If you are like most people, making a smoothie probably goes something like this:
- Purchase a bunch of healthy fruits and vegetables at the supermarket
- Place a ton of produce in your blender
- Hit “blend” and hope for the best
- Stop blender. Realise the smoothie has turned into some ugly brown colour
- Repeat number 2 and 3 until you end up with a mediocre-tasting smoothie that’s either too bitter, too thick or too watery.
- Despite the taste, you drink it anyway, because…who else will!?
My first smoothie contained everything…but my kitchen sink. The result? A unique brown smoothie which was too bitter, semi-sweet and so thick it may have passed as pudding. To be honest, I was slightly frustrated. This tasted nothing like the store smoothie demos. But, many smoothies later, it got better.
Fortunately, your smoothie setbacks end today. With these tips and tricks, you’ll end up with a tasty drink with the perfect creamy consistency. In this post, I’m going to save you some beginner smoothie disasters with my top 4 Smoothie Chemistry tips. Because, smoothie making is not just blending…it’s a Science!
Why have smoothies in the first place?
Smoothies are great cleansers, they are packed with fibre which cleans out the intestines. They are great for when you want a quick healthy meal, need something filling, or need to increase your fruit and vegetable consumption. There are many different types of smoothies; green smoothies, fruit smoothies, fruit and vegetable smoothies, and shakes which typically have milk as the base. All are beneficial and regular consumption of them has the potential to help you get healthier.
So how do you make the perfect smoothie? Lets get in to the nitty gritty:
1. Get a Good Blender
The strength of your blender determines the texture of your smoothie. If you’re aiming for a super smooth, silky texture, I would do 1 of 2 things:
- Use a high speed blender like the Vitamix. I know it’s quite pricey but here is the thing, it’s built to last. Cheap blenders might save you money in the short term, but long term, they wear out quicker. I’m talking from experience! The Vitamix is great for smoothies as it has a 2+HorsePower motor at 37,000 RPM. It has the ability to burst open cell walls of the vegetables and fruits and release maximum nutrition to our bodies. Also, the container can hold 2 litres, making it ideal for blending medium to large batches of smoothies for you and your loved ones.
- If you have an older blender, no problem! Try sticking with fresh fruit (that’s been in the fridge) and not frozen. When blending, every couple of seconds, stop the machine (to prevent overheating) and let the ingredients sit. Also, when making your smoothie, always add liquid first to the blender, chop up your fruits & veggies into small pieces and use the pulse button to initially break things down.
2. Get the Chemistry Right
As I was saying before, smoothie making is a Science. I usually follow this adaptable base when making any kind of smoothies:
- 2 Cups liquid: This can be plant based milk, freshly squeezed fruit juice, water or coconut water. It is crucial that you add the liquid to the blender first before adding produce, as this will protect your blender blades.
- 1 Cup fresh ripe fruit: This can be fruits like berries, peaches, pineapples, nectarines, apples etc. Make sure it is ripe so it’s at it’s optimum sweetness level.
- 1 Cup frozen fruit: Frozen sweet fruit like bananas, mango or frozen grapes work really well. They give smoothies their delicious creamy texture.
- 1 Cup leafy greens: Leafy greens are so nutrient dense and great sources of protein, vitamins and minerals. With little thought you can easily sneak them in many smoothies without ever being able to taste or notice them. They do turn smoothies green though, but don’t let that deter you.
Be sure to have extra fruit and liquid on hand to adapt the smoothie to your desired consistency. Have fun!…Play around until you have a texture you like. And feel free to add a squeeze of honey, maple syrup or agave syrup if your smoothie needs it.
3. Less is more
Less really is more in smoothie making. Don’t be a ‘Susan’ and make an ‘everything-but-the-kitchen-
4. Bumpers or Toppers
Now we have mastered what goes in the smoothie and how to blend it optimally, now lets try adding the cherry on top. I like to call these; sprinkles for smoothies to add on your smoothie to kick it up to the next level of tastiness or nutrition. Try adding a sprinkle of desiccated coconut, chia seeds or cacao nibs. I feel they give my smoothies great texture and add to the taste. I also love to dust powders like cinnamon or nutmeg. Not only will it taste great but it’ll help bring out the sweetness without adding sugar. As your smoothie making skills develop, you will intuitively know which add-ons to use.
So there you have it: How to make the perfect smoothie. I hope you find these tips and tricks helpful. If you use any of these let me know. Do you have any more tips to add?
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