The Anatomy of a Healthy Smoothie


No matter what the season, smoothies are a great way to start the day, or fuel up in the middle of it. In this post, Sally from our Kitchen Council breaks down the anatomy of her smoothie and how our Fresh Blenders apples make a great base ingredient in any smoothie recipe.

I start nearly every single day with a smoothie. To me, it’s the perfect morning meal: light, easy, nutritious, and portable. My kids like smoothies too—for breakfast or after-school snacks—and we all enjoy creating new combinations in the blender.

Blending up the best (and healthiest!) smoothie means choosing the right ingredients. And of course, Stemilt’s Fresh Blenders are on that list. Fresh Blenders apples come in sweet and tart varieties, in five-pound pouch bags to use in smoothies and juices all week long.

6 Steps to Create a Healthy Smoothie Recipe:

1. Start with:

  • Milk: This can be either dairy (in whatever variety you like) or non-dairy. I love almond milk blended with nut butter and dates as a faux “milk shake.” Coconut milk adds a nice tropical twist when whirled together with mango or pineapple.
  • Water: I use water as a base for a lot of green smoothies, especially when I want something lighter and a bit closer to a juice.

2. Add some creaminess from: 

  • Banana: I keep a stash of fresh and peeled, frozen bananas on hand at all times. Bananas add both creaminess and sweetness.
  • Avocado: Use half a banana with half an avocado to get a sweet flavor and creamy texture, plus all the superfood nutrition of this fruit.

3. Add some intense sweetness from fresh fruits like:

  • Apples: Cut up a Stemilt Fresh Blenders apple to add a burst of sweetness. I especially love Granny Smith apples in green smoothies. I use Pink Lady Fresh Blenders apples in this Chocolate Peanut Butter Apple recovery smoothie.
  • Grapes: These can be fresh or frozen. Tossing just a few into the blender will add a sugary-sweet flavor to smoothies.
  • Pineapple: Fresh or canned, pineapple lends lots of sweetness in a small amount, especially if you drizzle in a bit of the juice too.

4. Add some greens like:

  • Spinach: Choose fresh, baby spinach, which is very mild and gives a beautiful bright green color to smoothies. Want to mask the green color instead? Add blueberries or cocoa powder.
  • Kale: It’s packed with nutrition but has a slightly bolder flavor, so go easy.

5. Add some slushiness from:

  • Frozen Fruit: Keep a variety of frozen fruit in your freezer, such as berries, peaches, sweet cherries, and mango.
  • Ice: A cube or two of ice will do the trick if you’re out of frozen fruit.

6. Finally, add some extras:

  • Oats: Adds fiber and thickness to a smoothie.
  • Ground Flaxseed: Blend a tablespoon of ground flaxseed into your drink for some extra fiber and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Honey: Just a teaspoon or two will sweeten a smoothie.
  • Cocoa powder: Gives your smoothie a rich chocolate flavor without a lot of extra calories.
  • Dates: Just one or two will add a lot of sweetness. Tip: Soak them in water or milk in the refrigerator overnight and they’ll blend more easily.
  • Nuts and nut butters: Adds healthy fats plus feel-full protein to any smoothie.

Besides this list, what are you putting in your smoothie recipes these days? For more inspiration, take a look at our gallery of Fresh Blenders smoothie recipes.