A Breakfast Smoothie Habit and 5 Smoothie Recipes

For Christmas, I received a Vitamix blender. I didn’t ask for it because it seemed too extravagant, but now I’m happy Marc bought it. Before I had terrible luck with blenders and then this high-speed blender walked into my life. I now make smoothies almost every morning. At first I worried about the cost of buying smoothie ingredients in addition to the cost of the blender, but I was surprised by how reasonably priced smoothies are to make at home. It certainly is at least half the cost of purchasing a smoothie or coffee drink at your favorite to-go places. I’m also glad we’re adding more fruit and vegetables into our daily routine.

Why Vitamix?

I know it is an expensive blender and I was hesitant about the price, too. Here are some reasons it’s worth it to me.

It’s more than a smoothie maker

In addition to smoothies, you can make hot soup (hot!), ice cream, dressings, nut milks, raw porridge and your own nut butters.

I didn’t want to worry about buying another blender

I had a blender from a top brand that was around $100 and it couldn’t make a decent margarita. I know there are some $30 models that can do a better job than that, but I was ready to invest in something that I wouldn’t have to replace. I looked at models in between my $100 blender and the Vitamix and thought I found a contender, but the reviews were terrible. If you add up the amount of cheap blenders you may have gone through or the amount of drive-through coffee or smoothie drinks you have enjoyed, it might make sense for you, too.

It’s powerful

I like that it can handle large chunks of fresh and frozen fruit. This means less chopping and prep time in the morning.  Some smoothies might need the assistance of the damper, but it blends everything until very smooth like a champ. I can make two smoothies including washing the fresh fruit and washing up the few dishes I used while the smoothie blends in about 15 minutes. Once you get the hang of it, you can get your smoothies done quickly in the morning.

No waste

I’ve watched the infomercials for the juicers and I just knew that I could not make enough quick breads to use the resulting pulp. I love that the Vitamix blends everything together with no waste. Using the whole fruit and vegetables in your smoothie increases your fiber intake and everything is broken down so the nutrients can efficiently be used by your body.  The fiber also helps  avoid a spike in blood sugar. This article on the benefits of smoothies is a pretty good read.

It’s made in the USA

I like that.

It’s easy to clean

This was something I was really adamant about. If it was hard to clean, I wouldn’t use it every day. My Vitamix has a clean setting (I have the Vitamix professional series 750), so I take the blender with leftover smoothie still clinging to the sides, add warm water about half way, pump 1 squirt of soap in the blender, cover and choose the clean setting. Some Vitamix models do not have the clean setting, so you can simply start on low and move to high until it’s really worked the soapy water up the sides. It’s like a mini dishwasher. I give the canister one last quick rinse, shake it all out and place the canister and lid upside-down on a towel to dry while I’m at work.

Getting Started

My goal for these breakfast smoothies were for them to be healthy, naturally sweetened, around 300 calories or less and easy to make. I didn’t want to use too many tropical fruits that naturally have a higher glycemic index (or raise blood sugar levels after eating) but I think it’s ok to use a little to naturally sweeten the smoothies. My choice is the inexpensive and readily available organic banana, but you can substitute in pineapple or mango. Marc is not a huge banana fan, so I try to go light on the banana and he  still enjoys these smoothies. I like to use organic fruit and spinach because the Vitamix blends everything, skin and all. Any remaining pesticides on the skin would go right in the smoothie. I give all of my fresh fruit a quick soapy wash (I use Seventh Generation dish soap) and rinse before using, organic or not. I use the My Fitness Pal app to calculate the calories for each smoothie. To make the smoothie easy to enjoy on the go, I purchased 2 – 12 ounce Starbucks tumblers with tight fitting lids and reusable straws. They work great.

Every week or two, I buy:

  • a large container of fresh baby spinach 
  • a bag of chia or flax seeds (Trader Joe’s sells chia seeds)
  • fresh organic fruit (right now apples, pears and winter citrus)
  • a few bags of frozen fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and sweet cherries)
  • a large bunch of organic bananas (I cut each ripe banana into 2-3 pieces and place them in a single layer in a resealable plastic bag and freeze. I reuse the bag to store bananas and the bag to hold opened bags of frozen fruit over and over again. )

The overall formula I use for 2 – 12 ounce smoothies each morning is:

  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 1 tablespoon of chia or flax seeds
  • 2 fresh fruits
  • 2 cups of frozen fruit
  • 1/2 a frozen banana (I like the texture better with frozen, not fresh banana)
  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup of water, nut milk, cow’s milk, buttermilk or plain yogurt
  • You can add a bit of ice to any smoothie that has 2 cups of frozen fruit or less. Any more frozen fruit and it will be plenty frozen already.

This is not a sponsored post. We  purchased the Vitamix on our own and all thoughts and opinions are my own. Some links in the post are Amazon affiliate links that help support this blog.

Here are my favorite smoothie recipes so far. Some vary from my smoothie formula above, but I think you’ll like them all.

19 Notes Leave a Note

  1. A vitamix has been on my wish list for a while. I can’t justify getting one just yet while we live in Germany and would have to run it on a transformer, but when we get back I think I’ll bite the bullet. We have a blender here that my husband and I use several times everyday. It’s the best way I know to get greens in my diet.

    These recipes look so great!

    • It’s hard to take the plunge with the Vitamix, but you won’t regret it. Everyone I know that has one just loves it. I agree, smoothies are the best way to get your greens. I’m experimenting with kale now, too 🙂

    • I like using kale, too, Nancy! I’m recommending spinach here for smoothie beginners because you can’t detect any flavor from the greens (I should have mentioned that in the post). Then they can work your way up and add other veggies if they like! I added a bit of red pepper to my smoothies, once or twice, which I thought added a unique sweet note.

  2. I had a dream just last night that I found a blender I didn’t know I had deep within one of my cupboards…ha! I haven’t owned a blender for years (my brother “borrowed” it for a margarita party, then we moved across the country), so I’v been smoothie-less…I think when I finally bite the bullet, I’ll splurge like you did. I’m into buying quality kitchen goods as I get older and have to replace my old stuff. Great review/post, Nicole!

    • Ha, what a dream! My other blender was such a disappointment, I just couldn’t go through that again. I guess we’re getting wiser as we get older 🙂 I can’t wait to make frozen cocktails in it this summer!

  3. I love this post, Nicole- so informative! I had no idea the Vitamix blenders are made in the USA. That is good. I feel the same reservations you voiced here- that the Vitamix is too extravagant. You do make a good point about how if you add up all the busted blenders buying one Vitamix for life makes sense. Love the smoothie recipes and those cute little recipe cards!

    • I hear you, Jess. I am usually super practical. If Marc would have consulted me, I probably would have said no to the Vitamix 🙂 He also bought me my DSLR and now I am very glad he did. Once the splurge is purchased, though, I get to work making sure I use it. That’s the reason for this smoothie kick! Glad you enjoyed the post, Jess!

  4. The Vitamix has a clean setting?! That is genius. I would love to whip up smoothies breakfast but my blender is such a hassle to clean, especially first thing in the morning when I’m already running late for work 🙂 I doubt I’ll be spending that much on a blender anytime soon, but it sounds like a dream.

    That said, I think I’ll be using my good old Oster this weekend to make a Cran-Strawberry Orange Pear Smoothie. It sounds amazing and I have have most of the ingredients at home already!

    Also…. still totally in love with the redesign.

    • The clean setting is a total game changer! I wonder if some warm water, a squirt of soap and spin on high in your Oster would work after a smoothie? I hope you like the smoothie. I love when I have all the stuff to make a new recipe already in my house. It’s like winning a mini lottery or something 🙂 Thank you!!

      • My Vitamix does not have a CLEAN setting. 2/3 full of warm water, 2 drops of dish liquid start on 1 and turn up to 6 or 7 for 30 seconds and done. Pour out and rinse.

  5. It sounds yummy and healthy! But is it enough before school for kids? If you use yogurt is it enough protein? How long are you full?

    • Hi Kristi! I haven’t made these smoothies for kids, but if you want more staying powder/protein, yogurt, buttermilk, milk and nut butters will be a big help. When making these for my husband and I, I want to stay full, but I’m also counting calories. We’ve since started boxing/weight training and we’ll add a scoop of egg white protein mix (Jay Robb), yogurt or nut butter for extra protein. I hope that helps!

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