Most smoothies full of nutritious ingredients that make great healthy snacks or an efficient meal choice when you're crunched for time.

Most of us love a good smoothie in the morning or on-the-go throughout a busy day, but for many people, figuring out how to make a tasty smoothie in a short amount of time presents a challenge. Here are some tips on how you can throw together a smoothie without wasting a ton of time:

Plan Your Smoothie

Coming up with your own smoothies is not only doable, but it's completely easy and certainly not something that should make you feel overwhelmed.

It might seem like a task to come up with specific measurements and determine which flavors blend well together but once you get the basics down, making your own custom smoothies actually becomes an enjoyable process.

three smoothies with stripped straws and leafy garnishes

Establishing The Base Of The Smoothie

The base of a smoothie is perhaps the most crucial part. It can really be anything you want it to be, so long as it's liquid (obviously). Some popular options for a base include milk, fruit juice, coconut milk or coconut water. Each base will bring out different flavors, so experiment with different bases if you're not satisfied with your first attempt.

To make sure your blender survives for years, make sure to add the liquid base to your shaker before adding any solids -- this will preserve the blade and protect it from damage.

pouring milk and bananas into a smoothie

Selecting Your Ingredients

After selecting your base, choose the fruit that you want to blend. Bananas are a popular choice to add to smoothies because they have a creamy texture once blended and offer a pleasant flavor without being overpowering. For an even sweeter taste, you can try using berries, peaches, apples, nectarines, mangoes and melons.

The fruit that you select will make up the most potent flavors in your smoothie, and it will also influence the overall texture. If you're looking for additional sweetness, you can implement natural sugars such as agave syrup, honey or even maple syrup.

Using frozen fruit will help chill your smoothie, but use a few ice cubes as well, especially if you're using fresh fruit. To save time during prep, freeze your fruit in advance so you always have a ready supply of fruit to blend on hand. Freezing your fruit will also keep your fruits fresh and prevent them from going bad before you can use them, eliminating waste.

different fruits lying out. berries, grapes and pineapple

Pick Your Protein

Smoothies are meant to be delicious and nutritious, so if you're wanting to make your smoothies more of a filling meal, try adding some protein. While the aforementioned nuts, flax seeds and oats do have some protein content, using a protein powder will give you a much higher amount. Just be careful, as some protein powders also come with high calories.

If you're avoiding whey protein, there are plenty of vegan and vegetarian options such as pea protein -- it provides the benefits of whey protein and won't noticeably change the flavor of your smoothie.

hands holding peas

Be Creative

After you've mastered these necessary steps to a substantial smoothie, unleash your inner creativity and create the perfect smoothie concoction

Try fruits, bases and even spices that you wouldn't usually think of. The worst case scenario means you might make a smoothie you're not crazy about, but you also might stumble upon a recipe you absolutely love. Some excellent flavor enhancers to try out include vanilla, ground nutmeg, cocoa powder and cinnamon. These will give your shake an extra layer of depth and make it even more interesting on your palate.

Flavor is essential, but the texture is significantly important to a tasty smoothie, too. Using ingredients like oats, flax seeds and chopped up nuts will change the consistency of your smoothie and add flavor as well.

woman holding and drinking a pink smoothie
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