How to make the perfect smoothie

Cassie Best shares her top tips on how to make your smoothies delicious and nutritious every time, with healthy recipe ideas and new flavour combinations.

Passionfruit smoothie with passionfruit half

A vitamin-packed smoothie is a great way to start the day, or works as the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. Make your smoothies delicious and nutritious every time with these simple suggestions.

Smoothie makers – which should I buy?

Individual blitz-and-go blenders are designed for quickly making smoothies. Read our roundup of the best bullet blenders, from cheap and cheerful buys to family-friendly machines. Alternatively, a standard blender will also do the job. Check out our review of the best all-purpose blenders.

Breakfast super shake smoothie

The right smoothie ratios

Start your smoothie with two mugfuls of a liquid base. This can be milk, or a dairy-free alternative such as soya or almond milk, natural or flavoured yogurt, fruit juice, or for a tropical flavoured smoothie, low-fat coconut milk or coconut water. It's important to add the liquid to your blender before adding the fruit, as this will prevent the blade from getting damaged. 

Next, add about three quarters of a mug of your chosen fruit. Banana is a great base flavour for any smoothie, and will give you a lovely creamy texture. Other fruits that work well are berries, mango, peaches, plums, nectarines, grated apple or pear, and melon. You may have to add more fruit or liquid, depending on the type of fruit you choose. Play around until you have a texture you like. Add a squeeze of honey, maple syrup or agave syrup if your smoothie needs it, and finally add a few ice cubes to the blender for a thick and frosty smoothie. 

Smoothie combination ideas

Mango & banana smoothie
Coconut & banana smoothie
Creamy mango & coconut smoothie
Super berry smoothie
Forest fruit & banana smoothie
Kale & avocado smoothie

Kiwi smoothie in kilner jars

Freeze your fruit

If you want to make smoothies regularly, it's a great idea to stash some fruit in the freezer. Not only will they retain their nutritional value and flavour, they will instantly chill your smoothie, so there's no need to add ice. Before your bananas have a chance to turn brown in the fruit bowl, peel and slice them, then freeze on a sheet of baking parchment on a tray until solid. You can then store in sandwich bags and throw into your blender whenever you need them. Even fruits that don't usually freeze well, like strawberries and melon, are okay to freeze if you're using them in a smoothie. Most supermarkets now sell frozen smoothie packs, which are often great value and give you a good mixture of fruit. 

Mango and coconut smoothie in a glass
Extras to add to your smoothie

Once you've mastered the basics, try adding different flavours to your basic recipe. Add a spoonful of cocoa powder, cinnamon, grated nutmeg or vanilla essence before blending, or give your smoothie some texture with a sprinkle of flaxseeds, toasted chopped nuts or whole oats. Not only will it taste great, it will keep you fuller for longer too.

Alternative smoothie recipe ideas

Banana, honey & hazelnut smoothie
Vegan tofu smoothie
Turmeric smoothie bowl
Minty pineapple smoothie

Kale smoothie in glasses
How to make healthier smoothies

If you haven't tried a smoothie made from a mixture of fruit and vegetables before, you may be surprised by the flavour. The sweetness of fruit blends well with lots of vegetables and makes for a delicious and super-nutritious drink. Try making a green smoothie with coconut water, grated apple, kiwi, banana and spinach. Other vegetables which work well are grated beetroot or carrot, kale, tomatoes and avocados.

If you're having a smoothie for breakfast or lunch, make it a more rounded meal by adding some protein. A spoonful of protein powder, peanut or other nut butter, or some tofu will blend well with your smoothie and give you an essential protein boost. Contrary to what you may have seen in Rocky, raw eggs are not a good option – we absorb the protein in eggs much better when they are cooked.

Healthier smoothie recipes

Peach melba smoothie
Avocado & strawberry smoothie
Vitamin booster smoothie
All our healthier smoothie recipes

For easiest ever smoothie ideas, watch our video:


Smoothie recipes and tips

Our best ever smoothie recipes
Easiest ever smoothie bowl video recipe
Smoothie recipe infographic: Three easy ideas
The best bullet blenders
Best smoothie recipes for kids
How to choose the best ingredients for smoothies

Are you a fan of a smoothie? What do you put in yours? Add your comments below...

Comments, questions and tips

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16th May, 2018
As I'm starting to substitute a smoothie for one meal a day, this is great for recipes.
TheEightHours's picture
2nd Jun, 2015
Quick and easy way to get a big dose of nutrients. Try this one, so good for you...
TheEightHours's picture
31st May, 2015
If you're having trouble with your stomach and general health and you're feeling run down then try this: Amazing for digestion, your skin and hair.
photothorntonthompson's picture
22nd Sep, 2014
Brilliant article!! Thank you :)
Mary 34
31st Jul, 2014
Great tips - I love smoothies this time of year. I saw another interesting article in Sian's Magazine with a few good smoothie recipes; definitely worth a read!
19th Jul, 2014
This is genius.
trinaz's picture
6th Mar, 2015
slightly un nessesary comment.
27th Feb, 2014
Does anyone have any suggestions for a good quality reasonably priced blender? Would a blender be better than a smoothie maker.
nkgandotra's picture
22nd May, 2014
Hello! Here are some reviews:
21st May, 2014
Hi Jamdown, all depends what do you want to use it for. If you you want to blend soft fruits and vegetables " Such as berries and greens leaves" Breville is good brand to start with. If you want to hard nuts and roots you be best of with something like blendtec or Vitamix, there also a Ninja blender which seems like good blender. bets of luck Janamian
goodfoodteam's picture
10th Mar, 2014
Hi there, thanks for getting in touch. We have a hand blender review you may find helpful:
26th Jun, 2013
these all sound highly calorific - what is the sugar content from all that fruit?? We naturally think that fruit is very healthy, but when you have so much of it all blitzed up, you are consuming a lot of fructose sugar - far more than you would eating a portion of fruit. These things are not as healthy as you might think. Has anyone tested the sugar content?
27th Jun, 2013
a couple of spoonfulls of oats make a more substantial breakfast.