Would you like to learn how to make your own smoothies? This is the post to show you how. Smoothies are extremely popular these days, though around 10 years ago, they were virtually non-existent. They do however offer a good way to quickly get some hydrating liquid and nutrients into you, especially if you’re the kind of person who runs out the door before breakfast. Mango Strawberry Banana Smoothie (Crowded Kitchen)
Smoothies are also good to entice picky eaters to get their fruits and veggies, and also can be healing for people recovering from illness, as you can pack in some protein, calcium and other nutrients.
The problem is that buying smoothies can be pretty boring and expensive (same flavours, high prices) all usually sold in plastic bottles. It’s time to learn to make your own!
Check medications for foods to avoid (green leaves, grapefruit). Use pasteurised juice if pregnant/nursing or ill (avoid papaya/melon in pregnancy/nursing as may have unsafe bacteria) Everyone should remove fruit seeds (cyanide!) and rhubarb leaves.
- Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap/warm water
- Cut away bruised/damaged areas
- Remove outer leaves of lettuce or cabbage
- Rinse produce before you peel
- Gently run produce under cold running water
- Use a clean veggie brush to scrub firm items
- Dry with reusable paper towel
- Store perishable produce at/below 40 degrees in fridge.
Instead of supermarket smoothies in plastic bottles, make your own smoothies and pour into Cheeky Elephant’s Insulated Smoothie Cups. The steel body keeps liquids cool, and can be used also for juice, infused water or vegan milk shakes. These feature stainless steel straws with stoppers. Fits in a car drinks holder.
Don’t use metal straws on the move or for young children (supervise for older children).
Choose a Good Blender
Red up of just strawberry, mango, berries? Although nice, homemade smoothies let you push the boat out with other flavours. You don’t need to buy an expensive blender, although do pay a little more for a glass jug with quality motor, as it will last you longer than a cheap blender that falls apart after a few months of making a daily smoothie for breakfast or a snack. Pop over to Rainbow Plant Life where you can find a good ‘how to make the perfect smoothie chart’.
Vitamix and BlendTec are the gold standard, but way too expensive for most people. One quality affordable alternative is NutriBullet (around £50) and can also make soup and stock in seconds. It includes a cup that you can take off to drink your smoothie, and is easy to clean (just twist off the blades to rinse with soap and water, and put the cups on the top dishwasher rack).
Formula to Make a Smoothie
There are a few formulas around to make a smoothie. But don’t just throw everything in the blending cup and hope for the best. The authors of the book Simple Green Smoothies offer a simple formula:
- Add tightly-packed leafy greens first to blender
- Then add your liquid (water, juice, plant milk)
- Then add your fresh or frozen fruit, with add-ons
Warming Autumn Pear Smoothie (Planted and Picked) is made with a fresh pear and almond milk, coconut yoghurt, oats, dates, almond butter and spices (keep nutmeg and mace away from pets).
Smoothie For When You Have Flu
Smoothies are good for people with serious illness like cancer, as they pack a lot of nutritional bang for your buck. But don’t fall for people trying to sell you expensive plans and promising wonder cures. Just use your common sense. Drinking a smoothie with lots of fresh ingredients is good, especially if you don’t have much of an appetite.
Flu-Busting Smoothie (Be Good Organics) is a simple blend of orange and carrot, with lemon, lime, ginger and turmeric. Vegans can use maple syrup over honey and leave out the bee pollen.
Smoothies to Make You Beautiful
These smoothies to make you beautiful go one step further. All smoothies are good for your hair, skin and nails. But these include ingredients specifically to make your skin and hair glow.
Smoothie for Clear Skin (Simple Vegan Blog) is a simple blend of water, mango, pomegranate, raspberries and flax seeds. Of course the main benefit to your skin for smoothies is that they add in water, but this adds in nutrients from lots of fruit, and flax seeds for essential fatty acids. Also try Iosune’s Glowing Skin Smoothie (raspberries, bananas, flax seeds) and Glowing Skin Juice (beetroot, oranges, carrots, apples, cucumber and celery).
Vegan Protein Smoothies
These 4 Vegan Protein Smoothies (So Vegan) make it easy to sip some protein. Choose from:
- Mixed Berry – with banana, oats, oat milk and pea protein
- Super Greens – with banana, mango, kale, spinach, oat milk, almond butter and pea protein
- Banana – with vanilla, oat milk, pea protein, oats, pitted dates and cinnamon
- Cheeky Chocolate – with peanut butter, cocoa powder, banana, oat milk, pea protein and pitted dates
Smoothies that Taste Like Dessert
Vegan Sweet Potato Smoothie (Short Girl, Tall Order) is an ideal alternative to dessert, if you have a sweet tooth. Made without bananas, this autumnal treat is made with 8 simple ingredients. Perfect for breakfast or to stop you raiding the cake trolley in the afternoon!
Sweet potatoes are naturally rich in sugar, so contrary to belief, are quite high on the glycemic index, although the GI depends on the cooking methods used. This root vegetable is not a potato at all, simply a root (while white potatoes are tubers). Native to Central America, they are enjoyed worldwide. If you prefer to bake them without a microwave, just fork the potatoes a few times each side, slice in half (lengthways) then bake with salt and pepper, on a oiled pan. Smaller potatoes should only take half an hour or so, using this method.
These smoothies that taste like dessert, are a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth, while omitting the bad stuff and getting lots of nutrients. These are ideal for people who love cake and cookies, but need to go on a health kick. Often you can completely recreate the original dessert, and most dessert smoothies are also very hydrating. Try this Peanut Butter & Jelly Smoothie (Ambitious Kitchen).
Healthy Neapolitan Smoothie (Veggiekins) gives all the taste of the Italian ice-cream, without the complication of making it. This is a 3-layer smoothie made with frozen banana and a combined effect of cocoa, strawberries and vanilla extract. Her Red Velvet Smoothie is a play on a popular US dessert (beetroot and chocolate).
Carrot Cake Smoothie (Ambitious Kitchen) has a whole raw carrot, banana and pineapple chunks along with coconut milk and vegan Greek yoghurt, oats and nut butter, with some spices. Or for a Derbyshire hit, try her Almond Cherry Smoothie (Bakewell tart in a glass, with spinach!)
Cinnamon Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie (Ambitious Kitchen) is made with banana and sweet potato, along with almond butter and milk, vanilla and spices. It adds in Greek vegan yoghurt. Also check out her recipe for Pumpkin Pie Smoothie (if you can find canned pumpkin puree).
A Vegan Smoothie Bowl for Breakfast
4-Ingredient Strawberry Cream Smoothie Bowl (Crowded Kitchen) is a simple 4-ingredient recipe, to make the ultimate healthy fresh fruit breakfast. Smoothie bowls are simply thicker, and eaten with a spoon from a bowl. Top with optional nutritious ingredients.
A smoothie bowl for breakfast is an alternative way to start your day. It’s chunkier and more filling than a smoothie, but simpler to make than porridge, and a great way to get fresh fruit into your system. You can also add sweet ingredients to make dessert smoothie bowls.
- Pour a large glass of plant milk into your blender
- Add a banana to make it thicker
- Add around 200g of frozen fruits
- Sweeten with a little maple syrup
- Pour into a bowl and add your toppings
- Drizzle with peanut butter or maple syrup
The Best Vegan Smoothie Books
These vegan smoothie books leave out the milk, honey and bee pollen, so you can just grab your blender and fresh fruit and go, no need to double-check or adapt the recipes. Making your own smoothies is more interesting as you get hundreds of flavour combinations, and it works out cheaper too.
- Smoothie Power includes 80 power-packed recipes for the smoothie-obsessed. Packed with nutrition, find superfood smoothies, smoothies for children and savoury and sweet smoothie bowls.
- 365 Vegan Smoothies give you one healthy drink for every day of the year. From green energy smoothies to brain boosters, to weight loss, healthy digestion and detox. Includes a frosty sweet Peach Pick-Me-Up and mood-boosting Cheerful Chocolate Chia.
- Caribbean Smoothies is by a chef who lives and was raised in the Caribbean, so these authentic recipes taste great. Try Island-Style Green Smoothies, Fruity Islands Blends and recipes for Pina Cola, Passion Fruit, Mango, Pineapple Lemongrass Breeze and Caribbean Flu Shot.
- Simple Vegan Smoothies (e-book) is a lovely affordable download with the best recipes from Spain’s favourite bloggers. You’ll learn how to make delicious smoothies in seconds, and there are adaptations.
More Lovely Smoothie Recipes
Strawberry Watermelon Smoothie (Short Girl, Tall Order) only needs 4 ingredients (including vegan yourt). It’s a nice way for enjoying a fresh fruit breakfast in the morning. People with too much potassium in their blood or serious hyperkalemia should not consume more than a cup of watermelon a day, according to medical professionals. Watermelon is one of the world’s most popular fruits. Very hydrating (some raw foodists don’t even drink water if they eat this), it’s both a fruit and a vegetable with a dark green rind and watery red flesh with seeds. Pollinated from flowers due to bees, botanically they are gourds like cucumber, pumpkin and squash.
These 3 nutritious vegan smoothie recipes (Crowded Kitchen)
These 3 immune-boosting vegan smoothies (So Vegan) are ideal to master, whether you have them daily or when feeling you need a boost. Choose from:
- Orange & Turmeric – contains fresh ginger, dates and almond milk
- Spinach & Apple – contains date, celery, spinach, lemon juice, almond milk and walnuts
- Berry & Almond – contains banana, frozen berries, almond butter, almond milk and sunflower seeds
Vegan Smoothie Ice Pops (A Brit in Helsinki) is a recipe from a fun and unique blog, where the commentary is often as good as the recipes. This UK native moved to Finland as he does not like hot weather, so is always looking for ways to cool down, as soon as the weather even begins to turn warm! This pops are made with monkey-friendly coconut milk in any flavours you like – the above ones are strawberry/blueberry/raspberry/basil and mango/mint and sea buckthorn. Very easy to make too.
Vegan Piña Colada Smoothie (Short Girl, Tall Order) is a creamy treat, though this one has no alcohol or added sugar. Naturally sweetened with dates, use frozen pineapple for a thicker drink.
Pina Colada is a popular cocktail from the Caribbean, made from pineapple and coconut milk. The drink took 3 months to perfect, allegedly invented by a pirate! Here are some plant-based versions free from dairy milk. You can always leave out the alcohol for teetotal rum-free versions, if wished.