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There seem to be smoothie shops at every corner, from the large, popular chains to smaller, independent, “specialty” shops that offer smoothies to meet any needs. There’s even one at a shop near us that promises “complete nutrition” and also sells for $35 - $5 for the ingredients, $30 for the marketing hype. 

Maybe I’m being a bit cynical, but as a self-proclaimed smoothie connoisseur, who has been blending smoothies in my own kitchen since ’93, there’s some solid goodness that can be had inside a blender for a more reasonable price, even with inflation! 

Chris wearing the Reign Long Sleeve, Commuter Pant and Traverse Vest

Seriously, though – I love smoothies and make them almost daily because they’re quick, easy and a great source of nutrients! 

And since I often get the question about what I put in smoothies for myself and my family, I thought I'd include a few favorites. By the way, you'll notice the second has spinach. Yes, it's true -- fresh spinach -- works very well in a smoothie and you don't taste it at all. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shooter


  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter (or peanut butter powder)

  • 1 serving chocolate whey protein powder 

  • 1 frozen banana, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cacao powder (I like Navitas Naturals)

  • 1 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk

  • 1 handful of fresh spinach

  • ½ avocado

  • 1 cup ice cubes


  1. Peel banana before placing in the freezer. Freeze overnight.

  2. Mix all ingredients in blender, blend on high.  

  3. Add more liquid if necessary, to reach desired consistency

What do I like about this one? 

Well, big picture is it offers about 25 grams of quality protein. Now I suggested whey protein but if you have another chocolate protein you like, have at it. It also includes three servings of produce; between the banana, the spinach and the avocado, you’re getting as much produce in one serving as most people eat in an entire day. Seriously. Now the avocado might throw you, but it adds a variety of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and creaminess. I also included unsweetened cacao powder as a flavor booster, but also as a rich source of a variety of minerals. This is a go-to in our house.

Very Cherry Berry Vitality Smoothie


  • 1 cup frozen dark cherries

  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries

  • 1 serving vanilla whey protein powder

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 handful fresh spinach


  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender, blend on high.  

Alright, I get it – some of you may not be vanilla fans. That’s where this next smoothie comes in.  The dark colored fruits – from the cherries to the blueberries – are rich in so many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, your body will be thanking you. Once again, you’ll see fresh spinach, which is another nutrient powerhouse. I again included whey protein, but if you prefer a plant-based product or any other, I’m not opposed. The reason I include whey is because whey protein is rich in not just protein, but also a particular amino acid called leucine. Leucine is necessary for something called protein synthesis, which is a fancy way of saying stimulating muscle growth (and recovery).  

Chris wearing the 7" Mako Shorts and Reign Long Sleeve

Last one here that reminds me of summer and as we approach that season, it’s perfect for those warmer days.

Peachy Keen Coconut Cream


  • 1 cup frozen or fresh peach 

  • 1 peach Greek yogurt

  • 2 teaspoons full fat coconut milk

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut

  • 1 tsp fresh ginger (optional)

  • 1 cup peach flavored Kefir

  • Add water to reach desired consistency


  1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend on high until
    smooth and creamy.

  2. Add milk and/or ice (if necessary) and continue to blend
    to reach desired consistency.

Chris wearing the 8" Resort Short and Reign Short Sleeve

OK, this one may surprise you a bit. There is zero protein powder, which for most people is a staple of their smoothies. And, well, me too. Most of the time. But between the Greek yogurt and Kefir, you’re already getting about 25 grams of protein. So you can add some protein if you want, but it’s not necessary here in my opinion.

The standard is a bit of fruit. In this case, it’s peach and while fresh peaches may be tough to find in some months, frozen peaches are always available in the grocery store and frozen fruit is just as wonderful as its fresh alternative and available year-round.

Kefir may be a new ingredient for you. Kefir is essentially cultured dairy; it’s almost like liquid yogurt and both are rich in what’s called probiotics, or the healthy gut bacteria you may have heard about. I also love to include fresh ginger, if you happen to have it or remember to grab it in the store. It’s got a bit of bite to it, so if you try it, less is more. And if you’re not familiar with ginger root, you peel the outer skin and just use the inside, but ginger has many wonderful properties that make it a worthwhile inclusion.  

The idea of smoothies is not that they’ll make you into Superman. Like I said, the $35 smoothie elixir at the store near me is ridiculous; if you spent $35 on a variety of fresh produce, you’d be much better off.  But what smoothies can offer are a wide variety of nutrients that taste great, are convenient and take just minutes to make.  

Give any of those a try and let us know your favs!

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