How to Make a Smoothie Better (and Cheaper) Than Any You Can Buy
Smoothie recipes are surprisingly simple to make—and customize—in your own kitchen. Once you learn how to make a fruit smoothie, you’ll never overspend on a juice bar version again.
A simple smoothie recipe is one of the easiest, quickest, and most picky eater-pleasing ways to add a serving (or several) of produce to a daily diet. Break out your blender and prepare to design your perfect drink come breakfast or snack time.
How to Make a Smoothie Step-by-Step
Calling all creative types! There are very few rules when it comes to how to make a smoothie at home. When there’s no menu, your taste buds steer the smoothie ship into new delicious territory. Just about any fruit works, so choose based on your favorite flavors and seasonality.
Just remember this simple formula:
Fruit + Juice + Dairy/Dairy Substitute + Ice = Easy Smoothie Recipe Win.
Follow our Test Kitchen's pro tips below to design your own smoothie recipe, then learn how to transform it into a bowl and how to give it an uber-rich and creamy consistency. Sweet!
Related: Healthy Smoothie Recipes
Step One: Choose the Fruit
Obviously, picking the fruit is an essential part of how to make a fruit smoothie. For two servings of your custom smoothie recipe, measure 2 cups of peeled and sliced fruit into your blender. Feel free to mix fruit flavors, or just stick to one favorite.
Our culinary pros are sweet on:
- Berries, such as hulled and halved strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries
- Chunks of peeled mango, papaya, pineapple, and melon
- Pitted cherries, peaches, and nectarines
- Ripe banana coins
- Peeled kiwi fruit slices
- Mandarin orange sections
How to Make a Smoothie with Frozen Fruit: When fruits are ripe, ready, and in season, freeze them (unwashed, sliced and pitted, if necessary) in 2-cup portions in freezer bags to use when they are not so plentiful. Fruit can be frozen for up to 9 months. Alternatively, you can purchase frozen fruit at the supermarket. Replace fresh fruit with frozen in equal quantities.
Step Two: Add the Liquid and Dairy
For the liquid in your smoothie recipe, use 1 cup of:
- Fruit juice
- Juice blend
- Coconut water
Then add 1 cup of:
- Milk or dairy-free milk substitute (plain or flavored)
- Yogurt (plain or flavored)
Measure in a glass measuring cup and add both to the fruit in the blender.
Step Three: Optional Add-In for How to Make a Smoothie Thicker
Just like at the smoothie shops, you can add bonus bulk-ups to make the consistency of your smoothie more luxurious and offer additional satisfying protein and fiber. Try:
- ¼ cup protein powder or other powdered supplement
- 1-2 teaspoons wheat germ or flaxseed
- ¼ cup silken tofu
- ¼ cup cooked white beans or chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons nut butter (check out this Protein-Packed Smoothie recipe for inspiration)
Step Four: Add Ice and Blend
The amount of ice you use depends on how thick you want your smoothie to be. Start with about 1 cup crushed ice for a fairly thick smoothie that is still drinkable with a straw. Omit the ice if using frozen fruit or if you want the smoothie to be thinner and less cold. Cover and blend until nearly smooth. Pour into a cup or thermal to-go drink container and slurp up every last drop.
How to Make a Smoothie Without Yogurt
For a non-dairy version of an easy smoothie recipe, omit the dairy element and increase the fruit by ½ cup and the juice by ½ cup.
How to Make a Smoothie Bowl
Smoothie bowls are one of the biggest food trends on Instagram—and for good reason. They’re as beautiful as they are delicious. Who could resist an edible artist’s canvas?
Here’s how to make a smoothie bowl that will earn oodles of “likes”:
- Blend up the easy smoothie recipe as directed above following the thicker smoothie instructions. Pour into a bowl instead of a glass.
- Decorate as desired with sliced fruit, nuts, granola, seeds, coconut flakes, fresh herbs, or dark chocolate shavings.
Get the recipe: Ginger-Berry Smoothie Bowl