Whether you’re completely new to the smoothie game or your toss-some-random-stuff-in-the-blender-and-hope-for-the-best approach isn’t wowing you or your go-to smoothie is feeling a little ho-hum, we have a simple solution. Try this simple formula for how to make a perfect smoothie that’s not only healthy but crave-worthy. It provides you with precise proportions for the various essential components of liquid, fruit, and vegetables (if you please) as well as some optional things you may (or may not) wish to sneak into your smoothie to make it more potent or palatable or both. And there’s still ample room for freewheeling. Our testers have offered their fave blended concoctions below. Let us know in a comment below.Angie Zoobkoff


Okay, so it may not require an engineering degree to make a smoothie, but it does require having everything available to you when you need it. Which means that the banana that was perfectly ripe 4 days ago isn’t going to work out so well. Same goes for that avocado. And that mango. Unless, of course, you freeze them to have at your disposal whenever the smoothie need arises. And we have the perfect approach for how to freeze bananas. Which means there’s a perpetual stash in your freezer of whatever you need ready whenever you are—and not have the situation be the other way around.

A woman with a Vitamix filled with spinach, mango, and milk

How to Make a Perfect Smoothie

5 from 1 vote
Learn how to make a perfect smoothie with this simple formula that includes fruits, vegetables, flavor boosters, healthy fats, and natural sweeteners. Say goodbye to boring blends forever.
David Leite
Servings1 to 2 servings
Calories114 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes


For the liquid base (about 1 cup total)

  • Water
  • Coconut water
  • Milk or plant milk (unsweetened)
  • Fruit juice (not from concentrate)
  • Vegetable juice (not from concentrate)
  • Plain unsweetened yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Tea (cooled)

For the fruit, fresh or frozen (1 to 2 cups total)

  • Banana
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Mango
  • Apple
  • Pineapple
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Avocado
  • Persimmon
  • Papaya
  • Orange
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Passion fruit
  • Cooked pumpkin

For the optional vegetable (1/2 to 1 cup total)

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • How to Make a Perfect SmoothieCelery
  • Cucumber
  • Bell pepper
  • Broccoli
  • Rocket leaves
  • Dandelion greens
  • Carrots
  • Fennel
  • Zucchini

For the optional boosters and flavorings (as many as you’d like!)

  • Dry spices (cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, turmeric, saffron)
  • Fresh herbs
  • Fresh ginger
  • Fresh turmeric
  • Cacao powder or nibs
  • Nuts
  • Desiccated coconut
  • Seeds
  • Protein powders (hemp, pea, brown rice, whey)
  • Superfood powders
  • Bee pollen
  • Coffee (cooled)

For the optional healthy fat (choose 1 & use 1 to 2 teaspoons)

  • Coconut oil
  • Flax oil
  • Olive oil
  • Omega-3 oil from fish or algae
  • Evening primrose oil

For optional extra-thick smoothies (about 1 tablespoon)

  • Nut butter
  • Seed butter
  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Psyllium seeds
  • Rolled oats (or cooked oatmeal)
  • Unsweetened Greek yoghurt
  • Cooked white beans
  • Tofu (silken or soft)

For the optional sweetener (choose one)

  • Soft dates
  • Dried figs, prunes or apricots
  • Raw honey
  • Pure maple syrup
  • Stevia
  • Frozen Bananas


  • In a high-speed blender, combine your selection of base, fruits, vegetables, flavorings, healthy fats, thickeners, and sweeteners. If you are not using any frozen fruits or vegetables, toss in a handful of ice cubes.
  • Blend on high speed until very smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately.
Green Kitchen Smoothies Cookbook

Adapted From

Green Kitchen Smoothies

Buy On Amazon


Serving: 1 portionCalories: 114 kcalCarbohydrates: 19 gProtein: 1 gFat: 5 gSaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 3 gSodium: 13 mgFiber: 4 gSugar: 13 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2016 David Frenkiel | Luise Vindahl. Photo © 2016 David Frenkiel. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

My breakfast smoothie was rich and creamy and very enjoyable. It took about 5 minutes to make, including the blending time in my Vitamix.

  • 1/3 cup plain homemade kombucha, flat
  • frozen mango
  • clementine
  • spinach
  • fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt

This yielded 1 large serving or 2 small servings. I ate it all as my husband didn’t like it. (He doesn’t like mango. Although he said it was better than he expected!)

Nice recipe framework for creating a great smoothie. Makes it really simple to experiment with different fruits, veg, and flavorings and be confident you will get a great result every time. The simple instructions and method helped! The speed of making a delicious smoothie once you’ve got the frozen ingredients stashed in the freezer would make me come back to it again and again. And the recipe allows for alterations based on what’s in season and what’s in your refrigerator!

My smoothie:

  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 1 English cucumber
  • A little grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

A year ago, I received an awesome margarita maker machine as a gift. After using it once, I set it on the bar where it now collects dust and gives me a pang of guilt every time I walk past it. I saw this recipe and decided to step outside of my comfort zone to 1. make healthy smoothies, and 2. figure out how to use this monster machine.

Not having a clue about smoothies, the handy guide sections were very helpful. I chose:

  • kefir and black unsweetened tea
  • 10 strawberries
  • red bell pepper
  • fresh ginger
  • desiccated coconut
  • peanut butter
  • rolled oats
  • dried cherries
  • frozen raspberries
  • maple syrup

I didn’t add the maple syrup initially, but it was very tart without. A tablespoon maple syrup was enough to curb the tartness but didn’t make it overly sweet. The texture was smooth with tiny pieces of oats and raspberry seeds. It was thick and creamy and chilled. What surprised me was how filling it was.

I’m excited to try some of the more adventurous ingredients on the list. These will make a healthy and filling afternoon snack.

Although most of us can make a perfectly drinkable smoothie and might think it’s a matter of switching on the blender, making a healthy one and an interesting balance is something that a method like this can help you hone your skills. I think it is too easy to fall into a sameness (and then get bored and stop trying to make smoothies part of your routine), so this was a good exercise.

Whether you are adapting to picky eaters or the seasonal fruit that is (or isn’t) on hand, this flexible list will make you restart your game. I usually make smoothies for two people, which makes it easy to measure and keeps me from making it too weird!

I think these types of recipes are good because they give you the opportunity to stretch your idea of what works, and to think about more than fruit and yogurt. I avoid protein powders but sometimes I forget about the variety we can use. For spices, cinnamon or turmeric make it into most smoothies I create along with ginger or cardamom. Greens or cucumbers usually make it in, but sometimes we need a nudge to consider other vegetables.

Smoothie #1

  • coconut water
  • blueberries (and raspberries added after tasting)
  • dry ground ginger and turmeric
  • cucumber
  • unsweetened coconut
  • frozen bananas
  • ice cubes

Smoothie #2

  • coconut water
  • fresh champagne mango
  • zucchini
  • dry ground ginger and turmeric
  • unsweetened coconut
  • Strauss whole milk yogurt (not Greek)
  • frozen bananas
  • ice cubes

I bought a Vitamix this past year and love what a wonderful job it does but even my old 2-speed Beehive Oster could turn out a good smoothie (you have to cut things smaller and have more patience).

I like a fair amount of punch, so I usually use about 2 teaspoons ground ginger or if I have fresh ginger, I would mince or grate a similar amount. Do not be afraid to taste and adjust sweetness.

I really enjoyed testing this smoothie recipe due it versatility. I did not have to worry about shopping around getting specific ingredients, just use whatever you have in the fridge to create a delicious and nutritious combination.

I used mainly apple, cinnamon, and ginger as my flavor combination (a favorite of mine). This worked very well, with the addition of the banana and papaya it was smooth and creamy. I was worried about adding oil to the smoothie but after some experimenting to find the correct amount of oil (I used coconut), I was pleasantly surprised at the subtle richness that it added. It did not deter from my flavor profile.

This is a great basic recipe for people who enjoy smoothies and need to get the nutritious benefits from a smoothie, whether for breakfast or post workout. Made easy by the fact that you can prepare frozen bananas and avocado for future use and add whatever you have in the fridge that needs to be eaten. A good way to finish any ripe fruit or vegetables that need to be eaten with the benefit of reducing food waste.

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt plus 1 tbsp water
  • 1 banana
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup papaya
  • cucumber
  • cinnamon
  • sunflower seeds
  • coconut oil
  • honey

I’m a big fan of smoothies, but they can be hit or miss, especially when you just chuck a boat load of stuff in a blender and hope for the best. This template is perfect. I used it a few times to make smoothies which turned out really well—no misses at all. I love this idea and would like to see it as a little laminated chart to keep in the kitchen for handy reference!

A good smoothie is only as good as the combination of components, so I’ve found it’s important to include a little from each category. Here are some of the combos I made:

Smoothie #1

  • water
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 frozen blueberries
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • honey

Smoothie #2

  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • honey

Smoothie #3

  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 2 medium carrots
  • grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • honey
  • frozen avocados and mangoes: Shhh. I always have these (store-bought) in my freezer!

A note about the blender. I have a KitchenAid Torrent Blender and it is VERY powerful. (It easily blends carrots and nuts.) I think it’s important to let people know that not all blenders will be able to handle these items.

Also note that this makes approximately 3 cups, give or take, each time. Enough for 2 large or 3 smaller smoothies.

This is a perfect and easy recipe for a smoothie with many great options! I had never tried freezing avocados and loved this method. This made 1 really large smoothie or 2 small ones.

  • coconut water
  • 1 frozen banana
  • frozen avocado
  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • minced ginger
  • hemp seeds
  • flax oil
  • honey

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. It’s missing something. You got to crack an egg into it; that gives it a good boost of protein. Fellow Australians will know what I am talking about, one or two Weet-Bix doesn’t go too badly either.

    Those are especially good if you don’t like eating the products on their own.

    1. You’ll definitely get a boost of protein, Mikey, but please do keep in mind that raw eggs do carry a significant risk of salmonella.