How to Make a Smoothie

Level up your skills and become a smooth operator with the best guide on how to make a smoothie!

Behold, the smoothie. A meal in a glass. And not just any meal. A meal anyone can make, no matter how culinary challenged or bound by time constraints. And done right, smoothies are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, healthy fats and so much more. Not only nutritious, but super delicious. That combination doesn’t come round too often.

So, without further ado, here’s your go-to guide on how to make a smoothie – awesome! But first, the all important basic smoothie formula to make a perfect smoothie every time.

Basic Smoothie Formula

  • 2 cups fruit (or a mix of fruit and vegetables)
  • ½ cup milk or juice
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • 1-2 teaspoons sweetener (optional)
  • Optional add-ins to increase flavor (spices) or boost nutritional content (nuts, seeds, protein powders)

This smoothie formula in infinitely adaptable to suit your needs and tastes. Use this formula to make a meal replacement shake (e.g. breakfast), a post-workout drink, snack, or healthy dessert. Use smoothies as a way to get your daily dose of fruit and veg, to lose weight, build muscle, or gain weight. Adapt smoothies anyway you want – the only thing holding you back is your imagination. There’s so much more to smoothies than fruit, yogurt and ice.

How to Make a Smoothie

All it takes are 5 simple steps to make a smoothie:

  1. Pour in liquid
  2. Add soft ingredients (like yogurt)
  3. Add fruit (and vegetables)
  4. Add sweetener 
  5. Toss in optional add-ins

And blend!

You can store a fresh smoothie for up to a day in the fridge if you need to. However, if you can, drink your smoothie as soon as you’ve made it. It’s fresh, will taste absolutely perfect, and you’ll also derive the maximum nutritional benefit.

Step 1

Add Liquid

Start by adding about ½ cup of liquid to the blender. The best liquids to add to smoothies include:

  • Milk is a classic smoothie base, as it helps to mellow bitter flavors and adds creaminess. Milk that works well in smoothies include cows milk, almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, and coconut milk. Choose milk, soy milk, or pea milk for a higher protein content.
  • Fruit juice. Fruit juice based smoothies are fresh, summery, and a bit more icy. Their natural sweetness and acidity help to bring out the smoothie’s fruity flavors. Juices that work well include orange juice, apple juice, grape juice, and pomegranate juice.
  • Other liquids. Coconut water is rich in minerals, hydrating, and adds natural sweetness. Other liquids include iced coffee, tea (green tea, black tea, fruit, or herb), and water.

If your smoothie is too thick you can always add more liquid later. Exactly how much liquid you need depends on the type of fruit you’re using. For dense fruit, such as bananas and mangos for example, you need more liquid. Watermelon, on the other hand, produces a lot of juice, so you’ll need less liquid.

Step 2

Add Soft Ingredients

Smoothies are all about balance. Balance of flavor, balance of texture. The consistency of your smoothie is almost as important as taste. Too runny and it’s not really a smoothie, too thick and you’ll need a spoon.

Adding yogurt (or one of the alternatives below) will give your smoothie body, texture and creaminess, and balance out any acidic taste from fruits such as oranges and berries. But it’s also an opportunity to boost the nutritional content of your smoothie and make your smoothie more filling.

While yogurt is the easiest way to thicken your smoothie, there are some other options too. The best ingredients to thicken a smoothie and make it creamy are:

  • Yogurt. Greek yogurt works particularly well, as it is creamy, very thick, and high in protein. Alternatively try silken tofu, cottage cheese, frozen yogurt, or ice cream.
  • Nut butter, nuts or seeds will make your smoothie thicker and smoother, add a lovely flavor, and are a powerhouse of nutrients. They are rich in protein, fiber, and essential fatty acids. Preferably use natural & unsweetened nut butters.
  • Oats
  • Beans. Beans have a smooth, creamy texture and mild flavor that is easily masked, making them a great option. They are packed with protein and fiber, helping to keep you full for longer. For fruit, vanilla or other light-colored smoothies use white beans or chickpeas. For chocolate or dark smoothies use black beans.

You only need to add one of the above ingredients to thicken your smoothie – unless you’re choosing it to add flavor or make it more nutritious. If you’re adding a lot of ingredients, remember to keep an eye on the calorie-content.

Thickening your smoothie is especially important if you’re working with watery fruit such as watermelon or pineapple, or haven’t used thick, balancing fruits such as avocado and banana.

Step 3

Add Fruit (& Veggies)

Use fresh or frozen fruits to make your smoothie – or a combination. The advantage of using some frozen fruit in your smoothie is that it scores high in terms of taste. Because you don’t need ice, you can achieve a more intense, richer flavor and yield a creamier smoothie.

Out of season, frozen fruits are a good choice, as they’re picked at the peak of ripeness and immediately frozen, sealing in the vitamins and minerals for maximum nutrition and maintaining textural integrity.

Plus, frozen fruits are incredibly convenient. It’s easy to buy a pack of frozen fruit or freeze overripe fruit such as bananas. You can also buy fresh fruit in bulk when in season (especially when on sale), peel, cut, place in freezer bags and freeze.

The best fruits to add to smoothies:

  • Creamy fruit, such as banana or avocado.
  • Berries.
  • Tropical fruit, such as mango, kiwi, and pineapple.
  • Stone fruit, such as cherries and peaches.

Smoothies are also a great opportunity to get some greens into your diet without actually tasting them. The fruit in smoothies mask most of the flavor of the vegetables, so it’ll still taste like a fruit smoothie.

The best vegetables to add to smoothies:

  • Leafy greens. Spinach is one of the most popular greens added to smoothies because it has a mild flavor (its taste is masked by fruit) and is easy to blend. Other mild greens include romaine lettuce and bok choy. Adding a few greens will give the nutritional content of your smoothie a huge boost.
  • Cooked/ pureed vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, pumpkin, or butternut squash. Allow cooked vegetables to cool before adding.
  • Mild, robust vegetables like carrots, beets, and cauliflower. These need to be cut into roughly 1-inch pieces, or smaller, to make it easier to process.

If you’re new to making smoothies, stick to veggies that are naturally sweet (e.g. carrot, pumpkin) or those with mild flavors.

Step 4

Add Sweetener & Flavor Boosters

Ideally, the smoothie’s sweetness should come from fruit. If you’re using sweet and ripe fruits such as banana and mango, you should need little sweetener. 

If you do need to sweeten your smoothie, liquid sweetener works best because it blends into the smoothie seamlessly.

The best sweeteners to add to smoothies:

  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Agave nectar
  • Liquid stevia or xylitol
  • Dates or figs

Remember the natural sweetness of the smoothie will vary each time, depending on the ripeness and sweetness of the fruit. So start with 1 teaspoon of sweetener, blend, then taste. Add more, if needed.

Add flavor boosters to bring out the flavor of your smoothie and give it more depth – this is where you take really good smoothie and make it special. The best flavor boosters are:

  • Spices or extracts (e.g. cinnamon, vanilla extract, almond extract, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cardamon, turmeric, and cayenne pepper).
  • A pinch of salt. Just as any meal, a little salt or a splash of lemon/ lime juice (for smoothies without dairy) can enhance the taste of your smoothie.
  • Cocoa powder

The bonus of adding a flavor booster is that it adds practically no extra calories. Plus, it may help you cut down on the sweetener and therefore calories. A win-win.

Step 5

Optional Add-ins

How do you make a smoothie super healthy? Easy. With highly nutritious add-ins. This is where you take your smoothie to the next level in terms of nutrition. There are a plethora of foods you can add to smoothies to give it that extra nutritional boost.

The best health-boosting add-ins for smoothies are:

  • Healthy fats. If the ingredients you’ve added so far are low in fat, adding a little healthy fat will help you absorb more nutrients, make the smoothie more satisfying, and keep you feel fuller for longer. Add 1 tablespoon of nuts or seeds, or ½-1 tablespoon of healthy oil (e.g. coconut oil, flaxseed oil, fish oil) or nut butter. Alternatively add a little avocado, which is full of healthy fat and will also make your smoothie creamy.
  • Protein powder. If the ingredients you’ve added so far are low in protein, add a scoop of your favorite protein powder. Protein is important if you’re using the smoothie as a meal replacement shake or as a post-exercise snack. Protein takes longer to digest, stabilizes blood sugar, helps you feel fuller, and keeps hunger at bay. Like fats, protein transforms your smoothie from a snack into more of a meal. If you want to avoid protein powder, add a little Greek yogurt, silken tofu, or beans instead.
  • Wheat germ
  • Powdered foods (e.g. green powder, spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass, maca, acai, bee pollen)
  • Nutritional supplements (e.g powdered probiotics)
  • Fresh sprouts

Did we miss your favorite ingredient or do you have a favorite smoothie recipe? Leave a comment and let us know!

And to sum it all up, here’s an infographic on how to make a smoothie awesome!

Smoothie Recipes

Now that you’ve got the hang of how to make a smoothie, try some of these delicious recipes:

Don’t stress when making smoothies. Learning how to make smoothies should be fun, experimental and stress-free. The more you experiment, the more you’ll find out what you really like. If you come up with some tasty and interesting concoctions, let us know in the comments below!

This basic smoothie formula shows you how to make a smoothie that is thick, creamy, and super delicious every time!
Print Recipe Pin Recipe


  • 2 cups fruit (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ cup milk (or juice, coconut water, tea)
  • ¼ cup yogurt (or kefir, cottage cheese)
  • 1-2 tsp honey (or maple syrup, agave nectar)
  • Optional add-ins: nuts, seeds, spices, protein powder


  • Add liquid to the blender, then add the yogurt, fruit, sweetener, and finally the optional add-ins.
  • Blend until smooth.
5 from 2 votes

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  1. Hi! My smoothie recipe is: One banana, 5 strawberries, 2 cups of soy milk, 1 coffe spon of powder ginger. Then for give an extra sweet i just put a little bit of liquid caramel XD. The blend for 60seconds. Enjoy 😀

  2. I am a smoothie noob and am getting so frustrated because they either taste bad or i have to make a huge batch in order to get the flavoring right. Could you give me an idea of how much of each step I should use for a one person smoothie? I’d also be okay with making 3-4 and freezing the extra, I am just sick of ending up with a smoothie and a half lol!!

  3. Love, love, love this site, I made a green smoothie this morning before I went to spinning class, I drank it before and after class. Wheatgrass, apple, banana, frozen blueberries, flaxseed, plain greek yogurt, orange juice, protein powder and some ice cubes to boot. What an awesome smoothie it was!!! Thanks!

  4. i love this and i followed ur ingredients & used just e right proportions of apple,banana,lemon juice,ice,local honey,mango,ginger,lettuce,dandelion leaves, ginger,vanilla and milk ..and the result was fantastic…thnx very much..i can’t wait to try it on my mum..she loves to be healthy… hey i love tryin new & healthythings when it comes to food though am just 17years…can u send me some recipies of some other foods..using simple the ones i can find in Ghana… are doing a wonderful job…keep it up.. hope to do something like this in future….

  5. Really loved the list of choices! My all time favorite one to make would have to be the one as followed. I use apples, milk, small amount of apple juice, peanut butter, some vanilla yogurt, oats, maple syrup, cinnamon, and a dab of honey. This sounds like an odd combo but its my mother’s recipe for the best smootie and I honestly feel that it is. Try it!

  6. For optimal digestion do not combine mellons with other fruits or foods – they digest really quickly and when you combine them in a smoothie with slower digesting foods it can lead to bloating! 🙂 just the heads up 😉

  7. Thanks so much for your tips – spinach. Will try it right now.

    One awesome ingredient you left out was eggs. crack in two raw eggs for a meal replacement smoothie – you can’t taste them AT ALL, it’s fluffy, filling, high in protein and cheap! All good!


  8. Thanks so much for your tips – spinach. Will try it right now.

    One awesome ingredient you left out was eggs. crack in two raw eggs for a meal replacement smoothie – you can’t taste them AT ALL, it’s fluffy, filling, high in protein and cheap! All good!


  9. Thanks for posting this awesome guide! I’ll be using it very soon, as I absolutely LOOOVE smoothies. I might suggest that you add silken tofu to the list of thickeners, though – everyone always cringes when I say it, but it tastes no different than plain yogurt when it’s mixed up with the fruit and it packs a super punch of protein. ^.^

  10. this is a great resource! I’m a green smoothie addict. I looked over your list pretty hard and could only find one item that I use that was not listed. I like to add a drop or two of my favorite essential oil to my smoothie. It varies depending on the rest of the ingredients, but I typically use wild orange, lemon, lime, ginger, cilantro, and grapefruit. It a super easy way to boost the nutritional and antioxidant level without adding any work or calories. Plus, adding citrus oils gives you a great energy boost. Of course you have to make sure you’re using a 100% pure oil and that you select an oil that is GRAS (generally regarded as safe for human consumption).

  11. My favorite is frozen tropical fruit (I buy it a bigbox store and keep in freezer), several tablespoons of greek yogurt (I like because it is no fat,but does not have non-sweetners), a big scoop of ground flax seed and oj to thin it. Yum!!!

  12. This is great, one of my favorite smoothies is frozen mango chunks, peaches, plain yogurt (regular or greek), oj and a little bit of agave. YUM. Super creamy and delish.

  13. I wanted to save this – not a recipe exactly, more a resource list for smoothies. I tired to select and copy to a word document, but the web page wouldn’t allow me to even select. Do you have a printable page or a format that I would be able to save? I could always just do a screen capture for the infographic, which is brilliant, but I can’t fit it onto one screen. Copy and paste would be better. thanks.

  14. Thanks for all these great suggestions. If it weren’t for the quality of what I use, my smoothies would really just be wild milkshakes. I am a vegetarian, but sadly, my stomach problems are making it impossible for me to digest most fruits and vegetables. My partner liked frozen fruit for hers and would eat it with a spoon until it was “straw”able. Sadly, she passed away in February and I still have a smoothie in my freezer waiting for her.

    My smoothies are vehicles for supplements. Since I don’t use fruit, they’re thinner than most. I use aloe vera juice, carrot juice, pear and or banana juice, a little rice milk, all the supplements and vitamins except the time release ones. this is a help because I also have a stricture in my esophagus which makes swallowing pills hard. I empty the capsules right into the smoothie canister. Then I add some applesauce, which is fruit, but cooked and I seem to tolerate it, then some Greek style yogurt, fat free frozen yogurt and top it off with some ginger syrup, agave nectar and, for allergies, a teaspoon of LOCAL honey. One day, my grandchildren were visiting and I was getting ready to make smoothies. My 11 granddaughter was playing with her 3 year old cousin and they were pretending to serve pie. They were pantomiming cutting it, offering it top my son-in-law and he said, “I’d like mine with whipped cream.” So she pantomimed holding a can of whipped cream upside down and when she pretended to squeeze the dispenser tip, she made a little whipped cream squirting out noise. Just at that exact moment, I activated the smoothie blender and that made a much bigger noise. Luckily, someone was recording it with a digital camera. It’s still funny. I don’t know if I can send you that video.

  15. My recipe for my breakfast smoothie: I make a big vacuum canister full as a base: I dry blend into fine powder old fashion oatmeal whole almonds and honey wheat germ. Then in my Vitamix blender I add frozen strawberries , blueberries and a banana. I add half cup powder blend and almond milk and blend. Delicious!


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