What are the things to add to a smoothie?

Smoothies are a delicious and nutritious blended drink made from fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and other healthy ingredients. They are a great way to pack a lot of nutrients into one convenient beverage. When making a smoothie, the possibilities for ingredients are endless, but there are some key components that make up a balanced, tasty blend.


Fruits add natural sweetness, flavor, creaminess, and nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to smoothies. Popular fruits to use include:

  • Bananas – Bananas create a creamy, thick texture and provide potassium.
  • Berries – Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries add flavor, antioxidants, and fiber.
  • Mangoes – Mangoes add tropical sweetness and vitamins A, B6, and C.
  • Pineapple – Pineapple gives a tropical flair and supplies vitamin C and bromelain enzymes.
  • Apples – Apples provide a bit of sweetness, fiber, and vitamin C.
  • Cherries – Cherries add sweetness and antioxidant power.
  • Peaches – Peaches provide beta-carotene, vitamin C, and a soft texture.
  • Kiwis – Kiwis offer a tangy flavor and vitamin C.


Adding vegetables to smoothies helps increase the nutrient content even further. Some good veggies to blend include:

  • Spinach – Spinach adds nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, and iron with minimal flavor.
  • Kale – Kale provides vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, and antioxidants.
  • Carrots – Carrots offer vitamin A for eyesight, vitamin K, and beta-carotene.
  • Beets – Beets offer natural sweetness, fiber, and antioxidants.
  • Avocado – Avocado contributes creaminess, healthy fats, and fiber.

Dairy and dairy alternatives

Dairy products and dairy alternatives help make smoothies creamy and nutritious. Options include:

  • Milk – Milk adds protein, calcium, vitamins D and B12, and creaminess. Any type can be used such as regular cow’s milk, almond milk, soy milk, etc.
  • Yogurt – Yogurt provides protein and probiotics for gut health.
  • Cottage cheese – Cottage cheese contributes protein.
  • Silken tofu – Silken tofu is a vegan way to add creaminess.
  • Ice cream – A small scoop of ice cream makes smoothies feel like a treat.

Seeds and nuts

Seeds and nuts add healthy fats, plant-based protein, texture, and nutrients:

  • Chia seeds – Chia seeds provide omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and a gelatinous texture when blended.
  • Flaxseeds – Flaxseeds offer additional omega-3s and fiber.
  • Hemp seeds – Hemp seeds contain protein, omega-3s, omega-6s, and all essential amino acids.
  • Almonds – Almonds provide vitamin E, magnesium, and calcium.
  • Peanut butter – Peanut butter adds protein, healthy fats, and creaminess.
  • Cashews – Cashews offer zinc, iron, magnesium, and creaminess.


If a smoothie needs a touch more sweetness, you can add:

  • Honey – Honey provides natural sweetness and antioxidants.
  • Maple syrup – Maple syrup offers minerals like zinc and manganese.
  • Medjool dates – Soft, pitted dates blend up creamy and sweet.
  • Stevia – Stevia is a zero-calorie natural sweetener.
  • Banana – Extra banana makes smoothies sweeter.
  • Frozen mango – Frozen mango adds tropical sweetness.


To change up the flavor profile of smoothies, you can incorporate:

  • Cinnamon – Cinnamon provides warmth and antioxidants.
  • Cocoa powder – Cocoa adds chocolaty richness and polyphenols.
  • Vanilla – Vanilla provides flavor complexity.
  • Mint – Fresh mint contributes cooling freshness.
  • Ginger – Ginger gives a spike of sweet heat.
  • Lemon/Lime juice – Citrus juices brighten up smoothies with fresh acidity.
  • Matcha – Matcha green tea powder provides antioxidants like EGCG.


The liquid base helps blend all the ingredients together for the signature smoothie texture. Liquid options include:

  • Water
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Coconut water
  • Cold coffee
  • Green tea
  • 100% fruit juice


Ice helps achieve the thick, chilled consistency of smoothies. You can use:

  • Ice cubes
  • Crushed ice
  • Frozen fruit – Using frozen fruit eliminates the need for extra ice.

Putting it All Together

When making a smoothie, aim for a ratio of approximately:

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen fruit
  • 1 cup vegetables
  • 1 cup dairy, dairy alternative or water
  • 1 tablespoon seeds, nuts or nut butter
  • 1 teaspoon sweetener (optional)
  • Spices to taste
  • Ice as needed

Some examples of popular, balanced smoothies combinations include:

Smoothie Name Ingredients
The Green Machine Spinach, kale, banana, pineapple, Greek yogurt, milk, chia seeds
Berry Nutty Mixed berries, spinach, almond milk, almond butter, oats, flaxseed
Tropical Sunrise Mango, pineapple, orange juice, Greek yogurt, honey
PB & J Banana, strawberries, peanut butter, milk, vanilla yogurt


Smoothies are endlessly adaptable to your personal tastes and nutrition goals. Focus on picking fresh fruits and veggies, a creamy base, healthy fats and protein, and spices to create a well-balanced smoothie every time. With so many nutrients and delicious ingredients to work with, you can mix and match to make a different nutritious smoothie every day of the week.

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