Recipes for Mom {smoothies}

If you’re new to my “recipes for mom” series, don’t worry, you haven’t missed much.  I’ve only posted about it once so far.  The idea is to talk about simplicity in the kitchen.  I want to teach my mom [and you guys!] easy kitchen basics and talk about my favorite kitchen foods, techniques, appliances, etc.

One thing my mom always mentions, when we’re discussing food + recipes, is that my breakfasts are fairly calorie dense.  We all know that as you become older [and wiser], your metabolism slows down.  Because of this, you might not need that 500-600 calorie breakfast you once did.  Maybe you only want 300-400 calories to start your day.  Or, maybe you’re the type that eats 3 small meals with 3 snacks each day.  Breakfast calories can add up quickly, especially when making smoothies + large bowls of oats.  Gotta love that nut butter! 

Smoothies are fairly simple to make.  You can start off with a basic recipe and build from there to suit your needs.  There are so many foods, milks, powders, seeds, etc. that can be added if you’re looking for more fat/protein/calories/fiber.  The possibilities are endless and it’s pretty rare that you will ruin a smoothie.  It might not be your best, but they’re typically still palatable.

In this post, I’ve come up with 3 basic recipes, all with options for other add-ins if you are looking for that bigger breakfast. 

Typical smoothie items?

  • milk: I typically use 1-2% organic cow’s milk or Eden Organic Soymilk [the least processed and highest protein nut milk I’ve seen].  I do frequently use almond milk as well, which is much lighter in calories, protein + fat.  I use almond milk, when my protein/fat/calories are coming from other foods I’m adding in.
  • juice:  If you’re not a fan of any type of milk, fear not, you can use a 100% fruit juice + water combo.  I typically will use 50/50 if I’m going this route.
  • frozen or fresh fruit:  I have fond fabulous deals on organic frozen fruit at Costco.  I know Trader Joes also has an affordable frozen fruit selection, as do other stores.  Frozen fruit is a great thing to stock up on when it’s on sale!  You can also use fresh fruit.  If you’re using fresh fruit, you’ll probably want to add 1-2c of ice to thicken things up a bit.  Just today, at Whole Foods, I saw that they started packaging frozen banana chunks!  I’ve never seen that before.  Bananas are a smoothie staple, but buying frozen bananas are not necessary.  Buy an extra bunch of bananas every few weeks, or look for overripe bananas on sale.  Let them fully ripen on your counter [covered with brown spots], then peel them, chop or halve and place in large freezer bag or airtight container.
  • yogurt: Plain yogurt is a great addition to smoothies.  Not only does it help smooth out the texture, but it also adds a good dose of fat + protein.  Greek yogurt will give you an even bigger protein kick.  I always try to stick with “plain” yogurt for smoothies, since there is already plenty of sweetness from the fruit.  Also, plain yogurt is lower in calories.  As with milk, I like to buy low-fat or full-fat yogurt, as it really helps to satiate me much more that fat-free versions.  And it just tastes better!
  • cinnamon:  I don’t add this to all of my smoothies, but it’s a great addition with loads of healthy benefits.
  • vanilla extract:  A little goes a long way, but it’s a great addition.  If you’re going for an almond flavor, try adding 1/8t almond extract.
  • protein powder:  My favorite brand, by a long shot, is Garden of Life Raw Protein.  The plain flavor is barely detectable and it has the best texture out of any powders I’ve tried.  Stevia is not an added, which also a plus for me.  It’s a complete protein and made up of a large list of sprouted foods. 
  • nut butter:  Great for added flavor, thickening, fats + protein.
  • avocado:  About 1/4 of an avocado, will make your smoothie silkier than you could ever imagine.  It will also add in a nice dose of healthy fats.
  • spinach:  When adding spinach, I use about 2-4 cups.  You cannot taste it at all and it’s a great way to sneak in a serving or two of veggies.
  • chia seeds:  Awesome for thickening up your smoothie and great added health benefits as well. 

I could go on + on with other ingredients, but we’ll stop there.  Also, if you don’t have a Vita Mix, not to worry!  Many standard blenders are up to the smoothie making challenge and can even blend in the spinach!

Cherries are one of my mom’s favorite fruits and one of my favorite smoothie ingredients.

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This recipe is for a basic cherry almond smoothie with spinach.  I told you I add a lot of the green stuff!

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Cherry Almond Smoothie

  • 1c frozen cherries
  • 1/2c milk of choice
  • 1/2c plain yogurt
  • 1/2 frozen banana [3-4” piece]
  • 1T almond butter or 2T raw almonds
  • 1/8t almond extract [optional]
  • 2-4c spinach
  • 1-2c ice, if not using frozen fruit
  1. Add liquid to blender first, then all other ingredients with the spinach on top.
  2. Cover and start blending on med/low working it up to high, until smooth.


  • If you’re looking for a vegan option, use 3/4c milk of choice with 1T chia seeds, instead of the yogurt.  This will help thicken up the smoothie.
  • If you want a chocolate cherry almond smoothie, add in 1/2-1T unsweetened cocoa powder.  This is a delicious option!
  • If you’re looking for a heftier smoothie, add any of the following: protein powder/coconut milk/coconut oil/chia seeds/rolled oats/ground flax meal/avocado/nut butter/etc

If you’re not a fan of banana, just leave it out and add in a few more frozen cherries and another dollop of yogurt.

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One of my personal favorite combos?

Strawberry Banana.

Always has been, always will be.  It was even my favorite Dairy Queen Blizzard flavor!

This is a spinach free recipe, but feel free to add if you like!

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I love the simplicity of this.  4 ingredients is all that you need!

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Strawberry Banana Smoothie

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 heaping cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2c plain yogurt
  • 1/2-3/4c milk of choice
  • 1/4t vanilla extract [optional]
  1. Add milk to blender, then all other ingredients.  Start with 1/2c milk, adding more to thin out, if needed.
  2. Blend on med/low then working up to high until smooth.

*If using fresh strawberries, add in 1-2c ice.

**For a heftier smoothie, check the options that I listed for the above smoothie.  If you don’t like strawberries, you can sub any other berry.

Oh, how I love this smoothie!! 

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Next up?  Pea soup?

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Nope!  Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie!  Gosh, I love when smoothies turn out BRIGHT green from the spinach.  The color might scare you, but the taste will have you slurping for more!

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Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

  • 1.5T creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2c milk of choice
  • 1/2c plain yogurt
  • 1 medium frozen banana
  • 3-4c loosely packed spinach
  • 1/2t cinnamon [opt]
  • 1/4t vanilla extract [opt]
  1. Add milk to blender, then all other ingredients.  Start with 1/2c milk, adding more to thin out, if needed.
  2. Blend on med/low then working up to high until smooth.

Again, the same options apply as above!

The cinnamon adds such a great kick to this smoothie and the peanut butter flavor really comes through.  Another favorite for sure! 

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Today I ate the strawberry banana smoothie + peanut butter banana smoothie for lunch.  Typically, I would make one larger smoothie, but it was fun to have 2 to slurp down!

This was probably a major review for most of you, but hopefully some found it helpful.  It was actually helpful for me, as it forced me to think very simplistically, while still packing in the nutrition.  If you’re looking for a healthy, energizing, delicious afternoon snack, or a medium sized breakfast, I highly recommend checking these out!

Sleep time!