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How to make a nutritionally complete fruit smoothie!

Thanks for stopping by - this post is about creating a nutritionally dense smoothie that covers your basics for both macronutrients and micronutrients.

Basically mix and match from the four categories provided (fruit, protein, whole grain, greens), and you can't really go wrong. It's going to be filling, healthy, and delicious.

If I have a smoothie like this in the morning, I feel more than justified going for pizza or pad Thai later in the day.

This post will also cover some nutrition benefits for each food category, as well as provide some smoothie troubleshooting tips and recommendations!

Breakfast Smoothie Combinations

Mix and match one or two items from at least three of the four categories (for example, if green smoothies are not your thing then just skip - but I do recommend giving it a try!)

Smoothie Ingredient 1: Frozen or fresh fruit (choose one or more)

Raspberry, Mango, Blueberry, Banana, Orange, Blackberry, Rhubarb, Cranberry, Peaches, Strawberry, Apple, Any mixed frozen fruit

Nutrition Benefits

Fruits are a great source of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and fibre. Another benefit is the “soluble fibre”, which may help reduce cholesterol and control blood sugar levels. Fruit also provides sweetness and a flavour profile to your smoothie. Switching up fruit combinations is the best way to add variety!

Some recommended fruit combinations

Banana/blueberry, Cranberry/raspberry, strawberry/rhubarb, orange/strawberry/banana, mango/raspberry, apple/cranberry.

Smoothie Ingredient 2: Protein (Choose one or more)

Milk, Yogurt, Skyr (Icelandic high protein yogurt), Greek Yogurt (higher in protein), Kefir (Probiotic dairy beverage), Fortified Soy Beverage, Silken Tofu, Cashews, Almonds.

Nutrition Benefits

Milk / alternatives are a great source of Calcium and Vitamin D, the main nutrients supporting bone health. They also typically are high in protein, which helps keep you feeling full for longer. Probiotics (yogurt and kefir) are the good bacteria that help keep your gut healthy by restoring balance to your digestive system. Probiotics have been linked to many health benefits including weight loss, digestive health, immune function, and more!

Make your smoothie in big batches and put in mason jars for grab and go. Perfect for quick breakfasts or post workout nutrition.

Smoothie Ingredient 3 - Whole Grains (Choose one or more)

Rolled oats, Flax seed (ground), Oat Fibre, Chia Seeds, Hemp Hearts, Bran Flakes.

Nutrition Benefits

Whole grain products are a great source of a type of fibre called “Insoluble fibre”, which helps keep you feeling full for longer, and helps keep your bowel movements regular. Whole grains are typically high in B-vitamins and minerals. Oats have a special type of soluble fibre that has some evidence towards preventing certain types of cancer. Flax and hemp hearts are also high in heart healthy omega-3 fats.

Smoothie Ingredient 4: Leafy Greens (Optional)

Spinach (less bitter), Butterleaf lettuce (less bitter), Kale (more bitter), Chard (more bitter)

Nutrition Benefits

Leafy greens are high in folate (a B-vitamin with many important biological functions including making red blood cells, using carbs for energy, and making DNA). Leafy greens are also a good plant-based source of calcium and iron. Fun fact: The best way to absorb plant-based iron is to pair it with a food rich in Vitamin C (so basically most fruits).

Mix and match these combinations and you are well on your way to creating a nutrition (and flavour) masterpiece.

Mixing these combinations promotes balanced nutrition through variety. Also, ensuring your combination protein and fibre will help keep you full for longer, which is associated with many health benefits and is a part of most successful weight management programs.

More tips for creating your perfect smoothie!

  • Make in large batches and store in mason jars for grab’n’go breakfasts and nutritious snacks for the road.

  • When using ingredients that can make a smoothie bitter (Grains/seeds/ greens), start small, and add more as you get used to it. If a smoothie is too bitter, add a splash of fruit juice or honey to counteract. But use in moderation, because juice and honey will bring more calories from sugar.

  • Prepare a large batch of fruit tea, then cool and use as the liquid for your smoothie. This will help reduce overall calories while providing some flavour.

  • If a smoothie becomes too thick, just add more water, milk, or juice. Ingredients such as oats, chia seeds, and flax seed will make a smoothie thick over time.

  • Check for yogurts that have added probiotic, and less added sugars. Typically, Greek yogurt does not have added probiotic, so you can buy both types to get the protein (Greek) and extra probiotics (standard yogurts).

  • Try the same ingredient-matching strategy (Ex. berries, yogurt, flax/oats), but do it in a Tupperware with yogurt, and eat as a snack instead of blending in a smoothie.

  • Frozen fruit is picked at the optimal ripened point, meaning that frozen fruit is often more nutritious than fresh. It is also more economical, and can be stored for weeks or months.

  • Vanilla yogurt (Greek or normal) is usually a good combination with any fruit.

  • Be creative! Google smoothie ideas and combinations. Some people will add avocado, cucumber, celery and fresh mint in true “green smoothies”. Other recipes use cinnamon, cocoa powder, nutmeg, coffee/espresso for that “dessert-type” or “morning wake-up” smoothie.

What tips do you have for creating your favourite smoothie?

Comment below, and follow if you like the content!

About me: I'm Daniel Neuman, a Registered Dietitian and owner of Edmonton-based nutrition consulting company, Simplify Nutrition. I'm also a passionate foodie learning and teaching about global foods, evidence based nutrition, and practical cooking skills. If you like the content, stay connected. If you want to work with me, get in touch! I offer private cooking classes and nutrition consulting in-person and online!


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