There's no denying it - smoothies are a yogi's best friend.  Quick, easy, and delicious, smoothies give us a supercharged dose of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that our bodies need.  These nutritional powerhouses are extremely versatile; try them sweet, try them green - maybe even try one that's savory?  Smoothies give us the chance to add lots of variety to our diet, a necessary element for optimal health.  We've scoured the internet to bring you an all-inclusive guide to making the perfect smoothie.  From blender tips to spicy add-ins, we've got what you need to create delicious and nutritious smoothies to keep you happy & healthy.

     The first thing we need to address is our equipment - the blender.  Having a quality blender is key to making the perfect smoothie.  Nothing is worse than burning up your motor mid-blend!  It is recommended to find a blender that is at least 800 Watts.  This amount of wattage is enough to tackle the heavy stuff like ice and frozen fruit without fear.  Finding a blender with a warranty is also wise, because let's face it - things happen!  Check with the retailer and manufacturer to see what is available with your purchase.  Also when considering your options, think about the container.  Recommended size is at least 40oz; this gives plenty of room to build our smoothie and allows for more movement when blending.  Having a larger size also makes it easy to prep a few smoothies at a time.  Lastly, try to choose glass containers over plastic.  Although glass may be a little heavier to handle, it cleans much easier and resists wear & tear much longer than plastic.  Thinking you are in the market for a new blender?  Check out this blender review from CNET to find out which is best for you! 

     One of the things that makes smoothies so great is how fast & easy there are to make.  Just throw your ingredients in your container, press a button & voila - breakfast to go!  Although you can buy frozen fruit in the store, preparing fresh fruit weekly is ideal.  The fresher, the better. Plus, buying in bulk is almost always cost-effective too.  More importantly - preparing in advance saves you time on those rushed mornings when you're pressed for time.  We recommend creating a weekly routine of buying and preparing your ingredients on the same day.  Rinse & cut your fruits and veggies and then lay them out on baking sheets lined with parchment paper to freeze.  Once frozen, store them in airtight freezer bags and don't forget to write the dates on them!  You can get by without one, but we think we should add here that a vacuum sealer is definitely another worthy investment.  Another time-saving prep - try blending up your greens and then freeze this new liquid in ice cube trays.  Get all your nutritional needs from these green super foods without sacrificing smoothie temperature. 

     The key to a becoming an expert smoothie maker is stacking your ingredients properly.  We've invested money into our blender and time into our ingredients - we should take the same care when building our smoothie in our blender.  Stacking our ingredients in a specific way ensures optimal blending with the least amount of stress to your blender's motor.  Start with pouring your liquids in first.  This includes your juice, water, yogurt, etc.  Next add your lighter and drier ingredients.  These things include leafy greens, dried herbs / spices, and protein / nutrient powders.  Lastly, the heavy ingredients go on top.  This means your frozen fruit, vegetables, and ice cubes.  The liquids at the bottom allow for movement of the blade while the heavy stuff on top slowly helps push lower ingredients downward.  Remember - work smarter, not harder!

     If you've been in the studio, you've probably heard us say 'variety is the spice of life' - and it is!  Including several different types of fruits, vegetables, and greens is key to getting all the necessary nutrients our bodies need to thrive.  Plus, switching it up keeps life interesting!  Don't be afraid to stray from your usual combinations and try new things together. Mango-kiwi?  Peach-raspberry?  Pear-avocado-pineapple?  The possible pairings are endless, use your imagination to find new favorites.  Smoothies aren't just about sweet and fruity either - they can be spicy, salty, and savory too!  Combine your favorite vegetables with a little garlic and soy for a different experience.  Experiment with different spices and super food add-ins like chia seeds & goji berries. Check out the recipes we've included below for some inspiration to make your own delicious creations.

     What could be worse than a burned out motor mid-blend?  A runny, watery smoothie.  Texture can take your smoothie downhill fast, making our daily smoothie experience disappointing and unenjoyable.  Have no fear - we know how to fix it!  Frozen bananas are excellent thickeners without overwhelming other flavors.  Avocados, yogurt, nut butters, and cooked oatmeal are all smoothie savers too.  We recommend bananas and butters for fruit smoothies and avocados & coconut oil for green ones.  Cooked oatmeal works well in either sweet or savory smoothies.  Experiment and find your favorites!

    Now that we have our bases covered, let's get to blending!  We've listed a few recipes below to get you started and hopefully trigger some inspiration and creativity in your kitchen.  Check out the guide below to find out which ingredients are best to pair together to achieve the taste you are after.  Share your favorite creations & smoothie tips in the comments below!

 

Sweet Strawberry-Mango Surprise

1c Orange Juice

1/2c Fresh Spinach/Greens (or 2 Spinach/Green ice cubes)

1/2c Frozen sliced bananas

1/2c frozen mango cubes

6  frozen strawberries

Combine above ingredients in order and blend until smooth. Garnish with fresh mint & enjoy!

That Green Machine

1 1/2c Pineapple Juice

1/2c Fresh Spinach/Greens (or 2 Spinach/Greens ice cubes)

1/2c Frozen Pear Cubes

1/2c Chopped Apple

1/2 Avocado, Chopped

Combine the above ingredients in order and blend until smooth.  Garnish with fresh pineapple or kiwi slices and enjoy!

Spicy Veggie Delight

1c Chopped Tomatoes

1/2c Fresh Spinach / Greens (or 2 Spinach/Greens ice cubes)

1 Clove Garlic

Salt & Pepper (to taste)

1 Small Chunk Ginger (optional)

Sriracha to preference (optional)

1/2c Chopped Carrot

1 Chopped Celery Stalk

1/2 Cucumber, Chopped

1/2 Avocado, Chopped

1c Ice

Combine above ingredients in order and blend until smooth.  Garnish with spicy pickle chips, green olives, & a celery stalk.     

Lisa KanneComment