This week, I'm doing a detox with my clients, and that usually means I'm making 2 smoothies each day. I loooooooove drinking smoothies as it's a phenomenal way to pack in amazing nutrition with each and every sip.
To help all my smoothie lovers out there, I'm going to be sharing my best tips on Prep, the proper anatomy of a smoothie, tips for optimal flavor and consistency, and finally the order you should be adding your ingredients to the blender for ultimate blending. Are you ready to up your smoothie game? Let's do it!!
First, let's talk about the Prep!!! I made this video on some of my favorite prep hacks. I've also included the recipe for my delicious lemon, ginger, power beet juice, so be sure to check it out here.
Ok, so we've talked about how to organize your ingredients, now let's take a look at some tips and tricks for quick fixes:
How to Make a Smoothie Thinner:
- Add small amounts of water, milk, or juice. Work your machine back up to its highest speed, and process for 10-20 seconds.
- Tip: Load the container in the following order: liquids first, then soft fruits or vegetables, greens, and ice on top.
How to Make a Smoothie Thicker:
- Use or add frozen fruit (especially bananas), add more ice, or add frozen yogurt, raw oats or hemp seeds. Work your machine back up to its highest speed, and process for 20-30 seconds
- Tip: Add a variety of fruits/vegetables or greens in an assortment of textures.
How to Make a Smoothie Less Bitter:
- Pineapple and oranges both add lots of fruity sweetness. Banana, in addition to being sweet, seems to neutralize bitter flavors. Strawberries are also good choices for green smoothies. Also try adding a bit of vanilla bean or vanilla extract, agave, cacao, or unsweetened cocoa powder. Flavored protein powders will also mask the taste of bitter greens. After adding these ingredients, work your machine back up to its highest speed, and process for 10-20 seconds.
- Tip: Baby greens are generally milder than mature greens. Tastes do change and adapt to new eating habits. Try working up to bitter greens by combining small amounts of them with the spinach in your smoothie. Then gradually adjust the ratio as your taste buds adapt. Chalky taste: Add more fruit and/or other ingredients in the recipe. Work your machine back up to its highest speed, and process for 10-20 seconds. Adding more protein powder can give you too much of a good thing; use amounts recommended on the label.
How to make your smoothie less sweet
- Add a touch of lemon juice. Work your machine back up to its highest speed, and process for 10-20 seconds.
- Tip: Fruits add their own natural sweetness, so use a balance of sweet and citrus fruits and reduce or eliminate other sweeteners like honey, pure maple syrup or agave.
Alrighty then, What is the anatomy of the perfect smoothie?
Step 1: Frozen fruit
When we think “smoothie,” many of us think of bananas. That’s because bananas offer sweet (but not too sweet) flavor and when they’re blended, they provide that signature rich, creamy-smooth texture a smoothie is named for. So you can’t go wrong with bananas in your smoothie base. That said, bananas are higher in sugar, so save them for higher carb days. If you are trying to stay low carb, always opt for fresh or frozen berries.
I suggests storing peeled, ripe bananas in quarters in a sealed container in your freezer. That way, you can just pop in however many you need for whatever type of smoothie you’re making. “You never have to worry about bananas getting overly ripe on your counter this way, and it cuts back on waste,” Also, try storing kale and spinach that's about to turn this way.
Don’t like bananas? Popular substitutes to achieve the same thick, creamy quality include cooked oats, avocado, yogurt, silken tofu, or just a half to a whole cup of your favorite fruit. Frozen fruits work well here.
Step 2: Fresh fruit & veggies
Of course, you can skip the frozen produce and make a smoothie with that amazing fresh fruit you just picked up at the farmer’s market. You’ll just need to add plenty of ice if you like it chilly, and stick with soft, ripe fruits.
For super smooth smoothies, try fruits without a tough skin. If you have a powerful blender like a vitamin for blendtec, it will have no trouble blending up apples and pears.
Some of my favorite fresh ingredients for smoothie are include fresh spinach and Kale, and ripe avocado. Spinach is detoxifying and vitamin packed, but with an actually sweet taste and no bitterness—this is ideal for those that are nervous about anything green in their smoothies.
And ¼ to ½ of an avocado can turn any smoothie into a decadent meal you can eat with a spoon. Plus, The healthy fats found in an avocado will help you stay full for hours.
Step 3: 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 additions—and they add protein and heathy fat 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 you’re looking to add more protein into your diet. I usually always add Collagen to my smoothies. It's tasteless, so it doesn't alter the flavor, if I want to add a little flavor, I'll put a couple drops of vanilla extract or some raw cacao for antioxidant-rich chocolate yumminess. ent lists of things you can't pronounce!”
Sweetener. To sweeten naturally, add a drizzle of honey or pure maple syrup. But be sure to taste your smoothie before you add sweetener, as you may not need it if you’ve 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! Cashews add the perfect amount of creaminess and satisfying feel, without being overly nutty tasting.
Seasonings and spices. I loooooove throwing in spices for both a nutritional boost as well a kick of flavor. Some of my favorites include cinnamon for balancing blood sugar, ground nutmeg, vanilla extract, maca for hormonal balance and fresh turmeric and ginger for reducing inflammation.
Step 4: Add Fat
I don't include fat in all of my smoothies, but if I'm making it a meal, if definitely do. Great sources are nut butters, avocado, hemp seeds, and coconut oil
Step 5: Liquid ingredients
Next, pour in ¼ to 1 cup liquid—almond milk, coconut milk, water and yogurt are probably most popular. This will help your smoothie stay thin enough to sip.
Step 6: Blend
Then, blend all your ingredients so far. This will help ensure that the fruit is fully pureed and the flavors are mixed together before your blender does the hard work of crushing the ice.
Step 7: Ice
Add about a half-cup of ice—a tiny bit more or less depending on how cool and frosty you’d like your smoothie to be.
Step 8: Blend again
Blend everything together until smooth. Then pour it into a glass or cup, and your smoothie is ready to drink.
And finally, does it matter what order you put your ingredients in the blender? You bet your bottom dollar. For the ultimate smoothie experience, Blendtec suggests you add your ingredients like this.
- Place your softer, high-moisture foods in the blender jar first (liquids, fresh fruits and veggies, etc.) Place your hard, solid foods last (ice, frozen fruits and veggies, nuts, etc.). If you're making a green smoothie with leafy greens, you can put them in before or after the ice. The most important thing is for liquids to be put in first and to put the harder ingredients toward the top.
- If a blend is too cold, cavitation can result. This is when an air pocket forms around the blade. Be sure to keep a good balance between ice (or any frozen food) and liquid.
- For round food objects such as apples, cut them in half before placing them in the jar.
- Cut fresh food items to fit in half the height of the jar.
Well, there you have it, my best tips for storage, smoothie consistency, the anatomy of the smoothie and how to load your blender for the best blending experience.
These easy steps will help ensure that your blended masterpiece will be as smooth and delicious as possible. Do you have any other ideas for creating the best blends?
Cheers to Wellness!!
Ruth xoxo 😃