How to Make Delicious (and Filling!) Smoothies

With three kids at two different schools, mornings in our house can be chaotic. My number one priority each morning is making sure that their little bellies are filled with something healthy when they walk out the door. Since quick options are a must, one of our breakfast go-tos is smoothies. I’m always looking for new ideas to boost the nutrition and staying power for our smoothie concoctions, so I was thrilled when I heard that Catherine McCord of Weelicious has a new book out called Smoothie Project: The 28-Day Plan to Feel Happy and Healthy No Matter Your Age. The book boasts more than 100 smoothie recipes—yum! I reached out to Catherine about her love for smoothies, including what started her on this journey and her secret to making smoothies that are delicious, nutritious, and filling.

Read on for all the goodness (and to see Catherine’s awesome smoothie planner sheet!), and let me know your favorite smoothie combination in the comments.

What started your interest in smoothies?

I’ve always loved smoothies and drank them through my pregnancies, but the Smoothie Project started when my son, Kenyan, was very sick last year. He was lethargic and had headaches and nausea for months, so I was trying to figure out how to heal him. Turns out, my vegetarian child had food sensitivities, and I’d been feeding him a lot of carbs and sugar. So I put together a sheet of smoothie ingredients, including fruits, veggies and proteins, and said pick anything you want for a smoothie. After three weeks of drinking them daily, he was fine.

After a year plus of drinking smoothies, how do you keep them interesting?

You have to get creative with your ingredients. In my family, each person is different in what they like. I make a different smoothie every day for myself, using fruits and vegetables that are in season and whatever is in my pantry. My kids are simple: They like pink or purple smoothies or chocolate peanut butter. And I always put in all the immunity boosters, like turmeric and bee pollen.

I’ve found the hardest thing is to make smoothies filling. How do you not get hungry an hour or two later?

Proteins will help you stay full, so definitely include seeds, nut butters, protein powder, or collagen peptides, which are great for hair, skin, and nails. But also, remember: If you’re eating real foods, it’s okay to be hungry later. Just snack on hard-boiled eggs or fruit or veggies.

Are there good smoothie cups to bring to school or would these be after-school snack smoothies?

We do a smoothie every morning, and there are tons of cups on the market to keep them cold and make them easy to take with you. But honestly, I don’t use a special cup—I suck my smoothie down so fast it’s shameful.

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  • Erin

    I love smoothies! I’m kinda a big sugar and carb girl, so I’ve been trying to use lots of fruits like berries and bananas, and if I really want the extra sweetness I use the dark cloverleaf honey 🙂 I use some Greek yogurt for protein too 😀 my favorite combo this far has been frozen mixed berry, milk, honey, ground flax seed, and spinach ^.^ it’s a delicious sweet summer lunch ^.^

  • Hailey Owens

    I’m so glad you posted this! I’m a smoothie junkie. My go to is frozen blueberries, raw honey, Greek yogurt, oat or almond milk, and chia seeds. Quick, easy, and filling.

  • Sarah Simmons

    This sounds like a good idea for my little ones. Also, I love the cheat sheet provided.

    Thank you!

  • Nancy

    I started making smoothies as I hate vegetables. I freeze all my fruits and vegetables in baggies so it is very easy to just throw everything into the blender. I use unsweetened almond milk, blueberries, spinach, banana , almond butter nd a splash of orange juice. I was stuffing the blender with lots of spinach until I started having stomach problem. I had no idea that to much spinach can be bad for you.

  • Julie

    Great “cheat sheet”! Thanks so much’

  • Romina D

    I want to know what is in the pink smoothie 🙂

  • michaela kilbride

    Thanks for this Gen your a life saver! I tried to make a smoothie with frozen fruit just like youtube and it came out like goo. It was awful. Put me off really but I do love them and I also love the idea of making my own so I know exactly what s going in them. Will give it the old college try like they say and will let you know 🙂 love to you and yours xxx

  • Tracey Le Clerc

    Gen, this post is perfect timing for me! I have pretty bad anemia, and was also low in some vitamins at my last dr appt where I had blood tests done. He told me to eat more fruits 🍎 🍌, veggies 🍅 🥦, and foods containing iron. Trouble is, I don’t like many vegetables, 😬 and I sometimes forget to eat fruit, grabbing fruit juice 🥤 instead. (Which are higher in sugar and don’t have fibre from the fruit!). So instead I turned to smoothies! Easy for me to prepare, I can drink them wherever I am, AND I get to use a reusable cup & straw!! (SO IMPORTANT!!). But I am getting tired of the same recipes I use, and I’m in need of new recipes to tantalize my taste buds! So thank you 🙏🏻 Gen! I will be purchasing The Smoothie Project from Catherine McCord! Her smoothie planning sheet looks great, I’m printing a copy right now.
    I loved this post so much! I love your whole blog!! There’s always something that pertains to me/my family/my lifestyle!!

    Many thanks, 😊🙏🏻💕🙌🏻

  • Alessandra Cravero

    My smoothie base is always 1/2 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1 banana and 1 single serving of iogo yogurt (Canadian brand); I buy a flavour variety pack.

    I always have 4 or 5 bags of different frozen fruit and berries on hand to make my own combos. A refreshing one is mixing peach and mango; strawberry and black cherry is another good mix. On days when I’m craving chocolate I add some pure cacao powder.

    Never thought of adding nuts or nuts butters as a protein source though – great tip!

  • Meggie

    Raspberry, strawberry, beets, almond/coconut milk, vanilla protein powder. A little kale if I’m feeling green. B)

  • Erika Milne

    My go to base is a chocolate protein powder, collagen peptides, chai seeds and unsweetened almond milk. Then I’ll either add almond butter or strawberries. I’ve never enjoyed adding spinach or kale in my smoothies so I make that with my meals. I’m going to get crazy and try something new tomorrow now. 😂☺️

    • Leslie

      Can you tell us what some of your go to recipes in the morning are? Whether it’s a smoothie or just juice mixture, etc? Your blog has actually inspired me a lot!

  • Mary T.

    Love The Smoothie Project! I’ve enjoyed every smoothie I’ve tried so far! My boys (husband included) are loving them as well and actually prefer a smoothie over any other “breakfast” food now. We’ve noticed a difference in ourr digestive systems and how much better we feel since drinking them. We also stay full until lunch!

  • Kerri Reed

    I love coconut smoothies with protein powder!!

  • Brandie V Wells

    I love that you just posted this as I’m trying to get back on the smoothie kick. A few years ago my daughter was being bullied at school, really bad, and she became anexoric as a result (at 7 years old). I was going crazy trying to get her to eat and put weight on, when I decided to try smoothies. It was the best thing I could have done. She LOVED them. I started with bananas, ice, milk, carnation instant breakfast drink high protein powder. And then I would change up the fruits and add extras like peanut butter, honey or ice cream. She didn’t like how they would get watered down as the ice melted so I started freezing the fruits as soon as I got them home. I would peal an entire bunch of bananas line them up straight and put them in a freezer bag and freeze them this way I didn’t have to use ice anymore. It worked great. She drank smoothies 1-2 every day for about 2 years and because of what I was putting in them she gained weight. She’s been struggling latley and I’m noticing that she’s not eating much again so I’m pulling out the Ninja again. This time I’m going to make her weight gaining smoothies and me weight loss smoothie (of course without her knowing) Wish me luck.

  • Allison

    This is a great chart, thank you for posting! My go to smoothie is so simple that it could be boring but I’m obsessed with the taste: frozen mango, frozen pineapple, frozen banana, kale, almond, apple, plant based protien powder & water.

  • Alexandria Nicole Moses

    Hey Gen, I Just Wanna Tell You How Beautiful You Are And I LOVE Smoothies Too, There Is This One Protein Shake I LOVE That I Have Everyday During The Summer When Strawberries Are In Season, LOL.

    Go To This Website http://www.therebelblonde.com That’s Where I Got My Protein Shake Idea From. ENJOY & TAKE CARE, XOXO

  • michaela kilbride

    Hey gen, you inspire me so much 🙏 you gave info on your instagram and blog (which I love, which you can kind of tell because I comment on a majority if your posts) abyt headspace. I wanted to pay back everything you have helped me with from my health and exercising, to learning yoga and how to practice gratitude through the use of my mindfulness journal. This is only to name a few inspiring life changes I have made because of your wisdom and thoughtfulness to share with us strangers. I found this gen and wanted to share with you because its amazing https://www.amazon.co.uk/Headspace-Guide-Mindfulness-Meditation-difference/dp/1444722204/ref=mp_s_a_1_6?keywords=how+to+meditate&qid=1583523537&sprefix=how+ti+medit&sr=8-6. Thanks gen 🙏✨

  • Mary

    I have a smoothie every day. I use strawberries, raspberries, bananas, blueberries, kale, spinach, coconut water, juice, protein powder & flax seed. But I would love to get some new recipes.

  • Elina

    Definitivamente los batidos de vegetales están fuera de mi radar… ¡pero los batidos de frutas nunca pasan de moda! Eres grandiosa Gen. Love you!

  • Cindy

    Wow, such great smoothie ideas! Thanks so much Gen, I can’t wait to try some of the recipes!

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