12 Refreshing Smoothie Recipes

We fully admit that while iced coffee is a year-round indulgence, there's an innate feeling that smoothies are more suited to warmer weather. Sure, you can blend one up as the snow falls, but their charm seems to bloom in the sunshine. This likely drives our quest for smoothie recipes that lean towards the refreshing end of the spectrum rather than those laden with heavy or seasonally specific flavors. In our book, refreshing isn't limited to just fruity concoctions; it can also mean vibrant and unique tastes.

But one thing is certain: Smoothies are always served cold, contributing significantly to their overall refreshing quality. Note that while any blender can prepare a smoothie, those with less sharp blades or some age might require longer blending times than we suggest. And as always, trust your intuition — if it feels like it needs more blending, go ahead and give it that extra whirl.

1. Mango Banana Smoothie

Nothing pairs quite as well with the concept of a refreshing, tropical drink as the flavors of mango and banana. This mango banana smoothie is guaranteed to evoke longings for sunny days spent basking on the beach.

Begin by preparing your bananas and mangoes. While cutting a mango can initially be challenging, finding a ripe mango and mastering the cutting technique makes it much simpler. For this recipe, we recommend using oat milk, but feel free to substitute it with your preferred milk if oat milk's taste doesn't appeal to you. Blend everything, including some lime juice and honey, on high for 10 seconds to achieve that perfect consistency, then pour it into two serving glasses. We love garnishing this smoothie with a sprig of mint for an extra burst of brightness.

Recipe: Mango Banana Smoothie

2. Sweet Potato Smoothie

While sweet potatoes might not be the first ingredient that comes to mind for refreshing smoothies, combining them with the right companions can transform them into a delightful and nourishing drink. With the addition of Medjool dates and Greek yogurt, this sweet potato smoothie is not only delicious but also satisfyingly filling.

Start by doing some prep work: Peel and cube one cup of sweet potatoes and freeze them to ensure your smoothie is extra frosty and smooth. Once your sweet potatoes are frozen, blend them with banana, half a cup of your favorite almond milk, half a cup of plain Greek yogurt, almond butter, dates, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and ground cloves. This blend will require a bit more time — we recommend about one to two minutes on high. The frozen sweet potatoes might take a while to break down, and you want to achieve a smooth consistency, so patience is crucial. If the mixture becomes too thick, feel free to add a little more milk to achieve that desired consistency.

Recipe: Sweet Potato Smoothie

3. Healthy Black Forest Smoothie

There's something irresistible about a smoothie that mimics a beloved dessert, and our black forest smoothie does just that. It's ultra-rich and designed to energize your day, with the added benefit of nutritious ingredients. Don't worry about the spinach included, however; its flavor is perfectly masked by the other delightful components.

Begin by sourcing frozen cherries, or pit and freeze your own; frozen is essential for achieving that frosty texture. Combine the frozen cherries with a banana, spinach, your choice of milk, cocoa powder, ground flaxseed, honey to taste, and a pinch of salt in a blender. Blend until smooth, then pour the mixture into two glasses. For those who love a garnish, a sprinkle of cocoa powder or grated chocolate with an extra cherry on top makes a splendid finishing touch.

Recipe: Healthy Black Forest Smoothie

4. Strawberry Cinnamon Smoothie

For those who often enjoy making smoothies, the strawberry flavor is a familiar choice. However, this recipe goes beyond the typical strawberry-banana blend, adding an unexpected twist that redefines the classic strawberry banana smoothie.

We recommend starting by pitting your Medjool dates and boiling them in a small amount of water for about 10 minutes. Once cooled, they'll be softer and easier to blend. Combine these softened dates with one and a half cups of frozen strawberries (either prepared at home or bought from the store), your preferred milk, a banana, and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Blend everything together for a delightful treat. We find that briefly boiling the dates enhances the smoothie's consistency, elevating the smoothie considerably.

Recipe: Strawberry Cinnamon Smoothie

5. Avocado Blueberry Smoothie

Selecting avocados at the grocery store that are ripe just at the right moment can be a real challenge. We often find ourselves with only a narrow window of perfect ripeness, and it's easy to miss. In such cases, rather than discarding an overripe avocado, we like to repurpose them in creative ways. Avocados work wonderfully in smoothies, especially when they're ripe.

For this smoothie, add to your blender the avocado (without the pit and peel), a banana that's almost overripe (ideal for banana bread), frozen blueberries, a squeeze of lemon juice, honey, and coconut milk. Reserve some coconut flakes for garnishing. Blend until smooth, pour into a couple glasses, and top with coconut flakes. While we adore the coconut flavor in this recipe, we understand it might not be for everyone. Feel free to substitute it with another milk if you prefer; the smoothie will still be delightful.

Recipe: Avocado Blueberry Smoothie

6. Tahini Smoothie with Cardamom and Dates

If you're seeking an alternative method to soften dates, our tahini smoothie with cardamom and dates offers a perfect solution. Instead of boiling the dates, place them in a bowl and cover with boiling water, letting them sit for about 15 minutes. This technique softens the dates without needing to monitor a stove.

In a blender, combine the softened dates with bananas, tahini, your preferred milk, cinnamon, cardamom, and some crushed ice. If you don't have crushed ice, regular ice cubes will work too; just blend the smoothie a bit longer. We adore topping this smoothie with shaved cocoa or cacao nibs for an extra special touch. If tahini isn't to your liking, peanut butter is a great alternative that provides a similar consistency and delicious taste.

Recipe: Tahini Smoothie with Cardamom and Dates

7. Cinnamon Banana Walnut Smoothie

Just like avocados, bananas often meet a similar fate of over-ripening in our kitchen. A handy trick we've discovered is to slice overripe bananas into pieces and freeze them rather than tossing them. This way, you can always have a stash of frozen bananas ready without any prior planning. With just a few additional pantry items, these bananas are moments away from transforming into your new favorite smoothie.

For this recipe, start by soaking some walnuts in a bowl for several hours. We suggest an overnight soak for optimal softness, but a minimum of four hours will suffice. After soaking, drain the water and add the softened walnuts to a blender along with the frozen bananas, cinnamon, honey, Greek yogurt, chia seeds, and your preferred milk. Since all the ingredients should be fairly soft by this point, a quick 20-second blend is all it takes to achieve a smooth consistency. To us, this smoothie tastes like banana bread in a glass, and we absolutely love it.

Recipe: Cinnamon Banana Walnut Smoothie

8. Ginger Cinnamon Pear Smoothie

Smoothies are so unassuming. They're simple to make, require just a few ingredients, and are often overlooked as a fantastic playground for culinary experiments. If you're on the lookout for something that breaks away from the usual smoothie routine, then this ginger cinnamon pear smoothie is a refreshingly unique and ultra-different choice.

Begin by chopping your fruit (one pear and half a banana) and grating fresh ginger root directly into the blender. We strongly recommend using fresh ginger root from your grocery store rather than powdered ginger, as grating ginger can be an enjoyable part of the process. If you find peeling ginger challenging, a spoon's edge works exceptionally well in removing the peel. Along with the ginger and fruit, add vanilla yogurt, milk, honey, almond butter, cinnamon, and cardamom into the blender. Blend until you achieve your desired consistency.

Recipe: Ginger Cinnamon Pear Smoothie

9. Refreshing Vanilla Fig Smoothie

For this smoothie, you'll need both dried and fresh figs, so double check your grocery list to ensure you have both types and avoid an extra shopping trip. Start by soaking the dried figs in water for about 10 minutes to soften them.

Once you have a softened fig, combine it in your blender with Greek yogurt, your choice of milk, and protein powder (we used vanilla, but feel free to experiment with other flavors). Add in the fresh figs, freshly grated ginger, almond or peanut butter, cinnamon, and some maple syrup. We love to enhance the presentation by placing a cinnamon stick directly in the glass and pouring the smoothie over it. For an extra touch of elegance, try slicing a fig in half, skewering it, and using it as a garnish. Slivered almonds also make a perfect topping for this smoothie.

Recipe: Refreshing Vanilla Fig Smoothie

10. Chocolate Coconut Smoothie Bowl

If the concept of smoothie bowls is relatively new to you, it's helpful to think of them as akin to eating ice cream from a bowl, but in a less dessert-like form. Enjoying a smoothie from a bowl is a unique experience where layers of flavor play a key role. Unlike smoothies, where crunchy toppings might be an afterthought, in smoothie bowls, they are central — even if they aren't blended in.

Start by creating a very thick smoothie. Use frozen bananas, coconut cream (usually found solidified at the top of a can of coconut milk), cocoa powder, and vanilla extract. Blend these in a blender until you achieve a satisfyingly thick consistency, then pour it into your bowls. Now comes the fun part: Get creative with your toppings. Add coconut flakes, coconut yogurt, cacao nibs, and even chopped pistachios. Feel free to experiment with other fruits or flavors as toppings. The beauty of a smoothie bowl is that you can easily remove a topping if you find the texture or taste not to your liking.

Recipe: Chocolate Coconut Smoothie Bowl

11. At-Home Acai Bowl

If you're a fan of smoothie bowls, then exploring the world of acai bowls is a must. These bowls feature a delicious acai-based smoothie as their foundation, topped with an array of beautiful ingredients that create a dish that's as delicious as it is visually appealing. Frozen acai berries are typically available in the frozen section of your grocery store, so don't worry if you can't find them fresh.

To make the base, blend the frozen acai berries with a banana and a milk of your choice. We prefer coconut milk, but feel free to use any milk that suits your taste. Once those parts are blended to a smooth consistency, pour them into a bowl. Then add your toppings. For larger fruits like strawberries, it's best to slice them for easier eating, while smaller items like blueberries and almonds can be sprinkled on top as they are. We also love to include granola, sunflower seeds, shredded coconut, and chia seeds for extra texture and flavor.

Recipe: At-Home Acai Bowl

12. Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Smoothie

The strawberry banana smoothie is a timeless classic for good reason. Its best feature is its simplicity — unlike more extravagant smoothies with hard-to-find ingredients, everything you need is easily available at your local grocery store. We put a twist on the classic by adding oats, turning it into a more substantial meal.

The key to this smoothie is using frozen bananas. If you follow our suggestion of keeping frozen bananas on hand, this recipe becomes a breeze to prepare. Simply blend the frozen bananas with strawberries, oats, milk, and a dash of vanilla extract for that extra flavor. The blending process is quick; you'll likely only need about 30 seconds to achieve a smooth consistency.

Recipe: Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Smoothie