Smoothies and Shakes

Smoothies and Shakes


by Cathe Olson

Smoothies are an excellent snack for the whole family. They are quick to prepare and perfect at home or on the run to work or sports practice. Smoothies are also great for finicky eaters. If they won’t eat their veggies-okay, put them in a smoothie. Need more protein or calcium in your diet? Add some tofu or nondairy yogurt for protein. It’s always a good idea to get more iron and essential fatty acids so add raw nuts and seeds, or their oil or butter as well. 

I like to use frozen fruit in my smoothies to make them cold, thick, and creamy. I like to stock up in the summer when fresh fruit is in season so I can make smoothies all year round. To freeze fruit, clean and remove peel, hull or pits if necessary. Slice larger fruits (like bananas and peaches) into bite-size pieces. Lay fruit out on a baking sheet and place it in the freezer until completely frozen (1 to 2 hours). This will keep the fruit from freezing into one big lump. Remove the frozen fruit from the pan and store in freezer bags or containers in the freezer. Frozen fruit will keep at least six months. 

Smoothies are very versatile and can be made from whatever fruit you have on hand. Start with a base of a nondairy milk or juice. Then add fruit, vegetables, protein, nuts and seeds. If necessary, add a little maple syrup or agave nectar to taste. 

Here are a few ideas that will add nutrients to your smoothies. 

  • Nondairy Yogurt or kefir: for protein, calcium, digestive enzymes
  • Tofu: for protein, calcium
  • Vegan protein powder
  • Nuts/seeds: for protein, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids
  • Nut/seed butters: for protein, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids
  • Nutritional yeast flakes: for protein, B vitamins
  • Spirulina, chlorella, or blue-green algae: for protein, vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll
  • Barley or wheat grass powder: for vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll
  • Chopped kale, cabbage, or watercress: for vitamins A and C, calcium, iron
  • Carrots or sweet potatoes: for vitamin A
  • Wheat germ: for vitamin E and fiber
  • Flaxseed or hempseed oil: for omega-3 fatty acids

Here are a few of our favorite smoothies: 

Watermelon-Strawberry Cooler 

This vivid pink smoothie makes a light and refreshing snack and provides calcium and vitamin C. This makes great popsicles too! 

  • 3 cups diced watermelon, seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla nondairy yogurt
  • 8 to 10 frozen strawberries
  • Place all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth.
  • Makes 2 servings

Super C Smoothie
This smoothie contains the daily recommended dietary intake of vitamin C.

  • 1 cup cold orange or pineapple juice
  • 6 to 8 strawberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1/2 cup chopped kale, green cabbage, or watercress
  • Place all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth.

Makes 2 servings 

Add 1/2 cup nondairy yogurt or 1/4 cup chopped cashews if desired for protein. 

Everything Smoothie 

This smoothie is a great way to get a couple extra servings of vegetables. It’s great in the winter when there’s not much fruit to choose from. 

  • 1 cup cold apple juice
  • 1/2 sweet potato (peeled) or 1 carrot, cut into chunks
  • 1 banana (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 orange, peeled and broken into sections
  • 1/4 cup chopped cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons tahini or cashew butter

Place all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. 
Makes 2 servings 

Peanut Butter-Banana Shake 

Both kids and adults like this creamy, delicious shake. The frozen bananas make it so rich and creamy that it’s hard to believe there’s no ice cream in it. You can also make it with almond butter, cashew butter, or tahini. 

  • 1 cup milk (dairy or nondairy)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 to 2 bananas, sliced and frozen

Place all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. 
Makes 1 serving 

Carob Peanut Butter-Banana Shake: Add 2 to 3 teaspoons carob powder. 

Creamy Greens Smoothie 

This smoothie surprises everyone because it tastes so good. You really don’t taste the kale at all. This is an excellent snack while breastfeeding because the greens help to increase milk production.

  • 1 cup cold pineapple-coconut juice
  • 1 banana, sliced and frozen
  • 2 to 3 kale leaves

Place ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. 

Makes 1 to 2 servings 

Meal Shake 

This smoothie is a powerhouse of protein, vitamins, and minerals. 

  • 2 tablespoons raw almonds or cashews
  • 1 tablespoon raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup nondairy milk
  • 1/4 cup juice (apple, pineapple, etc.)
  • 1 banana, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon wheat germ
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 teaspoon flaxseed or hempseed oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon spirulina powder (optional)

Place nuts and seeds in blender and grind to powder. Add remaining ingredients and puree until smooth. 

Makes 2 servings 

Cathe Olson

Author: Cathe Olson

Cathe Olson is the author of the new nondairy ice cream cookbook: Lick It! Cream Dreamy Vegan Ice Cream Your Mouth Will Love, as well as Simply Natural Baby Food and The Vegetarian Mother’s Cookbook. Visit Cathe’s blog at

Share This Post On