Good, Better, and Best Smoothies

The giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Tracy 0. on winning!

I’ve been making smoothies for a long, long time.

The summer after my senior year in high school I started going to garage sales with a good friend.

Being a novice, she shared all of her bargain hunting tips and tricks with me (life skill right there!). During our early Saturday morning adventures I picked up a used blender for $3. Shortly thereafter I moved to Ball State University in Muncie Indiana to live in the dorms with my best friend – taking the blender with me.

This was my first time being away from home and it wasn’t without it’s challenges, but making friends wasn’t something I struggled with thanks to that blender. Summer, the best friend/roomie and I would save all kinds of fruit and yogurt from our meals and bring them back to our room. Then late in the evening and into the night when we needed a study break we would take our blender and all of our ingredients out into the hall to make smoothies. Yep, we’d do it in the hall outside of our dorm room. It’s crazy how fast people will poke their heads out of their rooms when they heard a noisy old blender going at night.

Late night smoothie parties quickly became a tradition and other people started bringing things to blend too. When I transferred to Brigham Young University all the way out in Utah I brought the blender with me. Smoothie parties continued and new friendships blossomed. In one apartment we’d make smoothies and get in the hot tub late at night. Now that was a great tradition!

A few months ago, over 10 years after it’s purchase, my trusty blender started to die. It didn’t want to blend very well, it would stink if I tried to do too much with it, and then it finally died in December. What was I to do without a blender?! I asked you all about your favorite blender brands on the Bless this Mess Facebook page and pondered on what I should do. I did a lot of research after hearing your suggestions and decided that a Blendtec blender was what I wanted. I contacted them and they sent me a sleek new Blendtec in exchange for some work on their blog. Best. Decision. Ever. And you know what? They were excited to agree to a giveaway for YOU! Just enter below.

After all these years I’m still making smoothies and I feel like I’ve learned a lot about what works well, what tastes great, and what are the healthiest options.

A good smoothie: fruit and a little protein

A better Smoothie: Fruit, protein, a few leafy greens, and maybe one Superfood

The best Smoothie: Lots of dark greens, lots of protein, smart fruit choices, and 2-3 Superfoods

Now take those titles with a grain of salt, there’s always something that could be better, but in general, I feel like this is a really great place to start for most people. No matter where you are on your smoothie journey, there’s something for your in today’s post. Take a look around!

Smoothie 101 - how to make a good, better, and best smoothie, choose your level and enjoy!

First up is a good smoothie.

This is a great place to start on your smoothie making journey. I’m always looking for ways to add a little more fruit into our diets and this is such a fun and easy way. This is generally what I make for my kids. They ask for a smoothie most afternoons, so we’ll make a big batch and turn any leftovers into popsicles to be enjoyed the next day. It’s time for parents to step away from the fruit snacks and Otter Pops and start feeding their little ones real food. And trust me friends, real food never tasted so good.

The serving totally depends on how much you want to drink. This makes enough for me and my 3 big kids to enjoy a cup or cup and a half and then make a batch of popsicles. I consider this smoothie a snack or a supplement to a meal. If I’m making an easy dinner of soup I might make this to go along with dinner for our serving of fruit. When we eat it for a snack I normally server air-popped popcorn with butter and salt along side it.

Smoothie 101 - how to make a good, better, and best smoothie, choose your level and enjoy!

 

Here’s one of our favorite combos: 2 frozen bananas, 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1/3 cup frozen blueberries, one whole orange peeled, 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, and 2 cups cold water. This recipe is another favorite: clean and healthy Copycat Orange Julius.

If I’m feeling like the kids need some extra protein then I’ll use milk or almond milk in place of the water. I don’t often use both yogurt and milk though. And my kids are always needing more healthy calories though, so I like to add a tablespoon of coconut oil too.

Smoothie 101 - how to make a good, better, and best smoothie, choose your level and enjoy!

Next up, a better smoothie.

Here’s where we start to venture into the world of “green smoothies.” Now don’t run away scared friends! I’d never post something that I didn’t think you’d like. This is a super easy way to add a few more leafy greens into your diet. They have a different set of vitamins and minerals than the fruit and I think they run along the lines of “the more the merrier.” If you are new to adding greens, start with baby spinach, I promise you won’t taste it. If you aren’t scared of a bit of an “earthy” taste then you can try normal spinach, swiss chard, or kale. And if you are really wanting to do something good for your body, add a Superfood.

Smoothie 101 - how to make a good, better, and best smoothie, choose your level and enjoy!

Now let’s chat Superfoods for a minute. I’m sure you’ve heard the term before. In my mind it just means foods that have a lot more good things in them then other foods. My favorite article on Superfoods comes from the Simple Green Smoothies blog (which I love by the way). So check it out for more details. The way I see it is I’m sure I’m not getting all the nutrients my body would like, so why not give it a little extra boost. I’m the type of person that has to hear about something, take time to think about it, digest it, dip my toes in and check out the waters… you know, that kind of person. So when it came to Superfoods I bought coconut oil first. It didn’t seem too strange, didn’t cost too much, and I was willing to give it a go. I loved it. I use it in my homemade graham crackers, add a bit to our oatmeal in the mornings, and have recently started adding it to smoothies and use it for oil pulling too.

Next I bought chia seeds. I had heard about them off and on and decided to give them a try. They don’t taste like anything really, about like a poppy seed, and they were easy to throw on top of yogurt and in oatmeal in the morning. So those two Superfoods I bought, used, ate, baked with, and enjoyed. They are a great place to start.

And then I got a Blendtec and I decided I could start adding other Superfoods to my diet via a green smoothie because it’s all just chopped up in there. I currently use cacao nibs, spirulina powder, flax seed, and hemp seed hearts in addition to the coconut oil and chia seeds. Those other 4 Superfoods are pretty much, smoothie only Superfoods for me. I’m not sure how I’d use them in anything else. They aren’t detectable in the smoothie though which is great. I’ve yet to try any of the berries or the powder (I think it’s a clay?). Have any of you? Do they have much of a flavor?

I’m a big believer that when your body has everything that it needs it works better and also doesn’t hold onto things that it doesn’t need. Feed it well friends! I also think that my skin is clearer, my mind is clearer, and I can focus better. I’m sure it’s a combination of things that I’m doing, but I am a firm believer that the Superfoods have been worth their cost. I think we have been less sick this winter for sure and that alone is a money saver.

Smoothie 101 - how to make a good, better, and best smoothie, choose your level and enjoy!

smuthies

And last but not least, the best smoothie

Smoothie 101 - how to make a good, better, and best smoothie, choose your level and enjoy!

This smoothie is awesome. This is what I make for myself 4-5 days a week and I’m loving the results. This has lots of good fat, fiber, antioxidants, and is surprisingly sweet. Everyone I make this for is shocked at how great it tastes. The idea came from an employee at King Arthur Flour. We were working together on a giveaway earlier in the year over email and got to chatting about green smoothies. She let me in on some of her favorite secrets and I’ve really embraced the ideas.

The smoothie is heavy on the greens, has smart fruit choices (frozen banana for sweetness and improved texture, blueberries for fiber and antioxidants) but not tons of fruit to keep the calories down. Then it is sweetened and fortified with raw cashews and almond milk, and given extra love with lots of Superfoods. This is the smoothie that I go to when I’m looking to loose or maintain weight or am feeling blah after an indulgent weekend. Green smoothies for weight loss could be a post all on it’s own! I love this for breakfast because it really satisfies and keeps me full (yay for protein and fat!). The only additional things that I might add are a half of an avocado or a teaspoon or so of coconut oil if I’m feeling extra hungry that morning. I will drink this entire recipe myself and use it as a meal replacement (generally breakfast of lunch).

This smoothie is my favorite! Give it a try and I know that you’ll love it too.

Smoothie 101 - how to make a good, better, and best smoothie, choose your level and enjoy!

The Good, Better, and Best Smoothie Recipes

Good, Better, and Best Smoothies

Ingredients

    For A Good Smoothie
  • 3 cups total of ripe fruit (a 50/50 ratio of fresh to frozen fruit is great)
  • 2 cups cold liquid (milk, almond milk, cold water)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup plain yogurt OR 1/4 cup raw nuts (cashews and almonds are my favorites)
  • For A Better Smoothie
  • 3 cups total of ripe fruit (a 50/50 ratio of fresh to frozen fruit is great)
  • 2 cups cold liquid (milk, almond milk, cold water)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup yogurt OR 1/4 cup raw nuts
  • 2 cups leafy greens (baby spinach is a great green to start with if you are new to adding greens)
  • 1 serving of a Superfood
  • For A Best Smoothie
  • 2-3 cups leafy greens (spinach and kale are my favorites)
  • 1 or 1/2 frozen ripe banana
  • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 cups cold almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons raw almonds or cashews
  • 2-5 servings of Superfoods
  • Optional - 1/2 a peeled avocado OR 1 teaspoon coconut oil

Instructions

Choose a smoothie and then place everything in the blender for that particular smoothie and blend until smooth. If the smoothie is thicker than you like or not blending well add a splash of liquid and blend again until the desired consistency.

The goal with this smoothie is to have a lot of sweet fruit, some of which is frozen because that really improves the texture of the smoothie, some protein, and a liquid base. Try out different combos until you find what you like. The combinations are literally endless!

Notes

To determine a serving of Superfood, read the label on their packaging. (You only need to add 1 teaspoon of spirula compared to a tablespoons of chia). Reference the post for more information on Superfood recommendations.

I don't add things like carrots, beets, or other veggies to my smoothies. I've tried it and it's pretty gross and the texture is all off. Save those kinds of veggies for juicing (a whole different thing) and stick with the leafy greens when it comes to smoothies.

http://www.blessthismessplease.com/2014/04/good-better-and-best-smoothie-recipes.html

My smoothie life really changed when I got the Blendtec. It is just so, so powerful! The texture of the smoothie is smooth and creamy, I can add things like Superfoods without worry, and it powers through frozen fruit with no indication of slowing down. I love my Blendtec so much that I even packed it to a conference I went to this weekend and made smoothies in my hotel room. A good start to the morning meant that I didn’t feel so guilty about enjoying treats later.

In my opinion, if a blender is going to help me consume ten times the good food that I would have otherwise then it is well worth the investment.

Smoothie 101 - how to make a good, better, and best smoothie, choose your level and enjoy!

Here’s my favorite part of today. When I contacted Blendtec in January I didn’t just want a blender to review; I wanted a second one to giveaway to you all! I’m so excited that they said yes! So this giveaway is just for you guys. It’s not with another blogger, no one else is promoting it, it’s just for you amazing Bless this Mess readers who really read the blog. THANK YOU!

And in case you don’t read the fine print, the giveaway is open to the US and Canada. Yay Canadian friends!

Just enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Smoothie 101 - how to make a good, better, and best smoothie, choose your level and enjoy!

I have been working on this post for month, literally. So any love that you want to give it is welcome. Pin, share, tweet, and comment away. Or even better, make the smoothies and let me know what you think!

And tell me…

What are your favorite smoothie combos?! Any tips and tricks up your sleeve?

Enjoy, good luck, and have a great day.


134 comments on “Good, Better, and Best Smoothies

  1. I would love to win this blender. I have 3 kids that barely eat fruits and veggies. About 3 weeks ago I’ve started to use my baby bullet to make them smoothies. It’s pretty challenging in there but at least I’m getting them the fruits and veggies. Love your blog, I can relate to you so much.

    1. Yea for trying!!! And really… make them popsicles. My 2 year old won’t touch the “better” smoothie but he loves it in popsicle form! Good luck girl and thanks for sticking around :)

  2. My daughter has a smoothie every morning. I haven’t quite got into the habit yet. She uses peanut butter, banana, spinach or kale, ice cubes, and milk.

  3. What an amazing giveaway! I love reading your blog — especially recipes. I’m always on the lookout for new ones, and I know yours will be yummy! PS…the baking mats are AMAZING! Seriously have changed my life! :)

  4. You were seriously reading my mind! Just yesterday I was thinking about having to search for some healthy smoothie recipes! I just have an oldish magic bullet that I have to shake when I’m blending so I would LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS! I want to help my daughter get some more fruits and veggies in her diet too.

    1. I think what surprised me the most was the settings… you press the “smoothie” button and it does this crazy variable speed things and it just works so well, nothing gets stuck, and it’s ONE BUTTON! You’d love it. I should make a video of it blending so you can see what I’m talking about!

  5. I’ve been looking for a good blender because Levi just won’t eat ANY fruits or veggies anymore! My blender just isn’t good enough for green smoothies. Love your blog!!

  6. I loved your story about where you got your blender and how you made so many friends making smoothies! It sure did last a long time!! I love smoothies and have been noticing that my blender isn’t chopping things up like it used to and has a hard time of it! I have wanted a BlendTec for so long and this would be fantastic!!! Love to start my day with a smoothie and with this I could it effortlessly!!

  7. Would love to put this blog entry to use in our home. My kids love their fruits and veggies so that has never been a problem, but I get tired of the same old “snacks” that really aren’t that healthy. Mine would love the popsicle idea :)

  8. Yay Yay Yay!!! I’ve been looking forward to this day since you mentioned you were going to be doing a giveaway!! Curt & I have been wanting a BlendTec for a long time–it’s been on our “someday when we have more money” list for many years! (self employment will do that to you, haha) ;) We would LOVE to win this!!! And just because I can’t say it enough–you are amazing, Melissa. I love following your blog!!

  9. I’m fairly new to your blog, but I keep checking in because I like that your common sense approach to “real food” and I’m trying to get my family headed in that same direction. I don’t have a favorite smoothie recipe because I don’t have a blender – I’ve been trying to decide whether a blender or food processor would be a better addition to my kitchen and I’m leaning toward a blender because I think it might be my secret weapon in getting the kiddos to eat more fruits and veggies!

    1. I LOVE how you phrased that “common sense approach to ‘real food’ ” I might steal that phrase! I’ve been trying to name my style and my blog but was having a hard time with the wording. That is just perfect! Thanks for the kind words friend.

  10. YUM smoothies :) You and Summer were some of my favorite residents at good ole Schmidt/Wilson! xoxo and I hope I win!!! I loooove smoothies! :) And it’s much more fun when you have an AWESOME blender to make them in!!!! *fingers crossed*

  11. My beehive blender that I got from my sweet Grandma for my wedding is on it’s last leg after 18 years!! I am on a new whole foods journey and I make a green smoothie everyday!! This would be a blessing!!

    1. Well, I guess it’s time for you to move to Orderville :) When school is out we’ll come up and say hi though. I miss your face and need to see your baby!!

      1. I actually had angry emotions the other day that you moved…a YEAR ago. My life will never be the same. And I also might add that I dreamt I actually won this blendtec! How sweet would that be! And please come see me. For like 5 years.

  12. I haven’t done much with smoothies. This makes me really want a High Quality Blender like BlendTec.
    Also, I love your site!

  13. I love a combo of 1 cup of blueberries. 4 Oranges. 1 1/2 cups water. 1/2 banana. and fill with spinach to the top. I will add in chia or flax if I remember. Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. Melissa. I love your research on super foods and sharing your tried and true recipes. Love your blog. Love your face. Love it all. I of course would LOVE this blendtec for my daily regimine of my meal replacement shake. Feeding and fueling my family with superfoods makes my heart happy and i am glad I can follow your lead ;) you ROCK!!

  15. I love your story about the blender in the dorms. Never had any roommates that cool!!! I have tried good and better smoothies but not BEST yet, and my blender is dying, of course. We want a REAL blender so what an exciting give away. Someone will be very lucky.

  16. I am amazed that your blender held up for 10 years. It is my understanding that the Blendtech is capable of this, plus many more. Such a small investment ….if you divided the cost by the number of years/uses one can get.

  17. I drink an entire blender-ful of green smoothie a day, but mine is just greens and fruit. I’ll have to work on adding in some super foods!

  18. I love my Blendtec. Best blender ever….Would love to win this one to give to my DD for her and my Grandson’s.

  19. I just found this blog and I’m loving all the great ideas for healthy foods. Heaven knows we all could use good food in our lives. I’m excited to follow you! Ps. I’d love to win a blendtec!!

  20. I would love to win this! Every time my kids hear your kids names they ask about the Popsicles! They loved the smoothie Popsicles. I need to buy the Popsicle forms too! Someday when I have my own kitchen…. :)

  21. Great smoothie recipes. I’ve been working on increasing the frequency of smoothies in our house because there is so much potential for hiding things in there from picky kids! :)

  22. Melissa,
    These smoothie recipes look great! I’m trying to add more protein and superfoods to my diet to give me energy. I entered to the win the blender!
    Trudy

  23. Ooh what a great giveaway! I have a protein smoothie every morning but have to admit that I have not had a “green” one. I will get bold and try it. Thanks for all of the great ideas!

  24. Yummy recipe ideas! Although I disagree about root veggies–some of our favorites are hot pink beet smoothies and carrots sweeten everything up! Thanks for the great post and giveaway!

  25. 1. I also love green smoothies 2. I have wanted a blendtec for ages, but couldn’t justify the cost and 3. I never win anything, so I hope it’s me!!!

  26. This is SO great! I was gonna pin it anyway, but I love this giveaway! I have a Blendtec that I love, but I have a good friend who doesn’t have one that NEEDS this. Hope I win so I can give it to her. :) You’re amazing, my friend!

  27. You’re the best, and I love you! I really need to try some of these, because my usual smoothie is banana, spinach, strawberries, ice, and some greek yogurt and I’m ready to change it up. Thanks, woman!

  28. On your third smoothie I wanted to know what all the superfoods you had on the spoons are. I can tell one is chia seed and the another is hemp seeds but what are the other two? Thanks for your post. Cheers to better health!

  29. AuntSue
    This would be just the thing to get more greens in my diet. So far, it is hard for me to eat what my body needs. But a fruit, greens and superfood smoothie would be so wonderful for the taste buds and the body

  30. I make smoothies daily! Would love to try a BlendTec. I usually use strawberries, Greek yogurt, coconut milk, honey, vanilla. Love doing green smoothies too!

  31. I’ve seriously had a mad crush on this Blendtec since we used to print their brochures years ago! They are awesome and way out of my price range.
    I would love to win, just like everyone else. Thanks for the chance to own one!

  32. I absolutely love putting nuts in my smoothy, its a great way to get some protein and healthy fat in them! Love smoothies in the hot TX summer!!

  33. Such a great post! I love smoothies :) and you’re right – you don’t ever taste the greens at all! Would love to win! XO

  34. smoothies are a necessity in my household with my 15 year old male son making smoothies several times a week to supplement his growing body… We’re definitely going to expand our usually fruit based smoothies to include your super food recipes… can’t wait to try them!

  35. I love smoothies as well. I need to do better with the super foods part though. And for those the like peanut butter I have friends that use PB2 (basically dehydrated pb) It cuts fat and calories, which yes you need good fats, but if your trying to cut calories to help with weight loss it’s an option.

  36. I have to admit, green smoothies kind of scare me. But you make it sound so delicious, I definitely need to try them! My 12-year-old LOVES smoothies, and I love the idea of making her smoothies healthier.

  37. I love green smoothies and my kids are finally jumping on board too. huzzah! I’ll have to check out the superfoods, we’ve only used chia seeds. Can’t wait to try more combinations!

  38. Thanks for this post and opportunity to win a Blendtec. I have a tiny mock version of a magic bullet but it doesn’t handle big smoothies as well as I like so the Blendtec would be awesome to have. Still I’m going to give making smoothies a shot tonight. I got the spinach, the almond milk, and the greek yogurt. I already have a lot of frozen fruit but I bought some old bananas on the discount pile at our local supermarket and used your method to freeze them. My little girl Josie even helped me and I was surprised at how excited she is to help me make smoothies after nap time.
    I’m going to look into the superfoods, but maybe sometime you could do a post about them too – just curious what some of the benefits are etc. Thanks!!

  39. Would love as Blendtec in my kitchen! My favorite smoothie trick is to blend up a bunch of spinach with a little water and freeze it in ice trays…convenient way to always make sure I have spinach in my smoothie.

  40. I looooooooove green smoothies, and your ideas look tasty! I would be thrilled to win the Blendtec, as I have a Vitamix 3600 that broke and I wasn’t able to replace the discontinued carafe. Thanks!

    1. Fresh for sure blends easier but the texture is so much better when you use at least half frozen fruit. Frozen bananas make the texture soooo amazingly creamy… almost like ice cream! I highly recommend :)

  41. Wow! I was just thinking of starting to eat “smoothies only” breakfast (because it’s so convenient to just blend it and then go to school with it), but my worries where that I would be hungry after a few hours. Well your recipe of “best” smoothie seems to be just what I needed! But if anyone can answer me about that, do you have to powder flax and chia seeds for the propreties to be effective? I have heared that if you don’t, they just go through without being digested… (and sorry for the bad english, i am a french speaker!)

  42. I had some great smoothies at a bridal shower recently. I think they just had a bag of frozen bananas, mangoes, strawberries, and maybe raspberries and then just added yogurt. Of course, the Blendtec was the secret to the delicious texture.

  43. We purchase an expensive blender, but it doesn’t seem to work really well. There are fibruous little bits making it chunky….can do that! Yuck! Would love to win and try the blendtec.

  44. Thanks for the recipes. I love how simple and nutrition packed they are. I have done my research as well. I think Blendtec is the best! I would love to own one.

  45. I’m looking forward to trying these smoothie ideas! Thanks to you and Blendtec for the giveaway!

  46. my kids love smoothies for breakfast and snack and I love that I can sneak in some extra goodness and they don’t even know it! When I slip in the spinach and kale I call it a grinch or shrek smoothie!

  47. I grew up in a home with a vitamix, so we had smoothies almost every day. My mom would buy pounds upon pounds of fruit when in season and then we’d spend all day cleaning and packing for the freezer for use throughout the year. This meant we had all kinds of fruit to add to our smoothies, not just banana, strawberry, blueberry.

    In my own home I have just a simple $40 blender I got for my wedding years ago. It really makes me miss home! I’ve been wanting a nice new one for a while.

  48. Thanks for posting this tips/recipes! I’ve been making some “good” smoothies lately, but the better and best options are super helpful. :) (As would a new Blendtec. My $40 blender from Target is not really cutting it.)

  49. I would love to win this. We have smoothies for breakfast almost daily and a couple weeks ago the plastic base that screws to the bottom of our blender started to crack. I know it is going to have to be replaced very shortly and the Blendtec looks like a major upgrade!

  50. Glad you’ve done your research, because I was thinking of a vitamix but haven’t gotten one yet. Will you bring your blender with you when you come visit me?!?!

  51. My wife broke our mediocre blender this past week, so this drawing couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m probably only at a “Good Smoothy” level right now with the rest of the kids, but who knows where a fancy blender can take me! What a nice mother’s day gift to give to my wife if I win.

  52. Evan has been asking me if I want a Blendtec for my birthday and now for mother’s day. Is so much money though. They are so cool though. I have been doing more smoothies for my kids with super foods because of you :-)

  53. DO you know how the Blendtec compares to the Ninja? I’ve heard mixed reviews but I’d really like to get started on this smoothie kick going around!

  54. I would LOVE a blendtec! My husband has celiac disease and this would help so much in getting him healthy meals and not just gluten replacements which are very unhealthy! I hope I win :)

  55. I loved your ideas for smoothies! Sometimes I get stuck doing the same ones and you gave me some ideas to try.

  56. Beets are fabulous in smoothies! One of my favorite smoothies includes beets, frozen bananas & berries, almond milk, almond butter, and cacao powder. It reminds me of red velvet cake but it’s super nutritious.

Comments: