The way I see it, a breakfast smoothie is an opportunity to do two things: Start your day off with something truly tasty and pack a bunch of good-for-you ingredients into one single glass. And guess what? This Blueberry Smoothie does both.
It’s my go-to breakfast blend mostly because I love the taste, but I also love doing something good for myself first thing in the morning (sidenote: there’s no rule that says you can’t enjoy this any time of day!).
If you’re a smoothie lover like me here are 5 tips to making the best smoothies possible!
Blueberry Smoothie in a Snapshot
- Cold and creamy with a sweet/tart blueberry flavor
- Hearty enough to be a light meal or generous snack
- Full of fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and calcium
- Adult-approved and kid-friendly
A Nutrient Powerhouse
One common downside to smoothies is that they can be high in sugar and calories without a whole lot of nourishment. This blueberry blend, on the other hand, has a lot to offer from a nutrition standpoint.
It’s a source of all three macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. That means it will give you sustained energy, not just a quick boost (and then sugar crash). The fact that the smoothie is built on a base of blueberries or wild blueberries means a meaningful dose of anthocyanins, anti-inflammatory plant compounds with a laundry list of health benefits.
The smoothie is also rich in calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and provides more than a third of your daily needs for fiber. Now that's a smoothie this dietician can get behind!
More Than Just Blueberries in this Smoothie!
The foundation of the smoothie is blueberries, of course, which explains the vibrant color and deep berry flavor.
The smoothie gets its thick, creaminess from a combination of Greek-style yogurt and just enough avocado to give it luscious texture without impacting flavor (translation: it doesn’t taste like guacamole).
A whole mandarin orange, a splash of maple syrup, and a dash of cinnamon round out the flavor and add a hit of sweetness. And since I never miss the chance to work leafy greens into my life, there’s a half cup of spinach in there, too, which blends up without a trace.
Prep Ahead Blueberry Smoothie
Even though this smoothie is pretty quick to whiz together, a little advanced prep never hurts, and it will make your morning go that much more smoothly (no pun intended).
You can either prep the ingredients for one smoothie the night before or batch prep and freeze the ingredients so you can blend some up as needed.
To prep 1 smoothie the night before: Just add the blueberries, yogurt, mandarin, maple syrup, spinach, and cinnamon to your blender and stash it in the fridge overnight. If you don’t have room for your blender carafe in the fridge, store the ingredients in a tall glass and transfer to the blender in the morning. When it’s smoothie time, just add the avocado and ice and blend. Easy!
To batch prep multiple blueberry smoothies: Dice the avocado and segment the mandarin. Into a zip top bag add the mandarin segments, blueberries, avocado, spinach, ice cubes and cinnamon. Use a sharpie to write the amount of milk, yogurt, and maple syrup needed on the outside of the bag. Make as many as you’d like and place flat in your freezer. When ready to use, drop the contents into your blender directly from the freezer, add the remaining ingredients and blend.
Tinker with Smoothie Basics
Although the recipe here is my most tried-and-true iteration, I am forever tinkering with the basics depending on the ingredients I have one hand. Here are a few swaps and substitutions I make all the time.
- Replace the avocado in this recipe with 1/2 of a frozen banana or several cubes of frozen mango. You’ll end up with a similar creamy consistency, but a different taste!
- Use regular yogurt or plain kefir in place of Greek yogurt. It will have a slightly different nutrition profile and thinner consistency, but will be plenty tasty nevertheless.
- Use frozen spinach instead of fresh, cutting the amount in half and then adding a bit more to taste, if desired.
- The smoothie already packs in plenty of protein, but if you want to up the ante even more, add a scoop of plain unsweetened collagen peptides or your favorite protein powder.
- Add a tablespoon of nut or seed butter for extra calories and healthy fats.
- Boost the smoothie with a tablespoon of omega-3-rich chia or hemp seeds.
- Top the smoothie with a spoonful of granola, chopped nuts, or cacao nibs for a bit of crunch.
- 1/4 cup preferred milk (cow’s, soy, oat, or other favorite milk)
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 peeled seedless mandarin (such as satsuma, clementine, or murcott)
- 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries or wild blueberries
- 1/3 medium ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
- 1/2 cup lightly packed baby spinach
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 ice cubes
Add ingredients to blender:
Place the milk, Greek yogurt, mandarin, blueberries, avocado, baby spinach, maple syrup, cinnamon, and ice into the blender.
Blend the smoothie:
Start the blender on low speed and gradually increase the speed until everything blends into a creamy, smooth consistency, scraping down the sides and running again as needed.
Add a splash of milk if you need more liquid to get the blender going and another teaspoon of maple syrup if you want it sweeter.
Pour into a tall glass and serve immediately.