping option to add even more pb— peanut butter crunch balls.
Ingredients: 1 cup almond milk, 1 frozen banana, 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds, 1/2 tablespoons natural peanut butter, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 ice cubes.
This treat uses apple cider, which is a good source of potassium and vitamin C. To get extra fancy, rim the glass by dipping it in cider and then in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.
Ingredients: 1 cup apple cider, 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla ice cream, 1 tablespoon caramel sauce, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 3 ice cubes.
Originally published November 2012. Updated November 2015.