Smoothies for Quick Snacks – Orange Mango Carrot Smoothie

Written by Katie of Good Life Eats

Our life is so busy right now! We’re getting ready for an out of state move and I’ve been traveling a ton. I just counted, and in the last 38 days (as of Monday this week) I’ve been out of town for 21 days. During the days home I’ve been sick twice. Just my luck!

I can’t remember the last time we sat down to a nice, family dinner where we were all present and I often forget what day it is.

Now that I’m finally home, it is time to start the packing and cleaning process. And eventually that means I’ll have to pack up my kitchen. There is so much to do! Needless to say, we are in for some really simple meals and snacks in the next 7 weeks.

When I’m busy, I’m often at a danger of forgetting to eat. Preparing meals can feel like too much work. To solve this dilemma, I’ve turned to my blender. Smoothies are great as a snack or an add-on to breakfast, lunch or dinner and they’re fast and easy to prepare.

Since purchasing a new, super high-powered blender there is even more variety that I can prepare with this one little appliance: Smoothies, Juices, Dips, Sauces, Soups, Homemade Nut Butters, Ice Cream and more. The kids don’t realize it – but when they ask for a smoothie as a snack I am cheering inside: Healthy! Easy! Quick! No Mess! Hurray!

All photos by Katie of Good Life Eats

We have been experimenting with adding vegetables like carrots, spinach, yellow peppers to our smoothies because our new blender can handle these items. Adding vegetables to smoothies makes for greater nutrition, variety, and a fun food experiment.

It helps encourage my picky eater to try new things while it helps me clean out the produce drawer of the fridge. All the while we’re packing healthy fruits and vegetables into our bodies. That’s a win all around I’d say!

5 Healthy Smoothie Making Tips

1. Add the liquids first. Unless otherwise specified, add the ingredients in the order in which they are listed in the recipe. I have found that liquids first helps get the blender blending faster rather than allowing the blades to get stuck on a hunk of fruit.

2. Balance out fruits with mild vegetables. Carrots, yellow peppers, and spinach are great choices because they don’t often affect the final flavor outcome. Do you have other favorite vegetable suggestions? I’d love to hear them!

3. When using yogurt, opt for Greek variety. Greek yogurt has less sugar and more protein than traditional yogurt. We’re trying to make a healthy snack after all.

4. Invest in a high-powered blender. Seriously. For years I went back and for on whether or not that was wise money to spend. After finally purchasing a Blendtec I can’t believe I put it off so long. No more blender frustration. No more chunks of frozen fruit in my smoothies. No more assembling and disassembling pieces to wash after use.

5. Use the pre-programmed “smoothie setting” if available. Otherwise, start at a low speed and slowly increase the speed to a higher setting. Essentially this is what the “smoothie setting” feature on my blender does.

Orange Mango Carrot Smoothie
5.0 from 1 reviews
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Recipe type: Smoothie
Author:
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 2-4
The Greek Yogurt and/or Protein Powder are optional ingredients. The yogurt makes the smoothie a little creamier while I enjoy adding protein powder when I need an afternoon pick me up (I tend to feel sluggish in the afternoon) or a post-exercise snack.
Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup carrot juice
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, plain or vanilla (optional, according to tastes)
  • 1 large orange, peeled and sectioned
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 drops 100% pure lime essential oil (or a bit of fresh lime zest)
  • 1/2 - 1 serving size scoop of vanilla protein powder (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine the carrot juice, yogurt (if desired), orange, mango chunks, strawberries, and lime essential oil or zest in the blender. Place the lid on and puree (use the "smoothie setting" if your blender has one) until smooth and desired consistency is reached. Add the protein powder (if using) and blend just until combined.
  2. Serve immediately, or portion into freezer safe canning jars and store in the freezer for later use.
Notes
If you have a high-powered blender, such as a Blendtec, you can make homemade carrot juice by combining 2/3 cup of chopped raw carrots and 2/3 cup of water in the blender and processing on the juice setting. I prefer this option because the carrot juice is 100% whole carrot with all the nutritional benefits of a raw carrot. Another alternative is to prepare steamed carrots and puree them if your blender cannot handle pureeing raw carrots, but this option does take extra time.

 

More Yummy (and Healthy!) Smoothie Recipes

How do you solve the “too busy to cook” dilemma?

About Katie G

Katie’s lifelong interest in food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. Katie Goodman is the cook, recipe developer, and self-taught photographer behind GoodLife Eats. It is there that she shares what she finds good in the kitchen and in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week.

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Comments

  1. We’ve been doing smoothies a lot lately. And I just figured out yesterday that a smoothie after my daughter’s afternoon nap is a great way to transition her to awake time (she tends to be super grumpy after naps, like her mama). We usually do some combination of frozen fruit, Greek yogurt, a little spinach and a splash of orange juice. I never really measure and I love how each smoothie comes out tasting a little different.
    Steph’s last post: Letting Our Kids Disagree

  2. What a fabulous idea for breakfast! Yum!
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar’s last post: Gingerbread Granola

  3. This is a great post, Katie! I need to get more into smoothies – my kids have been begging me. My daughter just saw this and is going nuts b/c she loves mangoes! Good luck with your move and thanks for this!
    Cindy @ Once Upon a Loaf’s last post: Pesto Parmesan Dinner Rolls

  4. Oh, this looks so good! I’ve been putting spinach or kale in our smoothies for a while, but I haven’t tried any other veggies. Seems like carrot would be a perfect fit though.
    Deb’s last post: Oatmeal Cookie Scones

  5. We have been drinking a lot of smoothies lately as well! I have been making mine recently with 1 cucumber, 3 celery stalks, 1 cup frozen berries, 1 banana, and enough water to blend it all together but still be thick. It has been awesome, and the kids love them!
    Heather’s last post: so close!

  6. I’ve been debating between a Blendtec and a VitaMix for some time now. Did you research them both before buying? Just wondering if you have any thoughts on one versus the other.
    Tara @ Unsophisticook’s last post: Giving Container Gardening A Try

    • What first attracted me to the Blendtec over the Vitamix was the size and design. It is a lot more compact and can fit under a counter & inside cabinets without being disassembled. I also didn’t like the plunger on the Vitamix. I’ve seen both demo-ed in Costco and they seem pretty comparable but a friend just told me that for grinding grains in the Vitamix you need a separate container (you don’t in the Blendtec). Anyway, I’m totally 100% happy with the Blendtec and kicking myself for not buying one a over year ago when I first started thinking about it.
      Katie | GoodLife Eats’s last post: Grilled Cheese with Tomato, Avocado, Bacon, and Arugula [Giveaway]

  7. We love squash(baked and frozen or canned) in smoothies, either on its own as a pumpkin pie smoothie or with other fruit. It adds a nice sweetness. Thanks for the new recipes to try.
    Jen’s last post: Family Hike: San Rafael Knob

  8. Wow – what a delicious-sounding recipe(s)!
    We love kale in our smoothies. It grows wild in our garden – available even in February despite New England’s winter. And it brings such a good sweetness and more nutrition than spinach! You just have to take it slow since it’s kind of fibrous. I also add tahini and peanutbutter to make the smoothie a real powerpacked meal – great before farm chores or after a bike ride!
    Here’s my recipe:
    http://fitfamilytogether.com/family-fitness-food-recipe-smoothie
    Sarah’s last post: Look Up

  9. I don’t know why I haven’t thought of making carrot juice in my Vitamix– add that to the list to try out soon. Your smoothie looks really good and it turned out a beautiful peach color. I will have to try blending up a carrot and water in my Vitamix to make carrot juice and then adding the other ingredients.
    Mary@Fit and Fed’s last post: Black Bean Tostada with Avocados, Tomatoes, and Mango Salsa

  10. Sme as you – my quite go-to dinner is smoothies all the way! This recipe sounds fantastic and totally unique from what we usually make.
    We’ve successfully added a little cuccumber and zucchini to our smoothies as an added veggie.
    Steph (The Cheapskate Cook)’s last post: Frugal Juicing: What to do with the Leftover Pulp (Recipe: Chocolate Zucchini Muffins)

  11. Hello there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading through your articles. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects? Thanks for your time!
    Savannah’s last post: Oklahoma City bombing

  12. You really don’t notice the carrot taste with the mango, orange and strawberry on top. It’s a great way to get some extra nutrients & produce but doesn’t really change the flavor. If you wanted more of a carrot flavor just increase the amount of carrots. :)
    Katie | GoodLife Eats’s last post: Grilled Cheese with Tomato, Avocado, Bacon, and Arugula [Giveaway]

  13. Laura M. says:

    Smoothies are part of my 3 year old son’s afternoon snack pretty much every day. Love them! He helps me make up a bigger batch of them, then we divide it into smaller mason jars and stick them in the freezer. I pull one out each morning and by the time he is up from his nap, it has thawed enough for him to drink it. And we love adding veggies too. Spinach is the big one, but we’ve done carrots too. He is fully aware of the veggies we put in and the last time he even told me after a taste test that “It needs MORE spinach, Mommy!”

  14. Thanks for the added tips on making your own carrot juice! I’m thinking steaming and pureeing and then freezing in cubes (ala baby food) would make it quick and easy to add to smoothies.

    Our standard is: Orange juice, kale, frozen tropical fruit mix, banana, and yogurt. Sometimes I toss in flaxseed meal for a boost. My kids are totally used to “green” in their smoothies.
    Alissa’s last post: A Season of Change

  15. Smoothies are soooo great!! I love the versatility & and how healthy they can be :) I love your version above, I can just imagine how sweet and delicious it must be
    Living The Sweet Life’s last post: Sunshine Soup

  16. Last summer I had a bumper crop of rainbow chard. You can pack the blender almost FULL with chard, and it disappears into the smoothie. You can’t taste it at all! It does turn everything a funky gross green colour, but you could always call it a zombie smoothie or something if that would help.

  17. I’ve been in a smoothie mood lately. I was on my way to peel and cut mango just now! I’ll have to add this to my repertoire!
    Melissa@BakingForTheBoys’s last post: A Perfect Lunch (Recipes: Potato Chips & French Dip)

  18. Green smoothies have definitely been a blessing during this pregnancy, making it easy for me to get in 2 servings of leafy greens each day! I just wrote about my smoothies yesterday! http://likemamalikedaughter.blogspot.com/2012/04/bell-bottom-baby.html
    Hannah’s last post: Wonderfull (Full of Wonder) Wednesday

  19. Both of my kids LOVE smoothies, so I’ve been collecting all kinds of smoothie recipes. And I keep wanting to incorporate carrots, but I haven’t been sure what flavors to pair them with. I have to try this because it sounds perfect!!
    Deborah’s last post: Saucy Onion Meatball Dip Subs

  20. Oh YUM! I’m a fan of smoothies in the morning – really simple with milk, yogurt, a tablespoon of oats or flaxseed (I like the texture, strange child I am), along with a banana and a spoonful of milo. Whizz it up and you’re away!

    Our blender’s been our best friend for the past few nights when it comes to quick and tasty dinners too – last night we made spinach pesto tossed with pasta and pepper prawns. We almost felt like we were dining out!

  21. I make my kids smoothies just about every morning during the school week. They love them! I was curious about the protein powder you mention. What type/brand do you use and where do you get it? I think it would be a great addition to the smoothies we make!

    • For myself I use a doTERRA brand vanilla protein shake powder. It’s protein sources are: whey isolate, pea protein concentrate, and rice protein concentrate. I don’t like soy based protein shake powders. It is also very low in sugar grams/calories because it uses stevia instead of sugar. I usually add 1/2 of a serving to my smoothies.

      I am a distributor for doTERRA so I purchase it at a discount so that helps since it is a little more on the spendy side, but I have been really happy with the nutrients and flavor in the formula. Because of the cost, I don’t use it for my kids, or if I do I use 1/4 of a serving instead of a whole serving. Instead for them I usually use Greek yogurt to add protein, but you can probably find a good non-soy based protein powder at a health food store like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

      Hope that helped!

  22. Thanks for these tips! I seriously learned something new, such as using Greek yogurt and using the smoothie setting. And yes, I completely agree about adding the liquid first (to help it blend better; otherwise everything stays on top) and using a high-powered blender. When we got married we registered for an awesome one and you could tell the difference!
    Sleeping Mom’s last post: The “right way” toddlers should play

  23. I love smoothies, and yours looks so colorful and refreshing!

    Breakfast for dinner is one way I cope with the challenge of cooking. We enjoyed crepes this week. Tonight I’m making a shrimp stir fry. Seafood cooks quickly.
    Julia’s last post: Earth Week Green Smoothies

  24. I think I can drink this smoothie almost everyday. I am really an avid fan of mangoes and oranges and never have I thought of mixing them together for a smoothie. Got to try this! Thanks!
    Abigail Preston’s last post: 4 Chic Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

  25. i love smoothies a lot, thanks for the useful tips :-)
    shruti’s last post: Photo Wednesday – Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra

  26. I made this this morning (minus the lime zest and protein powder) and swapped frozen bananas for the mango, and it was delish! Thanks for the recipe and the great idea to add veggies to my morning smoothies!

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