Smoothies are amazing things! They’re a refreshing treat, a meal, an energy boost, and fuel on the go.

Most of us have seen the infomercials extolling the virtues of fancy smoothie making machines. They’re sleek and powerful and will answer all of our nutritional needs for only 8 payments of $99.99 plus shipping and handling. Some of them might even include a free book with four whole recipes in it for free!

But the reality is that you don’t need to break the bank to get a fancy blender. Sure the cheaper ones may not last as long, and they not have the same awesome power, but they’ll still get the job done. Besides, four recipes will get really old pretty quick, especially if they don’t fit your dietary needs.

If you want to start putting healthier food in your diet then pull out your blender and get to mixing.

If you need some inspiration, we’ve got you covered. Here are 5 steps to making an amazing smoothie.

 

  1. Fruit or Veggies

Choose at least two types of fruit. Or if you want a super vitamin boost then go green and pick a veggie!

 

  • Banana
  • Berries
  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Watermelon
  • Peach
  • Kiwi
  • Pineapple
  • Cherries
  • Mango
  • Avocado
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Beet Greens
  • Dandelion Greens

 

Avocado will lend a rich flavor and spinach is almost undetectable. But beware of beets – if you forget the lid then it will look like you cut off a limb in your kitchen.

 

  1. Liquid Base

Add 1-2 cups of liquid. Use your judgment here, the more juice your chosen fruit or veggie has, the less liquid you’ll need.

 

  • Milk
  • Soy Milk
  • Almond Milk
  • Rice Milk
  • Fruit Juice
  • Iced Coffee
  • Iced Green Tea
  • Coconut Milk/Water
  • Water

 

If you choose a fruit juice we recommend picking the juice of a fruit you didn’t choose in step one. Variety adds more nutrients!

 

  1. Thickener

The best smoothies are thick and creamy. If you choose the right thickener you’ll be adding nutrition and making it feel more like a treat.

 

  • Nut Butters
  • Yogurt
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Frozen Yogurt
  • Ice Cubes
  • Coconut meat
  • Chia Seeds
  • Psyllium husks
  • Oats

 

Chia seeds are an amazing source of fiber and protein and Greek Yogurt will give you a protein boost. Frozen yogurt is kind of cheating, but it’s a great way to trick kids into getting a serving of vegetables!

 

  1. Flavor

Kick of the taste with sweeteners, spices, or herbs.

 

  • Sugar
  • Stevia
  • Xylitol
  • Vanilla extract
  • Almond extract
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon
  • Maple Syrup
  • Nutmeg
  • Figs
  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Date

 

 

Spices and herbs can make your smoothie sweeter and tastier without upping the calories!

 

  1. Power Ups!

Add in some Superfoods to really make every drink count.

 

  • Protein Powder
  • Fish Oil
  • Goji Berries
  • Sprouts
  • Ground Flaxseed
  • Bee Pollen
  • Vitamin Powder
  • Spirulina
  • Wheatgrass
  • Acai
  • Cocoa
  • Probiotics

 

 

Flaxseeds are a great Vegan source of Omega-3 and a little bit of cocoa will feel decadent!

 

If you’re just starting on your journey to a healthy lifestyle, then smoothies are a great way to add nutrition in without making huge dietary changes that can appear intimidating and taste weird. They’re also a great way to add a little variety for your taste buds!

Have fun experimenting with these smoothie recipes and let us know what your favorite combination is!