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How to Make Your Own Smoothies At Home – A Beginner’s Guide

4.8 stars (6 ratings)

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Homemade smoothies are a quick and easy grab-and-go breakfast and an excellent way for kitchen beginners to expand their culinary knowledge and build their kitchen confidence. With a blender and a variety of frozen or fresh fruits and vegetables, your favorite milk and/or yogurt, and add-ins of your choice, you’ll be crafting your own unique smoothie flavors in no time!

Four images in a square showing smoothie ingredients across the top and completed smoothies across the bottom. Text overlay: How to Make: Homemade Smoothies on a white box.

Make a Smoothie from Scratch

In short, making a smoothie is as simple as tossing ingredients into the blender and letting it do the work. The harder part is deciding what and how much goes into the pitcher.

A homemade smoothie can be as simple or complex as you choose to make it.

You can make an easy 2-ingredient strawberry smoothie by blending together frozen strawberries and a bit of milk. Or you could get really complicated and make a 12-ingredient mega smoothie with enough calories to last the day.

At a minimum, your smoothie recipe should contain fruits and/or vegetables and liquids. Everything else is optional, depending on what you like or don’t like.

Need some extra inspiration? Here are some of my favorite breakfast smoothies to inspire you.

Sliced fruit for a kiwi mango smoothie: mangos, spinach, strawberries, kiwis.

Fruits and Vegetables

The fruits and vegetables make up the bulk of the smoothie, adding fiber, nutrients, and flavor. Fresh or frozen options both work and are often picked based on personal preference.

Best Fruits for Smoothies: Fruits that are a bit soft make the best creamy smoothies. These include berries, bananas, cherries, peaches and other stone fruits, avocados, citrus fruits, ripe pears, kiwi and mango.

Best Vegetables for Smoothies: When choosing vegetables for smoothies, select those that don’t have a strong smell and aren’t too hard or dense unless they are cooked. Things like tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, kale and other leafy greens, cooked beets, cooked sweet potatoes, and cooked carrots are good. Things like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and raw root vegetables are not as good.

Pro Tip:

A non-dairy smoothie is a great way to make unique champagne cocktails. Blend your favorite smoothie half and half with champagne, cava, or prosecco. Enjoy!

Choosing Fresh or Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

When it comes to what goes in your smoothie, only you can decide. There are no wrong answers here! Both fresh and frozen produce each have their own pros and cons, but what really matters is what you have in your kitchen right now.

Pros of Fresh Fruit & Vegetables: It’s a great way to use up fruit that is no longer visually appealing but still tastes good. Think browning bananas, soft strawberries, and blackberries so ripe they are falling apart. All still have good flavor and are safe to eat, but they aren’t your first pick from the fruit basket.

Cons of Fresh Fruit & Vegetables: You have to make your smoothies on your fruit’s schedule, not your own. If those fresh fruits no longer taste good, they won’t make your smoothie taste good. If the fruit is underripe, it will be harder to blend and may not make for the smoothest smoothie.

Pros of Frozen Fruit & Vegetables: Frozen (or partially frozen) fruit makes a thicker texture that stays colder longer without watering down the flavor. Most frozen fruit is picked at peak ripeness. You can have summer blackberries in January or tree-ripe peaches in March. Also, frozen fruit is usually cheaper than fresh unless you are shopping at an in-season market stand.

Cons of Frozen Fruit & Vegetables: If you aren’t using a high-power blender, frozen solid fruit may be more than it can handle. While my Vitamix does just fine with it, my cheaper stick blender would leave frozen fruit in chunks. Let the frozen fruit thaw on the counter for 10 minutes or so before making your smoothie.

Pro Tip: To Make a Super Thick and Rich Smoothie

For the thickest, richest smoothie, use frozen fruit and add only enough liquid to start the blender. After blending the rest of the ingredients, add more liquid as needed to thin out the smoothie to your desired thickness.

Liquids

The liquids help to thin out the pureed fruits and vegetables, making it easier for your blender to process and giving you just the right consistency. You can go super simple with plain water, but the sky’s the limit. Coconut water, dairy or plant-based milk, and fruit juices are all great options. Each will add its own flavors, textures, and nutritional profile, so choose the one that is the best fit for your own needs.

Adding any of these in their liquid form is a great way to thin out a smoothie that is too thick while adding it in its solid form (ice!) is a great way to help thicken a smoothie that may be too thin.

Ingredients for a kiwi pear smoothie: kiwi, pear, banana, coconut water.

Optional Smoothie Add-ins

These add-ins are optional because they are not required to make a delicious, nutritious smoothie. They do, however, give you space to play with both the nutritional aspects and the flavor of your homemade smoothie.

  • Sweeteners — Honey, maple syrup, simple syrup, or artificial sweeteners can all add a boost of sweetness to a smoothie that may be more tart than you wanted. While liquid sweeteners dissolve better in cold liquids, a smoothie’s thick texture will keep powdered sugars from settling.
  • Flavor Boosters — Ginger root, a splash of citrus like lemon or lime, fresh herbs like basil, and ground spices like cinnamon, cardamom, or turmeric. These boosters add a dash of flavor and shake up the monotony of eating a warehouse-sized bag of frozen fruit.
  • Whole Seeds — Flax seed, chia, or hemp are tasty options that add a nutty flavor and a little bit of crunch.
  • Seed or Nut Butter — Almond butter, peanut butter, cashew nut butter, or sunflower seed butter can boost flavor while helping to give your smoothie a thicker, creamier texture.
  • Nutritional Supplements – Vitamins, meal replacement powders, and other nutritional boosts can help make your smoothie a more well-rounded choice for your unique diet.
Ingredients for a strawberry banana smoothie in a blender on a kitchen scale.

How to measure smoothie ingredients

I, too, am guilty of looking at a smoothie recipe and then throwing a bit of everything into the pitcher. I could end up with a 12-ounce breakfast or a 24-ounce drink-me-all-day. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to know precisely how much smoothie I’m going to end up making. 

Maybe you are monitoring your intake, perhaps you don’t want to end up with leftovers, or maybe you never make enough for your kids to share. No matter your reason, sometimes it just makes life easier to know.

How do I do this without dirtying a pile of measuring cups and spoons? A kitchen scale!

Simply place the pitcher on your scale and hit the “tare” button to zero it out. Add the ingredients, pressing tare between each one, to measure exactly how much goes into the pitcher. Best of all, you do it without dirtying a single measuring utensil.

A blender with a blended strawberry banana smoothie in the pitcher.

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Smoothies Making Steps

Homemade smoothies are one of the easiest things to make in the kitchen. In fact, there are only five simple steps.

  1. Select and gather your ingredients.
  2. Wash the fruits and vegetables. Peeling, removing pits, seeds, and bad spots as needed.
  3. Place all ingredients into the blender pitcher or a jar if using an immersion blender, measuring or weighing as necessary.
  4. Blend until smooth.
  5. Taste, adjusting as needed until it’s perfect.

Out of all of those steps, the last one is the most important. When using fresh fruits and vegetables, their flavor may not always be uniform. Today’s strawberry smoothie may be sweeter than yesterday’s. The best time to fix it is before it’s in your glass and you’ve cleaned up the mess.

Fixing a Smoothie That’s Too Thick or Too Thin

If your smoothie is too thin, try adding a bit more yogurt, some extra frozen fruit, or a few ice cubes. If it is too thick, add a little extra liquid, or if you’ve used frozen fruit, let it sit for a few minutes to thaw.

Four images in a square showing smoothie ingredients across the top and completed smoothies across the bottom. Text overlay: How to Make: Homemade Smoothies on a white box.

How to Make Your Own Smoothies At Home – A Beginner’s Guide

Homemade smoothies are a quick and easy grab-and-go breakfast and an excellent way for kitchen beginners to expand their culinary knowledge and build their kitchen confidence. With a blender and a variety of frozen or fresh fruits and vegetables, your favorite milk and/or yogurt, and add-ins of your choice, you'll be crafting your own unique smoothie flavors in no time!
4.8 stars (6 ratings)
prep: 5 minutes
total: 5 minutes
servings: 1 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces about 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen fruits or vegetable
  • 4 ounces 1/2 cup milk, water, or juice
  • 4 ounces 1/2 cup yogurt
  • optional: seeds (nut butters, collagen powders, sweeteners)

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to the pitcher of the blender.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1Calories: 248kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 3gFat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 14mgFiber: 7gSugar: 35g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is for general information purposes only. For the most accurate information, calculate using your select brands and exact measurements.

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About Renee N Gardner

I'm the recipe developer, food photographer, and mastermind behind Renee Nicole's Kitchen, where I help create kitchen confidence to inspire home cooks to become home chefs. No fancy fads here, just high-quality, homemade recipes featuring seasonal ingredients.

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4 Comments on “How to Make Your Own Smoothies At Home – A Beginner’s Guide”

    • It really depends on why you want it out and what you are trying to replace with the sub. If you want to omit it because it’s dairy, try non-dairy yogurts. If it’s a flavor thing, you can just omit it all together. If you are wanting a sub to replace the protein, try protein powders.

      Reply
  1. My daughter suggests that I add frozen okra into my smoothie. While I love okra, I have not seen anything that suggests they are suitable for a smoothie.

    Reply
    • Hi Audrey! While your daughter may be on to something, I can’t say that I’ve ever tried okra before. Technically, anything that can be blended can be put in your smoothie, but that doesn’t mean you’ll actually want to drink it. Does it have an overpowering flavor/smell that will make it really noticeable or does it tend to blend well with other flavors? I could see it being something like spinach or kale where you don’t really notice it’s there unless you add too much. If you do try it I would love to hear how it goes!

      Reply
4.84 from 6 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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