If you haven’t been sipping your nutrients out of a straw lately then I don’t know who you are or where you’ve been – smoothies are where it’s at in the health food world – so join in on the fun. There are over a gazillion recipe options all just one touch of your blender away, but before you start making some “smooth moves” read this and learn how to make the perfect smoothie.
Part I: The Basics
Buy The Best Blender
Just like smoothies have become more and more popular, so have the kitchen gadgets that create them – blenders. Some can be several hundred dollars where as others can be as low as $29.99 (on a good day at Wal-Mart). However before you purchase your next smoothie making machine understand that some are way better than others.
First off, consider how often you will be blending up your favorite treats. Many “industrial” type of blenders are stronger than the ones your mom used to whip milkshakes up in when you were young. The blades are more efficient nowadays and speed options are lightning fast. My favorite blender (and the one I use daily) is a commercially inspired, high performance blender known as the Oster® Versa®. Offered at a fraction of the cost of comparable high performance blenders, this affordable luxury is a rugged, durable, and did I mention a multitasker – I make sorbet, soups, nut butters etc. all the time. It can certainly handle all the demands of my fun and healthy life and I love how the brand promises to back things up with a 7-year limited warranty. Check out this RAD Deal right here.
No More Than Four (Steps)
No rocket science needed here. Speaking of “rocket” make sure you enter a chance to win a “Bella Rocket Blender” by clicking here. Anyways, back to what I was saying – to build the perfect smoothie all you need to know are four easy steps…in the order listed please.
1) Pick your liquid. This can be anything from dairy base choices like milk, to good old Jesus juice (H20). Hey, don’t turn your lip up just yet. Water is an excellent source to keep calories low. Not into water? You can even start with a fresh juice, coconut milk (or water) etc.
2) Find a main squeeze. Fruits are often the “headliners” of smoothies. Since they are packed with antioxidants, have mad nutrients and are super RAD in the sweet department they are almost always invited to the smoothie party. However leafy greens such as kale and spinach play nicely in a blender too. So invite them along for the fun.
3) Enrich the mess out of your smoothie. That means add things that will keep you full longer – like protein and healthy fat. Greek yogurt is a great protein option and nut butters and avocados are both excellent ways to kick things up in the healthy fat department.
4) Add one more boost. Think protein powders, chia seeds, wheat germ and ground flaxseed (just to name a few). All of these ingredients will bulk things up and make your smoothie not only more filling but more nutrient rich as well. That’s it – easy right?
Part II: Pick The RADdest Ingredients
Learn How To Milk It
So going in order – the most popular liquid is usually milk. But with dairy allergies being a problem for most soy based options are also completely cool. However if creamy is not your thing, again, know that coconut water, fresh juices and even water can all serve as excellent bases. A quick note on dairy though – if mixed with citrus fruits or berries – beware of curdling. This is caused by the reaction of a protein found in a cow’s milk (called casein) with the fruit. So if you are using dairy drink quickly hunnie!
You Don’t Have To Get Fresh
And I am not talking about your attitude. Most people assume that using fresh produce is better than frozen. False. In fact it is the other way around. When produce is flash frozen the nutrients are locked in (usually when the fruit or vegetable is at it’s ripest). Plus, frozen fruit is a great double duty ingredient since you can often times skip the ice when using this option. Hello thickness. And lastly, depending on the season, frozen fruit and veggies can also be huge money savers.
You Can Have It All
Speaking of produce, the best part about smoothies is unlike juicing, you get all the wonderful nutrients that this sippable power beverage has to offer. What you drop down the spout is what you get out, so go crazy and let the healthy times roll. P.S. Don’t get too crazy. Five to eight ingredients is ideal – because the more ingredients you use the more the distorted the color may become. May not be a big deal to you but I’ll pick a bright pink smoothie over a brown one any day.
It Actually Is Easy Being Green
Just like green juice, green smoothies have become incredibly popular. Often times featuring leafy greens such as kale and spinach, green smoothies are an excellent way to get your daily five. In one glass you get a healthy treat packed full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and polyphenols – all which are easy to digest. Because the fruits and greens have been blended, the cell walls where nutrients are encased are broken, making the nutrients more readily available for the body to use. Try one first thing in the morning or as a snack.
Not All Ingredients Play Nicely
While we’re on the topic of distorted coloring, it is important to know that not all ingredients play nicely. It’s best to avoid combining too many strong flavors as they will battle for domination in your finished drink. Fruit and vegetables that have dense flesh like mango, banana and avocado should also be balanced with juicier ones like melon, cucumber and oranges. Also when loading your blender remember to “start soft and then go hard.” Liquids, soft produce, hard produce, powders go with liquids and sticky items such as honey and nut butters should go in after a little blending.
Part III: Customize & Enjoy
Smooth Moves You Need To Know
In my smoothie making adventures I have discovered a few secret tricks that help things blend more nicely. First up, a tip leafy greens. When working with these power veggies I blend them first with my liquid. Just those two ingredients. So blend them down into liquid form and then add the rest of your recipe’s ingredients. Also if you are on the go (like me) you can use either muffin tins or ice cube trays to prep your smoothies beforehand. For instance I juice ginger and lemon early in the week, pour them in ice trays and just drop a cube or two in my smoothies from here to there. I also use muffin tins to freeze leftover green juices I’ve prepared or pureed fresh fruits (that were on the verge of going bad). Plus when you toss these frozen creations in to your smoothies the “thick” factor of your treat will be so on point.
If You Like It Thick
The thickness of your smoothie creation is solely based on your personal preference, but you should know that some ingredients and steps can ensure you obtain your desired consistency each and every time. Oats and ground grains are both great ways to instantly add bulk and density to your smoothie, whereas using all fresh ingredients and little to no ice will leave you with a bit more runny type drink.
Your creation is fresh and shouldn’t be sitting around too long. So get your chug on RADical. The longer it’s left standing the lower the vitamin count becomes. Also once your smoothie is exposed to the air fruit will begin to oxidize and drinks containing apples or bananas can discolor and even turn brown. Yuck.