Getting Started with Smoothies 101
Making Smoothies is soooo easy – the recipes and tips below make up what I like to call Smoothies 101. If you can remember these basics, you’ll almost always have success and then you can branch out and get even more creative. I can’t remember ever making a major smoothie disaster – they really are easy to make.
First, add your liquid base to the blender (~1/2 cup – 1 cup). This can be milk, water, coconut water or juice – it really depends on your personal preference and your dietary/nutrition goals. Juice can be very high in calories and sugar so not always the best option. However, when making smoothies for my daughter we always use some sort of milk (cow, soy, rice or almond) or juice as she needs the extra vitamins and calories. For myself, I will usually use 1/2 water and 1/2 milk. If you have a really good blender you can even make your own nut milk using raw nuts and water. See easy to follow instructions from Vitamix for Non-Dairy Milk. I also like to use coffee but this isn’t for everyone – if you like the taste of coffee try adding some cold coffee (can be decaf) or some instant coffee granules to your smoothie.
Next, add your fruits and/or veggies. (2-3 cups) If using leafy greens then I highly recommend that you blend your greens with the liquid base before adding anything else to the blender. This helps break down the greens and ensure you get a texture that is drinkable. If using fruit, I am a big fan of using frozen fruit since it eliminates the need to add any ice. I like my smoothies icy and cold.
Consider adding protein powder, yogurt, flax seed, chia seeds, oats or nut butter. I personally like adding greek yogurt as it makes the smoothie creamy and then it seem like even more of a treat. I will often add flax seed since it is a great source of dietary fibre and omega-3.
- Don’t be afraid to add additional flavour boosters: Cinnamon, cocoa, mint, vanilla extract, lemon or lime juice, etc.
- Adding a nut butter can also be another great way to add protein, healthy fat and a flavour boost to your smoothie.
- If you like a thicker smoothie than you will likely want to include ice.
- For best taste and consistency, make your smoothie when you are ready to enjoy it.
- Try adding a few dates if you need to sweeten your smoothie.
Best Blending Techniques
Always start the blender on the lowest setting and increase slowly to the highest if you don’t have a smoothie specific setting. Add more liquid if you are having trouble blending and don’t be afraid to use the tamper if your blender is equipped with one. Not all blenders are created equal but with the right technique and a little bit of patience you should be able to make a delicious and nutritious smoothie.