My Favorite Smoothie: One Easy Recipe/Many Variations

Smootie - tips and recipes
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Alice Henneman, MS, RDN, UNL Extension in Lancaster County

Cool, refreshing, quick! Smoothies and shakes are great for a healthy snack, light meal, or split one for a dessert! Here are some tips for super sippers:

  • Using frozen fruit helps thicken beverages without diluting the flavor. To freeze fruit, such as fresh berries, wash the fruit thoroughly under running tap water, pat dry with clean paper towels and freeze in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet. Transfer to a freezer bag when frozen. Pour out as needed. NOTE: Use smaller pieces of fruit, such as berries or sliced pieces of larger fruits or your blender may be unable to process them.
  • Whether using fresh or frozen fruit, use fruit at its peak of ripeness to capture the most natural sweetness for smoothies and shakes. Add up to one teaspoon of sweetener (sugar or honey) or the equivalent in sweetening power of a no calorie sweetener if fruit is at less than peak ripeness for the following recipes.
  • Most smoothies and shakes should be consumed immediately. They may change color if they are allowed to stand for very long.
  • If you have a larger blender jar that is fairly wide at the bottom, you may find it harder to blend single-serving smoothies. A blender jar forces food up against the blender walls where it is then redirected back on the blades and blended until the desired consistency. A blender that is wider at the bottom will send smaller volumes of food out toward the sides rather than up and then down toward the center and the blades. The new "smoothie" blenders on the market are narrow on the bottom.
  • As a variation, make smaller smoothies and serve them as a dessert "drink." As an extra goodie, pass a plate of small, luscious chocolates as an accompaniment.

Enjoy the following eight recipes!

Quick links to these recipes:

(NOTE: All nutrition analysis comes from the organizations that are the source of the recipes.)

Breakfast Smoothie

Recipe provided by Jennifer Meyer, RD, LMNT, Director of Nutrition Education, American Dairy Association and Dairy Council of Nebraska.

Yield: 2 servings       Serving Size: 10 oz.       Prep time: 5 minutes

  • 8 oz (1 cup) nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 cup 1% low fat or nonfat milk
  • 1-3/4 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, hulled
  • 1 fresh peach, peeled and sliced, or 3/4 cup frozen peach slices (see Note)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 2 whole strawberries (optional)
  1. Place first 5 ingredients in a blender. Purée mixture for 15 to 20 seconds.
  2. Pour into two tall glasses and top each with 1 tablespoon chopped nuts.
  3. Garnish glass with strawberry, if desired.

Note: If you prefer a thicker smoothie, replace the peach with 1 small sliced banana.

Nutritional Information for individual food recipe: Calories: 210; Fat: 6 g; Saturated Fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 10 mg; Sodium: 135 mg; Calcium: 30% Daily Value; Protein: 12 g; Carbohydrates: 29 g

Alice's Notes: The vanilla in this recipe adds sweetness, making any additional sweetener unnecessary.

Peach-Raspberry Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (

Preparation time: 5 minutes       Number of servings: 1

  • 1 cup unsweetened frozen raspberries
  • 3/4 cup 100% orange juice (if you use frozen juice, don't forget to dilute first )
  • 1/2 cup fruit-flavored, low-fat yogurt (try peach)

Blend all ingredients well in a blender, and drink!


  • Frozen strawberries, blueberries, mixed berries, mango, or peaches
  • Pineapple juice, orange-tangerine juice, and other 100 percent juice blends
  • Different yogurt flavors

Alice's Notes: This recipe is extremely versatile and can serve as a master recipe for many flavors of smoothies. To quickly vary the type of juice, keep on hand different types of 6 oz. (equals 3/4 cup) cans of fruit juice. Try pineapple juice for a change.

Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Shake

Recipe provided by Jennifer Meyer, RD, LMNT, Director of Nutrition Education, American Dairy Association and Dairy Council of Nebraska.

Makes 1 serving

  • 1 cup fat free or low fat milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen banana slices
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sweet cocoa powder (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with a sprinkle of cocoa powder, if desired.

Nutritional Facts Per Serving for individual food recipe: Calories: 270; Total Fat: 9 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 5 mg; Sodium: 220 mg; Calcium: 35% Daily Value; Protein: 15 g; Carbohydrates: 35 g; Dietary Fiber: 3 g

Alice's Notes: Freeze banana slices by slicing banana(s) and placing the slices in a single layer in a shallow metal pan (such as a cake pan) or on a cookie sheet in the freezer. Freeze overnight for a smoothie in the morning or slice in the morning for a smoothie later in the day.

One large banana yields about 1 cup of banana slices and a smaller banana about 1/2 cup of slices; don't worry about being exact -- a little extra banana simply makes a thicker smoothie.

Both vanilla and cinnamon are used as sweeteners -- no sugar is needed.

Fresh Mango Shake

Recipe courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "Fruits & Veggies Matter."

Preparation time: 10 minutes       Number of servings: 1       Cups of Fruits and Vegetables per Person: 1

  • 1 small mango (8 oz) quartered, pitted, and peeled
  • 3/4 cup non-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 ice cubes

In a blender, combine all the ingredients until thick and smooth.

Nutrition Facts: Amount per serving size of 1/4 of recipe: Calories: 250; Total Fat: 1 g; Saturated Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 5 mg; Sodium: 100 mg; Total Carbohydrate: 58 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Sugars: 22 g; Protein: 7 g; Vitamin A: 90% DV; Vitamin C: 45% DV; Calcium: 25% DV; Iron: 0% DV (DV = Daily Value, based on a 2,000 calorie diet)

Let's Drink a Banana Split

Recipe courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Preparation time: 15 minutes       Number of servings: 4

  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained
  • 2 cups fat free milk
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cups ice
  • 4 maraschinos cherries for garnish

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts: Amount per serving size of 1/4 of recipe: Calories: 190; Total Fat: 1 g; Saturated Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 75 mg; Total Carbohydrate: 43 g; Dietary Fiber: 3 g; Sugars: 36 g; Protein: 6 g; Vitamin A: 6% DV; Vitamin C: 60% DV; Calcium: 15% DV; Iron: 4% DV (DV = Daily Value, based on a 2,000 calorie diet)

Alice's Notes: This recipe is easy to cut in half -- transfer the pineapple to a storage container and refrigerate. Enjoy in a salad (or another smoothie!) in a day or two. As an alternative to a maraschino cherry garnish, use a strawberry.

Just Peachy Smoothie

  • Frozen peach cubes (recipe below)
  • Non-fat or fat-free yogurt: vanilla or any flavor you would enjoy with peaches
  • Sprig of mint or fresh strawberry (optional)

Frozen Peach Cubes

  • 1 can of peaches in a light or extra-light syrup
  • Dash of nutmeg or cinnamon
  1. Drain canned peaches.
  2. Puree the peaches in your regular blender or with a handheld immersion blender -- adding a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg -- until smooth. Taste and add more cinnamon or nutmeg if desired. Freshly grated nutmeg is especially nice!
  3. Freeze the sauce in ice cube trays for about 2 hours or until frozen. Remove from tray and transfer to a plastic freezer bag. Squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible. The quality of food declines faster when excess air is left in the package. Label the bag with the type of food and date frozen. Plan to use within about 8 months.


  1. For each smoothie, place 6 to 8 ounces of yogurt in your blender. Add 3 or more frozen peach cubes, depending on size of cubes and how thick you want your smoothie. Blend until smooth.
  2. For added color, top with a sprig of mint or fruit of a contrasting color, such as a strawberry.

Strawberry Yogurt Shake

Recipe courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "Fruits & Veggies Matter"

Recipe Summary:

Preparation Time: 10 minutes       Number of Servings: 2       Cups of Fruits and Vegetables per Person: 2.0


  • 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 3/4 cup plain low fat yogurt
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen, unsweetened strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar


Add ingredients, in order listed, to blender container. Puree at medium speed, until thick and smooth.

Nutrition Facts for serving size of 1/2 of recipe: Calories, 140; Total Fat, 2 g; Cholesterol, 5 mg; Sodium, 65 mg; Total Carbohydrate, 27 g; Dietary Fiber, 2 g; Sugars, 22 g; Protein, 6 g; Vitamin A, 2% DV; Vitamin C, 90% DV; Calcium, 20% DV; Iron, 6% DV (DV = Daily Value, based on a 2,000 calorie diet)

Awesome Banana Walnut Shake

Recipe courtesy of Rosemary Mark for the Walnut Marketing Board; Find more great walnut recipes at .

Servings: 2       Prep Time: 5 minutes


  • 1 medium very ripe banana, frozen
  • 1/2 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped California walnuts
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey


  1. Place banana, yogurt, walnuts, and 1 tablespoon honey in a blender.
  2. Blend on low speed until ingredients start to mix together. Then increase to high speed and blend until smooth. For a sweeter smoothie, add another tablespoon of honey. Serve immediately.

TIP: To make a frozen banana, peel and cut the banana into chunks. Wrap in plastic and place in freezer several hours or overnight.

Nutrition Information: Calories, 267; Total Fat, 11 g; Saturated Fat, 2 g; Monounsaturated Fat, 2 g; Polyunsaturated Fat, 7 g; Trans Fat, 0 g; Cholesterol, 3 mg; Sodium, 42 mg; Total Carbohydrate, 41 g; Dietary Fiber, 2.5 g, Protein, 6 g