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How to make a healthy smoothie + 10 easy recipes

2 glasses of Purition smoothies made with added fresh ginger and orange zest.

Sure, throwing a few ingredients into a blender isn’t exactly rocket science. But learning how to make a healthy smoothie—which is filling and good for you, but tastes great too—takes a little bit more smoothie know-how.

The average fruit smoothie recipe is majorly overloaded with sugar. While they might pack in a mighty fibre and vitamin-punch, they generally lack in protein and fat. The result? You might feel hungry an hour or so after your smoothie, no matter how healthy or green it looked or tasted.

Thankfully, a few simple ingredient tweaks can take your smoothie from sugar-bomb-snack, to nutritious-and-nutrient-packed-meal. Here’s everything you need to know to make a healthy smoothie!

How to make a healthy smoothie

It’s tempting to throw in all the fruits and juices in your fridge straight into the blender, but a healthy and filling smoothie contains fibre, healthy fats and protein – especially if you’re drinking it in place of a meal. While fruit is super healthy and packed with good-for-you vitamins and antioxidants, it’s fat and protein that’ll keep you feeling full and energised.

Protein is the most filling macronutrient because it reduces the level of the hunger hormone ghrelin, whilst boosting the levels of peptide YY, a hormone that makes you feel full and satisfied. And while protein helps you feel full, fat will make you stay full, because it takes longer for your body to digest.

Ingredients

No, this doesn’t mean you have to start chucking chicken breasts and cheddar into your smoothie. Pick an ingredient from each of the following food groups and you’ll be able to build a creamy, nutritious and filling healthy smoothie every time!

1. Liquid base

All smoothies require a base of liquids – otherwise, you’ll just end up with a thick, gloopy paste.

Milk or nut milk make for a healthy yet creamy smoothie. You could also use water or coconut water, but it’ll give your smoothie a much thinner, more liquidy texture. If you’re not keen on a super creamy texture, consider a 50/50 mix of milk and water. Avoid fruit juices if you can, as they’re packed with sugar.

2. Fruits & veggies

Try to include fruit and veggies in your smoothie. While fruit is healthy (and tasty!), it’s pretty high in carbs and sugar, so eating several servings of fruit in a single smoothie is likely to spike your blood sugar levels, which could lead to lethargy and hunger.

Instead, opt for a small serving of fruit, such as a handful of frozen berries, half a plum or kiwi or half a frozen banana. Then, bulk up your smoothie with a generous serving of vegetables, such as beetroot, kale, courgette (it works surprisingly well!) or spinach, for a healthy dose of fibre.

Not keen on the sound of vegetables in a smoothie? You’ll be surprised at how little you can taste them once they’re blended with other ingredients. In fact, smoothies are a great way to sneak more veg into your diet, without even noticing all that much.

3. Protein

Your body uses protein (and the amino acids it contains) to build and repair muscles and cells and make hormones, alongside countless other essential functions. With that said, it’s important to include a serving of protein in every meal, including your smoothie, if you can.

Purition Strawberry wholefood nutrition powder with wooden scoop.

The easiest way to add protein into your smoothie is with a protein powder like Purition, but there are other high-protein options too:

  • 100g greek yoghurt: 6g protein
  • 100g soy yoghurt: 5g protein
  • 75g cottage cheese: 7.1g protein
  • 2 tbsp natural nut butter: 6–8g protein
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds: 6g protein
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds: 5g protein

*Protein quantities are approximate and may vary from brand-to-brand.

4. Healthy fats

From skin health to heart protection, healthy dietary fat is essential for your body. And did you know that fat helps to increase the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K, alongside making your smoothies extra filling? It’s a major win-win.

Healthy fats are incredibly nutritious, but calorie-dense. Stick to a small serving—around a tablespoon—of one of the following:

  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Avocado
  • Coconut oil
  • Natural nut butter

Avoiding fat in the fear that it’ll make you fat? Read exactly why fat won’t make you fat.

5. Natural sweeteners

If you’d like to add some sweetness to your smoothie, choose natural sweeteners. Dates, agave or honey work well. Do bear in mind that fruit already acts as a natural sweetening agent, so you don’t need to go overboard with extra sweeteners.

…or just use Purition!

Having all these ingredients in stock can be costly and time-consuming. If you’re looking for a quick and efficient way to make a daily healthy smoothie without having to think about all of the above, why not just try Purition instead?

Purition contains a blend of seven seeds and nuts, a vegan or vegetarian protein source, as well as a little extra fibre for good measure. A single serving provides around 16g of protein, 12g healthy fats, 6g fibre and host of naturally-occuring vitamins and minerals, with no prep of fuss.

Just add a few scoops to your blender with milk, ice and (optional) fruit and veggies and you’ve got a protein-packed, filling smoothie meal, ready in an instant.

Find out more in our new case study: Are homemade smoothies healthy?

Layering a smoothie

When it comes to making the ultimate healthy smoothie, layering your ingredients in the right order is key. Doing so will help each ingredient to blend thoroughly, whilst also prevent ingredients from getting stuck under the blades of your blender and ensuring a smooth, lump-free finish.

Smiley person pouring a Purition smoothie.

Step 1: Liquids

Always add liquid to your blender first. This will prevent your blender from overheating and stop other ingredients from sticking to the bottom of your blender. 150-250ml of liquid is normally the sweet spot, but you can tweak this until you reach your desired consistency.

Step 2: Powders

If you’re using any type of dry powder, such as a Purition or cocoa powder, add them into your blender right on top of your liquid base to ensure they dissolve thoroughly.

Step 3: Soft & creamy ingredients

Whether it’s yoghurt, nut butter or avocado, follow up with all of your soft, creamy ingredients at this stage.

Step 4: Fresh fruits, veggies & seeds

Next, add soft, unfrozen fruits and veggies, as well as nuts and seeds, to your blender. Fruits will purée better if you cut them into small chunks, especially if your blender isn’t very powerful.

Step 5: Frozen ingredients

Last up is all of your frozen goodies! The weight of frozen fruit and ice cubs will push all of your other ingredients into the blender blades, resulting in a smoother finish.

Keep in mind that, unless you have a high-powered blender (we recommend a Vita-Mix), ice cubes and hard, frozen fruit could dull your blades. It’s best to let frozen ingredients thaw a little beforehand.

Step 6: Blend, blend, blend!

It’s time to blend! Start on a low speed to get the ingredients moving, before blasting on a high speed for around 30 seconds or until smooth. If your ingredients are struggling to blend and/or sticking to the sides of your blender, add a little more liquid to loosen up the mix.

10 easy smoothie recipes

Ready to hit the blender? Use one of our go-to recipes for some major healthy smoothie inspiration…

Purition Coffee & Walnut whole food protein smoothie.

Coffee kick protein smoothie

  • With Purition...
  • 40g Purition Coffee & Walnut
  • 1/3 small frozen banana
  • 250ml milk or nut milk
  • Without Purition...
  • 100g greek or soy yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/3 small frozen banana
  • 150–200ml milk or nut milk
  • 1–2 teaspoons of instant coffee

Orange & ginger spice smoothie

  • With Purition...
  • 40g Purition Almond & Orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • Zest of half an orange
  • 200-250ml milk or nut milk
  • Without Purition...
  • 100g greek or soy yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • Zest of half an orange
  • 200-250ml milk or nut milk
Purition Almond & Orange whole food smoothie.
Purition Pistachio whole food protein smoothie.

Green hulk protein smoothie

  • With Purition...
  • 30g Purition Pistachio
  • 1/2 an avocado & 1/2 a pear
  • 1 tbsp greek yoghurt
  • 200ml milk or nut milk
  • Without Purition...
  • 100g greek or soy yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp natural nut butter
  • 1/2 an avocado & 1/2 a pear
  • Handful of spinach
  • 150–200ml milk or nut milk

Super strawberry protein smoothie

  • With Purition...
  • 40g Purition Strawberry
  • 1 tbsp greek or soy yoghurt
  • Handful of strawberries
  • 200-250ml milk or nut milk
  • Without Purition...
  • 100g greek or soy yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp oats
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • Handful of strawberries
  • 150–200ml milk or nut milk
Purition Strawberry whole food protein smoothie.
Purition Chocolate Orange whole food protein smoothie.

Chocolate orange festive smoothie

  • With Purition...
  • 40g Purition Chocolate Orange
  • Zest of ½ orange
  • 200-250ml milk or nut milk
  • Without Purition...
  • 100g greek or soy yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp natural nut butter
  • 1 tbsp cocoa or cacao
  • Zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 150–200ml milk or nut milk

Golden turmeric protein smoothie

  • With Purition...
  • 40g Purition Curcumin (turmeric)
  • 200-250ml milk or nut milk
  • Without Purition...
  • 100g greek or soy yoghurt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 150–200ml milk or nut milk
Purition Curcumin & Black Pepper whole food protein smoothie.
Purition Coconut whole food protein smoothie.

Coconut & raspberry super smoothie

  • With Purition...
  • 40g Purition Coconut
  • Handful fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 200-250ml milk or nut milk
  • Without Purition...
  • 100g greek or soy yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • Handful fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 150–200ml milk or nut milk

Choco-nut protein smoothie

  • With Purition...
  • 20g Purition Cocoa
  • 20g Purition Almond
  • 200-250ml milk or nut milk
  • Without Purition...
  • 100g greek or soy yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp natural nut butter
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 2 tsp cocoa or cacao
  • 150–200ml milk or nut milk
Purition Chocolate & Almond whole food protein smoothie.
Purition Vanilla whole food protein smoothie.

Eat your greens smoothie

  • With Purition...
  • 40g Purition Vanilla
  • Handful of spinach or kale
  • Half a kiwi
  • 250ml milk or nut milk
  • Without Purition...
  • 100g greek or soy yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp oats
  • Handful spinach or kale
  • Half a kiwi
  • 150–200ml milk or nut milk

Choc ‘n cherry protein smoothie

  • With Purition...
  • 40g Purition Cocoa
  • Handful of fresh or frozen cherries
  • Handful of spinach
  • 200-250ml milk or nut milk
  • Without Purition...
  • 100g greek or soy yoghurt
  • 2 tbsps oats
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tsp cocoa or cacao
  • Handful of spinach
  • Handful of fresh or frozen cherries
  • 150–200ml milk or nut milk
Purition Chocolate & Cherry whole food protein smoothie.

How to make a healthy smoothie with Purition

All the goodness, none of the faff, nothing to prep and minimal ingredients? That’s what you get when you make a healthy smoothie with Purition. Made with simple, instantly recognisable ingredients from nature’s larder, simply blend our whole food powders with your favourite milk for a nutritious and satisfying meal that’ll keep you full for 4–5 hours.

There’s simply no need to faff around with endless ingredients to create a balanced healthy smoothie. One single serving of Purition packs in around 16g protein, 12g healthy fats and 6g fibre to keep your energy high and your appetite curbed! And while you’re totally free to add in some extras if you want to, Purition is filling on it’s own, blended alone with milk. Simple.

Read more...

Does fat make you fat?
The importance of healthy fats

Addicted to sugar?
Ask Dr Jen Unwin

Are smoothies healthy?
The sugar-laden truth

How to increase your protein intake

What you should do next...

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