How To Freeze Fresh Fruit For Smoothies
For the coldest, creamiest smoothie possible, use quality frozen fruit. Store-bought frozen fruit is a convenient option and is especially handy when berry season is long gone. Keep bags tightly closed and consistently frozen to avoid icy, dull-tasting fruit.
Its also easy to freeze fresh ripe fruit, and its a great option when strawberries are dirt cheap at the supermarket or you bought a few too many bananas.
To freeze strawberries: Give them a good wash, drain, and let them completely dry. Cap the berries and slice them in half, placing on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Theyll keep for two months.
To freeze bananas: Simply peel and slice into chunks. Stick the baking sheet full of fruit in the freezer for at least an hour, or until the fruit is frozen solid. Scoop into a zip-top freezer bag, squeeze out the air, and seal. Frozen bananas will keep for a month.
How To Make A Smoothie With Ice Cream
A smoothie with ice cream? Uh, yes please. Once you scoop ice cream into your blender, its technically considered a milkshake, but go ahead and make that switch for an occasional indulgent treat. Ice cream, of course, makes for an exceptionally creamy, sweet, and decadent smoothie experience.
Love the idea but dont want to do dairy? Try a non-dairy ice cream, such as that varieties made of coconut milk.
I love ½ cup coconut milk ice cream blended with 1/4 to 1/2 cup almond, coconut or whole milk, says Adler. Then, its optional to add 1 to 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder or 1 handful cocoa nibs to make it chocolaty, a teaspoon of peanut butter, or fresh mintor all of the above.
How To Make Smoothies More Interesting
You don’t have to stick to the basic smoothie recipe for all of your smoothies. There are lots of ways to jazz up smoothies. Consider adding nuts, honey, flaxseeds, coconut, oatmeal, dried fruits, chocolate chips, cookies, and spices to make your smoothies more interesting. For example, if you want to make a smoothie taste like a certain dessert, such as pumpkin smoothies, you might add graham crackers and cinnamon.
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Four: Add Ice And Blend
The amount of ice you use depends on how thick you want your smoothie recipe to be. Start with about 1 cup crushed ice for a fairly thick smoothie that is still drinkable with a straw. Omit the ice if using frozen fruit or if you want the smoothie to be thinner and less cold. Cover and blend until nearly smooth. Pour into a cup or thermal to-go drink container and slurp up every last drop.
How To Layer Smoothie Ingredients
The order in which you add the ingredients to the blender is important to creating a smoothie with a velvety smooth consistency. The way you layer smoothie ingredients depends on the size of the blender:
- Large blenders : Add wet ingredients first . Then add powdered ingredients, followed by the softer, high-moisture leafy greens, fresh fruits and vegetables. Last add hard, solid foods .
- Small blenders : Add harder ingredients first. Then add softer fruits and vegetables, followed by leafy greens and dry ingredients . Finally add the wet ingredients.
And to sum it all up, heres an infographic on how to make a smoothie awesome!
Dont stress when making smoothies. Learning how to make smoothies should be fun, experimental and stress-free. The more you experiment, the more youll find out what you really like. If you come up with some wild and interesting concoctions, let us know in the comments below!
Did we miss your favorite ingredient or do you have a favorite smoothie recipe? Leave a comment and let me know!
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Protein And Other Powders Sweeteners & More Extras
Any optional ingredients come next. This can include:
Nut or seed butter. Peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, soy butter, and sunflower seed butter are all delicious additionsand they add protein to help curb your appetite.
Powders. A scoop of protein powder or a nutrition boosting powder can be a great addition to almost any smoothie, and beneficial if youre looking to add more protein into your diet. Adler cautions though, that many protein powders contain artificial ingredients and recommends instead, sticking with clean and pure powders. You want your protein powder to have one to three ingredients, max, and no flavors, she says. Be careful of soy powders, generic whey brands, and ones with long ingredient lists of things you can’t pronounce!
Sweetener. To sweeten naturally, add a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. But be sure to taste your smoothie before you add sugar, as you may not need it if youve used sweet, ripe fruit, such as frozen mango, banana, or blueberries.
Texture or crunch.A sprinkle of cocoa nibs or chia seeds can give your smoothie a fun crunch to it, and added minerals and good healthy fats! says Adler. Cashews add the perfect amount of creaminess and satisfying feel, without being overly nutty tasting.
Seasonings and spices. Some people love to add a sprinkle of cinnamon, ground nutmeg, vanilla bean powder, or turmeric for an extra kick to their smoothie.
Choosing Fresh Or Frozen Fruits And Vegetables
When it comes to what goes in your smoothie, only you can decide. There are no wrong answers here!
Pros of Fresh Fruit & Vegetables: Its a great way to use up fruit that is no longer visually appealing, but still tastes good. Think browning bananas, soft strawberries, blackberries so ripe they are falling apart. All still have good flavor, but arent what youd pick first out of the fruit basket on the counter.
Cons of Fresh Fruit & Vegetables: You have to make your smoothies on your fruits schedule, not your own. If those fresh fruits no longer taste good, they wont make your smoothie taste good. If the fruit is underripe, it will be harder to blend and may not make for the smoothest smoothie.
Pros of Frozen Fruit& Vegetables: Frozen fruit makes a thicker texture that stays colder longer without watering down the flavor. Most frozen fruit is picked at peak ripeness. You can have summer blackberries in January or tree ripe peaches in March. Also, unless you are shopping an in-season market stand, frozen fruit is usually cheaper than fresh.
Cons of Frozen Fruit& Vegetables: If you arent using a high power blender, frozen solid fruit may be more than it can handle. While my Vitamix does just fine with it, my stick blender would leave frozen fruit in chunks. Let the frozen fruit thaw on the counter for 10 minutes or so before making your smoothie.
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Strawberry Banana Smoothie Swaps And Substitutions
The great thing about smoothies is that you can add or switch out ingredients to make it your own. Here are some variations you can try:
- Make this smoothie dairy-free by using dairy-free yogurt and non-dairy milk such as almond or oat milk.
- You can leave out the yogurt all together.
- Use vanilla or strawberry yogurt for a sweeter smoothie. Alternatively, add up to 1 tablespoon of honey for added sweetness.
- Swap up to half of the milk for orange juice.
- Add up to 2 tablespoons of peanut or almond butter. Combined with the strawberries, it tastes like a PB& J smoothie.
- Add 2 teaspoons of chia seeds.
Whats The Best Way To Prepare A Creamy Protein Shake
In a blender, combine the ice, protein powder, and salt. Slowly drizzle in just enough milk to get a smooth and creamy texture. A lot of ice and a little milk are the secret to a thick and creamymilkshake-likesmoothie! After the smoothies creamy base has been mixed, add the crumbled graham cracker.
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How Do I Make Smoothies If I Dont Like Bananas
Lucky for you, we have an entire post of recipes to make a smoothie without banana. Try those recipes, or tweak any of the recipes below by:
- Subbing in 1/2 cup additional plain Greek yogurt , plus 1 tablespoon additional sweetener and a handful of ice cubes in place of the frozen banana in these recipes.
- Other options: canned pineapple, sweetened yogurt, canned pears. Adding half a ripe avocado can really help make up for the creaminess that bananas usually add, too.
Whats The Best Way To Sweeten A Healthy Smoothie
To make a tasty smoothie, you dont need a lot of sugar there are various methods to sweeten beverages while still keeping them balanced and healthful. 1. Smoothie with Key Lime Pie
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What Do I Use To Sweeten A Smoothie
All of these smoothies here use frozen fruit as a base, which adds a nice baseline of sweetness that you can build on if your tastebuds would like. My recommendation is to blend up your smoothie without any added sweetener, then taste. Add in honey or maple syrup to taste. Many times, I dont need to add anything! Another great natural option for sweetening: pitted Medjool dates. Throw in one or two of those bad boys and let the blender do its thing. Youd be amazed at how sweet your smoothie will be!
How To Make A Smoothie With/without Milk Or Yogurt
If youre lactose intolerantor avoiding dairy for other reasonsyou can make a delicious smoothie without dairy milk or yogurt.
Coconut milk, almond milk, hemp milk, coconut water, and even regular water can be used in just about any smoothie. There are even plant-based yogurts you can add in for richness. Look for hemp or pea-based protein powders, such as Sun Warrior or Manitoba, suggests Adler.
You can also give Adlers recipe for a honeydew-mint green smoothie a tryits super tasty and made without milk or yogurt.
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Add Extras To Your Liking
There are so many amazing things that you can add to a smoothie to increase its nutritional bang for your sip, though you dont have to add anything at all. I keep all kinds of superfoods around and throw in what sounds good. Ill normally add 2 or 3 extras to my smoothie each morning. Different things that I like to add include: hemp seed hearts, flax seeds, chia seeds, spirulina, organic brown rice protein powder, pea protein, and/or cacao nibs. Other people also add things like goji berries, matcha powder, and bee pollen, but I havent dabbled in those yet.
How To Make A Smoothie Bowl
If you like to eat your smoothie with a spoon instead of a straw, put it in a bowl and keep it thick.
The key to any smoothie bowl is a little amount of water, and either avocado or a clean protein powder in there to thicken it up, says Adler. Ice is great, but keep the water or liquid to ¼ cup at most! You’ll need a powerful blender to make this happen.
Many people add whole berries or cut fruit on top of their smoothie bowls and then sprinkle them with chia seeds or chopped nuts. Adler recommends her recipe for a Green Smoothie Bowl, a hearty smoothie that can stand-in as a meal.
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The Perfect Smoothie Ratio
- Fruits + Vegetables: 2 to 3 cups
- Thicken: ¼ to ½ cup of dairy 1 tablespoon seed/ nut butter
- Flavor: ¼ to ½ teaspoon spices 1 teaspoon sweetener
- Superfoods: 1 scoop protein powder Add supplements such as spirulina according to labels instructions
And now, how to make a smoothie, step-by-step.
Are Homemade Smoothies Good For You
Whether or not a smoothie is good for you depends on your overall diet, what you add to your smoothie, and how often you are drinking them. Smoothies that are filled with fruits and vegetables, within your recommended calorie limit, and without a lot of added sugar, can very much be a healthy part of your diet.
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Get The Right Equipment
Choose a Blender
Luckily, smoothies dont require much fancy equipment. In fact, you probably already have most of what you need in your kitchen.
No matter what, you need a blender. They come in many different shapes, sizes, styles, and speeds.
For those of you just starting out or on limited budgets, you can get a simple, low-tech blender at stores like Target, Wal-Mart, Costco, etc. You don’t need to spend a fortune, and you can still make great smoothies. I have had good luck with the Oster brand.
If you’re looking to take your smoothies and healthy eating to the next level, you may consider splurging on a high-tech, high-power blender. Mid-range options include Ninja and Health Master, while high-end options are Vita Mix and Blendtec.
The most important is that you choose a blender that works for your needs and purposes. It doesn’t have to be super high-end, but I almost never buy the absolute cheapest model possible, usually mid-range for decent quality.
Smoothie Cup or Mug
Another piece of optional equipment is a smoothie cupor mug. Again, doesn’t have to be fancy. But this turns out to be very important for me as I like to take my smoothies with me on the go, such as to work.
Ingredients For A Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Heres what youll need to make this strawberry banana smoothie. Youll notice a lot of the traditional ingredients for a creamy smoother arent necessary. Theres no yogurt, no milk, no dairy to make it creamy! Just two pure, healthy ingredients that result in a plant based and vegan smoothie. Heres what youll need:
- Frozen strawberries: Its easy to find and store frozen berries, and they add a great icy texture to this smoothie.
- Fresh banana: Our pet peeve is smoothie recipes that call for frozen bananas, because we dont always have them on hand. We customized this one to use a fresh banana so that you can make it immediately.
- Water and ice: For the body of the smoothie, youll just need a little water to get it to blend and ice for the perfect frothy texture.
Love plant based smoothies? Try these Top Vegan Smoothie Recipes!
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More Info On Each Easy Smoothie Recipe:
Strawberry Banana Smoothie: This is a pretty, light pink, sweet, and creamy cold drink thats perfect all year long. Its forever one of my classic favorites, and I make sure to stock up on strawberries when theyre in season so I can freeze them for year-round enjoyment. My kids ask for this one all the time, so you can say its a household requirement around here!
Simple Tropical Smoothie: This has a sweet flavor and reminds you of summer, no matter what month it is. My sunshiny Henry loves this one its summer in a glass. The color is a lovely cream-orange, and its always a hit at our house. Costco sells frozen mango and pineapple cubed and ready to go for a great price.
Very Berry Simply Smoothie: This is made with mixed frozen berries that you can get in the freezer section, including blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. I mean, who doesnt love berries?! It almost tastes like ice cream, and it hits the spot any time of day. I make it on movie nights and call it a milkshake. Meanwhile, my kids have no idea it doesnt actually include ice cream!
Peanut Butter Simple Smoothie: This one is a whole big glass of peanut buttery goodness that tastes like dessert but is packed with protein. I cant get over it. Its probably one of my very favorites because I love, love, love peanut butter.
What Liquids Can You Mix With Smoothies
Liquid: Your choices include milk, non-dairy milk, coconut water, iced coffee or tea, and juice. If you want to punch up the protein, go for milk or pea protein milk, which contain 8 to 10 grams per cup. If youre getting ample protein from another source, coconut water or almond milk are lighter ways to go.
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How To Make Homemade Smoothies
Homemade smoothies are a tasty way to add extra servings of fruits and vegetables into your diet. Whether you are looking for a delicious way to start your day or just need a healthier afternoon snack, knowing how to make a smoothie is a great way to expand your culinary knowledge and build your kitchen confidence.
How To Blend The Perfect Smoothie
Depending on the strength of your blender , the order you put your ingredients in the blender could influence the overall texture. Heres how we like to layer ingredients into the blender:
Start the blender off slowly, then gradually increase the speed. Blend for 30 to 60 seconds until the smoothie is as smooth as possible.
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What Blender Should I Use For A Smoothie
I truly believe a good blender is worth it. I got a Blendtec a few years ago, and Ill never go back to a normal blender again. A good blender will whip you up a thick and delicious smoothie with no chunks in about 45 seconds.
And, if youre adding leafy greens, a good blender will make sure theyre blended up nicely and have a great texture! Mine gives me a count for how many times Ive used it, and its well past the 800 mark. So, its definitely worth the investment, in my opinion, especially if you have a family full of smoothie lovers!