Home » Cooking tips » Best Smoothie Ingredients (Guide and Tips)

Best Smoothie Ingredients (Guide and Tips)

Are you wondering what the best smoothie ingredients are? Look no further. Let our article here be your guide to making the perfect smoothie.

We will explore the everyday foods you can put into your drink. Aside from that, we’ll also offer some tips and answer common questions you may have about the ingredients for smoothies.

Tabletop with different ingredients to make smoothie.

What is Smoothie?

A smoothie is a beverage made by using a blender to create a drinkable puree. Because of this general definition, almost anything goes in a smoothie. There is no clear-cut recipe. You can combine ingredients you like, blend them, and call it a smoothie.

One surprising thing you might want to know about smoothies is that they don’t always have to be cold. While cold and frozen smoothies are the most popular, there are also warm smoothies that are delicious as well.

Essential Smoothie Ingredients

Infographic showing a cup of smoothie with different ingredients inside.

So, what are the best foods you can use to make smoothies? Here’s a detailed list of the top smoothie ingredients.


One of the most common ingredients in smoothies is fruits. After all, people make smoothies not only to quench their thirst. Smoothies are also a fun way to get essential nutrients and natural sugar from fresh fruit.


The sweet and tart flavors of berries will surely give you a yummy drink. Strawberry is the top choice, but other berries such as cranberries, raspberries, and blueberries are also great smoothie ingredients.


These tropical and affordable fruits are a popular addition to your smoothies. They’re sweet and turn creamy once you blend them, improving the texture of your beverage. Plus, bananas are among the fruits that kids usually like.


Another fruit that will make a good smoothie is mango. Mangoes are naturally sweet, so people like them in their smoothies. If you want something sour, green mango smoothies are also a thing.


Do you want a good dose of vitamins and minerals in a glass? Make yourself a pineapple smoothie! For a sweeter and more aesthetic breakfast smoothie, try using Del Monte’s Pinkglow pineapples.


If you don’t like eating raw vegetables, add them to your drink instead. The other ingredients will mask their flavors, so you’ll barely taste them. Yet, you will get the nutritional benefits.


Spinach is a bounty of iron, calcium, folic acid, and vitamins A, C, and K. If you’re not the type to munch on this leafy green, put it in your drink. Use a sweet fruit like bananas or apples to mask the flavor.


Another nutritious leafy green that should be part of your diet is kale. However, most people do not like their bitter and earthy flavor, so many skip eating them. Don’t miss their benefits by including them in your smoothie recipe.


Carrots also pack lots of nutritional value and do not taste bad. They’re actually sweet. Still, some people dislike eating them, pushing them to the side of the plate every time. Add them to your drink instead so that you can reap their benefits.


People hailed beets as a superfood. Despite this status, many people still avoid eating them. After all, these vegetables tend to taste like dirt, owing to their geosmin content.

You don’t have to force yourself to eat them if you don’t want to. Toss some in your blender, add your favorite fruit, and you won’t taste them. As a bonus, you’ll get a vibrant color to your smoothie.


Celery adds a refreshing and slightly tangy flavor to smoothies and can contribute to their overall texture. When using celery in smoothies, it’s best to chop it into smaller pieces to ensure smooth blending.

You can combine it with other fruits and vegetables, such as cucumbers, apples, spinach, or kale, to create a well-balanced and nutrient-rich smoothie.

Jar filled with green-colored celery and ginger smoothie.

Liquid Base

It would be best to have another liquid in your smoothie besides the juice from your fruits and vegetables. Fluids play a crucial role in the consistency of your smoothie, so you don’t end up with a thick paste.

Be careful not to add too much liquid since you don’t want the smoothie to be too thin, either.


You can never go wrong with using water as your liquid base. It has a neutral flavor that won’t interfere with the taste of your other ingredients.

Coconut water

If plain water is too bland for you, try coconut water. The water inside coconuts has a milder flavor than coconut meat and tastes nutty, sweet, and salty. That said, it can add a layer of flavor to your drink while providing you with electrolytes.

Fruit Juices

Fruit juices are also a good smoothie ingredient for a liquid base. Apple or orange juice are top choices as they are easily accessible. Plus, they also taste good.


One of the most common liquids that go into smoothies is milk. It carries its own nutritional value, being a good source of calcium. This liquid offers a milky flavor that goes well with other foods, especially fruits.

Plant-based Milk

If you are vegan or sensitive to lactose, you can use plant-based milk instead of regular milk. Almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, and coconut milk are your top choices.

Of course, these types of milk come with a different taste than dairy milk. Still, they will meld well with most other smoothie additives.


One thing about protein that makes it a great smoothie ingredient is that it helps you feel full for a long time. Not only that but adding protein to your smoothie makes it a good post-workout drink, too.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is among the best protein sources you can add to your smoothie. If you choose plain yogurt, it will not affect the flavor of your smoothie.

However, flavored yogurt can also give you some flavors you might lack.

Whey Protein

Whey is what’s left of the milk after the cheese-making process. Companies turn it into protein powder, and people consume it by dissolving it in water. Yet, it doesn’t taste that good, so it usually comes with flavors. Add them to your smoothies for a protein boost.

Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are yet another great addition to your smoothies. They are a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids. Plus, their pleasant nutty flavor will make your beverage taste better.

Peanut Butter or Almond Butter

Your favorite spread, peanut butter, is also a perfect protein source for healthy smoothies. The rich taste and thick consistency of this all-time favorite will improve the flavor and texture of your drink. For the best results, use natural varieties with no added sugar.

Served smoothie bowl with fruits on top.

Optional Smoothie Ingredients

With a combination of the ingredients above, you’re all set. However, you can include some optional food items if you feel a little extra.


If you think your smoothies do not taste good, you can make them taste better instantly. Just add some sweeteners, and you’ll be surprised by their effect on flavor.

Do remember that sweeteners can be high in calories and sugar. Putting too much might render your drink unhealthy.


One of the best options you have is honey, a natural sweetener. Remember that honey is sweeter than sugar, so watch the amount. Also, be sure to get the real one, as fake honey is no good.

Maple Syrup

If you want something more complex than honey, try using maple syrup as your sweetener. The distinct taste of maple syrup will add depth to your drink and lend some woody vanilla flavor.

Agave Nectar

Another natural sweetener, agave syrup, is among your best smoothie ingredient options. It has a lower glycemic index, but make no mistake, it is still not any healthier than sugar. Watch the amount you use so you don’t end up with an overly sweet drink.


Do you want something that will thicken and sweeten your beverage at once? Toss some dates into your blender along with the rest of your chosen ingredients. You will have a nutritious and healthy smoothie as a result.


Adding some flavorings into the mix won’t hurt, especially if you choose them correctly and use them sparingly not to overpower the whole drink.

Vanilla Extract

A little goes a long way for vanilla extract. Just a few drops are enough to give your drink sweet, fruity, and floral notes, making it more decadent and enjoyable.


If you like hints of a warm flavor on your smoothie, look no further than cinnamon. Many people love cinnamon for its sweet and earthy taste, and it will surely bring your beverage to another level.


Nutmeg is another smoothie additive you should try if you like sweet and nutty flavors. Using a pinch will bring a lovely touch to your drink, making it more delightful.

Cocoa Powder

If you love chocolate, you should not miss adding cocoa powder to your beverage. Cocoa powder comes not only with a delicious taste but also with a ton of health benefits.


If you want to make the most out of your drink, putting in some boosters will be your best bet. Among your top option are chia seeds, flax seeds, maca powder, and spirulina.

Chia and flax seeds have fiber and healthy fats, while maca powder can boost energy.

On the other hand, spirulina is a superfood many find off-putting. However, when you blend it with other ingredients, you will barely taste it, but you’ll get all the benefits.

Visual Guide with List of Ingredients for Smoothies

Infographic showing a table with all the ingredients needed for smoothie.

Tips for Creating the Perfect Smoothie

Given all these ingredients, creating the perfect smoothie is the easiest thing to do. However, there are things you need to consider to ensure an enjoyable experience.

Balance The Flavors

As anything can go into a smoothie, you must decide which flavors taste good together. For instance, you might not need any sweetener if you have overly ripe fruit.

Choose The Right Liquid Base

The liquid base plays a crucial role in the texture and flavor of your smoothie. Water is a safe bet as it will not interfere with the flavors of your ingredients. Yet, in otherwise bland and vegetal smoothies, milk and coconut water are best.

Use Frozen Fruits And Vegetables

If you’re making a cold smoothie, using frozen fruit instead of adding ice is better. It will not water down your drink, so you end up with a rich and smooth beverage.

Experiment With Different Ingredients

Feel free to experiment with different ingredients to make the most of your smoothies. It is a good way of sneaking in vegetables and other nutritious foods into your diet. Get creative and add the flavors you like to enjoy your smoothie better.

What Ingredients Thicken A Smoothie?

You have several options when it comes to smoothie thickeners. Adding a frozen fruit, along with yogurt and chia seeds, does the job well. For a creative alternative, opt for cottage cheese. If you have nothing else, ice cubes are a quick option.

Can You Make A Smoothie Without Milk?

Yes, a drink does not have to have milk to qualify as a smoothie. Using other liquid ingredients instead of milk will still give you a delightful smoothie.

What To Use Instead Of Milk To Make A Smoothie?

Other liquid ingredients you can use instead of milk include water, tea, fruit juice, and coconut water. Coconut milk is another milk swap you can use to make a creamy smoothie.


Smoothies are a great way to get essential nutrients from fruits and vegetables in a fun and tasty way. Almost anything goes in a smoothie, and there is no clear-cut recipe. The top smoothie ingredients include berries, bananas, mangoes, and pineapples. Vegetables like spinach, kale, carrots, and beets are also great additions.

Lastly, adding protein to your smoothie can help you feel full for longer and make it a good post-workout drink. Do not be afraid to experiment with different smoothie ingredients to create your perfect drink.

More Cooking Tips

Tabletop with different ingredients to make smoothie.

How To Make A Smoothie

Natalia-Flavorful Home
Here's a simple recipe for a refreshing homemade smoothie.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Drinks


  • 2 cups milk (dairy or non-dairy alternative like almond or soy milk)
  • 2 cups frozen berries (such as strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries)
  • 1 cup spinach washed and dried
  • 1 banana ripe
  • 10 dates
  • ice cubes  (optional, for a colder smoothie)


  • Start by adding milk to your blender. The following add spinach, banana, frozen berries, and dates.
    Blender filled with ingredients to make a smoothie: milk, spinach, blueberries.
  • Blend all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy. If the mixture is too thick, you can add a little more milk to thin it out.
    Blender filled with purple blended liquid for smoothies.
  • Once blended, taste the smoothie and adjust the sweetness or thickness if needed. Pour the smoothie into glasses and serve immediately.
    Smoothie Ingredients


You can add more honey, milk, or even a few more berries to achieve your desired flavor and consistency.


Calories: 236kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 4gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 340mgPotassium: 745mgFiber: 8gSugar: 37gVitamin A: 1465IUVitamin C: 94mgCalcium: 354mgIron: 2mg
Tried this Recipe? Leave us a Comment!
Filed under
Cooking tips
Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
pinterest instagram instagram

Get new recipes and tips via email
when you subscribe!

Have a comment? I love hearing from you!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.

Recipe Rating

As seen in:

Eating WellmashededibleWomans WorldTasting TableHomes and Gardens
Back to the Top