We asked nutritionists for their favorite healthy smoothie ingredients—and how to use them.
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Acai bowl with various fruits and berries
Credit: Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

Have you ever wondered what nutrition experts put in their smoothies every morning? We've been there after making the same four-ingredient mango smoothie recipe for weeks on end. That's why we asked some top nutritionists to share all the juicy details—because sometimes we all need a little help getting out of a smoothie rut. Here is a list of seven healthy and delicious smoothie ingredients from seven verified professionals. As a bonus, each expert included a recipe to try that is jam-packed with all the flavor nuances that smoothie lovers appreciate.

Fresh Sweet Cherry

Nutrition expert: Megan Roosevelt, R.D., founder of Healthy Grocery Girl

Why It's Good for You

Cherries contain vitamin C and anthocyanins, a compound that has been linked with fighting inflammation. That means sipping a cherry smoothie after a workout may help your body rebound more effectively.

Recipe: Sweet and Creamy Cherry Smoothie

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh sweet cherries, pitted
  • 1 ripe and fresh avocado, seeded, peeled, and sliced
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/2 fresh lime, juiced
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk beverage (like coconut or almond milk)
  • 1 cup of ice

Directions:

Add all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend for 15 to 20 seconds. Pour into two glasses.

Note: If you want to boost the smoothie's protein quota, add a plant-based protein powder such as brown rice, hemp or pea protein, or chia seeds.

Wild Blueberry

Nutrition expert: Kit Broihier, R.D.

Why It's Good for You

Wild blueberries have more fiber and antioxidants than their cultivated cousins, and they're an excellent source of manganese, a mineral that's important for bone health. Wild blueberries are also rich in anthocyanin, which contributes to their nutritional profile and adds to their dark blue color. And although they are tiny, wild blueberries deliver big in the taste department; they actually have a more intense blueberry flavor than the larger, regular blueberries. (Look for true wild blueberries—which are only grown in Maine and Canada—in the freezer section.)

Recipe: Morning in Maine Wild Blueberry Smoothie

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup skim milk (or unsweetened almond, coconut, or soy milk)
  • 1/3 cup fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 handful baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries (do not thaw)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup (or more, to taste)
  • Dash cinnamon

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Note: This smoothie is the blender version of Broihier's favorite summer breakfast of cottage cheese topped with fruit and a shake of cinnamon. She prefers blueberries and syrup from Maine, but you can use your favorite local wild blueberries and syrup.

Ginger

Nutrition expert: Marie Spano, R.D.

Why It's Good for You

Ginger adds a nice "zing" to your smoothie, while also calming the stomach. Ginger may also help to decrease inflammation and soreness after resistance exercise. One study showed that consuming 2 grams of fresh ginger or ginger spice daily for 11 days before a bout of eccentric exercise reduced muscle pain over the 24-hour period following the exercise session. And other research has linked ginger to reduced osteoarthritis pain.

Recipe: Lime Ginger Smoothie

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces vanilla soymilk
  • 1 scoop unflavored or vanilla whey protein
  • 2 teaspoons (or more if desired) fresh cut ginger
  • Zest from one lime
  • Ice as desired

Directions:

Toss all of the ingredients in a blender and let it run until the beverage is smooth.

Kiwi

Nutrition expert: Sarah-Jane Bedwell, R.D.

Why It's Good for You

Just one kiwi packs more than 100 percent of your daily-recommended value of vitamin C, a crucial antioxidant that helps with collagen formation. Added bonus for this smoothie: Mint has high antioxidant content.

Recipe: Kiwi-Mint Smoothie

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 medium banana
  • 1 cup loosely packed spinach
  • 1 cup loosely packed mint leaves
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 small kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup ice cubes

Directions:

In a blender, combine almond milk, banana, spinach, mint, lime juice, kiwi. Blend until smooth. Add the Greek yogurt and ice cubes and blend again until smooth.

Almond Butter

Nutrition expert: Christopher Mohr, Ph.D., R.D.

Why It's Good for You

The almonds provide a combination of healthy fat, fiber, protein, and nutrition. Bonus healthy ingredients in this recipe include cacao powder which provides antioxidants and whey powder which packs protein to help keep your energy constant throughout the day.

Recipe: Chocolate Almond Butter Protein Shooter

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon natural almond butter
  • 1 scoop serving chocolate whey protein powder
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
  • 1 cup ice cubes

Directions:

Toss all of the ingredients into the blender and let the blades whir until your beverage is smooth and creamy.

Carrot

Nutrition expert: Kristi L. King, R.D.

Why It's Good for You

Carrots make a great smoothie ingredient—they are a wonderful source of fiber and vitamin A. Vitamin A is important not only for healthy skin and eyes but also for the immune system. They're a good smoothie add-in for someone who doesn't like their drink too sweet.

Recipe: Carrot Tropical Fruit Smoothie

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2-3/4 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/4 cup ice
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/3 cup 100 percent orange juice
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots (cooked will be softer and easier to blend)
  • 1/2 banana

Directions:

Blend the ingredients up until frothy and smooth.

Dragon Fruit/Pitaya

Nutrition expert: Kelly Sloan, dietetics student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and blogger

Why It's Good for You

Pitaya dragon fruit is a tropical fruit that's rich in antioxidants and vitamin C and can be paired with any combination of fruit. Its bright purple color will brighten up any smoothie, too!

Recipe: Summer Pitaya Smoothie

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 3.5-ounce Pitaya PLUS Dragon fruit smoothie pack, frozen (or you can use fresh pitaya/dragon fruit, chopped)
  • 2 large bananas, frozen
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, frozen
  • 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup water or juice
  • 2 tablespoons trail mix or granola

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add more water for a thinner consistency. Top with trail mix or granola for crunch and presentation.