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High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie for Weight Gain

Iulia Serban, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist.

Medically Reviewed by 

Iulia Serban, RDN
Last updated on July 27, 2023
High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie for weight gain.


Some people who try to gain weight in a healthy way aim to prepare high-calorie smoothies that are rich both in macronutrients, like proteins and carbs, which build and fuel muscles, and micronutrients, coming from greens rich in vitamins and minerals.

These people, however, often face a common obstacle: green vegetables are not the tastiest ingredients out there. Therefore, they can end up with a disgusting smoothie if they blend greens with the wrong ingredients.

As proof, we once tried to make a smoothie made only from spinach, oats, and protein powder but its taste was not impressive at all. The point is that, without a delicious recipe on your hands, you can impede your weight gain process and miss out on the power of green smoothies, some of the most convenient sources of energy and micronutrients.

But don’t worry because we are experts in creating high-calorie smoothie recipes and took inspiration from the way world-class athletes integrate greens in their smoothies. For example, tennis legend Novak Djokovic uses kale in his Mango Banana Smoothie and Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie.

The high-calorie green smoothie recipe in this article delivers a refreshing smoothie that’s full of vitamins and minerals, coming from two green veggies, celery and spinach. Besides, our nutritious smoothie will help you gain weight while providing enough proteins and carbohydrates for boosting muscle growth.

To craft the recipe we followed our unique process for creating weight gain smoothies, which was verified by registered dietitian nutritionist Iulia Serban. Besides, to make it easy for you to follow the recipe, we bought the ingredients, blended the smoothie, and photographed the whole process.

Smoothie's calories

The standard version of the High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie yields one serving of 411 calories. If you need more calories from the smoothie, however, you can adjust ingredient quantities by following these guidelines:

  • For 1000-calorie smoothie: multiply ingredient quantities by 2.43;
  • For 1500-calorie smoothie: multiply ingredient quantities by 3.65;
  • For 2000-calorie smoothie: multiply ingredient quantities by 4.87.

Now, let's explore the recipe.

Equipment

To make the High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie, you need three pieces of kitchen equipment:

  • Blender
  • Knife
  • Scoop (for protein powder)

Ingredients

Ingredients of High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie.
  • 1.06 oz (30 g) baby spinach
  • 1 large (5.4 oz or 153 g) Granny Smith apple without core
  • 1.77 oz (50 g) avocado
  • 1 medium (1.41 oz or 40 g) celery stalk
  • 1/2 medium (2.08 oz or 59 g) banana
  • 1.41 oz (40 g) whey protein powder
  • 1/2 (0.74 fl oz or 22 ml) lime, juiced
  • 1 cup (8.45 fl oz or 250 ml) coconut water

Role of each ingredient

Firstly, spinach and celery are part of this smoothie because they are filled with vitamins and minerals, and are the main ingredients responsible for the smoothie's green nature.

Second, the Granny Smith apple and the halved banana have the role of boosting the calories and carbohydrates in the smoothie while increasing sweetness and delivering a better flavor.

Moreover, we added avocado because it's a green fruit filled with calories and healthy fats.

When it comes to whey protein powder, it has the mission to provide quality protein without affecting the overall taste of the smoothie too much.

Furthermore, we added lime juice for a little more green color, vitamin C, and flavor.

In the end, coconut water has two roles: thinning out the smoothie and providing healthy minerals.

Ingredient substitutions

If you are lactose intolerant, you can substitute whey protein powder with a plant-based protein powder, like the ones made from rice or pea.

Instructions

1. Adapt ingredients to blender size

Think whether all the ingredients will fit inside your blender.

If you use a small blender with a capacity of less than 644 ml (15.7 fl oz), break the ingredients into two or more identical portions, then follow the next instructions for each of them individually.

2. Add ingredients

Adding ingredients of High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie in a blender.

Add the ingredients to the blender making sure coconut water ends up at its bottom.

If you own a blender with an ingredient recipient that installs upside down on the blender, always add the coconut water lastly. This way, the blades will work smoothly without clogging in other ingredients.

3. Blend

Ingredients of High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie: unblended vs. blended.

Blend the ingredients until the smoothie develops a fine texture (about 30-60 seconds).

If you own a less powerful blender, you may need to mix the ingredients for longer than 1 minute. Still, to prevent overheating your blender, abide by the recommended blending duration in your blender's manual.

4. Serve

Pouring the High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie.

Pour the smoothie into a glass or a shaker bottle, and serve.

In terms of flavor, the smoothie has a refreshing taste with notes of celery and a slight apple aroma that's not too bitter or too sweet.

How to store

As a general rule, although we suggest drinking the smoothie right after blending it to have the best experience, you can safely store it in the fridge for about a day.

Nutrition facts

  • Volume: 15.7 fl oz (644 ml)
  • Calories: 411
  • Protein: 36 g
  • Carbs: 52 g
  • Fat: 10 g

Out of the 411 calories found in the High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie, 48% come from carbohydrates, 32% from protein, and 20% from fats.

As a result, this smoothie is an energizing drink with a solid amount of proteins and some healthy fats. Moreover, since the smoothie has less than 30% of its calories coming from fats, it joins the list of low-fat high-calorie foods.

For more nutritional details, let's explore the contribution of each ingredient to the smoothie's overall nutrition facts.

Nutrition facts of each ingredient

Baby spinach

  • Weight: 1.06 oz or 30 g
  • Calories: 8
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Carbs: 1 g
  • Fat: 0 g

Source: FoodData Central - Baby Spinach.[1]

Source info

Name: FoodData Central

Type: food database

Operated by: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Characteristics:

  • Governmental authority
  • Updated regularly

Granny Smith apple without core

  • Weight: 1 large (5.4 oz or 153 g)
  • Calories: 72
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Carbs: 18 g
  • Fat: 1 g

Source: Nutracheck - Calories in Granny Smith Apples, Weighed without Core.[2]

Source info

Name: Nutracheck

Type: food diary app

Operated by: NutraTech Ltd

Characteristics:

  • Over 1 million downloads on Google Play
  • Backed up by a team of experts in nutrition

The Granny Smith apple is responsible for 35% of the carbs in the High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie.

Avocado

  • Weight: 1.77 oz or 50 g)
  • Calories: 81
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Carbs: 4 g
  • Fat: 7 g

Source: FoodData Central - Raw avocado.[3]

Source info

Name: FoodData Central

Type: food database

Operated by: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Characteristics:

  • Governmental authority
  • Updated regularly

Avocado, one of the high-calorie fruits, brings 70% of the fats in our smoothie. Besides avocado, counts among the weight gain snacks and the foods with the most calories.

Celery stalk

  • Weight: 1 medium (1.06 oz or 40 g)
  • Calories: 6
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Carbs: 1 g
  • Fat: 0 g

Source: FoodData Central - Celery.[4]

Source info

Name: FoodData Central

Type: food database

Operated by: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Characteristics:

  • Governmental authority
  • Updated regularly

Banana

  • Weight: 1/2 medium (2.08 oz or 59 g)
  • Calories: 53
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Carbs: 14 g
  • Fat: 0 g

Source: FoodData Central - Raw bananas.[5]

Source info

Name: FoodData Central

Type: food database

Operated by: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Characteristics:

  • Governmental authority
  • Updated regularly

The halved banana brings 27% of the carbs in the High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie. As bonus information, bananas count among the fruits with the highest number of calories.

Whey protein powder

  • Weight: 1.41 oz or 40 g
  • Calories: 139
  • Protein: 31 g
  • Carbs: 2 g
  • Fat: 1 g

Source: FoodData Central - Whey protein powder.[6]

Source info

Name: FoodData Central

Type: food database

Operated by: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Characteristics:

  • Governmental authority
  • Updated regularly

Juiced lime

  • Weight: 1/2 (0.74 fl oz or 22 ml)
  • Calories: 6
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Carbs: 2 g
  • Fat: 0 g

Source: FoodData Central - Lime, juiced.[7]

Source info

Name: FoodData Central

Type: food database

Operated by: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Characteristics:

  • Governmental authority
  • Updated regularly

Coconut water

  • Weight: 1 cup (8.45 fl oz or 250 ml)
  • Calories: 48
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Carbs: 9 g
  • Fat: 1 g

Source: FoodData Central - Coconut water.[8]

Source info

Name: FoodData Central

Type: food database

Operated by: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Characteristics:

  • Governmental authority
  • Updated regularly

Benefits of drinking this smoothie

As you may have expected, the High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie brings numerous health benefits. Explore each of them below.

1. Gain weight easier

First of all, the High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie can help you gain weight easier because it has a lot of calories and it doesn't fill up your stomach for too much time.

As social proof, according to the top of the best weight gain foods for females, 91% of the women who gain weight successfully drink smoothies regularly.

Increase caloric intake

The High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie increases caloric intake considerably because it offers 411 calories per serving. All of these calories will boost your efforts to achieve a daily caloric surplus, the essential condition for gaining weight.

Keep your appetite

On top of increasing your total caloric intake, the High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie allows you to consume more food because, unlike many solid foods, it keeps your appetite satisfied only for a short time.

As evidence, a University of Bristol study compared fruit smoothies with fresh fruits and other drinks in terms of satiety. The researchers concluded that fruit smoothies are more filling than drinks that are less alike to food (e.g., water and milk) but less filling than solid foods.[9]

Source info

Name: A Comparison of the Satiety Effects of a Fruit Smoothie, Its Fresh Fruit Equivalent and Other Drinks

Type: journal article

Published in: Nutrients (peer-reviewed journal)

Made at: University of Bristol

2. Increase energy levels

The High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie boosts energy levels because it's rich in carbs, most of which come from the Granny Smith apple and the banana in the smoothie's composition.

After all, according to a University of Lausanne study on the energy potential of carbs, carbohydrates are the main energy source for humans.[10]

Source info

Name: Carbohydrates as a source of energy

Type: journal article

Published in: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (peer-reviewed)

Made at: University of Lausanne

3. Boost muscle growth

Another benefit of consuming the High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie is that it can boost your ability to build muscle because it has 36 g of protein. The majority of these proteins come from the whey protein powder in the smoothie's composition.

As scientific proof, a pre-workout serving of 20 g of protein, according to a University of Birmingham trial on protein ingestion effects, is sufficient to support muscle growth.[11]

Source info

Name: Stimulation of net muscle protein synthesis by whey protein ingestion before and after exercise

Type: journal article

Published in: American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology, and Metabolism (peer-reviewed journal)

4. Strengthen bones

The High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie can strengthen bones because it contains whey protein powder, a good source of calcium.

The whey protein powder in the smoothie brings 187 mg of calcium., which is around 19% of the daily recommended intake of calcium.

5. Fortify immunity

Our smoothie fortifies immunity because it contains seven sources of antioxidants:

  • Baby spinach;
  • Granny Smith apple;
  • Avocado;
  • Lime juice;
  • Coconut water;
  • Celery;
  • Banana.

Antioxidants, according to a scientific review of antioxidants, increase health protection and disease prevention.[12]

Source info

Name: Antioxidants: Molecules, medicines, and myths

Type: journal article

Published in: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (peer-reviewed journal)

6. Enhance heart health

The High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie is beneficial for the heart because it contains a halved banana, spinach, and avocado, which are three sources of potassium that reduce blood pressure.

As scientific proof, a review of the effects of potassium says that potassium lowers blood pressure.[13]

Source info

Name: Beneficial Effects of High Potassium

Type: journal article

Published in: Hypertension (peer-reviewed journal)

Made at: Medical College of Wisconsin

7. Protect eye health

Our green smoothie increases eye health because it contains baby spinach, a source of vitamin A.

Vitamin A, according to an Australian study about vitamin A's effects on early myopia, is "vital for eye health" because it protects against "night blindness and corneal thinning".[14]

Source info

Name: Is Dietary Vitamin A Associated with Myopia from Adolescence to Young Adulthood?

Type: journal article

Published in: Translational Vision Science & Technology (peer-reviewed journal)

Made in: Australia

8. Hydrate body

This smoothie does a very good job of hydrating your body because it contains three significant sources of water: Granny Smith apple, coconut water, and lime.

9. Improve digestion

The High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie can improve digestion because it contains a halved banana, a Granny Smith apple, an avocado, and celery, which are all good sources of fiber.

One of the benefits of eating fiber, as stated in a 2009 review of the health benefits of dietary fiber, is a lower risk of gastrointestinal diseases.[15]

Source info

Name: Health benefits of dietary fiber

Type: journal article

Published in: Nutrition Reviews (peer-reviewed journal)

Made in: USA

Recipe summary

To follow the High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie's recipe in a compressed format, use the summary below.

High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie for weight gain.

High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie for Weight Gain

Designed to help with weight gain but also to provide an abundance of vitamins and minerals, this high-calorie green protein smoothie recipe has a refreshing taste with notes of celery and a slight apple aroma that's not too bitter or too sweet.
Prep Time 3 minutes
Blend Time 1 minute
Total Time 4 minutes
Course Smoothies
Servings 1 person
Calories 411 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Blender
  • 1 Knife
  • 1 Scoop for protein powder

Ingredients
  

  • 1.06 oz baby spinach (30 g)
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple without core (5.4 oz or 153 g)
  • 1.77 oz avocado (50 g)
  • 1 medium celery stalk (1.41 oz or 40 g)
  • 1/2 medium banana (2.08 oz or 59 g)
  • 1.41 oz whey protein powder (40 g)
  • 1/2 lime, juiced (0.74 fl oz or 22 ml)
  • 1 cup coconut water (8.45 fl oz or 250 ml)

Instructions
 

  • Think whether all the ingredients will fit inside your blender.
    If you use a small blender with a capacity of less than 644 ml (15.7 fl oz), break the ingredients into two or more identical portions, then follow the next instructions for each of them individually.
  • Add the ingredients to the blender making sure coconut water ends up at its bottom.
    If you own a blender with an ingredient recipient that installs upside down on the blender, always add the 1 cup coconut water lastly. This way, the blades will work smoothly without clogging in other ingredients.
    1.06 oz baby spinach, 1 large Granny Smith apple, 1.77 oz avocado, 1 medium celery stalk, 1/2 medium banana, 1.41 oz whey protein powder, 1/2 lime, juiced, 1 cup coconut water
    Adding ingredients of High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie in a blender.
  • Blend the ingredients until the smoothie develops a fine texture (about 30-60 seconds).
    If you own a less powerful blender, you may need to mix the ingredients for longer than 1 minute. Still, to prevent overheating your blender, abide by the recommended blending duration in your blender's manual.
    Ingredients of High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie: unblended vs. blended.
  • Pour the smoothie into a glass or a shaker bottle, and serve.
    Pouring the High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie.

Notes

Besides helping you gain weight, the High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie has numerous other health benefits.
Keyword energizing, green, healthy, high-calorie, muscle-building, protein, weight gain

Other high-calorie smoothie recipes for weight gain

The High-Calorie Green Protein Smoothie is not the only weight gain smoothie that contains greens. Here are a couple of other smoothies that have green veggies in their composition: Djokovic's Banana Chocolate Kale Smoothie and Novak's Mango Banana Smoothie .

Now, If you want to try other homemade smoothies that can help you gain weight, visit our full list of high-calorie smoothie recipes,

And in case you wish to get creative, you can build your own high-calorie smoothie recipes. Learn what can you add to your smoothie and how to bring extra calories to it from our guide on how to make high-calorie smoothies for weight gain.

And if it happens to get bored of smoothies...

Try switching high-calorie smoothies for high-calorie shakes or other weight gain drinks.

External sources

Unfold Today has rigorous sourcing principles adhering to the top journalistic standards, so our writers always look for official, experienced, and first-hand sources. Read more about how we keep our content trustworthy and updated by reading our editorial process.

Written by
Claudiu Pop is a nutritionist, medical writer, journalist, and the founder of Unfold Today. He specialized in fitness and nutrition, especially in weight gain, by helping people increase their body mass since 2019 with over 20 articles published in the field.
Medically reviewed by
Iulia Serban, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist.
Iulia Serban, RDN
Iulia Serban, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, and a Master's degree in Nutrition and Quality of Life. Both degrees were received from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Iuliu Hatieganu.
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