How to Build a Healthy Smoothie


Short on time? Tired of eggs in the morning? Here’s one tip to make nutrition easier:  

Some healthy options can be easily prepared in a blender, in only a few minutes.

Protein smoothies are an easy way to incorporate tasty, nutrient dense drinks into your day. While we want the majority of our food intake to come from minimally processed, whole food sources that we need to sit down and chew, you can occasionally use smoothies to provide some variety to your typical meals.

There are lots of ‘healthy’ smoothies on the market. But, beware of store-bought and juice-bar type varieties. These are often heavily sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners, created solely from powders and/or contain minimal whole foods. A lack of whole ingredients means your body will miss out on many important nutrients.

High-quality smoothies are packed with veggies, fruits, and healthy fats. With the addition of a high-quality protein, you can create a balanced, nutrient dense meal replacement.  

The best part? It only takes a few minutes to put one together. Whenever you need a high-quality meal but are short on time, give a protein smoothie a shot!

MAKING Your smoothie super

We’ve got a step-by-step guide on how to build a high quality smoothie. 

We have selected some of the fruits, vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats that seem to work best for our clients. Just go through each step and select an item (or two) from each list. Mix and match according to your preferences! Have fun playing around with flavors to find some options you love.

You can also be creative and branch out in your ingredient choices, while keeping in mind that not all the steps are mandatory.

If you don’t want a topper, leave it out. Want extra veggies? Add them in. If you are trying to keep your calories down, you can adjust variables like portion size (especially carb and fat amounts).

Our portion recommendations per serving are based on the Precision Nutrition hand portion guidelines. These are general guidelines intended to help you get started.

step 1: pick a liquid

  • Water
  • Almond milk (unsweetened)
  • Cow’s milk
  • Soy milk (unsweetened)

Less liquid= thicker shake. 

Aim for 1/2-1 cup per serving

step 2: pick a protein

  • Whey protein
  • Casein protein
  • Pea protein
  • Rice protein
  • Other proteins or protein blends 
  • Greek yogurt is also a great choice if you do not want to use a powder

Aim for 1-2 scoops per serving (most scoops are around 20-25g protein per serving)

step 3: pick a veggie

  • Dark leafy greens: spinach, swiss chard, kale, etc.
  • Pumpkin, sweet potato
  • Beets, beet greens
  • Cucumber, celery
  • Zucchini

Don’t like the taste of vegetables? Spinach is the blandest, and almost flavorless in a shake. Zucchini is a great substitute for bananas, as it helps give your shake the same creamy texture. 

Aim for 1-2 fist-sized portions per serving.

step 4: pick a fruit

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Pineapple/mango

Both fresh and frozen fruits work great! If you’re using frozen, check the package and make sure there aren’t artificial additives. 

Aim for 1-2 cupped hand-sized portions per serving.

step 5: pick a healthy fat

  • Nuts
  • Nut butters
  • Flax
  • Chia seeds

Aim for 1-2 thumb-sized portions per serving

step 6: pick a topper

  • Coconut
  • Cacao nibs/dark chocolate
  • Yogurt
  • Oats/granola
  • Cinnamon

For all toppers, a little goes a long way. Add oats if you’re looking for more carbs, and yogurt if you want a smoother consistency.

a recipe to get you started

For a full example, here is one of my favorite combinations:

-1 cup almond Milk 

-1 “fist” of spinach

-1 banana⁣⁣

-1/4 cup oats⁣⁣

-1 scoop Ascent Whey Protein (Chocolate)

-1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder⁣⁣

-1 Tbsp peanut butter⁣⁣

-1/2 tsp vanilla extract ⁣⁣

-1 handful of ice

Remember, there are many avenues to success, and a lot depends on your personal goals and preferences. Use the above steps to create an awesome, healthy shake every time!



Andrews, Ryan: “The Super Shake Guide” Precision Nutrition.