Man and woman blending a smoothie
colourful smoothie bowl filled with fresh kiwi, strawberries, blueberries and seeds, surrounded by a spoon, green smoothie and fruit

There’s simply not enough time in the day to get everything done. And if you’re anything like us, fruit and veggie intake can fall pretty low on the list of priorities—unless a smoothie is involved. There’s something about drinking a cold, thick beverage that makes healthy eating seem like less of a chore. And did we mention smoothies can also boost energy, increase hydration and be a source of good fats and protein?

If you’re a smoothie newbie, you might be wondering where to start. That’s why we’ve gathered all the answers to your most pressing questions—like how to make a green smoothie and how to make your smoothie thicker.

I’m short on time in the morning. How can I squeeze in my breakfast smoothie?

Gathering all the ingredients, measuring out portions and blending them together can feel like a herculean task when you’re running low on sleep. Try making your smoothie in advance and freezing it in muffin pans, then storing the pucks in a freezer bag or plastic container. In the mornings, simply drop a few smoothie pucks in the blender and add extra liquid base (i.e. water, milk or almond milk) as needed.

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How do I make a green smoothie?

If eating vegetables (much less drinking them!) is already a pain point for you, you might want to stick with a handful of spinach in an otherwise sweet drink. But if you’re ready to go all in with a green smoothie that balances the taste of greens with other flavours, you’ll need to choose a style: sweet (with fruit) or savoury (skip the fruit and add herbs and salt). Start with a clear liquid base like water, green tea, coconut water or homemade juice. Next, choose your veggies. Some great picks are cucumber, kale, spinach and other leafy greens like arugula and dandelion greens. When it comes to sweeter smoothies, add in watery fruits like apples, pears, peaches, grapes, light-hued melons and pineapples. Meanwhile, for savoury bevvies, experiment with fresh herbs like basil, mint, ginger and thyme.

How do I make a smoothie bowl that’s pretty and delicious?

Making a smoothie bowl is an easy way to brighten your morning—or your Instagram feed. You just need to ensure that the smoothie is thick enough that you can eat it with a spoon. The less liquid base you have and the more frozen fruit or frozen yogurt, the thicker your smoothie will be. You’ll also want to ensure that you have plenty of toppings on hand. Try fresh fruit (like raspberries, sliced kiwi or chopped pineapple) and add either shaved coconut, nuts, granola or a mix of seeds like sunflower and chia. Drizzle with honey as the finishing touch.

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How do I make healthy smoothies that aren’t super high in calories?

Smoothies are delicious, but they can also be full of sugar. If you’re looking to make a low-cal drink, stick to green veggie smoothies. However, if you want a sweeter drink, you can still indulge without blowing your calorie budget. Stick to skim milk or an unsweetened milk alternative, plain yogurt and low-sugar fruits like berries, peaches or kiwi. And if your smoothie needs extra sweetness, choose a low-cal sugar substitute. Avocado, unsweetened nut butter and protein powder will increase the calorie count, but they will also help to keep you full longer. So if you choose to mix an ingredient high in protein or good fats, think of your smoothie as an easy, healthy meal replacement.

Should I add protein powder to my smoothie?

It’s a personal choice. If you want to turn your smoothie into a meal, protein powder is a great way to curb hunger. And for anyone that doesn’t get enough protein in their regular diet or is working hard to build muscle, adding 15 to 30 grams of protein to a smoothie can help.

How do I make my smoothie thicker (or thinner)?

A thick smoothie is the dream—and all you need to make it a reality is more frozen goodness. Instead of using fresh fruit with ice, opt for frozen fruit (especially bananas). And if your smoothie’s still not thick enough, add frozen yogurt. On the flip side, if your smoothie becomes too thick and you’re having trouble blending it, add small amounts of your liquid base and slowly bring the blender back up to high speed.

I hate washing the blender. Got any tricks?

Clean your blender in the sink? Don’t be silly! Instead, fill it with warm water and dish soap and turn it on. Just make sure you rinse out excess suds and you’ll be good to go.

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