Top 10 Essential Smoothies for Beginners

McKenzie Jonesmckenzie-jones | August 20, 2019

If you’re just hopping on board the smoothie bandwagon but have no intention of rocking a “kale yeah” t-shirt anytime soon (don’t worry, most of us wouldn’t either), you’ve come to the right place. The last thing we want to do is deter you from embracing a healthy lifestyle or make the process so intimidating that you kick off your shoes and run to the nearest hot dog stand.

We certainly don’t believe that you have to give up your love of French fries or strike daily yoga poses to be the best version of you. Baby steps – starting with a simple smoothie each day – are all it takes to make positive changes towards a healthier lifestyle.

These ten smoothies listed below are our introductory blends, and they’re perfect for first-timers who are just getting their feet wet. They call for no more than six readily available ingredients that you can blend up in your NutriBullet in 60 seconds (yes, seriously)!

Essential Green

Consider this blend the little black dress of NutriBullet smoothies: it never goes out of style. To help keep your energy stable throughout the day, aim to balance your meals and snacks with high-quality protein, healthy fats, and fiber-filled carbs – like this combo of Greek yogurt, peanut butter, fruit, and veggies. There’s a reason this one is always on-trend.

  • 1 cup spinach or other leafy greens
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla milk or other milk/milk alternative
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • ½ cup plain reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop protein powder, optional

Strawberry Banana

We love this delicious, classic combo of strawberries and banana made even better because of the chia seeds in this blend, which offer heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and a hearty dose of fiber. Add a scoop of protein powder to this mix for some extra staying power.

  • 1 banana, frozen
  • ½ cup strawberries
  • 1 ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or other milk/milk alternative
  • 2 tablespoons chia seed

*Add 1 cup of spinach or other leafy greens of your choice to boost the nutritional value and add a serving of veggies.

Triple Berry

Berries are some of our favorite superfoods — they’re well-researched for the role they play in cancer prevention, as well as brain, gut, and heart health support. Plus, they’re delicious! That’s why this recipe calls for three berry varieties!

  • 1 cup spinach or other leafy greens
  • ½ cup raspberries, frozen*
  • ½ cup blueberries, frozen*
  • ½ cup strawberries, frozen*
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or other milk/milk alternative
  • ½ cup plain reduced-fat Greek yogurt

*Or 1 ½ cups of frozen mixed berry blend

Chocolate Peanut Butter

Eating for your health certainly doesn’t mean you have to compromise on taste. Case in point: this smoothie calls for chocolate, banana, AND peanut butter. High-quality nutrition has never tasted so good.

  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk or other milk/milk alternative
  • 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder*
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter

*If you have cacao nibs, use 1 tablespoon cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon cacao nibs.

*If you’d like a sweeter smoothie, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.

Creamy Coffee Smoothie

Rise and shine with this creamy smoothie that offers more nutrition and less added sugar than your typical coffee blended beverage. The Greek yogurt also helps to stabilize your energy levels so you won’t fall victim to a mid-morning crash.

  • 1 banana, frozen
  • ½ cup cold brew
  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or other milk alternative/milk of your choice
  • ½ cup reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Tropical Smoothie

It may be a Monday or a Wednesday, but you can kick-off the day feeling like a vacation with this bright smoothie that tastes like the tropics. Coconut water is also a fun liquid choice to use in your smoothie blends since it’s a natural source of electrolytes, like potassium, yet is lower in sugar and calories than fruit juice.

  • ½ cup pineapple, frozen
  • ½ cup mango, frozen
  • ½ banana, frozen
  • 1 cup coconut water + ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds

*Add 1 cup of spinach or other leafy greens of your choice to boost the nutritional value and add a serving of veggies.

Veggie Smoothie

Only 1 in 10 adult Americans meet the federal daily fruit or veggie recommendations, which is really a shame considering that fruits and vegetables are the cornerstones of a healthy diet. But, you can drink your way to your daily fruit and veggie goals. Start with this 5-ingredient veggie blend!

  • 1 stalk celery
  • ½ cup cucumber
  • ½ cup carrot
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium tomato juice
  • ½ cup water

Breakfast Smoothie

Our Classic Breakfast Smoothie is a dairy-free take on the Essential Green Smoothie, but also contains the belly-filling fiber found in old-fashioned rolled oats. Didn’t think you could “drink” your oats? They help make your smoothie feel a bit more substantial and create a thick, satisfying consistency.

  • 1 cup spinach or other leafy greens
  • ½ banana, frozen
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk or other milk/milk alternative
  • ¼ cup oats
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter or other nut butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Raspberry Protein Smoothie

Thick and creamy, this smoothie is like sticking your straw in cheesecake. And thanks to the cottage cheese and almond butter, it packs a serious dose of high-quality protein. You have to give this smoothie a try – you won’t regret it!

  • 1 cup raspberries, frozen
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or other milk/milk alternative
  • ½ cup cottage cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of almond butter or other nut butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey

*Add 1 cup of spinach or other leafy greens of your choice to boost the nutritional value and add a serving of veggies.

Citrus Smoothie

If you tend to like things a bit tart, this is the one for you. Aside from vitamin C-loaded citrus fruits, you can also reap the natural anti-nausea benefits of ginger by sipping on this smoothie. It’s a good one for helping to combat motion sickness.

  • ½ orange, peeled
  • ¼ grapefruit, peeled
  • 1/3 cup pineapple
  • 1/2“ fresh ginger root
  • 1 cup of coconut water
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds or other seeds

*Add 1 cup of spinach or other leafy greens of your choice to boost the nutritional value and add a serving of veggies.

Quick and easy to make, these smoothies will help kickstart your healthy lifestyle. Try them all, and let us know which one is your favorite!


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McKenzie Jonesmckenzie-jones

McKenzie is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, nutrition writer and communicator, who truly loves meeting and connecting with people. Grounded in science with an integrative and holistic approach, she aims to make the world a healthier, happier place by helping people feel their best from the inside out and encouraging others to restore a judgment-free relationship with food. McKenzie has been a contributing editor for the award-winning publicationEnvironmental Nutrition and her numerous articles, nutrition tips, and recipes can be found in publications such as The Chicago Tribune, Today’s Dietitian, Food and Nutrition Magazine, and more.

McKenzie graduated magna cum laude from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a degree in Nutrition and completed her dietetic internship at Bastyr University in Seattle. She is a member of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a member of the dietetic practice group, Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine. When she’s not dishing out nutrition tidbits, you can find McKenzie cooking in her sunny kitchen, hiking along with her favorite Southern California trails, or packing her bags and heading out for her next adventure.

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