Maybe you were given a fancy, shiny new blender over the holidays; maybe you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to eat more fruits and vegetables; or maybe you just have a healthy appreciation for quick, tasty breakfasts. Whatever the case, we’re big fans of smoothies here at Serious Eats, and we support your decision to consume more.
One of the best things about smoothies is how ripe they are for variation. You can make them with just about anything—our recipes call for fruits like bananas, mangoes, and blueberries, along with vegetables like spinach, chard, and even cilantro. To get the right consistency, you can also use all manner of thickeners, including yogurt, avocado, nuts, and plain old ice. The opportunities are truly endless, so we’ve rounded up 14 of our favorite recipes to start you off.
If you feel a bit intimidated (or grossed out) by the thought of a vegetable-packed drink, this smoothie, which pairs greens with sweet banana, pineapple, and mango, will ease you into the idea. Spinach will make the mildest smoothie, while sorrel is a little tangier, but don’t worry—neither has the strongly bitter or earthy flavors found in some raw greens.
If you aren’t able to escape to a beach this winter, here’s a balanced green smoothie to transport you there in spirit, at least. We make it with coconut water or pineapple juice, a banana and a peach, a few handfuls of spinach, cilantro, and a lime. Remove the peel and pith from the lime, and throw it in the blender whole.
Kale is a popular ingredient in green smoothies, but it can be on the bitter side, which is why we swap it out for milder chard here. This smooth, slightly tart, and lightly spicy concoction pairs chard with creamy avocado, tangy pineapple, and just a little bit of jalapeño. The result is filling, not too sweet, and perfect for a satisfying breakfast.
Rich and creamy avocados are one of our favorite ingredients for making vegan smoothies thick. In this recipe, sweet mango counterbalances the light savoriness of the avocado, while pineapple contributes acidity. We use just enough coconut water to help it blend, reinforcing the tropical flavor profile.
Equally appropriate for either breakfast or dessert, this smoothie pairs grassy matcha powder with banana and soy milk. By using unsweetened soy milk, you can adjust the sweetness level exactly to your liking with agave syrup. Freezing the banana before blending helps the smoothie get thick and stay ice-cold.
For our take on a Creamsicle in smoothie form, we turn to not oranges but kumquats, which we purée whole for a tart, complex flavor. Mango supplies sweetness, though, depending on how sour your kumquats are, you might need to add a little agave nectar, too. Cashews soaked overnight in water are the key to thickening this vegan drink.
Though fresh stone fruits won’t be in season for months, using dried fruit allows you to enjoy this lightly peach-colored apricot smoothie year-round. Made by blending apricots with yogurt and orange juice, this drink gets most of its inspiration from mango lassi. But the bit of orange flower water mixed in is a nod to the Middle Eastern apricot drink qamar al-din—the water is powerful stuff, so 1/2 teaspoon should be plenty.
This mellow smoothie pairs the subtly sweet flavor of cantaloupe with bright lime juice, aromatic mint leaves, and plain yogurt. Cantaloupe can be hit or miss in the winter—if the fruit you’ve found isn’t sweet enough, go ahead and add a little more honey.
Kefir, a tangy, slightly effervescent drinkable yogurt, works great as a more nuanced replacement for plain yogurt in smoothies. But even better than pouring it straight from the bottle is freezing the kefir into ice cubes. The kefir cubes add body to this vibrant raspberry-mint smoothie, turning it cold and creamy without watering it down. Use full-fat kefir rather than reduced fat for the most flavorful smoothie with the best texture.
Reminiscent of peaches and cream, this smoothie is made with tangy kefir ice cubes, ripe fresh peaches, and fragrant basil. There’s no need to peel the peaches before adding them, since your blender will make short work of the skin. Basil might seem like an unusual choice, but its distinct aroma lends valuable complexity to the drink.
This lovely kefir smoothie relies on sweet-sour blueberries and spicy fresh ginger for its flavor. Even if you have a high-powered blender, it’s wise to grate the ginger before adding it, which will eliminate the risk of getting big, unpleasantly sharp-tasting chunks of the stuff in your drink.
If you love smoothies but can’t face the morning without your caffeine fix, here’s a recipe that combines everything you need in one tidy breakfast package. This tasty drink blends a frozen banana with chilled brewed coffee and hazelnuts soaked overnight in water; the nuts add flavor, thicken the smoothie, and supply extra fat and protein to fill you up.
We don’t tend to think of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as first-thing-in-the-morning fare, but I’ll sometimes throw one together when I need to get out the door fast, and I’d bet I’m not the only one. To make it more recognizably breakfast-y, try turning the same flavors into a smoothie, blending up creamy peanut butter, raspberry jam, and frozen raspberries with cooked oatmeal and milk.
This recipe adapts the Puerto Rican holiday punch coquito—usually a combination of rum, sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, vanilla, and spices—turning it into a vegan, nonalcoholic, but still totally delicious, concoction that’s perfectly appropriate for starting your day. We start with coconut milk and frozen bananas, and then add a pinch of nutmeg, a traditional ingredient in coquito. Maple syrup gives the smoothie a caramel-like flavor that stands in nicely for rum.
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