Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Love the formula. I too am smoothie-loyal and love to experiment. Avocados are smoothie staples. Some of my favorite ingredients are slivered fresh ginger, cardamom (great with banana/date/coconut), basil and lemon zest. I also add a handful of greens. In the winter I don’t use frozen fruit or ice and tend to blend avocado smoothies thick and eat with a spoon like pudding, so good.

    1. Could you suggest a smoothie including basil? We have TONS in our garden at the moment and I need to use it!

  • Great idea!
    Possible additions: bee pollen, dulse flakes, psyllium husk (fiber), dash of vanilla (or any flavor) extract, soaked goji berries.

  • I love this post! I’ve been on a huge smoothie kick lately. I like to add a few fresh mint leaves (assuming they won’t clash with other flavors) and a spoon of unsweetened cocoa powder for a natural chocolate-mint smoothie.
    Other possible additions: peanut flour, coconut flour, a little grated fresh ginger.

  • My wife and I don’t even bother with any water or milk type. Why dilute?! We just use fresh organic apples, pears, and berries with 2 tablespoons Trader Joe’s vanilla hemp protein (not chalky at all), 2-3 tablespoons almond butter, and chia seeds. I do throw in some granola after the blender so I can a crunch. Yum Yum!! Never thought of a avocado. Thanks for the tip.

  • Great, funny post. I too find that eating healthy meals persuades me to KEEP eating healthy meals throughout the day. Sometimes, even when I think, “I could totally eat an indulgent dessert and it wouldn’t matter”, I find myself just skipping it entirely since I started off on such a good streak. Sometimes anyways.
    I think I need to make a post similar to this regarding salad. I love making a salad filled with anything and everything. I was always raised on the Standard American Diet’s version of a salad, which was usually iceberg lettuce, shredded carrots and some tomatoes. Boooooooring! Now I’ve come to look at salad as the most taste-filled nutrition packed meal I can have. Everything but the kitchen sink!

  • Thanks Matt – this looks great.
    I’ve been making lazy smoothies for about 6 months now. Nothing but fruit (soft/frozen) and fruit juice. It gives me my fruit intake of the day, but I could definitely add some protein and nutrients.
    I’ll be going to the grocery store this weekend and stocking up – gonna give this formula a shot.

  • I totally agree–when I start my day with a smoothie for breakfast I feel and eat better all day long. I have a VitaMix which costs a small fortune but is an incredible investment. I love putting kale in my smoothies..so good for you and really tasty when mixed with mango, pineapple, and coconut milk. Sometimes I throw a carrot in too..it sweetens a lot!

  • I loved this post. I really like this deconstructured approach to recipe creation. However, the main reason I almost never drink smoothies is that I hate cleaning out my blender. Does anyone know any blender cleaning hacks?

    1. Thanks, Dana. We have a Blendtec and it’s “self-cleaning.” Immediately after using it, you just put a pump of dishsoap and a cup or two of water in and pulse it a few times, then rinse. I’d imagine you could do the same with some other blenders; they just might require a more thorough cleaning a little more often.

    2. A stick or immersion blender works really well for smoothies, they come with a big wide cup that you toss everything in to, give it a buzz, and drink it right out of the cup. Its a lot easier to clean than a whole blender with the parts and o ring , etc. Like Matt said, I usually just buzz it in water with soap and rinse it off.

    3. All you have to do it put warm water & a little soap. Hit puree & rinse, rinse, rinse. Be sure to separate the blade & rinse that off separately to ensure the soap is out of the cracks. easy peasy!

    4. Blender by BRAUN is made of glass and cleans very easily. It does not become faded and scratched over time. Only part to remove is the lid. And glass in my opinion keeps flavor of food pure tasting.

  • I don’t make smoothies b/c I like to chew my meals. However, I may be willing to give it a shot. A question: If I make 2 servings, will the second serving keep until the next day?

    1. I read somewhere that you should actually chew your juices and smoothies as if they were solid, as it keeps you from downing them too fast, and you actually start absorbing nutrients while the liquid is in your mouth.

    2. Oops, also meant to say that if smoothies are like fresh juices, they slowly lose nutrients, so fresh is best. But… I often do a big batch and store in the fridge in Mason jars, which are air-tight. I might not save something with avacado, thinking it’d end up looking/feeling kinda slimey. 🙂

    3. I read somewhere that they should be consumed within 2 hrs for max nutrient absorption, but even if you’re eating some of it later, it’s still better than a lot of things you could eat. The fiber remains if nothing else! Just beware of texture changes. Some of mine get goopy if refrigerated for even 20 min. (And let’s face it, half of what makes a smoothie pleasurable is the texture!) As for needing to chew, try adding seeds, nuts, oats, etc to a smoothie (after you’re done blending it). Makes for a cool (literally) breakfast “soup” complete with extra protein and fiber. Just find the ratio of smoothie to crunchy stuff that makes you happy!

      1. Keep it in the fridge in a Mason jar filled to the top and sealed tightly. The less air exposure the better. It still is bestimated if you drink it within 24 hours, but I do this to keep my smoothies overnight so I don’t wake anyone up with the blender at 6AM. The only times I’ve had a problem are when my fiancé didn’t find the smoothie and it was forgotten for 2 days. Keep in mind that if you have chia seeds in there they will feel up overnight and make it more like pudding, but it sounds like you wouldn’t mind that. Flax seeds (ground in the blender) will keep about the same consistency.

    4. Put chia seeds or walnuts or steel cut soaked oats into glass stir eat then repeat process until you have consumed smoothie in its entirety. Steel cut oats will defiently hone your chewing skills as you consume smoothie.

    5. Yes, however if you want to keep them mostly frozen then you should put them in the freezer and then take them our 30 minutes- 1 hour before you want to drink them

  • I also have a smoothie every.single.day and have for the past 4-5 years.
    I make much simpler smoothies that you. Here are my must haves for a successful smoothie:
    1. 1 frozen banana (you peel the banana when it is spotted and freeze it. This is, to me, the KEY ingredient to making a delicious smoothie).
    2. 1 cup frozen fruit (or another frozen banana if it is a banana smoothie)
    3. 3-5 ice cubs
    4. 3 cups liquid (I think soy milk, but water or any other milk will do.)
    PERFECT SMOOTHIE, every time.

  • A friend of mine recently got me to start adding a teaspoon of L-Glutamine to my smoothies. It is supposed to help muscles recover quicker. I think that since I’ve been using it I have been less sore after hard workouts. What are your thoughts on L-Glutamine?

    1. Layne, I used to take L-Glutamine when I was really into weightlifting in college, and yes, recovery was what it was supposed to help with. I can’t really say for sure if it did or not. Some people swear by it and some say it doesn’t do anything at all. I actually just bought some recently though that I’ve added to recovery drinks after hard workouts and runs. Sure is cheaper than it used to be!

  • I absolutely love this post (hi! this might be the first post I’ve actually commented on). I spent way too long researching “smoothie recipes” and stressing that I didn’t have the “right” ingredients or that I was missing something or that I put in too much milk. I seriously used measuring cups!
    Finally, I started just going with the flow, experimenting, and thinking “Hmm, I wonder if I added this!” My most recent iteration was adding some almond butter with flaxseeds (it came mixed from Trader Joes). Stoked to see that on the list!

  • Your formula is fantastic! And it works. All of my best smoothies naturally have followed your formula. I’ve just recently fallen in love cardamom in berry smoothies. And one of my favorite greens to use in a tropical mango smoothie is kale.

  • Great post. I use a Vitamixer and it is awesome! I clean it the same way you described above or in the sink. No dishwasher. I don’t use any protein powder, Lots of greens (8 cups for 2 servings) spinach romaine and kale, so lots of protein in the mix. Blueberries, Strawberries, Avacado, Flax seed, pom juice, dates. I also add cinnamon to the mix. No extra sweetner, the dates and fruit make it perfect. No “milk”. I drink one everyday!

  • Great post!! Sometimes I like to throw in a bit of chili powder, cayenne pepper or just a pinch of salt in my smoothies. I think it makes them taste better!!

  • Great post! I just started The Clean Program 21 day detox, and I’ve been starting my day with smoothies instead of coffee and sugar…what a difference it’s made! I’m surprised at how much I like a good, cold smoothie in the morning in the winter. My current favorite is almond milk, coconut milk, frozen blueberries, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, and hemp protein. So good! Sometimes I add cinnamon. I have a Vita Mix and sometimes I blend in some kale with my almond milk and berries too.

  • Great post! I have been wondering what I can use in smoothies instead of bananas, which I’m not allowed to have at present. Avocados are a good option, when they come in season again over here. I will certainly give them a try!

    1. Put chia seeds or walnuts or steel cut soaked oats into glass stir eat then repeat process until you have consumed smoothie in its entirety. Steel cut oats will defiently hone your chewing skills as you consume smoothie.

  • Making a good smoothie is definitely an art. I worked at a smoothie shop for a bit, so I learned some basics from there (although, they cheapen the health factor with lots of water, ice, and turbinado). I also use flaxseed but have never tried avocado in a smoothie. Sounds good!

  • Oh my this is so helpful! was just thinking to myself this morning that i wanted a smoothie, but didn’t feel like paying $10 @ Smoothie King. headed to the grocery tonight to pick up the essentials. thanks for the tips!

  • Awesome post Matt. I’m a smoothie-every-morning-guy and love how it makes me feel. I was happy to see that my 9 ingredients were in line with your suggestions. Here is mine:
    1 banana
    1 cup frozen blueberries
    4 or 5 frozen strawberries
    2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
    1 cup almond milk
    1 spoonful of almond or peanut butter
    1 cup chopped kale
    1 cup raw oatmeal
    Blend it up and drink the goodness! Thanks.

  • That’s a great template to keep handy!
    My main problem with smoothies is that we don’t have an automatic ice maker so I have to consciously remember to make more 🙁

    1. Freeze your fruit in freezer bags . If you have time and will put ingredients in plastic wrap inside plastic bag and voila’ just empty into blender and avoid freezer burn. The frozen fruit acts as its own ice.

  • Thanks so much for the post. I’m eager to try the smoothie for breakfast, big salad for lunch idea. Do you have a similar “forumula” for salads? That would be really helpful for someone as kitchen-clueless as I am. Since becoming a vegetarian, I cook much more often out of necessity, but I find I’m not very imaginative.

    1. Hey Jennifer, thanks for your comment. Nah, I don’t think salad requires a formula! But in the book, I do include a long list of salad ingredient ideas and some suggestions for healthy dressing.

  • I almost always use coconut water as my liquid. You didn’t even mention it as an option. Also, if I need a sweetener, I will add a couple of dates.
    Thanks for the nice smoothie guide!

  • “(Soy and whey are higher-protein, generally cheaper options, but for a variety of reasons I don’t recommend either for long-term use.)”
    I’m new to your site and am very intrigued… is there somewhere I can read more about these reasons?
    We have started making changes to our family’s diet (one at a time, so we are not overwhelmed) and I’m glad to have found such a helpful site! Thanks!

    1. Not sure what his reasons are; but I think that I’ve read somewhere that hexane is used to extract soy protein. SInce I’m not sure it would be best to research it for yourself though. 🙂

    2. Whey is a protein from cow’s milk. So if you are following a dairy free diet – you shouldn’t use it in your smoothies. Great post, like a lot of other people I also include greens in mine.

  • I love this post. I have always enjoyed smoothies but was unsure about how to mix them up and have them come out well!
    I’m surprised no one mentioned yogurt yet! If you aren’t a vegan, even one or two spoonfuls is a great addition.

  • Great post Matt!
    I lost fifty pounds in twelve months through juicing and running. (You can read my story with photos on my Running On Juice blog).
    This year I have been use Vega powder in my Smoothie and occasionally the Vega EFA oil.
    I really recommend a tablespoon or two of chia seeds, I find it keeps me satisfied longer.
    The wonderful thing with smoothies is making up new ones as and when you get bored of your daily smoothie.
    Currently I am making a smoothie with 2 bananas, coconut water, ice, raw almond butter (this was very expensive, I think ‘normal’ almond butter will do!) frozen berries, chia seeds, hemp protein, maca. Its supercharged.
    I do prefer my smoothie with some kale and collard greens though.
    Great post!

    1. hi! you can make your own almond butter in a cuisinart using bulk almonds (ones that you buy from a big bin. just bring along a reuseable paper bag, or cloth one) – it’s cheaper, and reduces the amount of packaging waste you have to deal with. we save a lot of $ this way.

  • Vegan yogurt is a great addition to any smoothie. I appreciate all the tips and suggestions. I look foreword to more exciting smoothies in the future.

  • Thanks for the great smoothie formula! Recently, I’ve been throwing raw ginger and/or garlic into my smoothies (generally along with apples, spinach, almond milk and carrots). Not everyone appreciates the taste of raw garlic as much as I do, but I think it is divine and it’s a good way to add some flavor to a smoothie that is heavy on the greens.

  • I like the recipe and believe in the smoothie–I have been doing it for 11 years with my vita-mix. I don’t think I would dare take 1-2 tablespoons of cacao nibs unless I wanted to stay up all night. I don’t believe David Wolf’s perspective on this and really think people should look into the research on this (and use common sense).

  • How do you make sure not to go overboard on calories? I fear that I’ll make a delicious, high-calorie smoothie and then be hungry again in a couple of hours. Maybe the idea is that you get enough fat and protein in the smoothie to keep you full and then the calories don’t matter too much?

  • Also love avocado, banana is a staple and usually offers enough sweetness that I don’t feel a need for any sweetener. Always toss in some greens, prefer kale or spinach but lettuce can also work. When I have it, I’ll put in 1 T liquid chlorophyll for some extra green goodness.

  • The only addition that I would recommend would be to throw in some goji berries (Banana + Mango + Goji + Hemp + Flax). Every now and then you can find them on sale at Krogers.

  • This formula has helped my husband to begin to drink smoothies on an almost daily basis. He used to tease me for my funky looking green and purple smoothies, but now, since going vegan, he joins me in drinking, and enjoying them. Thank you! 🙂
    Erin & Mark

  • –Small handful of raw organic cashews (I have a Vitamix), soaking isn’t required, much creamier than almonds, different nutritional profile, so you’re giving your body different stuff.
    –Coconut nectar for sweetener.
    –Hemp seeds. You have hemp powder and hemp oil, but hempseeds work beautifully in place of the nut butters or nuts, especially with banana.
    –Brew ginger tea … hot water over peeled ginger. You can sweeten or leave it plane, and refrigerate it. Great for drinking, but also great as a smoothie base, for a bit of pizazz, and you don’t have bits of unprocessed ginger and peel in the smoother.

  • Daily Smoothie: 1/4 – 1/2 of an apple or pear; grapes; banana; pineapple; kale, carrot, chia seeds, ground flax seed, frozen fruit, water.
    Makes about 60 oz’s of smoothie in my VitaMix. I told my Husband I would not nag him about his food intake if he got me a vitamix and had a green smoothie every morning. He loves them.

  • Hi Matt! I really enjoy your blog and have been sharing it with others. It’s great to be able to point to an athletic vegan man powered by plant fuel and say, “Check him out. You don’t need dead animals to thrive!” My husband runs for exercise, mainly to maintain his weight. He is able to run 7 miles in one hour now aw well, although I do see him getting burned out sometimes. I appreciate the tips you have for staying motivated and changing things up. Thank you for sharing your experience, recipes, etc. I would like to add that I sometimes use 2 oz. of granola bars in smoothies as a binder/protein base. It’s great for when you leave the granola bar package open and they are a little stale, but you don’t want to throw them out. 🙂

  • Hey Matt,
    I hope you still respond to old posts. I have gone through three blenders in the past month. I want one that’s strong and can handle making a daily smoothie. What blender do you use/what would you recommend?
    Thank you!

  • I have just found this website. I am a runner but always used conventional protein sources. Can you help me with this? A personal trainer friend of mine said “The three protein sources hemp, pea, brown rice must be taken together otherwise on their own they are not complete proteins like whey powder.” Is this true as I have just cut out on meat, dairy and wheat and have just been taking Hemp protein powder and felt fine but the comment bothers me? Thanks, this website is so inspiring! (New Zealand)

    1. This is a really delayed response. 🙂 But the trainer-friend is actually correct – brown rice/pea & hemp together give you the full complement of amino acids. But that’s no reason to be discouraged – the folks who make Vega protein powder and many other vegan protein powders know this, and mix of all three of these. Also, you don’t have to consume all of the amino acids together in one meal. You can get all of them by having some variety in your daily diet – rotate different greens, seeds, nuts, legumes and whole and/or sprouted grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet, etc.). Furthermore, the “complete” protein in animal products like whey is in a form that your body then has to break down into…. individual amino acids. So cut out the middle animal.

  • @Jessica: Hands down – get a Vitamix! Pricey but the motor wont burn out. Costco has sales every now and again. Soups, sauces, smoothies, ground nuts, seeds, flours of all kinds in minutes. Think of it as a kitchen “tool” if it makes it hurt less, but after my husband bugged me again and again, I finally gave in to this new “toy” and I’m the one who loves it most!

  • the big hold-back for smoothie making wasn’t the recipe, it was cleaning the blender afterwards. i recently transitioned to a cuisinart hand-held (there’s only 1 part to wash instead of the 5 on the regular blender). it’s been life-changing!

  • Hey There!
    What is your opinion on ready made vegan shakes like VegaOne, for example….
    I dig the raw vibe most days, but I find having both available is a nice option.
    Thanks for your input! And thanks for the site–it is much needed and very helpful.

  • My family just recently got a Vita Mix (after 6 years of wanting and wishing!) so we have been drinking lots of smoothies. I appreciate the break down of how to build a great smoothie. Some of our favorite items to include are frozen grapes and frozen cranberries as well as all the other fruits mentioned. We have noticed that when I add chia seeds, the smoothies don’t separate as much, which means my daughter and I can mix a batch of smoothies for lunch and Da gets to have some when he gets home from school, without it looking all gross and separated.
    Tonight I made a huge bowl of chopped salad (romane lettuce, kale, spinach, onions, carrots, cabbage, celery and radishes), which I ended up being the only one in the mood for it. So, I whipped up a smoothie with lots of fruits and threw in a huge handful of the chopped salad for the kiddo and hubby. They both happily “ate” their salad then 🙂

    1. Have I got a word for you. For smoothies use water, for ice cream use almond milk or your choice. It will be ice cream when you see four distinct risings on top of ingredients. I am new to site and I am just glad to have found it. Thanks Matt and Tina and all who let me share and glean nuggets to add to my smoothie ingredients listing.

  • I’ve been using this recipe for my smoothies for the last week and LOVE it…thank you!! It’s unreal how long this holds me over before I start getting hungry again. Taking your advice, I’ve been having enormous salads for lunch too, and many times I’m not even hungry for dinner. This change is a welcome complement to my gradual start to barefoot running too. 🙂

  • Been using this receipe for breakfast all week. I figured i would try to just have the smoothie for breakfast for a week and see how my body would react. I bought brown rice protein as well as flax seed – neither of which is as bad as I expected once it is all mixed into the drink with some strawberry/bannana. I also used cashew butter which was interesting but still come out tasting surprisingly decent.
    I am not feeling hungry for several hours afterwards so it seems to be doing well. Do you guys use a smoothie as a full meal on a regular basis?

    1. I start pretty much every day with a smoothie. I tend to eat another meal around midmorning, usually something starchier like a bagel with hummus or almond butter. Smoothie is such a way to get a bunch of stuff for the day right away in the first meal! Glad it’s working for you.

  • Nice hearing all the experiences with smoothies. I am amazed at how little ingredients it takes to make a big amount! I am going to try having a smoothie every day for two weeks to see how it helps my body. I am very healthy already but, I really don’t get enough greens so am adding the green smoothie (spinach and kale) to fruits: pineapple(with core),strawberries(with hull),lime (with peel)~ (slice)~I do have a vitamix and LOVE it. QUESTION: even using small amounts makes at least four cups of green smoothie; is it okay to use over two days? right now, way too much for me to drink all of it…oh, also, I added salba seeds to this, to start, 1 tsp. Like the suggestions people made, ie. yogurt! thank you. Good health to all. R.

    1. Hmm… I’ve left smoothies in the fridge for a day or so. Depending on what you put in it, it might gel up (flaxseed and chia both have this property), which makes it kind of gross. But I think as far as nutrition goes you won’t lose all that much by leaving it in the fridge for a day in a covered container.

  • I’ve read almost all of tbe comments in this thread and did not see any reference to Quinoa as a source of protein. Anyone use it?

  • I love to add cooked beets and the water I used for cooking the beets (chilled after cooking) — makes for a gorgeous jewel-like color smoothie.
    @ those concerned about making too much smoothie: I usually make enough for 2 – 3 servings and just store the extra in the fridge (mason jars are ideal for grab and go extra portions!)
    @ Doug regarding quinoa — If I have cooked quinoa (or other whole grains) in the fridge, I like to add them to my smoothies. In addition to packing a punch of protein and fiber, they add density/thickness (you therefore may need to add extra liquid)
    Thanks everyone — and especially Matt — for the great tips and inspiration.

  • Thank you for this! I have tried DIY smoothies in the past, but if I got much more fancy than “Banana, berries, & almond milk” things started to fall apart. So I started following recipes, but I never seem to have all the ingredients on hand, so eventually I went back to eating oatmeal.
    This morning I went through your formula and threw in whatever I had – a frozen banana, a fresh peach, a scoop of Arbonne chocolate protein shake mix (I don’t have any protein powder but that stuff has been ignored on my shelf for at least a year and a half & is vegan, so in it went), flax seeds, coconut oil, four big dinosaur kale leaves from the garden and some water. It looked about as awful as you would expect when blending orange, green and brown foods together but it tasted AMAZING. I drank both servings.
    Thanks for the delicious breakfast!

  • Thanks Matt! and everyone else for your comments too! Now, after reading through everything, I still don’t see a resolution to the not using whey protein? I understand if that isn’t something you want to start a big topic on, maybe could you point me toward your sources and I can review more myself?

  • many ingredients we don’t have locally, but I use oat milk which is totally vegen or kefir…
    we can’t buy any frozen fruit here at all…shame
    and the fresh blueberrys & raspberrys are very expensive !

  • How many servings does this recipe provide? Usually it’s just me drinking the smoothie, and I don’t want to end up with a family-sized portion!
    Thanks. 🙂

  • I think this smoothie/salad approach is very practical advice for anyone who does not have the time or inclination to get down to the nutritional nitty gritty or take on a more “disciplined” vegan/vegetarian diet… and it’s very affirming to find someone espousing exactly what i have been telling everyone i know, after my years of studying all the angles of nutritional knowledge THANKS! … if anyone doubts the merits of good nutrition (if you are on this site, you probly dont) but, my great grandfather is a testament to a long term plant based diet… he lived independently & disease free until about 98… then died of old age at 104… while his daughter died at 85 & spent the last 5 years in a dazed state of dimentia… his grandson died at 70.. when you turn 70 or 80 you will likely want to continue on a little while longer & if you do, you’ll want to enjoy the same quality of life that my great grandfather did… he is my reason for adopting a plant based diet & banning junk at age 40.

  • Any suggestions on a protein powder that doesn’t taste like chalky, protein yuk? I have been using greek yogurt in my smoothies which I love but could use more protein. I hate the taste of protein powder.

  • Absolutely love making smoothies! Awesome advice here. I have a question though. Would you ever recommend a juice cleanse? Have you tried one and do you think it is beneficial?

  • doesnt the coconut oil harden? i know its solid at most temps below 65 F, I would think cold fruit would cause some chunkiness

    1. Somehow, it doesn’t! Sometimes there’s some hardened stuck to the side of the blender, but I guess my blender emulsifies it (maybe?). All I know is it blends. 🙂

    2. Jamie blend everything and pour your coconut oil in the center and blend a little more. center meaning just pour center top and blend. It works like a charm and no it will not clunk up it mixes very well. I made matts smoothie and it was so good I danced as I drank it. It was pink frothy and sweet I omitted the greens in mine.

  • Wait!! Where is Kale?? Why is this not on the superfood/green list? I love smoothies and recently been trying to have one per day. My fave would have to be strawberries and kale!!

  • Hi Matt, My husband and I live in tropical Queensland and we love smoothies. Our favourite is mango,passion fruit and ice cream. great to have as we sit on our balconey overlooking the ocean. Its a great way to feel full without eating.

  • I absolutely love the idea of the “formula” – it’s perfect for making a smoothie (or energy bars, since I saw that one too) out of what you already have rather than not knowing what to do when you’re missing something on a specific recipe. Should you get the chance, think about making a “superfood salad” formula? I get so overwhelmed with all the different variations of grains, proteins, dressing components (and proportions!), etc, that a “formula” version for that would be wonderful (and I think you might just be the guy for the job!).

  • Awesome post! I couldn’t afford a Vitamix or Blendtec, but got a Ninja Mega Kitchen System for Mother’s Day and it includes single serve cups which are AWESOME! Exactly the right size for 1 smoothie (I just cut your formula in half). Right now I’m enjoying my banana/berry/hemp/super greens/coconut oil/honey/water/chia seed smoothie!
    P.S. Going meat-free has been in the back of my mind as a possibility for a while now, and I’m pretty sure stumbling upon your blog helped convince me to take the plunge. 😉 I’ve been a vegetarian for over 2 weeks now and am never going back!

    1. I’m looking for a good blender that doesn’t cost 500 bucks, any ideas? I’ve heard mixed reviews on the ninja. I’m using a Wal-Mart blender now, it does fine but leaves things a little chunky.

      1. The older versions of the Ninja were okay, but the new Ninja Mega 1500 is really amazing. I use the single serve cups every.single.morning. I also use the food processor and mini-prep bowls for hummus, bean dip, salad dressing, salsa, cookie dough, pizza crust … the list could go on and on.
        Just be sure to get the kitchen system that has “1500” in the title (it’s the newest one and has the same horsepower as the Vitamix). Best deal is at Bed Bath & Beyond since it comes with the single serve cups and you can use a 20% off coupon. 🙂

  • Question about the Oil ingredient. Seems like adding oil adds calories. What is the benefit? Many smoothie recipes don’t include an oil – why does yours?

  • My personal recipe (for the moment, I change it up every now and again):
    6 ice cubes
    1 tbsp flax meal
    1/4 cup Hemp protein (I use the Manitoba Hemp Pro 50)
    1/2 cup black beans (rinsed very well)
    1 good handful of fresh Kale, ripped up, stems and all – spinach if there’s no kale
    1/2 avocado
    1/2 cup fresh brewed coffee (I know, I should change this to almond milk …)
    No, it’s not sweet by any means, but Kale has become my favorite thing this year, and I’ve never really had a sweet tooth. Even before changing my diet, I was the guy that scraped the icing off a tiny piece of cake so I could eat the cake – and even that was often too much sugar.
    I’ve been looking for a better binder here though. That avocado and flax meal do pretty well when it’s a bigger avocado, but it seems a little soupy if it’s a small one, and the whole thing makes it a little too thick. I think they also provides a decent source of healthy oils, but not too much.
    I used to put cinnamon in there, but only 1/4 tsp – I learned that it needs to be used sparingly, since it contains a compound called coumarin, which as most will guess is a natural form of the blood thinner coumadin. 2 tsp a day may be getting into the risky zone, so I recommend caution. Once I started changing my diet and using cinnamon at the 1/4 tsp level on a daily basis, I started having trouble with vertigo again, so I stopped and haven’t had it since – not sure if it’s related, just saying.
    BTW, I’m not vegan, but I have drastically reduced my meat intake and pretty much quit all dairy (meat, dairy, and all processed foods together probably make up less than 3% of my total diet now – salad is the main course. Since I make my own pizza most of the time, this usually means grabbing a bushel of basil from the garden and making pesto. Great with sauteed shitake and carmelized onion.
    Will I ever be totally vegan? No idea. I’m just on a journey to be healthy for the time being.

  • How about a formula for green smoothies? Getting fruits is easy–it’s the greens that I find more challenging in larger amounts.

  • My smoothies have been hit or miss… And I just made a smoothie using this formula and will never look back!!! Creamy, nutrient packed and absolutely delicious. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for sharing this.

  • Hiya, I’ve been trying to have smoothies for breakfasts and I’ve hit a bit of a wall too, mainly because I’m trying to include more veggies than fruit in mine because of all the sugar.
    I know eating fruit is better than eating processed stuff, and definitely better than refined sugar, but what’s your view on this please?
    I love your blog, only recently started following it when I was linked by the Oh She Glows blog but it’s brilliant.

  • Just reading about making the perfect smoothie made my mouth water. And you are right it is overwhelming when it comes to what to put in a smoothie especially with the NutriBullet’s gained popularity. I like that there certain things that need to go into a smoothie such as a binding ingredient. When I make my protein shake in the morning after my workout, I usually put in water or almond milk, ice cubes, a banana, peanut butter and my protein powder. I like to switch up my protein powder but they are all vegan proteins. With these guidelines, I feel as though I can make shakes that I will love to have in the morning more than I do now.

  • Okay Mr. Matt,
    Can you talk to me about protein powders? You said you don’t recommend whey for long term use… I have been doing a smoothie almost every day after I workout and use a grass fed whey protein. In the past I have used vegan protein… but just started doing whey consistently. Can you share some protein wisdom? Thanks!

  • Matt, this is brilliant! Tried this out for the first time this morning with great results! I omitted the sugar and oil, and it still came out fantastic! Thanks for putting this together!

  • Thank you so much. I now “get it”. Tried one variation and it was superbly delicious. I felt like a genius! Thanks for taking the guess work out. 🙂

  • I love this smoothies! I got into the habit of having something like this most mornings.
    Recently, I decided to track my daily calories for a couple of weeks. Can somebody help with a calorie estimation for these smoothies per serving? I’m aware the calories will depend on what exactly you use in your smoothie but I’m just looking for a rough estimation.

  • It is my first time to know that eating salad and drinking a smoothie every single day will not allow me to get fat. I am not fun of drinking smoothie but since I really want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, I would try the recipe you’ve given. Thanks for sharing!

  • I heard much about Paleo diet and being a vegeterian I have gone through different website and books. I find “Paleo vegetarian.com a start up guide and am planning to start from tomorrow. Going thru all the smooties for a breakfast, your smoothie formula has few ingrediants which are not in Paleo list like Oats and honey. Please guide me if I can add them in my daily intake. Secondly, what are the Paleo list for Protien to subtitute egg. Thanks

  • Great approach to this topic. Especially relating to those that might normally mess up smoothies. I enjoy the fruit smoothies, but normally make veggie smoothies with Kale and a few other greens. Great detox and great workout recovery.

  • I bought & have used the ‘Nutribullet’ for my smoothies. Super fast and uses every bit of the ingredients with no chewy bits at the bottom. My favorite (& easiest smoothie) is min 1/3- 1/2 peeled/unpeeled cucumber, 4-6 cherry tomatoes, 1/2 sweet red pepper (or use green or orange), organic spinach leaves (or use kale or other greens), 1 tsp each organic dried Goji berries, hemp or flax seed (or all 3), and 1 fruit, like a small banana, or strawberries, blueberries, pineapple chunks, or what I have around the house. Sometimes, I’ll add cranberry juice for a boost of extra flavor or just water. Very tasty and it takes about 2 minutes to prepare, 20 seconds to blend and it makes 2-3 cups of yummy goodness! My mind clears and I’m more awake than if I have anything else for breakfast.

  • Great Site!
    If you don’t mind contributions here are two of mine you might like to try. Makes for a great way to get your daily greens.
    Espresso Mousse Smoothie:
    1 banana
    2 cups fresh spinach
    1/4 cup frozen chopped butternut squash
    1 tablespoon instant espresso
    2 tablespoons chocolate ovaltine
    1 cup of your favourite milk substitute
    1 cup of ice
    Frozen Mixed Berry Smoothie:
    1 banana
    2 cups fresh spinach
    1/4 cup of frozen chopped butternut squash
    1/4 cup of frozen mixed berries
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1 cup of your favourite milk substitute
    1 cup ice

  • […] I love making smoothies and have one for breakfast just about every day. It’s a yummy, easy way to make sure I’m getting a good amount of protein to start the day plus some great nutrients. I’ve posted about protein powder before, but wanted to give everyone some more ideas for what to put in their smoothies. I’ve adapted my suggestions from the No Meat Athlete’s Perfect Smoothie Formula post.  […]

  • This is such a good idea! I have long been baffled by exactly how you make a decent smoothie without running off to buy ingredients, I’m printing this and am going to use what I’ve actually already GOT in the house – thanks:-)

  • […] Trying to eat more healthily, I’ve been making more smoothies lately. My goal is to have a smoothie once a day. I still haven’t quite got into the habit yet of having one every day, but I’m working towards it. The No-Meat Athlete recommends having a smoothie and a salad every day. He says in his post The Perfect Smoothie Formula: […]

    1. I just started the smoothie/ salad everyday and thank you Matt. In one week I found out about natural flavoring then I found Matts’ site and I am just so grateful to God for people who share information and have a forum so that all can share. Knowledge really is power.
      And what is called natural flavoring will turn your stomach. I am on my way to becoming vegan but not yet fully there, taking it one step at a time soas not to become overwhelmed and fail. Right now I do a banana with a different berry each day adding only physillum seed husk or chia seeds its less stress for me just starting out. I now make my own salad dressing for my salad and my own mayo. Hey Matt is your forum for vegans only?

  • Smoothies are the worst dietary trend in a long time.
    Why not have real food? Why the liquid astronaut diet that’s more suitable for people without teeth? Do you not want to eat real, solid food while you can? Save the liquid diet for when you’re old and decrepit and missing a few teeth (which you will be by stuffing sweet fruits down your gullet every morning).

    1. Why not have real food? The real question is… why be so negative and closed minded? Obviously it isn’t for everyone, but everyone can benefit. If it is making people feel better and excited to have another option for nutrition who cares if it is a trend?

    2. Some fruit is better than no fruit at all! Some exercise is better than no exercise at all! Until smoothies I was barely eatting fruits or vegetables anymore. This trend may have saved me from sickness. Don’t be so hard on people who are seeking to do better and are taking baby steps.

  • I like the formula, but I would definitely get rid of the oil and sweetener. The fruits added provide plenty of sweet and the oil, as you know, is not needed as it provides excess calories and no nutritional value. For the protein powder I use hemp protein which has excellent protein and all 9 essential amino acids in it as well as healthy Omega 3 fats without being too much.

  • […] Since I’m no longer eating eggs, I needed a solid breakfast option. Everything I read suggested a smoothie. I did a search to find the perfect smoothie and found this article. […]

  • Hey, good article! I wanted to share my experience as I started making smoothies without much guidance a couple years ago and they were still helping me. It wasn’t until I discovered the book “Green for Life” that I really learned how to make unreal smoothies with unbelievable amounts of every type of green. So if anyone wants more guidance and/or another resource check it out. This was the catalyst that allowed me to walk away from the SAD and embrace a plant based diet completely.

  • […] get to food in later posts, but if you’re looking to begin a smoothie routine, start over at No Meat Athlete – and no, you do not have to be a vegetarian or a vegan to enjoy a good […]

  • […] Drink a smoothie (only if I have enough time to eat/partially digest it before I run, otherwise it sloshes around in […]

  • Hey Matt,
    I’m 22 years young, reading your book and am a firm believer in whole foods too. For some reason, I feel Protein Powders are highly processed (although healthy) and I can’t get myself to eat them. Can you recommend substitutes or home-made options for Protein Powders that I can use in my morning smoothies?

  • I just tried this formula but I came out very watery. I used Water, Banana, strawberries, soaked almond, coconut oil, and brown rice protein powder.

      1. Add chia seeds a tablespoon at a time until desired thickness is achieved.
        Give them at least 10 mins in the smoothie liquid to plump up 🙂

    1. Use less protein powder and substitute half of it (the P.P.) with organic physillum seed husk if still too watery decrease P.P. and increase P.S.H. chia seeds are good also but you may not get the consistency you have in mind. Per chance!!

  • […] aren’t always easy to get when you’re in a hurry or on the road, adding protein powder to a smoothie can make the task much […]

  • 1/2 cup choc soymilk
    1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
    1/2 cup frozen organic cherries
    1/2 cup frozen organic strawberries
    1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries
    1/2 cup uncooked old-fashioned quaker oatmeal
    1 banana
    spin it up and enjoy.
    I often drop in a handful of spinach or a few carrots, a few slices of squash or some other veggie that’s hanging around.
    It’s a full meal.

  • I know this is an old article but I need to shock my system from the crap I normally eat into something better. My wife makes great smoothies already so that’s not a problem. Do you have a smoothie recipe that can take the place of the salad? Maybe one that’s mostly veggies and less fruit or something along those lines?

  • I also have a Blendtec. I use my spiralizer for veggie noodles 2-3 times a week, and always put the leftover pieces in my smoothies the next morning. Squash, root vegetables, sweet potatoes, or even regular potatoes (cook and chill first). You can find recipes all over the Internet for what types of fruits and/or seasonings work well. I sometimes use raw ginger with smoothies that are primarily citrus and/or carrots.
    I always have at least one fruit and one veggie in my smoothies. The veggie could be leftovers from the spiralizer or any type of green (including the tops off root veggies, new Zealand spinach, or amaranth greens). I use whole flax or chia seed. The blender grinds them up fine, and they keep better than the powder (plus they are much cheaper). I never bother with protein powder, but usually use soy milk.
    My favorite sweetener is raw dates. A lot more antioxidants than honey or pure maple. Although sweet potato with cinnamon, banana, and maple syrup is amazing. Tastes like sweet potato pie.

  • This was such a good smoothie! I’ve been trying to figure out for a while how to use the right ingredients to make a healthy smoothie and this was perfect! The only thing I didn’t have at home from this list was protein powder, which was dissapointing, but I am sure I got enough protein with all of the other ingredients I used. I was wondering if it would be okay to put half of the smoothie in the fridge to preserve for later? I made a larger smoothie with the ingredients and want to be able to have the rest of it tomorrow.
    Thanks so so much!

    1. I tried it and it took a while to make another with the same ingredients. Translation left overs are blahhhhh. Go for fresh everyday your body will thank you. I used a mason jar air tight and it merely perserved ripening (over ripe 2nd day) ingredients.

  • Hi, I’m not a runner in the sense that you are. I used to be a collegiate sprinter but that’s about it. But I dance now. I think I’ve read some post of yours earlier. If I’m not mistaken, a post about vegetarian-pales, I think? I may be mistaken about whose post it is. I love this formula!! I’m going to make myself a smoothie tomorrow. I’m an Indian and to me, breakfasts are hot and NOT sweet, and chewed, but I’m also a mom with little time, some times, I mean, often, I mean, almost all the time. I’m going to get back into my smoothie-drinking habit. I have frozen kale in the freezer. I’ll use that tomorrow. I love getting a big batch and fruits and vegetables in, to start the day :-).
    What do you think of counting almond meal or butter as the protein component? It can double as the binder.

  • Could you please define handful. This is vague and different hands will hold different amounts. E.g is it 1/2 cup or 1 cup?

  • I just bought a ton of oat milk and I’ve been meaning to use it up on breakfast smoothies. Great template, thank you!

  • Tumeric is also great for your muscles, and ginger I love in my smoothies. They taste best (and likely have better nutrient value) if fresh – both I grate into my smoothie mix and then blend. Both can be kept in the fridge for several weeks. Tumeric doesn’t have much flavour. Ginger as well as being a mild stimulant, is also known in the Asian medicine world as warming. (Mint is also a stimulant and is cooling)

  • Here’s my morning breakfast smoothie (makes 2 days worth)
    1 cup blueberries (frozen)
    2 cups strawberries (frozen, defrosted in warm water)
    1 cup frozen cherries (frozen, defrosted in warm water)
    1 inch piece ginger
    1 avocado
    2 cups chard leaves
    2 tbsp ground flax seed

  • According to several plant-based doctors and dietitians do not recommend any kind of processed oils. It has no nutritional value, high calories, and full fats.
    Recommended Oils
    Flaxseed oil
    Udo’s Blend or other EFA blend
    Hemp oil
    Coconut oil
    Almond, macadamia, or other nut oil

  • [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]