Smoothies are very popular breakfast option and for a good reason: they have beautiful colors, amazing nutritional value and just make any combination of fruits and veggies better. The best thing is that you can experiment with your smoothies and you don’t even need a recipe when you know a couple of simple tricks.
Smoothies are great for experimenting for beginners because you can easily put together favorite ingredients and create your drinks. With these tricks, you will learn how to make delicious smoothies and turn your ingredients into anything you like. I’ve added recipe ideas so you have something to start with.
Find the right balance
To give a smoothie that flavorful, creamy and filling taste, you should get the right ratio of liquid, fat, fruit and protein. If you’re just a beginner, here is a quick guide for you:
1 cup of fruit or 1 ripe banana is usually enough. Frozen and fresh fruits are great, but if you use frozen ones, you don’t need ice cubes. I prefer frozen fruits because I like the texture that they give.
A ¾ cup is usually enough to blend everything nicely without making the smoothie too watery. Low-fat milk, coconut water, yogurt, non-dairy milk and plain water work well, so you can pick anything you like. Don’t add fruit juice because it contains a lot of sugar.
3. Healthy fats.
20 ml of seed or nut butter or ¼ avocado will make your smoothie much richer and more satisfying to drink. If you like textures in your smoothies, use 2 tablespoons of whole nuts. Chia seeds can work as well if you prefer gelatinous and thick smoothies. It’s a great idea for everyone who has a blender that can’t handle hard ingredients. You can also soak the nuts overnight to make them softer.
Smoothies are a great way to sneak in a handful or two of healthy vegetables, which is always a good thing. If you want to make green smoothies, start with kale or baby spinach. If you use collard greens or regular kale, don’t forget to remove the stems for a smoother texture and a better flavor. If you like a grassier taste, just add the stems to your smoothie (only if you have a powerful blender). For more combinations, add 1 cup cucumbers, cooked butternut squash or cooked beets. Here is an easy green smoothie recipe that tastes delicious.
If you use low-protein liquid, you can add protein powder to feel full longer. If you want more fiber, just add ¼ cup oats.
6. Herbs and spices
You can significantly improve the flavor by adding several teaspoons of herbs. Fresh or dried ginger or dried turmeric make your smoothie perfect for cold days, while cilantro or fresh mint add a refreshing touch. You can experiment with spiced to see which combination you like the most.
A cup of ice will add volume without calories and make the smoothie frosty. Crushed ice is better because it’s easier for a blender to break up.
Freeze your ingredients
I think that the best smoothie consistency happens when you use two frozen ingredients and protein liquid. Adding ice cubes to your smoothie is a great idea in small quantities but can ruin the smoothie consistency, so if you have frozen ingredients, you will avoid this problem. I usually use 2/3 frozen ingredients and 1/3 fresh ones. Play around to see what works best for your blender and your taste buds.
Freezing fruits is always a good idea. Peeled sliced or whole bananas, cherries, berries, tropical fruits, stone fruits, grapes and many others freeze nicely and blend up well in all blenders, especially if you cut them in small cubes and add liquid. High-speed blenders can handle whole fruits without ruining the texture of your smoothie as long as there is liquid to help them get started. If you don’t know which fruits and liquids combine, check this delicious recipe out.
Depending on your blender, you can freeze some liquid ingredients. Coffee, yogurt, milk nuts or juices can be frozen in trays and added to the blender. Some smoothies can get icy, but if you can choose between regular ice cubes and frozen juice cubes, it’s worth spending some time and freezing the ingredients. This way, regular ice cubes can’t dilute the flavor.
Powders and sweeteners
If you’re using cacao or maca powder, protein powder or sweeteners like honey or agave, add them right after the liquid ingredient. It’s important that powders and sweeteners blend together really well and totally dissolve in your smoothie, or they can ruin the taste of fruits and veggies.
A powder can make smoothies creamy and thick but when added last, the, won’t get completely dissolved and you will feel their chalky texture and unpleasant powdery taste. If your smoothie tastes like powder, add more liquid and thoroughly mix everything together.
Learn to layer up
There is actually the right way to add ingredients in your blender that will result in smooth consistency and reduce the risks of finding whole fruit cubes or berries at the bottom. If you have a high-speed blender, add hard ingredients like nuts and fruits first, because they will be closer to the blades and will be chopped up much better. Then add butter and greens, top with oats, powders, sweeteners, spices, and liquids.
For other blenders, add liquid first and then vegetables, fruits, nuts and ice cubes. Blend everything for a minute, then add spices, herbs, and sweeteners and blend again. You may need more time to finely mix everything together.
What blender to choose
Regular blenders which usually cost less than $200 vary greatly and have different abilities and features. Some can blend greens and dates well and some make chop everything instead of creating a smoothie.
Look for blenders that have high speed but don’t cost you a fortune. Companies like Vitamix and Blendtec produce nice blenders that can blend everything nicely. You can also use them to create sauces and dressings. Regular blenders may not be able to create green smoothies because they can’t chop greens. More powerful blenders can deliver better texture because they work with a higher ratio of liquids and frozen fruits. As always, buying a blender is a personal decision, just consider your cooking patterns and smoothies that you want to make.