When you’re in need of a quick healthy breakfast, smoothies are a delicious option. Loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, the blend of fruits, veggies, and protein-rich milk or yogurt can be an easy breakfast or energizing snack. And as tempting as it is to pick up a few pre-made smoothies at the grocery store or order a custom one at your local juice shop, it’s actually easier (and cheaper) to whip up a healthy smoothie right at home.
You can makes your smoothies more filling by swapping out any unnecessary sweeteners for added sources of fiber and protein. Especially if you're looking to lose weight, you'll want to make sure your smoothies contain plenty of fruits, veggies, and other ingredients packed with antioxidants. "Adding an extra boost of greens into your smoothie is a great way to pack in antioxidants," Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDCES, LDN, and author of 2-Day Diabetes Diet, tells Woman's Day. "Chronic inflammation in the body can increase stress hormones, [which are] the same hormones that store fat versus burn it. By increasing your intake of antioxidants, you can help to cool off inflammation and help your body burn fat more effectively."
Ready to get blending? Any one of these healthy smoothies — made with superfoods like spinach and kale and naturally sweetened ingredients like strawberries, mango, and pineapple — will have you feeling energized and ready to tackle the day ahead.
"My summer berry smoothie (which can be made year-round with frozen berries) helps to target stubborn belly fat and promote weight loss thanks to its high level of antioxidants and protein," Palinski-Wade says. According to her, the Greek yogurt also provides a dairy boost, which can help provide CLA, a fatty acid found in dairy, meats, and vegetable oils, that has been shown to accelerate body fat loss.
Get the Summer Berry Smoothie recipe.
Add a tiny bit of no-calorie sweetener to this healthy green smoothie to enhance the flavor of the other ingredients.
Get the Kiwi Cucumber Smoothie recipe.
Sencha is a Japanese green tea that is said to help lower body fat and cholesterol levels, and with its slow-release caffeine, it will also save you from that dreaded post-caffeine crash that always comes with coffee.
Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, CDN and a nutrition expert for Woman's Day, can't get enough of this smoothie. "I'm not sure which I love most: the delicious flavor, the super load of antioxidants, or the stunning color." The recipe makes two, so enjoy both yourself or share one with a loved one.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt, 1 tsp honey, 1 cup mixed frozen berries, 1 cup freshly cooked beets, 3 to 5 ice cubes
The best part about this green drink? "[It] hides two cups of über-healthy leafy greens behind crisp tart apple, creamy banana, and sweet pineapple," says Bauer. So basically, it's a tropical drink with nutrients.
Ingredients: 1 cup almond milk, 1 cup baby spinach leaves, 1 cup kale leaves, 1-1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks, 1/2 ripe banana, 1 Granny Smith apple
According to Bauer, this fall-flavored drink has "beta-carotene, calcium, fiber, magnesium, and potassium."
Ingredients: 1/2 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 1-1/2 tsp maple syrup, 1 ripe banana, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 3 to 5 ice cubes
"The protein powder helps you feel satisfied and keeps your energy going, while the cashew butter provides good-for-you fats, keeping you fuller longer," Annessa Chumbley, RD, nutrition expert for Premier Protein, tells Woman's Day. Blueberries are also a smart choice, as they're an excellent source of antioxidants to fight inflammation, which helps keep your weight loss goals in action, she adds.
"This smoothie has everything you need to feel satisfied for hours," Stacie Hassing, RDN, and Jessica Beacon, RDN, bloggers at The Real Food Dietitians, tell Woman's Day. "It contains a good dose of healthy fats, quality protein, and fiber to keep your cravings at bay and energy high — both of which are key components of achieving desired weight loss."
The dark cherries and unsweetened cocoa have antioxidants that fight inflammation, and the chia seeds are full of satiating omega-3 fats. That, plus the nutritional benefits of spinach and bananas, make this a winning drink.
"This beautiful smoothie packs an impressive 22 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber, which means it will leave you feeling satisfied and energized all morning long," Leanne Ray, RD, blogger at Healthyish Appetite, tells Woman's Day. Plus, who doesn't want more pumpkin their life?
Get the Pumpkin Fig Smoothie recipe.
"This smoothie is simple, wholesome, and satisfying for anyone trying to lose weight," Cathy D’Orazio, MS, RD, tells Woman's Day. "The protein in the Greek yogurt helps curb your appetite and keeps you from overeating and the berries provide antioxidants."
Get the Blueberry Smoothie recipe.
This five-minute smoothie is perfect post-workout or when you are on the run in the morning. You will hardly know there are two full cups of leafy greens in this green smoothie thanks to the presence of almond milk, plain Greek yogurt, and frozen bananas, strawberries, and mangos.