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How to Make the Perfect Smoothie

by Marissa on October 28, 2016

Health Coach Marissa Vicario explains how to make the perfect smoothie

I did a private smoothie workshop with a client this week. Our smoothie creations were seriously so good. Her mind was blown when she realized how easy it is to put together a smoothie at home, so I thought I would highlight a few of my favorite tips for how to make the perfect smoothie. 

If you’re visiting from the Blog Hop today, welcome! I’m Marissa, a Certified Integrative Health and Nutrition Coach and the Author of Amazon best-seller, Your Holistically Hot Transformation: Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle Free of Dieting, Confusion and Self-Judgment.

Now, let’s get on to smoothie-making!

marissa vicario health coach teaches smoothie workshops - how to make the perfect smoothie

SMOOTHIE INGREDIENTS

It may be tempting to go all-fruit with your smoothie, but resist. This is your chance to make the perfect smoothie and get a healthy dose of fiber-rich veggies into your day. Aim for a veggie to fruit ratio of 3 to 1.

Fiber

I like fiber in the form of leafy greens and vegetables, but you can increase it with some of the add-ins below. 

  • baby spinach
  • baby kale
  • mixed greens
  • bok choy 
  • zucchini (I like to cut this into chunks and freeze to have at the ready) 

Fat

Healthy fat gives your smoothie staying power and helps your body assimilate all the nutrients. Coincidentally, it also makes your smoothie smooth and creamy. 

  • Nut butters
  • Nuts (soak for up to a couple of hours before blending) 
  • Full-fat yogurt 
  • Coconut yogurt (for a non-dairy option)
  • Cannelini beans
  • Avocado (I like to chop it up and freeze it)
  • Fresh coconut or coconut oil 

Protein

Protein is satiating, rebuilds your muscle fibers after a workout and makes your smoothie a meal. 

  • See nuts, beans and tofu above
  • Protein powder of your choice (choose one without artificial sweeteners) 
  • Frozen peas
  • Soft tofu

Fruit

Fruit adds a little sweetness, more fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, but don’t go crazy with it, ok? Due to the high sugar content in bananas, I try to limit and only use a small piece to sweeten if necessary. I usually like to use frozen fruit in my smoothies.

  • Berries
  • Kiwi
  • Cranberries
  • Banana 

Base

Your base helps determine the smoothie’s thickness and can also be an additional source of nutrients and hydration. I choose coconut milk when I want something thick and rich and coconut water adds a touch of natural sweetness. Water is best when you want your ingredients to shine on their own. 

  • Any dairy or unsweetened non-dairy milk (almond, coconut, rice, hemp, etc) 
  • Brewed green tea
  • Coconut water
  • Water
  • Kombucha
  • Kefir

Other Add-ins

Add-ins can boost the nutritional value and flavor of a smoothie even more. Choose 1 or 2 per smoothie. 

  • Cinnamon
  • Bee pollen
  • Ground flax seed
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Cacao powder
  • Cacao nibs
  • Chia seeds
  • Fresh citrus juice (lemon or lime) 
  • Spirulina or chlorella 
  • Baked sweet potato
  • Oats
  • Cooked quinoa

SMOOTHIE ASSEMBLY

Layer your ingredients in your blender or blender bottle starting with the lightest first and adding the heavier stuff on top in this order: 

  • Base 
  • Greens
  • Fruit 
  • Add-ins 

QUICK SMOOTHIE TIPS 

  • Always include a fiber, a fat and a protein
  • Create less waste by freezing ripe fruit and veggies to use in smoothies
  • Pre-make your smoothie and freeze in bags or a blender bottle, add the liquid in the morning, blend and go!
  • Hot or Cold? Smoothies are cooling so I tend to drink them in the warmer months. However, warm smoothies for the cooler months are a thing.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations

Now, this guide isn’t comprehensive, because I could truly go on all day. What did I miss? Hit me with your best tips ore recipes for how to make the perfect smoothie. 

 

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26 comments
fairyburger
fairyburger

Hooray for smoothies! I like throwing in greens, but I've never tried using bok choy or zucchini in them! Thanks for this! :]

MarissaV
MarissaV moderator

@fairyburger  they're great! Really mild so they don't add much taste just nutrients :) 

runlaurenrun
runlaurenrun

I don't have smoothies as often as I should.  But when I do, I'm on a smoothie kick for a few weeks! I think I'll be trying a pumpkin smoothie sometime in the next week or so!  

melissajillane
melissajillane

I have a smoothie each morning after I workout.  These are great tips!  I especially like the one about freezing the avocado!  I am so going to use that!  I also had never thought about making them in a bag and just adding the liquid, I am going to use that one too!

Jenn at Run with Sole
Jenn at Run with Sole

I love smoothies! They are a great way to get so many nutrients quickly and easily. Great list of ingredients! 

bephoenixfit
bephoenixfit

I never thought of pre-making the smoothie in advance! That would definitely save time and make it easier to throw together at the last minute. I've also never tried a warm smoothie. Do you just omit the ice and not use cold or frozen ingredients?

MarissaV
MarissaV moderator

@bephoenixfit  pre-making it is a lifesaver. You could omit the ice to make it more room temp. Otherwise, google warm smoothie and check out some of the recipes that come up!

Runwybridlplanr
Runwybridlplanr

Love the tip to always include a fiber, fat and protein! 

I no longer have a smoothie maker or blender, I really need to go buy a new one. I'm trying a few new diet tricks and you've given me the idea for breakfast smoothies, I think they may be a great fast way to eat on the go!

Love that you put them in canning jars, made me think maybe some could be made in advanced and then just shook up to have throughout the week. Thanks so much for the awesome ideas!!!!!!

MarissaV
MarissaV moderator

@Runwybridlplanr  Definitely get a blender for those smoothies! The jars will keep them for about a day maybe 2 but not much longer. The pre-frozen smoothie bags are your best bet for having ingredients ready to go throughout the week!

Cassandra@PoweredByBLING
Cassandra@PoweredByBLING

I have a smoothie every morning for breakfast. I love how it makes me feel energized. Great idea doing a smoothie workshop with your client. I have a couple clients that might like that idea! Green smoothies are my favorite although I also love a PB&Banana protein shake when I'm looking for sweet.

MarissaV
MarissaV moderator

@Cassandra@PoweredByBLING  possibilities of what you can do with clients are endless! You do you! I really try to steer clear of banana in smoothies because of how much sugar it has, but it does sweeten a smoothie up for sure!

Dancing2Running
Dancing2Running

I'm a huge fan of smoothies and have one every morning for breakfast.  Its such an easy way to pack in a lot of nutrition.

Tricia@misssippipiddlin
Tricia@misssippipiddlin

It only took one time to figure out I need to freeze my bananas. Now if I could remember to freeze my ripe ones before they go bad. I throw out so many! Great post on smoothies!

I do tend to have more in the warmer months than the cooler ones. 

cowgirlruns
cowgirlruns

I have a smoothie every morning - even in the winter and I love it.

I'm a fan of frozen berries, VegaOne and whatever else I can find.

DeborahSchreiberBrooks
DeborahSchreiberBrooks

Private smoothie lesson?! These are great tips for sure. Hope you will link up with my meatless Monday link up this week too we would love to have you

Confessions of a mother runner

MarissaV
MarissaV moderator

@DeborahSchreiberBrooks  Yep! I give private lessons to my clients - cooking, smoothies, grocery shopping, you name it! Would love to link up. I'm never really sure how to do that though ;) 

Kim Hatting
Kim Hatting

I'm not really a smoothie gal (nor a veggie gal either),but I realize I need to become one LOL I'm gonna save this post...lots of great info. Thanks!!!

MarissaV
MarissaV moderator

@Kim Hatting  Yes! Veggies are so so so important to be eating for a healthy mind and body :) 

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