This high-calorie smoothie is nutrient dense, made with over 700 calories and a whopping 34g of protein per serving.
It's a healthy smoothie that tastes delicious as is, but it’s also the perfect vehicle to carry additional ingredients and flavors – a build your own recipe. Being able to switch out the flavors means you’ll never get tired of it, and you can keep it seasonal.
The great thing about making your own high calorie smoothie is you know exactly what’s going into your body. There are no added preservatives or hidden nasties.
When making smoothies for healthy weight gain, you want them full of clean, high-calorie ingredients. This recipe is full of good, healthy ingredients, perfect for bulking up in a heart friendly way.
Why make a high calorie smoothie
- For weight gain goals: High-calorie smoothies are an efficient way to increase calorie intake. Blend and go! By incorporating calorie-dense ingredients such as nut butters, avocados, and full-fat dairy products, the calorie content of your smoothie is boosted.
- Athletes and active people: High-intensity workouts and physically demanding activities soak up a lot of energy. Athletes and active people often need higher levels of calories to support their training, muscle recovery, build muscle mass, and overall performance.
- Meal replacement: This is a great on-the-go meal replacement.
- Diminished appetites: This can be due to illness, surgery, or medical treatments. It is sometimes challenging to consume enough calories and nutrients when you’re under the weather. In this case, a high-calorie smoothie is an easy solution to pack much-needed calories, even when your appetite isn’t there.
Benefits of weight gain smoothies
- Easy Digestion: Liquid meals such as smoothies are typically easier to digest than solid food, making it a great alternative for people with digestive issues, recovering from illness or people with reduced appetite.
- Time-Efficient: Weight-gain smoothies are much quicker and easier to make than a cooked high-calorie meal.
- On-the-go: Smoothies are great for people on-the-go as they are portable and easy to pack.
- Nutrient Dense: High-calorie smoothies are usually packed with a variety of nutrient-dense foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and dairy or alternative.
High-calorie foods to consider
I like to include foods are high in calories but can also deliver beneficial nutrients like protein, fiber, healthy fats, and various vitamins and minerals.
Here are 15 high-calorie ingredients you might consider for a high-calorie smoothie, along with their approximate calorie content per typical serving.
|High in vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium and fiber.
|High in monounsaturated fats (heart healthy), fiber, vitamin K, E, C, and folate.
|Natural Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
|High in protein, fiber, and a good source of vitamin E and B3. Make sure that it doesn't include any other additives
|Greek Yogurt (full-fat)
|High in protein and a good source of calcium, B12 and selenium.
|High in vitamin C and iron, but also high in saturated fat!
|½ cup, uncooked
|High in dietary fiber, particularly beta-glucans, and a good source of manganese and phosphorus.
|1 scoop, varies by brand
|High in protein, some are fortified with additional vitamins and minerals.
|High in dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
|High in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and a variety of minerals including calcium.
|High in protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
|High in dietary fiber, and a good source of potassium and magnesium. I especially love Medjool dates because of their texture and caramel-like flavor!
|Rich in unsaturated fats, protein, and a good source of copper, magnesium and zinc.
|High in monounsaturated fats, protein, dietary fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium.
|Is essentially pure sugar but contains some antioxidants. Maple syrup would also be an option.
Please remember that these values are seen to be estimates and can vary based on the specific brand, ripeness (in the case of fruits), or preparation methods.
Not all ingredients in a high-calorie smoothie have to be high-calorie themselves. Here are 10 additional ingredients that might be lower in calories but can add great taste and additional nutrients:
- Milk: makes a great base. Feel free to use whole milk or an alternative such as soy milk (has all essential amino-acids), oat milk or almond milk.
- Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries add natural sweetness and are high in antioxidants and fiber.
- Spinach: It's virtually tasteless in a smoothie and is an excellent source of iron, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K. You can use frozen or fresh spinach.
- Kale: Another leafy green that packs a ton of nutrients and is also high in antioxidants. If you decide to include it make sure to drink the smoothie right away as kale could turn it bitter after a while.
- Cocoa Powder: A great way to add a chocolate flavor without a lot of calories, plus it's high in antioxidants.
- Cinnamon: This spice can make your smoothie taste like dessert without adding many calories.
- Mint Leaves: for subtle mint flavors. Pairs great with chocolate!
- Fresh Ginger or Turmeric: Adds a spicy kick.
- Matcha Powder: These can provide a mild caffeine kick and are packed with beneficial antioxidants.
- Vanilla extract: Can add a wonderful aroma and flavor.
Ingredients & substitution notes
- Milk: Serves as the liquid base for your smoothie. Choose the type of milk that suits your dietary preferences or needs, whether it's dairy milk or a plant-based alternative like almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk. Opt for full-fat or higher-calorie options.
- Avocado: Adds a creamy texture and healthy fats to your smoothie. It's a great ingredient for increasing calorie content while providing essential nutrients like monounsaturated fats, fiber, and vitamins.
- Bananas Are a natural sweetener and contribute to the smoothie's creaminess.
- Peanut butter: Peanut butter is a calorie-dense ingredient that adds richness, flavor, and additional healthy fats to your delicious smoothie. Choose natural peanut butter without added sugar or hydrogenated oils.
- Protein powder: Select a scoop of protein powder that aligns with your dietary preferences and goals, such as whey, casein, soy, or plant-based protein powders. Try a vegan protein powder if you like.
- Strawberries: For natural sweetness and a vibrant flavor. You can use any berries in season, though – blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are also great. Frozen or fresh will do.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make a high calorie smoothie
STEP 1: Combine the base ingredients to a good blender or food processor.
STEP 2: Add additional ingredients, to the liquid base, depending on the preferred flavor. Add a little extra milk to thin it back, if needed.
- Use ripe fruit: Ripe fruit blends more smoothly and tastes more vibrant than underripe fruit. Preserve excess ripe fruit for your smoothies by freezing it.
- Adjust consistency: If your blended smoothie is too thick, thin it with extra milk. For a thicker smoothie, pop in a few extra bananas and blend to thicken it up.
- Adjust sweetness: Add a little maple syrup or honey if you want a sweeter taste.
- Sneak in veggies: Other than the color, frozen baby spinach or kale is an easy way to boost your smoothie’s nutrient density. Opt for other veggies like steamed (cooled) carrots or sweet potatoes.
- Portion control: Keep in mind that high-calorie smoothies can be quite filling. Adjust the quantities of ingredients to meet your specific calorie needs.
- Have frozen ingredients at hand: Prepare fruit and veggies by peeling, cooking (where necessary), and storing them in the freezer, cut, and ready to go. This will make your process a lot simpler.
- Vegan: Keep this smoothie vegan or dairy-free by choosing a dairy-free milk of choice.
- Gluten-free: The fruits in this smoothie are naturally gluten-free. Make sure to check the label of your protein powder and peanut butter.
- To store: Store leftover high calorie smoothies in an airtight container for 1 day. The recipe does taste best when consumed immediately. If the mixture has settled and split a little, stir it with a spoon or pop it back into the blender before consuming.
A high-calorie smoothie is a blended drink that contains ingredients specifically chosen to provide a high amount of calories. It is often used to gain weight.
Yes, any type of milk will work in this recipe. Dairy milk, like full-fat milk, can add extra calories and nutrients. Alternatively, choose plant-based versions like almond, soy, or oat milk, which can also contribute to the calorie content.
Yes, choose natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or dates for the best way to lift the taste of your smoothie. Remember that these sweeteners will contribute some extra calories, so use them in moderation.
By including fruits and veggies rich in vitamins and minerals. Spinach, kale or berries are great choices. Celery or carrots are other great options.
High Calorie Smoothie
- 1 strong blender
- 1 ½ cups milk of choice (dairy, soy...) *see notes
- ½ avocado
- 2 bananas *fresh or frozen
- 2 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon scoop protein powder *optional
- 2 handfuls of strawberries
- 2 handfuls of (canned) pineapple
- 2 teaspoon cocoa powder
- Add all of the ingredients to a high-speed blender.
- Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness and texture. For a sweeter smoothie, add a tablespoon of maple syrup or honey, for a thinner smoothie, add more milk.
- makes about 3 cups of smoothie
- Bananas: use fresh or frozen bananas for a creamier texture. You might need a splash more milk if using frozen.
- Use ripe fruit: Ripe fruit blends more smoothly and tastes more vibrant than underripe fruit.
- Adjust consistency: If your blended smoothie is too thick, thin it with extra milk. For a thicker smoothie, pop in a few extra bananas and blend to thicken it u
- Sneak in veggies: Other than the color, frozen baby spinach or kale is an easy way to boost your smoothie’s nutrient density.
- Adjust sweetness: Add a little maple syrup or honey if you want a sweeter taste.