Easy Banana Spinach Protein Smoothie

by | Apr 2, 2018 | All, Breakfast & Brunch, No-Booze Drinks

No excuses for skipping breakfast! This healthy, homemade Easy Banana Spinach Protein Smoothie recipe takes minutes to make and will keep you full until lunch. It’s a great option to refuel post-workout, too!

Glass of Easy Banana Spinach Protein Smoothie on a grey countertop and garnished with a blue and white striped straw. Surrounded by fresh banana slices, fresh baby spinach and a spoonful of almond butter. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, but I’m definitely guilty of grab-and-go convenience when mornings are rushed. Which is why I love this Easy Banana Spinach Protein Smoothie recipe.

Not only is it the best green protein shake recipe (in my opinion), it couldn’t be easier to make and can even be frozen ahead of time to make healthy eating a snap.

What do you put in a spinach smoothie? 

This Banana Spinach Protein Smoothie is filled with a combination of protein, carbs and fiber – a delicious mix of ingredients to tide you over until lunch time: 

  • Banana
  • Spinach
  • Almond Butter
  • Greek yogurt
  • Protein Powder
  • Water

Glass filled with ingredients of Banana Spinach Protein Smoothie, including fresh spinach, banana slices and almonds.

Why put Protein Powder in Smoothies?

Adding protein powder to smoothies is an easy way to increase your protein intake during the day. I always feel fuller longer when I add more protein to my diet. 

This Easy Banana Spinach Protein Smoothie recipe includes protein powder PLUS protein-rich Greek yogurt AND almond butter for a triple punch of protein goodness.

(Can you feel those muscles growing already?)

Can Green Smoothies Taste Good?

Absolutely! Even my kids love this spinach and protein smoothie recipe. Why? Because you can’t taste the spinach! Seriously.

Personally I love spinach in any form, but the flavors of banana, yogurt and almond butter are what shine in this simple protein smoothie.

So feel free to be generous with your handful of nutrient-rich spinach in this gorgeous green smoothie.

Two glasses on a wood board. One is filled with raw ingredients for smoothie and other is filled with blended Banana Spinach Protein Smoothie. What kind of Greek yogurt do you use in this protein smoothie? 

Feel free to play around with this one. My kids prefer vanilla flavored Greek yogurt because it’s sweeter (duh!). But my husband and I will often use plain Greek yogurt. 

Or you can also try substituting whole milk yogurt. The higher fat content will give it a slightly richer flavor. 

Not a dairy fan or have a milk allergy or sensitivity? There are a number of different dairy-free yogurts on the market – made with almonds, soy or coconut milk, to name a few – that will keep this smoothie rich and creamy, too. 

Do I have to use almond butter in this green smoothie recipe? 

Of course not! You can swap in whatever nut butter you like – or whatever you have on hand. 

We have a peanut-free house because of my daughter has a severe peanut allergy, so almond butter is our go-to nut butter. We alternate between Barney Butter and Kirkland Almond Butter. Neither have added sugars, which we prefer. 

But peanut butter would be delicious here (think peanut butter and bananas together – yum!!). 

Cashew butter would also be tasty, as would any number of the seed butters. Experiment to find the flavor combination that tastes perfect for you. 

Two glasses of Easy Banana Spinach Protein Smoothies on a gray countertop. Surrounded by blue and white striped straws, fresh banana slices, fresh spinach and a spoonful of almond butter.

How to make smoothies in advance and freeze them

I love smoothies but pulling one together on a hectic morning can sometimes be too much to think about.

Don’t have an extra time in the morning to whip up this Easy Banana Spinach Protein Smoothie? No worries. I have two options for making this smoothie in advance:

  1. Make a quadruple batch of this spinach protein smoothie and freeze it in individual portions. Simply pop one container in the fridge the day before so it defrosts overnight. (Note: If you enjoy large smoothies, you may also need to pop it in the microwave to defrost it a bit.)
  2. You can actually freeze individual portions of ingredients for this Easy Banana Spinach Protein Smoothie in zip top bags.
    • Portion out your Greek yogurt in ice cube trays and freeze. You can do the same with almond butter if you don’t keep it on hand normally.
    • Add a couple cubes of frozen yogurt to a zip top bag along with your banana, almond butter (if frozen) and spinach (YES, you can freeze spinach for smoothies!).
    • When you’re ready to make your smoothie, grab a pre-made bag from the freezer and dump it in the blender along with your remaining ingredients and enjoy a freshly made smoothie in no time flat!

Tip: Trying to pulverize a frozen banana in the blender can be challenging. I suggest semi-defrosting any rock solid ingredients in the microwave before adding to the blender. They don’t need to be completely defrosted. Even thirty seconds will help ensure they more evenly distribute in the smoothie. 

Single glass of blended Banana Spinach Protein Smoothie with a blue and white striped straw.

Put the right ingredients to your blender first (so you have a smooth smoothie)

The order in which you add ingredients to the blender can make a bit difference in how smooth your smoothie actually is (as well as avoid getting ingredients stuck in the blender’s blades).

  1. Add liquids first. Always. It doesn’t matter if your recipe calls for cow’s milk, almond milk, coconut milk or just plain old water, you should always add your liquid(s) to the blender first. Why? The blender uses the liquids to create that cool tornado inside the jar and helps it pull down the other ingredients into the blade action more easily. 
  2. Next up are protein powders. Add these directly to the liquid in the blender jar to avoid any chance of a chalky aftertaste that could result from it not being fully incorporated into the smoothie during the blend time. 
  3. Get those greens in! Who knew that greens in smoothies are so tasty? There are a variety of greens that you can add to smoothies. Spinach seems to blend the easiest because its leaves are so tender, but heartier greens like kale or collard greens can be tougher to incorporate easily. I suggest removing the tough ribs and any woody stems from these greens before adding to the jar.
  4. Layer in the solids next starting with the softest ingredients first. This can include yogurts and nut butters if you’re using them as well as seeds and raw nuts. 
  5. Fresh fruit and veggies (that are not greens) can now be added. This mostly includes softer fruits like berries and melons as well as avocados. 
  6. The final add to any smoothie should always be your frozen ingredients, including ice. These guys can be rock hard and you want them on top so the sheer weight of them pushes everything else down into the blade action. 
 

More tips for making the best smoothies at home

So you’ve read all the tips, followed all the guides and your smoothie is still not how you want it. Try a few of these troubleshooting techniques to see if it can help save your smoothie: 
 
    • Smoothie too thick? Add more liquid and give it a good stir to incorporate the liquid before blending again. You’re trying to get that liquid as close to the base as possible to help with the blending action. 
    • Smoothie not sweet enough? Add any number of sweeteners to the jar, including honey, maple syrup, stevia or even a whole pitted date. Start with a small amount, blend and then taste and adjust as needed. 
    • Smoothie not blending well? Start the blender on low and then gradually increase it to higher speeds to fully blend everything together. You can also try adding a bit of additional liquid to see if that will help smooth out the texture during blending. 
    • Smoothie not cold enough? Use frozen fruit. This keeps the smoothie chilled instead of adding ice. Bonus: frozen fruit also makes smoothies thicker. 

Glass of Banana Spinach Protein Smoothie with a blue and white striped straw. Surrounded by chopped banana pieces and baby spinach leaves.

To make this Easy Banana Spinach Protein Smoothie recipe, you’ll need:

  • A good blender. Now I know not everyone can splurge on a top-tier blender, but I highly suggest you save up your birthday gift cards because they make a huge difference in how quickly you can pull together one of these green smoothie beauties.

Note: I own Blendtec and love it, but many people are also thrilled with their Vitamix blenders.These high-powered blenders do a much better job of tackling rock hard items like ice and frozen yogurt cubes and are able to decimate that spinach into microscopic pieces (which is key when you’re trying to convince a non-green smoothie person to try a green smoothie).

To be clear, a powerful blender is not a “must have” to enjoy this protein smoothie recipe. But if you’re someone who is a smoothie junkie, you’ll appreciate not having to reblend your ingredients repeatedly just to get rid of the big frozen chunks of fruit.

  • These measuring cups are awesome because they are magnetic and stick together. No more lost measuring cups!
  • This vanilla protein powder is our current favorite. We’ve tried a number of them but keep coming back to this one. It’s organic, too!

Collage picture of Easy Banana Spinach Protein Smoothies. Garnished with blue and white striped straws, fresh banana slices, fresh spinach and almond butter.

If you like this protein smoothie recipe, here are more delicious ways to get your smoothie fix:

Hosting a group for brunch? Serve a round of these adorable Cherry Almond Smoothie Shooters.

Add a shot of caffeine to your morning smoothie with this Easy Coffee Smoothie Recipe.

Spring berries are coming! Enjoy them in this Strawberry Mango Protein Smoothie.

Fiber-rich oatmeal is a fantastic add-in to this tasty Blueberry Oatmeal Smoothie.

Dessert for breakfast? Yes you can with this Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie recipe!

Click HERE for more tasty breakfast and brunch recipe ideas! 

 

Yield: Makes 1 smoothie

Easy Banana Spinach Protein Smoothie

Glass of Easy Banana Spinach Protein Smoothie on a grey countertop and garnished with a blue and white striped straw. Surrounded by fresh banana slices, fresh baby spinach and a spoonful of almond butter.

Refuel post-workout with this Easy Banana Spinach Protein Smoothie. Freeze them in advance for a quick and healthy breakfast on the go, too!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 banana
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 huge handful spinach

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to blender and puree to desired consistency.

Notes

Want to make a batch of smoothies? Check the post for tips on how to make these smoothies in advance!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

1

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 365Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 153mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 6gSugar: 13gProtein: 46g

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Craving a healthy breakfast on the go? Make these Easy Banana Spinach Protein Smoothies in advance at home and store them in the freezer until you’re ready to enjoy them. This green spinach smoothie recipe is packed with protein from three sources: protein powder, Greek yogurt and almond butter! 

 

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33 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Thanks for posting! I am going to try a big batch and freeze. I love breakfast but am terrible at eating something healthy and substantial when I have to get Jackson to school and therapy in the morning. What kind of containers do you freeze them in??

    Reply
    • Avatar

      We use round tupperware-like containers with lids. Pat usually dumps his in a large mug when he gets to work. Just remember to defrost them the night before!

      Reply
  2. Avatar

    I am into smoothies these days–trying to get healthy for the New Year! I keep eyeing up these green smoothies, so I might just have to try this out.

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Try it and let us know what you think! I promise, you can’t taste the spinach. Pure goodness!

      Reply
  3. Avatar

    A – I’m looking forward to trying this out to liven up my ho-hum breakfasts – will let you know what I think!

    Reply
  4. Avatar

    Hi from The Netherlands! This smoothie I really would like to try. One question though, I do not have protein powder (I am not on a diet to loose weight). Is there a natural ingredient that I could replace it with? Or can I simly leave it out?
    Regards! Nelleke

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Hi Nelleke, So glad you found our blog! You can leave out the protein powder, but I suggest adding some vanilla-flavored greek yogurt and/or honey to keep the taste similar to the original recipe. Enjoy!

      Reply
    • Avatar

      I have been making this shake w/o the protien poweder —I add 1tbs peanut butter -great taste and adds a bit of protien also

      Reply
      • Avatar

        Perfect!

        Reply
  5. Avatar

    I love eating healthy… I’m trying this smoothie tomorrow! Thank you Pinterest, lol.

    Reply
  6. Avatar

    OMG my mouth is watering just looking at that picture.

    I whipped up a smoothie when I got home and it was amazing!

    Reply
  7. Avatar

    Is there anything to substitute the almond butter I have almond milk and almonds

    Reply
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      Hi Rachelle, you can simply omit the almond butter if you don’t have it. Another alternative is to use peanut butter or any other nut butter.

      Reply
      • Avatar

        Or just NUTS, I use almonds

        Reply
  8. Avatar

    I just tried this smoothie and it was delicious! I’ve been trying to experiment with throwing in my own ingredients and they always turn out terrible! I’ve been wanting smoothies that have spinach, but that don’t taste terrible and this one was perfect!!! thank you so much! Do you have any other smoothie recipes with spinach or high protein???

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Hi Rochelle, I don’t have any other high-protein recipes to share, but you can certainly adapt this one to use different fruits and/or spinach. I also suggest checking us out on Pinterest. We have a board dedicated solely to smoothies with some excellent options from other talented bloggers. Good luck!

      Reply
  9. Avatar

    Just found your blog, garnish with lemon…wonderful…trying the Spinach banana smoothie in the morning…can’t wait…plan to try many of the recipes found there..thank you.

    Reply
  10. Avatar

    Is the almond butter just for flavor?? Going to try these this week. I know the kids will eat them but I won’t tell them there is spinach in them!!!

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Hi Karen, we use almond butter because my daughter is allergic to peanuts, but you can certainly sub in peanut butter, if you prefer. It adds a bit of thickness to the smoothie as well as some additional protein. Hope it goes over well with your kids!

      Reply
  11. Avatar

    I just made this smoothie, however, I substituted the almond butter with raw coconut butter (note I say butter, not coconut oil), and instead of the Greek yogurt, I used 2/3 cup vanilla-flavored almond milk, only because my protein powder is plain and one scoop of it offers 25g of protein already. I’m thinking next time I make it, I will see what it tastes like to add some cucumber and/or celery and maybe a handful of frozen blueberries!

    Reply
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      Glad you found a way to make it perfect for you, Angela!

      Reply
  12. Avatar

    What a delicious looking smoothie recipe, and healthy too! I especially love the photos, a lovely combination of vibrant colors 🙂

    Reply
  13. Avatar

    Hi
    What if I have unflavored protein powder, can I add vanilla extract for flavor ?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Avatar

      You can do that, Vanessa. Or you can also swap in vanilla Greek yogurt if you have that handy. Or just use the plain protein powder you have.

      Reply
  14. Avatar

    I was curious if when you are preparing these to store in the freezer, do you include the water and the protein powder and the almond butter? Or do you add those when you’re ready to blend everything together?

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Hi Alma, I typically freeze the banana and spinach together and then add the remaining ingredients together when I blend them together. You can also prepare the smoothies entirely and simply freeze individual portions if that works better for you. Enjoy!

      Reply
    • Avatar

      Hi!
      Approximately how many calories and grams of protein are in this smoothie?

      Reply
      • Avatar

        Hi Julianna, I updated the post to give you an idea of the nutritional stats. Bear in mind that these numbers will change based on the ingredients you use and any quantities you choose to modify for your tastes. If you prefer more exact numbers, plug your ingredient amounts (including brand name) into any number of nutritional calculators available online. Enjoy!

        Reply
  15. Avatar

    I tried it, sorry i didn’t post a pic, i will next time i do it . I was really suprised how tasty it was, didn’t even taste the spinach. I substituted the almond butter and water with almond milk. I felt really good knowing i was giving my body some much needed nutrition and i did not have to suffer for taste to do so or spend over 15 minutes chewing 🙂

    Reply
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      So glad you enjoyed it, Nicole!

      Reply
  16. Avatar

    Loved the taste and easy to make. Tried it for lunch though after my work out. Feel full and great.

    Reply
    • Avatar

      So glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply
  17. Avatar

    Amazing!!! Thank you! I ran out of Kale and thought… hmmmm maybe spinach, and your receipt took it to the next level. Thank you

    Reply

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