If you're not careful, even green smoothies packed with healthy ingredients like kale or bananas can easily turn into sugar- and calorie-bombs. Follow this simple formula for a healthy power smoothie every time.

Lisa Valente, M.S., RD
Updated December 20, 2019
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The sky's the limit when it comes to smoothie combinations you can whip up in your blender. You don't always need to follow a recipe, but if you're not careful even green smoothies packed with things like kale or bananas can easily turn into sugar- and calorie-bombs. So we've done the calculations for you to get a super-healthy, delicious green smoothie every time.

Try one of our suggested green smoothie combos below-and check out our other green smoothie recipes-or create your own favorite flavor!

1. Liquid ( 1/2 cup)

Pictured Recipe: Mango-Coconut Green Smoothie

You'll need some liquid to get everything whirring in your blender, but choose wisely. Skip juices-they're high in sugar (even when they're 100% fruit juice).

Try these:

  • Unsweetened almond milk or other unsweetened nondairy milks (soy, rice, hemp)
  • Low-fat milk
  • Coconut water
  • Water

2. Frozen Banana (1 cup)

Pictured Recipe: Pineapple Green Smoothie

For natural sweetness and always rich, creamy (not icy) body, frozen banana slices are a must. Another bonus: bananas are a relatively inexpensive fruit.

3. Frozen Fruit (1/2 cup)

Frozen fruit makes a frosty smoothie without added ice (some blenders can't handle ice cubes). Buy already frozen fruit or freeze your own.

Try these:

  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Apples
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Grapes

4. Protein (1/3 cup)

Pictured Recipe: Peanut Butter & Jelly Smoothie

To give your smoothie staying power add protein. Protein slows the digestion of carbs, keeping you full longer.

Try these:

  • Nonfat or low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • Nonfat or low-fat cottage cheese
  • Silken tofu

5. Greens (1 cup)

Add 1 cup of greens to help meet your daily veggie quota without overpowering your smoothie.

Try these:

  • Baby spinach
  • Kale (stemmed and chopped)

6. Health Boost (1 Tbsp.)

Throw in chia seeds or flaxseeds, for a boost of omega-3s and fiber. Or add nut butters for healthy fats and a little more protein.

Try these:

  • Chia seed
  • Flaxseed
  • Hemp seed
  • Peanut butter
  • Almond butter

7. Optional Sweetener (up to 2 tsp.)

Have a sweet tooth? Add up to 2 tsp. liquid sweetener like maple syrup or agave.