This easy 5 minute cranberry smoothie is packed with protein and fiber to give you energy that lasts! Filled with antioxidants and the natural sweetness of fruit yet tastes just like a pie. The perfect, nourishing breakfast or snack during the holiday season.
Why This Recipe Works
This cranberry smoothie recipe is a great way to use up leftover fresh cranberries OR cranberry sauce! Besides being delicious, cranberries are packed with goodness for our bodies which, as a Registered Dietitian, I love! Cranberries have been shown to:
- improve cholesterol
- help with inflammation
- reduce oxidative stress
- reducing risk of chronic disease
But it gets better! This recipe was crafted using my Registered Dietitian expertise to help you stay full for longer! In all of my smoothie recipes I aim to include:
- fiber (this helps to keep you full, this smoothie provides ~25% of your daily needs!)
- fat (fat is NOT a bad thing! It helps our bodies stay full and it's needed for us to absorb certain nutrients as well as make hormones)
- protein (again, this helps you stay nice and full among so many other things)
- carb (carbs are fuel that our bodies need! They energize us... and are delicious as heck!)
I've made a LOT of smoothies in my time and I've perfected the ingredients to give you the perfectly thickest, creamiest smoothie ever! Here is what you'll need:
- Fresh or frozen cranberries OR cranberry sauce. Using fresh or frozen cranberries will give you a little more tart flavor, whereas cranberry sauce will be sweeter depending on how much sugar is added. Both are great options and will give you a delicious smoothie!
- Protein powder. You can use any protein powder you like, I recommend vanilla flavor. I typically use this whey based protein powder!
- Pudding mix. This is optional, but encouraged! I love adding a little pudding mix to my smoothies to make them ultra creamy and thicken them up even more.
Like any smoothie recipe, this cranberry smoothie recipe is insanely easy!
First, I recommend adding your ice, banana, cranberries, protein powder , flax seed and pudding mix to a high powered blender. (I have had a Ninja blender and love it!)
Then, pour your milk over those ingredients. Place the lid on and blend away!
I like to top my smoothie with a little something crunchy- in this case graham cracker! It truly helps this taste just like a pie!
Absolutely! Use whatever milk you have on hand. I like to use either soy or whole milk. I have an entire blog post talking about the differences between all of the different types of milk here, it's truly a complete guide to dairy and plant based milks!
I recommend using vanilla in order to really get that cranberry pie taste. However any flavor that you have on hand will still work!
If you don't have pudding mix or if you don't want to use it you can also just use some extra milled/ground flax seed. It'll work similarly to add a little more thickness!
Expert Smoothie Tips
Like I said, I've made my fair share of smoothies and I've learned a few tips and tricks along the way. Here are a couple nuggets of wisdom for you as you're making this cranberry smoothie recipe:
- Add a source of fat. This helps to make your smoothie super creamy yet also super filling. This is a huge reason as to why I like to use whole milk, it's got the fat right in there! You could also add a nut butter, like cashew. I recommend cashew because it's the most natural flavor, but really any would work!
- When you think it's done... keep blending! You can't rush the process, people! Whenever I think my smoothie is done I let it go for 1-2 more minutes to make sure it's SUPER blended with no chunks of ice. I hate that!
- Use a FULL banana. No, a banana does not have too many carbs. It's not too high in sugar. What it IS is delicious and the secret to an ice cream like smoothie! The other flavors of the smoothie will tend to cover the banana, especially the cranberries since they're so flavorful!
Other Breakfast Recipes You Might Like:
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- ~2 cups ice
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/2 cup cranberries (fresh, thawed frozen, or even sauce!)
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed
- 2 tsp pudding mix
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- Add ice, banana, cranberries, protein powder, flax seed and pudding mix to a blender.
- Pour your milk over ingredients into blender.
- Blend for 3-5 minutes until smooth & creamy
- Optional (but encouraged!) top with graham cracker crumbs!
May leave out pudding mix and add extra flax seed if desired.
May add sweetener of choice such as sugar, honey, agave, etc.
Use fresh cranberries or leftover cranberry sauce
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 358Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 128mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 8gSugar: 23gProtein: 32g