How To Make Homemade Smoothies
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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.
Whats Wrong With Dairy
Nothing if youre one of the 30% of the worlds population that doesnt have a dairy intolerance. Yet if youre like me, then dairy often gives you issues with digestion. Instead of suffering through the painful side effects of consuming dairy, I started searching for non-dairy options.
Discover the incredible world of plant based milk and dairy free smoothies along with me!
Smoothies Made With Water Are Garbage
Im no stranger to smoothies. I will even admit to having purchased many of those fancy $12 smoothies in the recent pastIm not ashamed. I firmly believe anyone should be able to spend as much money as they want on whatever food makes them feel good. However, I have to draw the line somewhere. And that somewhere is when smoothies are blended with water.
Why would you blend your smoothie with water? Not coconut water, but just pure H2O. Perhaps youre trying to build muscle and are only looking for the purest protein your carton of powder can shake out. Maybe you dont like creamy things. Is it simply for fewer calories? You can be honest, Im just trying to understand where youre coming from.
Ill admit it: Ive blended with water a few times. Not on purpose, mind you. But there have been mornings when Ive discovered Id scraped the last dregs from my carton of yogurt and that the open carton of almond milk in the back of my fridge had a use by date of four weeks prior. I begrudgingly poured water into my blender full of banana and kale and blueberries, pureed, and you know what: It wasnt good. It was a sad diluted smoothie.
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How To Make Your Smoothies Taste Better
If youre using too many leafy greens, smoothies can end up tasting too bitter.
Sweet fruits like bananas, pineapples, mango can add lots of natural sweetness to your smoothies.
I especially like bananas and mango , they make almost every smoothie taste better.
Strawberries and oranges can also be a great choice for masking bitter flavors.
If youre just starting with smoothies, you can add honey, maple syrup, or agave syrup to make smoothies taste like a dessert.
Once youre more experienced, you can reduce the amount of sugar in your smoothies and add more leafy greens or other veggies.
The less sugar , the more natural ingredients youll use, the healthier your smoothie will be.
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Should You Rest Your Smoothies
Letting a smoothie sit tends to make it less frothy, but some smoothies willseparate quickly. For example, almost every green smoothie separates into a layer of green juice atop a chunky greenmixture after a few minutes.
Others fare better from resting. Anything with a lot of light or frothyingredients, or a lot of air whipped up into them, applies.
If you’re in a rush, prepare the ingredients beforehand by chopping andmeasuring them. Start only when you’re ready to eat! You can store ingredientsor even storesmoothies overnight in the fridge, if you’re preparing for an earlymorning!
A thick smoothie can last in the fridge up to 24 hours while retaining itsflavor and texture. Thinner smoothies may separate before then. We prefer todrink immediately, though grabbing a drink prepared the night before is almostas good. To store a smoothie in the fridge, pour it into a tightly sealedcontainer such as a Mason jar. Unless you have a tight, screw-on lid for yourblender bottle, don’t botheryou’ll get better flavor and have an easiertime cleaning up if you store it in something else.
In a pinch, you can put plastic wrap over the top of a glass.
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Watermelon Smoothie Health Benefits
This easy smoothie recipe offers more than just good sips. Here are a few watermelon smoothie benefits:
- Because of the high water content in watermelon, this smoothie is exceptionally hydrating.
- Watermelon is packed with Vitamin-C, Vitamin-A, and numerous antioxidants.
Read more about watermelon health benefits here and strawberry health benefits here.
How Using Milk Affects Your Smoothies
1) It adds creaminess
Milk is a concoction of many nutrients including proteins and lactose which help give it more body than regular water. Thus, the creaming effect. When you use milk in your smoothies, you get more depth that if you use plainol water.
2) It adds its own flavor
Milk is naturally flavorful, so adding it will interfere with the current flavors in the smoothie. Depending on which kind of milk youre using and what variation of smoothie youre making, the milk flavor may dominate the entire smoothie which in my opinion, isnt a good thing. Your smoothie is there to present a rainbow of notes to excite your taste buds, so no milk should ever take that privilege away!
3) Its more nutritious
Its no brainer, between water and milk, the latter is the more nutritious of the two thanks to its might cocktail of nutrients ranging from proteins, lactose, and some minerals. Depending on what nutrient youre after, milk can be the better addition for your overall health.
When milk is the better thinner
- When you want extra taste: If extra flavors is what youre looking for, go for milk, it wont disappoint. When opting for milk, you have a wide variety to choose from including breast milk. And each one of them have their distinct flavors which may or may not dominate a smoothie.
- When all you want is creaminess
- When youre not using nutritional supplements and figure out you want a boost, milk is the perfect addition to your smoothie.
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Is A Smoothie Better With Milk Or Water
More liquid in smoothies will make it runnier. It is up to you how you want it. However, the extra fluid can make blending difficult for your normal blender. Milk will add extra taste, but it has some drawbacks too.
Milk is full of fat. Despite its nutrient contents, it will pile up extra plump on your body. If you want to have a more refreshing experience, go for water. You will keep yourself healthy and hydrated.
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When Using Only Fresh Fruit
If frozen fruit is not available, thats okay! Fresh fruit still adds body to the smoothie as the ingredients become pureed. However, you wont get that cool chill. Add in ice cubes, start with ½ cup to 1 cup of ice , add more until the desired consistency is reached.
Just be aware that the more ice used, the more the flavor will dilute as the ice melts.
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Do You Need Milk To Make A Smoothie
The answer is no!
You absolutely do not need milk to make a smoothie.
In fact, some of the most delicious smoothies I have ever made do not have any milk in them at all.
Sometimes milk is a great way to help build your smoothies, but it also can easily water down the flavor depending on the type of smoothie you are making.
Green smoothies especially should never be made with milk in them.
I discovered a long time ago that the very best green smoothie I have ever tastedis made with water, citrus fruits, and ice.
Some green smoothies may taste good with milk, but I prefer the ones without it much better.
You have to learn which flavors play well together and which ones clash.
Otherwise you might find yourself hating smoothies and giving up on them all together.
That was me for awhile and I had just about given up making smoothies taste good.
Now that I know how to make delicious smoothies at home, I make them all of the time!
How Do You Make A Smoothie From Scratch
In short, making a smoothie is as simple as tossing ingredients into the blender and letting it do the work. The harder part is deciding what, and how much, goes into the pitcher.
A homemade smoothie can be as simple or complex as you choose to make it.
You can make an easy 2-ingredient strawberry smoothie by blending together frozen strawberries and a bit of milk. Or you could get really complicated and make a 12 ingredient mega smoothie with enough calories to last the day.
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How To Make A Healthy Smoothie
1.Start with liquid. Water, juice, non-dairy milk, milk, and even green tea or coconut water are all good low-calorie, low-sugar options.
2. Add protein and fat for staying-power. Nut butter, garbanzo beans, yogurt, silken tofu, and avocado are all great choices for flavor and texture.
3.Pack in vegetables. Add kale or spinach, parsley and beet greens, and maybe cucumber and celery for some fresh flavor. Love veggies? Check out these veggie smoothies and green smoothies.
4. Add fresh or frozen fruit. Almost any cut fresh or frozen fruit is delicious. When a smoothie recipe uses fresh fruit, add ice cubes to the blender along with the fresh fruit to give it better texture.
- To freeze bananas, peel and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place the slices on a baking sheet to freeze and then transfer the frozen pieces to a resealable freezer bag to store.
- To freeze fresh berries, spread on a baking sheet, freeze, and store in resealable freezer bags. Check out more tips on How to Freeze Fruits.
5. Don’t forget a flavor booster! Herbs, spices, and other flavorings such as mint, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla extract or cocoa powder can help create a custom flavor. For an extra hit of nutrition, add ground flax seeds, chia seeds, or wheat germ.
6. Blend until smooth and enjoy. To make clean-up easier, rinse out the blender right after you use it and re-blend a few cups of water with a few drops of dish soap to clean it out.
Frozen Mixed Fruit Smoothie
This easy and healthy frozen mixed fruit smoothie recipe is another great smoothie way to start your day.
Reading: how to make smoothies with frozen fruit and water
Fruit smoothie recipes are so easy to invent as so many different fruits go so well when you mix them together.
We often use mango in our recipes as it provides the tropical taste that you want when you make a smoothie. But of course, you can use almost any healthy fruit that you have available.
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Good Protein Source: Providing Essential Muscle Growth For Homemade Protein Smoothies
Theres no point focusing on a smoothie for weight gain if youre not considering a protein source in there. Its a ton of calories, carbs, and sugars that really need an active ingredient for better quality weight gain and muscle growth.
A simple protein powder plant or animal source is going to add some real benefits to a pre- or post-workout weight gain smoothie. We generally recommend neutral flavors like a mellow vanilla or something you know will work with your smoothie plans.
You can also use other liquid and semi-liquid sources like low-fat Greek yoghurt to boost the protein intake. This is a natural source of protein that blends pretty well, adds creaminess to your smoothie, and pairs well with all kinds of different fruits and other ingredients.
Keep it simple its just here to fluff the protein content and drive muscle protein synthesis.
Smoothie Consistency: Balancing Wet And Dry Ingredients
There is nothing worse than making a weight-gain smoothie or shake only to realize that its too thick and youre going to be chewing it.
This is what happens when we get the liquid and dry ingredient balance wrong. Start with fewer solids as you blend, just to make sure youre not ruining the texture. Blending one ingredient at a time might take some more time, but it does save you the frustration of starting fresh or not enjoying your smoothie.
Remember: you can always add more solids, but you cant take them out of the smoothie once theyre blended in there. For your own sake, be patient and add a little at a time until you get the right consistency.
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Why You Should Make This Banana Smoothie
Ive made a version of this easy banana smoothie recipe more times than I can count. Its perfect on its own and is the best base recipe for adding more ingredients like fruit, nut butter, and veggies.
Here are a few more reasons we love it:
- You need less than 5 minutes to make it.
- You can use fresh or frozen bananas.
- Its easy to adapt to what you have in the kitchen.
- This smoothie is perfect for breakfast or a snack.
- Kids love it!
- You can even make the smoothie ahead of time, freeze it, and save it for later.
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.
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Is Vitamix Good For Making Green Smoothies
Yes, Vitamix is great for making green smoothies!
Vitamix blenders are known for their strength and ability to create the perfect pureed texture in just seconds.
This will help when trying to break down tough ingredients like kale, spinach, or celery- which take only a few seconds thanks to the blades of a high-powered blender like Vitamix.
Health Benefits Of A Green Smoothie
- Weight loss: Green smoothie does help with a weight loss if you drink it on a regular basis. Fiber from fruits and vegetables keeps your belly full longer. Plus it is low calorie less than 100 calories.
- Detox: From the mix of chlorophyll contained in the greens to the high level of fiber to keep things moving.
- Energy: Leafy greens and fruit contain many nutrients, vitamins and naturally occuring sugars that feed your body cells with energy.
- Fruits and vegetables: Because smoothies are so easy to make, they make you eat more fruits and vegetables you wouldnt have eaten otherwise.
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Micronutrient Sources: Keeping Yourself Healthy And Fueling The Body
Speaking of kale and spirulina, you should try and get a specific nutrient-dense vegetable or other source into your smoothies to gain weight fast.
These kinds of deep greens and other plant foods are a great choice to sneak some nutrients into your smoothie. These are an important part of any diet and when youre gaining weight its important to pair them with your calorie intake wherever possible.
The last thing you want is empty calories that dont come with nutrients. Thats a rapid route to overlooking the important health functions of your diet healthy weight gain is based on these weight gain foods.
Kale, spinach, and spirulina are three of the easiest choices and should be on-hand if youre thinking of picking up a weight gain smoothie habit but youre free to experiment!
Ways To Thicken A Smoothie
Frozen fruit or ice is the first way to thicken smoothies. However yogurt, bananas, coconut milk , avocado, tofu, and nut butter can assist in creating a creamy consistency. If using tofu, start off with ¼ to ½ cup cubes of silken tofu. For avocado, use ½ of the fruit first so the taste doesnt become too rich.
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Make Sure You Have A Good Blender To Make This Frozen Fruit Smoothie
You want to make sure you have a good blender. I have been thru some cheap ones and they barely last a week. Dont waste your time like I did with these cheaper models, and just get something nice from the get go. It will save you time and money!
I have a Vitamix now and it was worth the money. We have had it for many years and its still working to make smoothies and more! Its paid for itself time and time again with all the money I have saved making smoothies and milkshakes at home.
Purchasing a Vitamix is pricey, but it is worth it. You wont have to keep replacing it like with the cheaper blenders. Amazon has several of them on sale right now for a great price.
If you just cant make it work in the budget, I recommend a Waring professional blender. I think it is the next best thing and it will get the job done. Now, it is not as good as the Vitamix but its a close second for a more reasonable price. Amazon has several Waring blenders on sale right now.