Ten Tasty Nutritional Smoothie Recipes

By Amy Crum, MS, RD, LD
June 10, 2024

smoothie.jpgWhen summer schedules get hectic and the glorious weather days are abundant, we'd rather spend less time in the kitchen and more time outside enjoying the weather we've waited so long for!  

To celebrate summer, we're sharing ten of our favorite nutritional smoothie recipes using fresh flavors for hot days. 

Why We Love Healthy Smoothie Recipes 

Before we jump to recipes, I should explain why we're such big fans of protein shakes and smoothies. 

At Nutritional Weight & Wellness, we always suggest eating in balance: a mix of protein, quality fat and a good carbohydrate.  

Smoothies and shakes are a perfect fast and delicious vehicle for all of those important ingredients. Balanced eating keeps your blood sugar stable, which directly impacts your mood, brain, waistline, and the list goes on. 

Protein + Healthy Fat + Veggie/Fruit Carb = Balanced Blood Sugar 

Make Your Delicious Smoothie A Balanced Meal Or Healthy Snack

Almost every morning at my house starts with a healthy breakfast smoothie. With three kids, my mornings are usually busy. A smoothie is a great way to ensure my family is getting in nutrient dense foods and starting their day with balanced blood sugar.  

It's also easy to take on the go, which is really helpful if we run out of time to eat at home. Varying the types of fruit (frozen fruit or fresh fruit both work!) and adding vegetables, like frozen cauliflower rice, fresh spinach, cucumbers, or frozen zucchini chunks is an easy way to add more fiber and nutrients to our day. 

I usually make a little extra smoothie and freeze it in a Mason jar. It's nice to have something with protein, fat and carb already made, especially when I haven't been to the grocery store in a few days.  

I can grab a frozen smoothie in the morning, and by the afternoon it's thawed and ready for lunch or a snack.

I've saved myself from resorting to snacks at the baseball concession stand many times in a summer, because I brought a frozen smoothie in the morning on my way to a game!  

Nutritious Ingredients In A Healthy Smoothie Recipe 

At the bare minimum, to make a smoothie recipe healthy, you'll want to make sure there's: 

  • Protein content: protein powder, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese 

  • Healthy fats: full fat canned coconut milk, nut butters (with no added sugars!), avocado, heavy whipping cream 

  • Fruit and/or veggie carbohydrate: sky's the limit here! 

  • Base liquid: we mostly recommend water for this as it'll help you stay hydrated, but you could also find an unsweetened, minimal ingredient list almond milk, cashew milk.  

If you like to add in some extras, you can get more fiber for gut health from adding in chia seeds and ground flaxseed.

For more protein, you could sprinkle in some hemp seeds or add a scoop of collagen powder (collagen is not a complete protein, but it's a good bonus to a protein powder in a smoothie).

If you want a filling smoothie with a little chew (and to get a little fancy!), you could make a smoothie bowl and sprinkle the top with some nuts or seeds and a few whole berries or slices of banana. 

Juicing vs Smoothies 

Many people think juicing is a good way to get in the nutrients of fruits without having to eat them. The issue that comes up is that you can end up with all of the sugar from the fruit and lose the fiber.

Juicing extracts the solid parts of the fruit, which contains the fiber that helps to stabilize blood sugar when you eat fruit.  

Even though a smoothie is blended, you’re able to keep all of the parts of the fruit in your beverage, so you still end up with all of the nutrients and fiber that can be missing in juice

Store-bought Smoothies vs Homemade 

It can be tempting to buy a store-bought smoothie instead of making your own smoothies at home. If you decided to do this for the convenience (everyone is busy!), it’s important to look at the nutrition label on any pre-made drink.  

Often bottled smoothies contain a lot of sugar content from added sugars, without a lot of nutrients. The protein content can also be lacking when you’re buying a smoothie instead of making it at home.

If you do find a low sugar, higher protein bottled drink, pay attention to the ingredients list. When a smoothie has to be bottled, it often contains artificial flavors, colors and preservatives.  

Your best bet is to make smoothies at home, so you know exactly what’s going into it. Take an easy smoothie recipe and make a double batch to stick in the freezer to pull out in a pinch. 

Healthy Smoothie Recipes 

Depending on whether you like your shakes and smoothies fruity or chocolatey, we've got a delish line-up for you to try: 

1) Raspberry Lemonade Smoothie Recipe  

This water based smoothie combines fresh or frozen raspberries, avocado for the healthy fats, and Pink Lemonade Key Greens to give it that antioxidant punch. Add an optional squeeze of lemon juice to really make it pop! 

Catch the video for this Raspberry Lemonade Smoothie recipe at the end of this article.

2) Cherry Blossom Smoothie Recipe  

If you're a cherry lover, you'll love this one! Add in some full fat Greek yogurt for some extra protein and a splash of almond extract for a little sweetness. 

3) Chocolate-Mint Shake Recipe  

This shake is great cold OR hot (think hot mint cocoa!). Coconut milk gives it a creamy texture while using frozen banana or frozen mixed berries instead of ice gives it a thickness and sweetness to it's taste. 

4) Mint Shake Recipe  

Not a chocolate fan, but love mint? We've got you covered. Add in some avocado and banana to create a creamy smoothie with your ice and spearmint or mint extract. 

5) Chocolate Covered Berry Smoothie Recipe  

Sneak some baby spinach into this chocolatey goodness and the kiddos won't even know! Coconut milk gives you the healthy fats and also makes this dairy free. We like raspberries or strawberries for this one, but use your favorite frozen fruit or fresh fruit you have on hand. 

6) PB&J Smoothie Recipe  

With peanut butter and jelly on the menu, you can't go wrong with these classic two flavors. Use your favorite frozen mixed berries and your favorite nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower seed butter all work here - check the nutrition facts label and look for ones with just the nut and maybe salt. that's it!) 

7) Coconut Mango Smoothie Recipe  

This smoothie gives you that tropical mango fix with the super creamy texture of full fat coconut milk. You can use fresh fruit or frozen fruit and swap the mango for pineapple or peach. Love the tropical vibe? We also have a Piña Colada Smoothie Recipe or a Tropical Banana Smoothie Recipe as bonus!  

8) Strawberry Basil Smoothie Recipe  

use up the basil in your garden with some baby spinach and strawberries. Super refreshing for a hot summer day! 

9) Pumpkin Smoothie Recipe  

Pumpkin is not just for fall! This smoothie give you that warming spices flavor with a hint of natural sweetness from maple syrup. Combine pumpkin puree with pumpkin pie spice or some ground cinnamon. You'll get some of your healthy fats from coconut milk.

Want to make it more like a pumpkin latte? Add in a scoop of the Key Greens Espresso to give it a coffee flavor boost! 

10) The Elvis Smoothie Recipe 

Last, but not least, we have the Elvis Smoothie - also known as the Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie! This is a great place to throw in some fresh spinach and the green gets covered up with the chocolate protein, nut butter, and banana. 

How To Choose A Quality Protein Powder 

As you get ready to make your shakes, here's a plug for thinking about your ingredients. Not all smoothies or protein powders are created equal, and we want to give our bodies the best we can afford.  

When shopping for a protein powder, look for ones that don't have a lot of added sugar and a decent amount of protein per scoop. To be considered a complete protein source, a protein powder should contain all nine essential amino acids. Most often this is going to be a whey protein or a pea protein if you need plant based.  

It's also important to look for a protein powder that is third party tested, so you know the ingredients and amounts of nutrients on the label are accurate and there's no contaminants.  

What Ingredients To Avoid 

Ingredients to avoid when looking for a protein powder are refined oils, such as soybean, corn or vegetable oil, and artificial sweeteners, such as sucralose, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium. 

Nutritionist Recommended Protein Powders 

Our NutriKey Wellness Whey Protein is derived from dairy and easy for most people to digest with no harmful or unhealthy ingredients. It mixes nicely and tastes great. Whey protein also contains a complete amino acid profile, which is important for maintaining lean body mass, burning fat and supporting good moods.

Our Wellness Whey comes in both chocolate and vanilla flavors sweetened with stevia and are great pairings with the Key Fruits & Greens for an added antioxidant and flavor bonus. 

Can't do dairy? No problem! NutriKey Paleo Protein is a great dairy-free, lactose-free, paleo-friendly powder made from beef protein, so it contains all the nine essential amino acids a body needs for building and maintaining muscle. It also comes in both chocolate and vanilla, mixes well in water, and is lightly sweetened with stevia.  

Nutritional Smoothie Recipe With Protein For The Win 

A key ingredient for a healthy smoothie recipe is going to be your protein. Quality protein is essential for a lot of the functions in our body: metabolism, energy, moods, neurotransmitter production, tissue and muscle growth, and keeping us satisfied.  

Protein shakes and smoothies, especially with a quality protein powder, is a great staple to add to a healthy meal plan because it's an easy way to get in the grams you need in a day. Have one for breakfast as you run out the door or as a snack on a busy afternoon between meetings and activities.

Try out a few of these healthy smoothie recipes, see how you feel, and let us know which one is your favorite! 

NutriKey Products Mentioned:  

NutriKey Wellness Whey Protein - supplies bioactive, grass fed and rBGH-Free protein and branched chain amino acids for increasing energy, metabolism and promoting lean muscle mass. 

NutriKey Paleo Protein - a great-tasting beef protein powder produced by a proprietary filtration process yielding native beef peptides that are rich in essential amino acids and contain absolutely no lactose/dairy. 

Key Fruits & Greens - supports the body’s natural energy, metabolism, fat-burning, digestion, detoxification, immunity, repair, recovery, revitalization, and longevity. One scoop has the antioxidant power of 20+ servings of fruits and vegetables! 

For more information on protein, check out these resources: 

LISTEN:How To Choose Protein Powder – Ask A Nutritionist 

READ:How To Make The Perfect Smoothie - what to add to build your own healthy smoothie recipes 

TRY:Peanut Butter Protein Balls 

About the author

Amy likes to focus on small changes that make a big difference and keeping an upbeat, positive outlook. “I love helping people find ways to adjust their daily habits to make nutritious eating easier and to brainstorm creative ideas for incorporating new foods and techniques to meal planning. I enjoy seeing people find out how much better they can feel as they start to cut out processed meals and eat more real foods. I don't believe in people feeling deprived. Instead, I like to help people really enjoy the food they are nourishing their body with and come up with healthier alternative meal ideas that might even taste better than what they were eating before.”

View all posts by Amy Crum, MS, RD, LD

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top