What should you not mix in a smoothie?

Smoothies can be a great way to pack nutrients into an on-the-go breakfast or snack. By blending together fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and other ingredients, you can create a beverage that’s full of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. However, not all ingredients play well together in the blender. Some combinations will result in strange textures, flavors that don’t complement each other, or nutrition that isn’t properly absorbed. So what should you avoid putting in your smoothies? Here are some ingredients that don’t mix well together and should be left out of your blended beverages.

Dairy and Acidic Fruits

When dairy and acidic fruits are blended together, it can cause the dairy to curdle and take on a strange, chunky texture. The acid from fruits like citrus, pineapple, mangoes, strawberries, and kiwis causes the proteins in milk, yogurt, and other dairy products to coagulate. This leaves you with a curdled smoothie that’s unappetizing in both texture and taste. If you want to include dairy in your smoothie, stick to non-acidic fruits like bananas, melons, stone fruits, apples, pears, and dates. You can also add non-dairy milks like almond, coconut, oat, or soy.

Leafy Greens and Fruit

Green leafy vegetables are a nutritious addition to smoothies. However, when blended with fruit, especially softer fruits like bananas and mangoes, the greens can turn the smoothie an unappealing brown color. The pigments in fruits and vegetables can react with the chlorophyll in greens, creating an oxidized brownish hue. While this doesn’t affect the taste or nutrition, some find it unappealing. If you want a green smoothie, stick to fruits like pineapples, oranges, apples, pears, and berries, which hold their color better when blended with greens.

Nuts and Seeds

Adding nuts and seeds to your smoothie provides protein, healthy fats, and fiber. However, not all nuts and seeds blend up smoothly. Tough, dry nuts like almonds, walnuts, and brazil nuts don’t break down well in the blender. You’ll often end up with large chunks in your drink. For a smoother texture, soak nuts and seeds before blending. Other nuts like macadamias, cashews, and pine nuts have softer textures and can be added without soaking. Ground flax, chia, and hemp seeds also blend seamlessly into smoothies.

High-Fiber Vegetables

It’s great to pack extra veggies into your smoothies, but some high-fiber, stringy vegetables won’t blend well. Raw celery, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, and greens like kale and collards are difficult for blenders to break down. No amount of pulverizing will get them smooth. The fiber strands end up in hunks that give your smoothie an unpleasant mouthfeel. If you want to add these veggies, cook them first to soften them up. Roasting, steaming, or sauteing makes them easier to blend.

Ice and Frozen Ingredients

Ice and frozen fruits make smoothies chilled and thick. However, adding too much can prevent the ingredients from properly blending. Large frozen chunks end up swirling around whole or getting stuck at the bottom of your blender. Use just a few ice cubes or partially thaw frozen fruit before adding to your smoothie. If using all frozen ingredients, let the blender run for 1-2 minutes to break everything down. Add small amounts of liquid as needed to get the blender running smoothly.


While oils like coconut, olive, avocado, and flaxseed provide healthy fats, they don’t incorporate well into smoothies. No matter how long you blend, the oil remains separated and coating the entire drink. Oil also loosens up the texture, creating a runny blend. For the best texture and mouthfeel, avoid adding oils to your smoothies. If you want creamy richness, use avocado, nut butters, bananas, or full-fat coconut milk instead.

Tough, Dry Ingredients

In general, any very tough, dry, or thick ingredients won’t blend well in a smoothie. We’ve covered nuts, some veggies, and ice. Other problematic ingredients include:

  • Uncooked oats – soak or cook first to soften
  • Chia, flax, and psyllium husk – grind first or use pre-ground versions
  • Protein powders – blend a small amount with liquid before adding to smoothie
  • Nutritional yeast – tends to stay clumpy
  • Seeds like chia, poppy, and sesame – grind first for smooth texture
  • Coconut flakes – soak first to rehydrate

Take a little extra prep when using any very dense, dry ingredient to ensure it blends up smooth.

Smoothie Ingredient Combinations to Avoid

To recap, here are some specific smoothie ingredient combinations you’ll want to avoid:

  • Citrus juice + dairy – causes curdling
  • Berries + leafy greens -can turn brown
  • Nuts/seeds + frozen ingredients – leaves chunky texture
  • High-fiber veggies + soft fruits – stringy, fibrous texture
  • Too much ice – prevents proper blending
  • Oils + liquid ingredients – causes separation

With so many delicious fruits, vegetables, and other smoothie ingredients out there, you can make endless combinations that blend perfectly. Follow these tips for the best smoothie textures and flavors.

Tips for Making Smoothies

Here are some general tips for making smoothies that blend up smoothly and taste great:

  • Cut ingredients into smaller pieces before blending for quicker breakdown in the blender.
  • Add liquid ingredients first then top with fruits, veggies, and other smoothie ingredients.
  • Blend in stages, waiting to add really thick or frozen items until other ingredients are already blended.
  • If ingredients get stuck, stop the blender and use a spoon or spatula to dislodge them.
  • Don’t overfill your blender. Leave room for ingredients to move around.
  • Start blending on a lower speed to break up bigger pieces then increase as needed.
  • Let the blender run for 1-2 minutes to fully break down tougher ingredients.
  • Add small amounts of liquid if needed to get frozen or thick ingredients blending well.

Following proper smoothie-making techniques ensures everything blends together into a smooth, creamy beverage.

Potential Smoothie Texture Issues and How to Fix Them

Even using ideal ingredient combos, you may still encounter textural issues with your smoothies. Here are some common problems and ways to fix them:

Chunky Texture

If there are unincorporated chunks in your smoothie, the ingredients likely weren’t broken down fully. Try blending for a longer time, stopping and stirring occasionally to dislodge pieces. Adding more liquid may also help ingredients blend more smoothly.

Stringy or Fibrous

Fibrous ingredients like kale or chia seeds can leave a stringy mouthfeel. Be sure to cut produce into smaller pieces and fully grind seeds/nuts before blending. Cook tougher greens beforehand as well.


Oils, powders, and other ingredients may separate out and coat the glass instead of blending. Try adding them slowly after initial ingredients blend and blend for longer.


Over-blending some ingredients can make smoothies grainy. With frozen bananas, pineapples, and mangoes, blend just until smooth.


Excess air whipped into smoothies creates foam. Blend ingredients before adding ice and avoid over-blending. Let smoothies rest so foam can settle.


Too much liquid or not enough ice can lead to a thin, watery smoothie. Use more frozen ingredients and cut back on liquid to create fuller body.

Smoothie Inspiration: Combinations That Blend Well

While combinations like fruit and dairy or leafy greens and soft fruits don’t mix well, there are endless ingredient pairings that do blend beautifully. Get inspired with these smoothie ideas showcasing components that pair wonderfully:

Fruit and Leafy Green Smoothies

  • Pineapple, spinach, banana
  • Berries, kale, almond milk
  • Mango, romaine, coconut water
  • Papaya, parsley, lime, ginger

Fruit and Veggie Smoothie Combos

  • Berries, beet, carrot, yogurt
  • Pineapple, cucumber, mint
  • Apples, sweet potato, cinnamon
  • Banana, roasted broccoli, vanilla almond milk

Fruit and Nut/Seed Smoothies

  • Banana, peanut butter, cocoa powder
  • Pomegranate, chia seeds, coconut milk
  • Berries, almond butter, oats
  • Mango, cashews, vanilla protein powder

Green Veggie Combos

  • Spinach, zucchini, avocado, lime
  • Kale, cucumber, celery, lemon
  • Arugula, bell pepper, carrots, ginger
  • Romaine, broccoli, apple, matcha powder

Don’t be afraid to get creative with combinations that appeal to you! With some simple guidance, you can blend up smoothies with the perfect texture and nutrition every time.


While so many fruits, veggies, and superfoods can be blended into smoothies, not every combination works well. Avoid mixing dairy with acidic fruits that can curdle the milk. Leafy greens blended with soft, ripe fruits may turn an unappealing brown color. Dry nuts and seeds can leave you with a chunky texture. And ingredients like ice and oil cause blending issues. Keep these tips in mind, use proper blending techniques, and experiment to find your own favorite smoothie combos. With a little practice you’ll be whipping up crave-worthy smoothies with an ideal creamy, smooth texture.

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