iStock_000015439100SmallAnyone who knows me knows that I’m all about a daily smoothie! I’m also all about systems. So, systems and smoothies, that’s me. Naturally, in my left-brained way of thinking, smoothies are the most efficient way to eat healthy. They allow me to get some stuff down the hatch that I might not otherwise eat. Smoothies are cost-effective, time-saving, and they give me the energy boost I need for the day.

Since I’m frequently asked what I put in my smoothies, I’m going to break it down here. I make three categories of smoothies, depending on who will be drinking them with me. Andy has come a LONG way, and will now drink smoothies from any of the three categories. Just thought I’d throw that in—I’m so proud of him!

First category:  Kid/Husband-Friendly

  • Any combination of frozen fruit (Fresh fruit is fine too. Just add ice.)
  • Handful of baby spinach
  • ¼ cup of plain Greek yogurt per person
  • 1 tablespoon goji berries per person
  • ½ teaspoon of Acai powder per person
  • Tablespoon of local, raw honey (optional for more sweetness)
  • (Other sweeteners I sometimes use: dates, Stevia®, Xylitol®)

*Blend all until smooth.

Second Category: Intermediate—for those who might be a little more inclined toward healthy eating

  • All of first category (maybe not quite as much fruit)
  • Handful of kale leaves (or any other greens)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • One or more handfuls/servings of veggies (cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, celery, avocado…)

*Blend all until smooth.

Third Category: Hard Core

  • Everything or combinations of second category (fewer fruits)
  • A few more veggies (small amounts if it’s just you)
  • Scoop of favorite green powder
  • ½ tablespoon cacao powder or nibs per person (not cocoa powder)
  • 1/2 tablespoon flax seeds per person
  • 1 teaspoon Chia seeds per person
  • 1/4 of a lemon per person (use juice and peel, but not seeds)

*Blend all until smooth.

A word about blenders: I have a Vitamix®, and I LOVE it! I recommend savin’ up and gettin’ one. You won’t regret it. Costco has good deals on them from time to time. I have friends who love the Blendtec®. Those are also expensive. Both companies offer refurbished machines at a lower cost. Do some online homework! If you use a regular blender, just stick with Category One Smoothies and only add the easier to blend extras from Categories Two and Three.

Here are a few smoothie tips for you:

  • No need to cut green tops off of strawberries. They blend right in!
  • Add goji berries to every smoothie—huge health benefits.
  • Cacao powder > cocoa powder
  • Freeze green tea, coconut water, and almond milk in ice cube trays. Use instead of plain ice.
  • Before greens go bad, toss them in the blender with a little bit of water and pour into ice cube trays to freeze for later.
  • Or, just freeze greens in freezer bags and use later (NOT for salads, just smoothies).
  • Use dates for sweetening a smoothie, but don’t forget to take the pits out.
  • Throw in some nuts for added protein. Or, just have them on the side like I do!
  • A recent favorite book: Superfood Smoothies by Julie Morris.

So, what category of smoothie person are you? Let me know how your smoothie making goes!


  1. Andrea Nickell says

    I’m a daily smoothie girl as well! We’ve used our Vitamix for 10 years and it’s as good as the day we bought it! My smoothies sound similar to yours, Sandra, but I also add some coconut oil. I’m wondering if it’s the fat that keeps me satsified for several hours. I also grind my nuts and seeds in a coffee grinder and then in the VItamix. You usually can’t even tell they’re in there!

    • Sandra Stanley says

      Hi Andrea! I hope you and your family are well!

      We go through coconut oil SO FAST around here. Thanks for pointing out that it can be tossed into a smoothie!

      • Jessica says

        Coconut oil is my daily facial moisturizer! Love it, and love that I know exactly what I’m putting on my skin.

  2. Tifani Thompson says

    So awesome you just posted these smoothie recipes! I just printed them out. My husband wants to make them for us in the morning. The intermediate one sounds perfect!,,,hard core one hopefully soon:):) We are excited to have an energized healthy boost in our day! Thank you!

  3. says

    I’ve just started drinking smoothies more, and I love them! So does my 18 month old, but my husband won’t even take a sip! Thank you for these tips. I’m pinning your post to refer back to it!!

  4. Charlotte Lewis says

    Sandra, thanks for your recipes. I’ve been using egg whites in my shakes for the protein. Is there a healthier protein?

    • Sandra Stanley says

      Hi Charlotte! For protein powder, I usually use the hemp protein from Whole Foods. I normally have a side of nuts, so I don’t always put the powder in the smoothie. You can also toss a handful of almonds into the smoothie if you’re using a powerful blender.

  5. says

    Sandra this was, by far, the most practical explanation of what to add to and how to make a smoothie! (I had been limiting myself!) hugs! And Thanks

  6. Jessica Arnette says

    I’ve been told you make a good pumpkin smoothie… could you post that recipe? Thanks!

    • Sandra Stanley says

      Jessica, the pumpkin smoothie I made was from SuperFood Smoothies, a cookbook by Julie Morris. I’m on vacation this week, and don’t have the book with me. Let me know if you aren’t able to find it!

  7. Janet says

    Hi Sandra, I’m wondering where I can get Acai powder. I live in a rural area so specialty items have to wait for a trip to “the big city”. Any thoughts on on-line sites? Thank you, I’m exited to try these!

    • Sandra Stanley says

      Hi Janet,
      One of my favorite online stores for superfood products is I know they have the Navitas brand, which I like.
      You’ll find all kinds of good stuff on that site! 🙂

  8. Amber Futch says

    I have never had or made a smoothie but am very interested.What are the benefits of smoothies and what are goji berries? I’ve never heard of them, I’ve heard of Acai powder but don’t know what it is or what it’s benefits are. Thanks for the recipes!!

    • Amber Futch says

      I probably sound like a total backwoods dummy but the truth is, I live in North Louisiana on a farm and we just don’t have as much of these ingredients as maybe bigger places have! 🙂

  9. Jessica says

    I love smoothies! I am nursing right now so I get really hungry in between lunch and dinner. I’ve been making “apple pie” oatmeal smoothies; almond milk, an apple, a banana, whole rolled oats, dash of apple pie spice, coconut oil, flax seeds. YUM. And filling enough to get me to dinner. If I have it, I add a big handful of spinach too. Doesn’t change the taste!

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