Ask Dr. Jen: Superfood Smoothie Recipes post image

Ask Dr. Jen: Superfood Smoothie Recipes

Question: Hello, Dr. Jen. I want the super charged energy that comes from superfoods, so how do I incorporate as many of them into my diet as possible? I thought superfood smoothies might work, but in the past I’ve given up on them because I can’t make them taste good? Do you have any suggestions or superfood smoothie recipes that actually taste good?

Answer: Good question, and yes I do! Some skeptics might chuckle or blurt out “bahaha” at the thought of having healthy food that actually tastes good. It’s like the two things are diametrically opposed. One could argue those people have a point: Some superfoods are tart, some are bitter, and some are just plain sour … like certain berries or yogurt, for instance.

Yet we know, despite the taste, that they can most certainly give you that daily blast of energy you need to get through the day. Suddenly you have what it takes to work out, slim down, think faster, and improve your overall health and well-being.

Super foods leading to super power… I’m with you on that.

If only we could manage to incorporate superfoods into our diet, and make them enjoyable at the same time … yes … that is a dilemma.

The good news is that you were already on the right track. Packing all the superfoods into smoothies is a great idea. It’s getting the smoothies to taste good … that’s the problem.

So why can’t we get these smoothies right?

The problem could be that average, health-conscious consumers at the grocery store think about making a simple vegetable or fruit smoothie, so they pick up a few popular items like celery or strawberries.

Later at home, they divide out the fruit into one smoothie and then vegetable into another. Not thinking to mix the two together.

The fruit smoothie turns out tasting great because … hey, it’s fruit … and you can’t go wrong with delicious fruit … right? Good, so now you can mark off their daily fruit requirement.

The vegetable smoothie, on the other hand, is usually less appealing. You might even hold your nose trying to get it down. Next thing you know, you’re turned off by the thought of making another one.

And therein lies the dilemma for many of us with preconditioned taste buds. We give up, even though we all know that we’re supposed to be eating our fair share of vegetables as well as fruit. That’s why it’s so typical for people to fall short of meeting the daily requirement of nutrients that vegetables provide with fiber being a huge one we miss out on. That sluggish brain fog and low energy can really bring you down, and this is the reason people attempt to pack all the vegetables into one smoothie in the first place. The logic is there but the commit isn’t.

So a lot of people are at a loss when it comes to making the vegetables taste good … attempts at smoothies included, so they never even try to go the extra mile and make a delicious superfood smoothie like the ones I’m going to show you here in a second.

This is why I really love this question, because not only will this article solve the vegetable/superfood dilemma … it will catapult the lukewarm smoothie novice to the enthusiast level in no time.

So bear with me if you already know some of this, but I think it will help a lot of people.

The best part about making a delicious superfood smoothie is that it’s not as complicated as you might think. In fact it can be quite fun. Think of it as making dessert that’s good for you.

Great! So how do I get started?

Well first things first, let’s talk about grocery shopping because that’s where this journey begins. As you may know, superfoods aren’t usually popular items you’d normally throw into your grocery cart.

Let’s face it. Picking up lettuce and celery is a home run for most people, but this goes beyond that.

Superfoods are one step up; they’re harder to find, and may require you to go to a Whole Foods Market or buy items on-line from a health food website like If you’re lucky, you may have a farmers market in your area that carries some superfoods.

Don’t let this discourage you, though, because the rewards are going to be fantastic. You’ll have so much more energy during the day, and your immune system will be stronger.

Cost may also be an issue … initially. Groceries aren’t cheap, and I bet your standard grocery trip is already costing a pretty penny. However, the good news is that you can buy many superfoods in dried or powdered form. This means you can store your investment and use it when you’d like, so you’re not wasting your money.

Also, you don’t have to pick up the ingredients for every smoothie I list. Just pick out one or two smoothie recipes to get started and see how dedicated you are before you run out and buy everything.

So without further ado, let’s make some smoothies.

SuperFood Smoothies

SuperFood: Wheatgrass Smoothie

Wheatgrass is a superfood because it contains potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium. 1

Mix it with: Spinach, basil, banana (here’s your sweet favor), persimmon, avocado, and coconut water. Add chia seeds and cocoa nibs as garnishes.

Recipe: Makes 2 Servings

  • 2 tablespoons dried Wheatgrass or Wheatgrass juice (from container or blended down)
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 3 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 banana
  • 1 teapoon of dried persimmon or 1 fresh diced
  • 1 tablespoon Avocado pulp

Add coconut water … pour till it covers the ingredients. Blend, taste, and then add more coconut water until desired flavor and consistency. Garnish with a pinch of chia seeds and pinch of cocoa nibs.

SuperFood: Spinach Smoothie

Spinach is a superfood because it contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, and fiber. 2

Mix it with: banana (sweet flavor), pear (more sweet flavor), coconut water, and avocado. Add cinnamon on top as a garnish. Cinnamon helps to neutralize the bitterness of the spinach.

Recipe: Makes 2 Servings

  • 4 Cups of fresh baby spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 pear
  • 1 tablespoon Avocado Pulp

Add coconut water … pour till it covers the ingredients. Blend, taste, and then add more coconut water until desired flavor and consistency.

Garnish with ½ teaspoon cinnamon

As a bonus … Spinach also contains 0.86 grams of protein per 1 cup (raw). It’s a small amount, but it’s worth remembering if you are a vegetarian. Plus, blending it down you can get upwards of 5 grams of protein per smoothie. 3

Vitamin B6 is involved during several steps in the metabolism of carbohydrates. In particular, the enzyme that pulls carbohydrates out of storage in the cell (in the form of a molecule called glycogen) requires vitamin B6 for its activity.

SuperFood: Kale Smoothie

Kale is a superfood because it contains beta-carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, calcium, 2 carotenoids (lutein & zeaxanthin), sulforaphane, resins, and indole-3-carbinol. 4

Mix it with: Watermelon (great to offset bitterness), passion fruit, mango, parsley, mint, kiwi, bee pollen, and goji berries.

Kale is very bitter, so you need more fruit flavors to neutralize its strong flavor.

Recipe: Makes 2 Servings

  • 2 Cups fresh Kale
  • 3 Cups of fresh Watermelon Pulp
  • ½ Cup Passion Fruit Pulp or unsweetened Juice
  • ½ Cup Mango Pulp
  • 2 fresh parsley leaves and ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 teaspoon dried bee pollen
  • 1 teaspoon dried goji berries

Add water to cover ingredients and blend to desired consistency.

Sulforaphane has drawn attention because of preliminary studies revealing its antioxidant effects could prove useful against neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. 5

SuperFood: Hemp Smoothies

Hemp is a superfood because it contains a high amount of protein, magnesium, zinc, and iron.

It also contains several essential fatty acids such as the polyunsaturated fatty acids, including linoleic, oleic, and alpha-linolenic acids. 6

Mix it with: mango, pineapple and pineapple juice, yogurt, coconut water, and maca.

Recipe: Makes 2 Servings

  • 2 tablespoons Hemp Seed (could be seeds, shelled, or powdered)
  • 1 Cup Mango Pulp
  • ½ Cup Pineapple Pulp
  • 1 Cup Plain Non-Fat Yogurt
  • ½ cup Pineapple Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Maca

Add coconut water … pour till it covers the ingredients. Blend, taste, and then add more coconut water until desired flavor and consistency.

Maca root is interesting because it contains a compound called p-methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate, which is reputedly known as an aphrodisiac.

It also has quite the extensive nutritional profile; it contains carbohydrates, protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, iron, iodine, copper, manganese, zinc, selenium, and magnesium. 7 So hemp and maca powder make a fun little combination that’s truly good for you.

Now that we have spinach, wheatgrass, hemp, and kale added into your diet, that covers some pretty powerful green superfoods, so let’s move onto some superfoods of a sweeter nature.

SuperFood: Acai Smoothie

Acai is a superfood because it contains carbohydrates, protein, essential fatty acids, calcium, iron, vitamin A, antioxidants, and flavonoids. 8

Mix it with: Almond milk, banana, mango, raspberries, ginger and vanilla. Garnish with shaved almonds, granola, chia seeds, and more raspberries.

Recipe: Makes 1 – 2 Servings

  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Acai Powder
  • 1 Banana
  • ½ Cup Mango Pulp
  • ¼ Cup of Raspberries
  • A pinch of Ground Ginger
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Vanilla

Add Almond Milk … pour till it covers the ingredients. Blend, taste, and then add more Almond Milk until desired flavor and consistency.

Garnish with 3 Shaved Unsalted Almonds, ½ -1 Teaspoon Chia Seeds, and Raspberries for looks.

Antioxidants are believed to help prevent and repair the effects of stress that come from oxidation, a natural process that occurs during normal cell function. A small percentage of cells becomes damaged during oxidation and turns into free radicals, which can start a chain reaction that harms more cells and possibly causes disease. 9

SuperFood: Pomegranate Smoothie

Pomegranate is a superfood because it contains many healthy nutrients such as vitamin C, vitmamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B (1,2,3,5,6 and 9), calcium, phosphorus, potassium, fiber, and punicalagin.

Mix it with: Almond milk, banana, maca, acai, coconut water. Garnish with coconut flakes.

Recipe: Makes 1 Serving

  • 1 fresh Pomegranate – seeds and pulp or 1 tablespoon Dried Organic Pomegranate powder
  • 1 banana
  • ½ Teaspoon of Dried Acai Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon of Dried Maca Powder
  • 1 Cup Almond Milk

Add ½ Cup coconut water. Blend, taste, and then add more coconut water until desired flavor and consistency.

Garnish with 1 teaspoon coconut flakes

Punicalagin is a potent antioxidant that may help prevent and mitigate the effects of atherosclerosis, the buildup of fat and cholesterol on artery walls, aka plaques. 10

SuperFood: Goji Berry Smoothie

Goji berries are a superfood because they contain mega doses of vitamin A and iron, 18 amino acids, vitamin B (1,2 and 6), vitamin E, the phytonutrient antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, 21 trace elements, and key polysaccharides. 11

Mix it with: Apple, lemon, coconut water, shaved coconut, banana, vanilla, cinnamon, and amaranth. Garnish with mint.

Recipe: Makes 1-2 Servings

  • 1 and ½ Tablespoons of Dried Goji Berries
  • 1 Cup Apple Slices
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ Cup Amaranth Grain
  • ¼ Cup Coconut Shavings
  • Add coconut water … pour till it covers the ingredients. Blend, taste, and then add more coconut water until desired flavor and consistency.
  • Garnish with Fresh Mint Leaves

Goji berries’key polysaccharides are unique compounds known as lycium barbarium, which are thought to stimulate and strengthen the immune system in a similar way to that of maitake mushrooms and echinacea. 11

SuperFood: Greek Yogurt Smoothie

Greek yogurt is a superfood because it contains a high amount of protein. It also comes in a non-fat version. It contains less sugar and fewer carbohydrates than regular yogurt. Greek yogurt also contains live active cultures known as probiotics.

Mix it with: Bananas, strawberries, almond milk, and chia seeds.

Recipe: Makes 1 Serving

  • ½ Cup Plain Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Banana
  • ½ Cup Fresh Sliced Strawberry
  • 1 Teaspoon Chia Seeds
  • Add Almond Milk … pour till it covers the ingredients. Blend, taste, and then add more Almond Milk until desired flavor and consistency

When choosing a Greek yogurt, you want to get the brand with the most protein. The better the straining process, which gives Greek yogurt its thick texture, the more protein the yogurt will contain. Some brands use thickening agents to skip the straining process, and this lowers the protein content. So watch out for these agents: modified cornstarch, carrageenan, and guar gum. 12

Also, some brands try to compensate for this loss of protein by adding milk proteins or whey concentrate. 12

A good Greek yogurt is basically strained in the proper fashion without several additives.

Lastly, you want to stay away from flavored Greek yogurt because of its heavy sugar content.

Probiotics are live bacteria or yeasts that are thought to help digestion by increasing good bacteria.

Greek yogurt can actually be added to many of the smoothies listed here. The sky’s the limit with the number of combinations you can come up with when making a smoothie with Greek yogurt. Even adding a natural sweetener like honey could be an option to offset the signature tanginess of Greek yogurt. Just use it sparingly.

Have fun with all the different combinations you can come up with!

Just start with one superfood in mind, then build your smoothie masterpiece around it.

Taking this approach will narrow down your focus at the grocery store. So instead of asking yourself, “How do I incorporate all these superfoods into my diet?” ask: “What one superfood can I make a smoothie out of this week?”

Once you’ve mastered one and you have all the ingredients, move on to the next smoothie.

One other concern that people tend to have about smoothies is that they are packed with fruit and that could mean too much sugar which leads to weight gain.

To that I would say, if you are worried, just stick to one smoothie a day … preferably in the morning or 1 hour before the gym. That way the blast of energy you get will be put to good use.

The most important takeaway from all this is to stay focused on eating foods that you know are healthy, find ways to make those foods appealing, and don’t let setbacks block your creativity when it comes to preparing foods … especially superfoods.

I hope this article kick starts your Superfood endeavors and by incorporating these smoothies into your diet you get the energy boost you need to rocket through your day like never before.

Thank you for asking a question that is going to be a call to action for so many other readers who just need that extra push.

Dr. Jen


7. Schauss AG1et all. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Nov 1;54(22):8604-10.Antioxidant capacity and other bioactivities of the freeze-dried Amazonian palm berry, Euterpe oleraceae mart. (acai).

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