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The Best Smoothies: From Your Blender and Bottled Smoothies

- Written by on April 12th 2015

Smoothies are the ultimate breakfast food. Fast, hydrating, and requiring minimal cleanup (especially if you have one of these awesome blenders where you blend the smoothie directly in your cup.) There's really no need for a recipe, since you can throw in just about anything you want, as Blendtec's "Will It Blend?" campaign has already proven time and again. Still, some bloggers and brands just know how to make a mean smoothie, and we've compiled a list of some of the best smoothies you can make at home and the best bottled smoothies from the store.

best smoothies

Protein Smoothies

For me, a major consideration when it comes to choosing the best breakfast smoothie is how much protein it contains. If it's not much more than fruit and water, I'll be ravenous well before lunch.

Nut butters are a great way to add protein to a smoothie. This recipe for a chocolate peanut butter protein smoothie from Sally's Baking Addiction uses peanut butter, milk, and Greek yogurt to get its protein, rather than protein powder. If you'd prefer to go the protein powder route, this strawberry banana oatmeal smoothie from Love Grows Wild looks fantastic.

Several grocery brands also sell high protein smoothies. Naked's Protein Zone smoothies are one option:

Naked Protein Zone Protein Juice Smoothie - Double Berry

  • no artificial preservatives
  • 16 grams of protein
  • 29 grams of sugar (but no added sugar)

Low Sugar Smoothies

In general, smoothies tend to be high in sugar, whether you make them yourself or buy them at the store. Of course, most of us don't mind eating the amount of sugar that comes in a banana (and half a banana is already enough to sweeten most smoothies). Still, if you like something on the sweeter side and would prefer to keep your sugar in check, you might try a smoothie recipe with Stevia or another sugar substitute.

On the other hand, there are numerous smoothie kits on the market if you're really looking for convenience. We'd recommend Earthbound Farm, since their kits don't contain any added sugar or artificial ingredients.

Earthbound Farm Organic Smoothie Kickstart

  • organic
  • 10 grams of sugar (and no added sugar)
  • hardly any protein until you add your own ingredients (milk, yogurt, etc.)

Green Smoothies

By now you've probably heard of green smoothies and green juice. Drinking your greens is supposed to make it easier to get enough of them, particularly if you don't normally enjoy eating them. That said, we can point you to well over 100 green smoothie recipes so you're bound to find one you like.

As for your best bottled smoothie option, we'd go for Evolution Fresh.

Evolution Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Juice Smoothie - Organic Avocado Greens

  • certified organic smoothie
  • 14 grams of sugar (and no added sugar)
  • only 3 grams of protein

Vegan Smoothies

It's not hard to make a vegan smoothie. You can stick with just fruit and water, if you want, or you can add avocado, soaked cashews, or a non-dairy milk substitute such as coconut milk or soy milk for creaminess. Many bottled smoothies are vegan because they just contain fruit and fruit juice, but again, these are often high in sugar and low in fat and protein, which means they won't be very satisfying on their own. That's what we find so great about Sambazon Blended Breakfast Smoothie, it has soy milk, chia seeds, quinoa, and amaranth, which give it a bit more protein and fat than other bottled smoothies.

bottled smoothies

Sambazon Blended Breakfast Superfood Smoothie

  • certified organic smoothie
  • 6 grams of protein
  • contains added sugar (but still less sugary than many store bought smoothies!)

All in all, we think homemade smoothies are definitely superior to bottled smoothies, since you can make sure you get enough fat and protein while controlling how much sugar you consume. If you want something ready-to-drink from the store, we hope we've shown you some of the best options to make your decision a little easier


Crystal Schlegelmilch

Written by on April 12th 2015

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