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High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie (Weight Gain Recipe)

Iulia Serban, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist.

Medically Reviewed by 

Iulia Serban, RDN
Last updated on August 8, 2023
High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie for weight gain.


Vanilla ice cream, unfortunately for the fans of its taste, has a bit too much sugar and lacks protein, two characteristics that make it less than ideal for people looking to gain weight in a healthy way.

A better option for adding vanilla ice cream to a weight-gain diet is to mix it with proteic ingredients and some healthier carbs into a high-calorie smoothie. We did the same to obtain our High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie.

As experienced creators of weight gain smoothies, we came up with the recipe using our guide for making high-calorie smoothies. Moreover, we verified the recipe with the help of registered dietitian nutritionist Iulia Serban.

Furthermore, to make following the recipe as easy as possible, we bought the required ingredients, blended them, and illustrated the entire process with photos.

Smoothie's calories

The standard version of the High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie yields one serving of 476 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 2.1;
  • For 1500-calorie smoothie: multiply ingredient quantities by 3.15;
  • For 2000-calorie smoothie: multiply ingredient quantities by 4.2.

Now, let's delve into the recipe.

Equipment

To prepare the High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie, you need three pieces of kitchen equipment:

  • Blender
  • Spoon (for ice cream)
  • Scoop (for protein powder)

Ingredients

Ingredients of High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie.
  • 4 scoops (5.75 fl oz or 170 ml) vanilla ice cream
  • 1 large (4.8 oz or 136 g) banana
  • 1/2 scoop (0.53 oz or 15 g) whey protein powder
  • 6.76 fl oz (200 ml) orange juice

Role of each ingredient

Each ingredient in the High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream smoothie plays a specific role.

Firstly, vanilla ice cream is the ingredient that makes the smoothie a vanilla ice cream one.

Secondly, the banana makes this smoothie a true one because smoothies, according to our smoothie vs shake comparison, should have fruits or vegetables at their core.

Furthermore, whey protein powder has the role of boosting the smoothie's protein content.

Last but not least, orange juice brings more calories, a richer flavor, and a thinner texture.

Ingredient substitutions

If you are lactose intolerant, you can make the following substitutions:

  • Replace vanilla ice cream with a lactose-free vanilla ice cream;
  • Replace whey protein powder with a plant-based protein powder, such as the ones made from peas or rice.

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 521 ml (17.6 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 Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie in a blender.

Add the ingredients to the blender making sure orange juice ends up at its bottom.

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

3. Blend

Ingredients of High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream 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 Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie in a glass.

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

Regardings its flavor, the High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream smoothie has notes of vanilla complemented by a slight but refreshing orange aroma, all packaged under a creamy texture.

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: 17.6 fl oz (521 ml)
  • Calories: 476
  • Protein: 18 g
  • Carbs: 76 g
  • Fat: 12 g

Out of the 476 calories found in the High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie, 64% come from carbohydrates, 22% from fats, and 14% from protein.

Consequently, this smoothie is a low-fat source of energizing carbohydrates with a noteworthy amount of proteins.

Since less than 30% of its calories come from fats, the High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie counts among the high-calorie foods for low-fat diets.

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

Nutrition facts of each ingredient

Banana

  • Weight: 1 large (4.8 oz or 136 g)
  • Calories: 121
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Carbs: 31 g
  • Fat: 0 g

Source: FoodData Central - Raw bananas.[1]

Source info

Name: FoodData Central

Type: food database

Operated by: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Characteristics:

  • Governmental authority
  • Updated regularly

The large banana, which counts among the fruits with the most calories, delivers 41% of the carbs in the High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie.

Vanilla ice cream

  • Weight: 4 scoops (3.53 oz or 100 g)
  • Calories: 208
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Carbs: 24 g
  • Fat: 11 g

Source: FoodData Central - Vanilla ice creams.[2]

Source info

Name: FoodData Central

Type: food database

Operated by: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Characteristics:

  • Governmental authority
  • Updated regularly

Vanilla ice cream brings 32% of the carbs and 92% of the fats in the High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie. Also, did you know that ice cream counts among the high-calorie snacks?

Whey protein powder

  • Weight: 1/2 scoop (0.53 oz or 15 g)
  • Calories: 53
  • Protein: 12 g
  • Carbs: 1 g
  • Fat: 0 g

Source: FoodData Central - Whey protein powder.[3]

Source info

Name: FoodData Central

Type: food database

Operated by: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Characteristics:

  • Governmental authority
  • Updated regularly

Whey protein powder delivers 67% of the proteins in the High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie.

Orange juice

  • Weight: 6.76 fl oz (200 ml)
  • Calories: 94
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Carbs: 21 g
  • Fat: 1 g

Source: FoodData Central - Orange juice.[4]

Source info

Name: FoodData Central

Type: food database

Operated by: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Characteristics:

  • Governmental authority
  • Updated regularly

Orange juice brings 28% of the smoothie's carbohydrates.

Benefits of drinking this smoothie

On top of helping you gain weight, the High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie has many other health benefits. Find out all of the smoothie's benefits below.

1. Gain weight easier

First of all, the High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie can help you gain weight easier because it is rich in calories and it keeps your stomach satisfied only for a short period.

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 Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie increases your caloric intake because it delivers 476 calories per serving. All of these calories will make it easier for you to achieve a daily caloric surplus, the essential condition for gaining weight.

Keep your appetite

In addition to increasing your total caloric intake, the High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie enables you to eat 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.[5]

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 Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie increases your energy levels because it's rich in carbohydrates, the majority of which come from the banana, the vanilla ice cream, and the orange juice 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.[6]

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. Support muscle growth

If you consume the High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie, you can help your muscles grow because it brings you 18 g of protein. The large majority of these proteins come from the whey protein powder in the smoothie's composition.

To contextualize, 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.[7]

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)

Take into consideration that depending on your weight goals and current body weight, you will need to eat a certain amount of proteins per day to build muscle efficiently.

4. Strengthen bones

The High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie can strengthen bones because it contains vanilla ice cream, a good source of calcium.

The vanilla ice cream in the smoothie brings 128 mg of calcium, which is around 13% of the daily recommended intake of calcium.

5. Fortify immunity

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

  • Banana
  • Vanilla (if ice cream is made with natural vanilla)
  • Orange juice

Antioxidants, according to a scientific review of antioxidants, increase health protection and disease prevention.[8]

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 Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie has benefits for your heart because it contains three sources of potassium: bananas, orange juice, and vanilla ice cream.

As scientific proof, a review of the effects of potassium says that potassium lowers blood pressure.[9]

Source info

Name: Beneficial Effects of High Potassium

Type: journal article

Published in: Hypertension (peer-reviewed journal)

Made at: Medical College of Wisconsin

7. Hydrate body

The High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie is great for hydrating your body because it contains two significant sources of water: orange juice and ice cream.

8. Improve digestion

The High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie can improve digestion because it's made with a banana, which is a great source 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.[10]

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 Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie's recipe in a compressed format, use the summary below.

High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie for weight gain.

High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie for Weight Gain

The High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie combines vanilla ice cream with protein ingredients and healthy carbohydrates to help you gain weight while enjoying the famous vanilla flavor.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Blend Time 1 minute
Total Time 3 minutes
Course Smoothies
Servings 1 person
Calories 476 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Blender
  • 1 Spoon
  • 1 Scoop

Ingredients
  

  • 4 scoop vanilla ice cream (5.75 fl oz or 170 ml)
  • 1 large banana (4.8 oz or 136 g)
  • ½ scoop whey protein powder (0.53 oz or 15 g)
  • 6.76 fl oz orange juice (200 ml)

Instructions
 

  • Think whether all the ingredients will fit inside your blender.
    If you use a small blender with a capacity of less than 521 ml (17.6 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 orange juice ends up at its bottom.
    If you own a blender with an ingredient recipient that installs upside down on the blender, always add 6.76 fl oz orange juice lastly. This way, the blades will work smoothly without clogging in other ingredients.
    4 scoop vanilla ice cream, 1 large banana, ½ scoop whey protein powder, 6.76 fl oz orange juice
    Adding ingredients of High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream 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 Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie: unblended vs. blended.
  • Pour the smoothie into a glass or a shaker bottle, and serve.
    Pouring the High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie in a glass.

Notes

On top of helping you gain weight, the High-Calorie Vanilla Ice Cream Smoothie brings many other health benefits that will improve your energy, muscles, bones, heart, immunity, digestion, and more.
Keyword energizing, high-calorie, protein, quick, weight gain

Other high-calorie smoothie recipes for weight gain

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 feel 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 from Unfold Today, face portrait.
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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