Smoothies are one of the easiest drinks to make and are increasingly becoming famous among people. You can have it as breakfast or a snack or even a dessert. Smoothies are easy to make and take less time too. You can make it with simple ingredients and even select ingredients including the sugar content from any recipe you want and customize it.
There are healthy smoothie recipes as well, so you can replace your coffee or snacks with a bowl or glass of smoothie and have a full stomach. Smoothies also have a hydrating effect besides just healthy ingredients.
Smoothies are an easy go-to drink and healthy as well. It can be made very easily with fewer easily available ingredients. There are certain essentials you need to keep in mind when making a smoothie, such as which and how much liquid and type of ingredients to use.
So if you want to know how to make a smoothie, here are some details to help you out, from the kinds of smoothies and steps on how to start to random things that you can put together and still get the desired flavor.
1. What Kinds of Smoothies Are Out There
It can be confusing for many if a smoothie should be running or solid. The answer is both!
Yes, a smoothie is neither liquid nor solid. You can call it a mix. It has a creamy texture, so you must be mindful of what kind of liquid you are using. You might prefer a thin mixture sometimes compared to eating a smoothie in a bowl. Know the ingredients, their density, and what and how much liquid to use for a perfect smoothie.
1.2 Bowl Smoothie
You might often prefer to eat until you have a full stomach, so you can go for a denser smoothie which you can eat with a spoon in a bowl. The liquid used to blend here should be less to get the desired texture and the ingredients should be mixed well since you can’t shake and mix things in a bowl more efficiently than in a cup or a glass.
There are many types of smoothies as mentioned before, and you can customize them based on your preferences. There are any and every type of ingredients, and you can mix anything of your choice to even experiment with different tastes.
If you’re going to follow some recipe, you don’t have to necessarily use every ingredient mentioned if it doesn’t suit you. For instance, if you’re a vegan, you can easily choose any of the leafy greens or fruits and water or any plant-based milk to get a perfect taste and do the same with other ingredients as well.
2. How to Make a Smoothie
While you’re figuring out how to make a smoothie, there are many tips and tricks available, including hundreds of recipes, but there are some non-negotiable things that you’ll need, such as any liquid ingredient and a blender. So here are some tips to help you start.
The only difference between a smoothie and a shake is that you use only a blender for a smoothie. This is why smoothie is also easy and fast to make. It is best to use a small sharp blender. If you want to make it in a regular blender, which you might have, try blending soft ingredients first and accordingly add more.
Start with adding a small amount of any liquid you’re using (water or milk), then blend soft ingredients first, be it leafy greens such as kale or spinach or fresh fruits, and lastly, the hard ingredients like frozen fruits or ice.
Make sure to blend everything for extra 10 seconds to get a fine texture, and if you want to eat your smoothie, you can either use add-ins or blend accordingly so as to leave pieces for you to eat.
You can easily get a blender from nearby stores, otherwise, there are many options available online where you can choose from a wide variety.
2.2 Should You Rest Your Smoothie
Smoothies are the perfect go-to drinks. You should start blending them only when you can drink them right away. If you let the smoothie rest, it can become less frothy, and the ingredients might get separated so you might not get a good taste!
If you want to leave a smoothie overnight or store it, make sure it’s thick and stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container. This way, you can get the taste as well. You can also prepare your ingredients the night before and blend them in the morning.
2.3 Are Smoothies Healthy?
Smoothies can be made from any ingredient of your choice. It can be healthy and made only for taste as well. It is also possible to make a healthy smoothie with a great taste depending if you know your preferences.
If you’re making your smoothies at home, it is possible to make them healthy rather than buying one since you don’t know exactly the ingredients they might use. You can always use fresh and natural ingredients at home.
2.4 Follow Recipes
If you’re making a smoothie first time, try going for a basic one with simply banana and milk with some chocolate syrup or any fruit of your choice. Not only you’ll like it, but you will also be confident enough to try new combinations with a better idea of your taste.
3. What to Put in Smoothies
Although it solely depends on you, and as said, there’s no hard rule for what you should put in a smoothie, here are some commonly used ingredients by people.
3.1 Any Liquid
You can use any liquid to make a running mixture. You cannot make a smoothie without using any liquid.
Other commonly used liquids include water, coconut water, juice, almond milk, dairy milk, chocolate milk, coconut milk, kombucha, cold coffee, or tea. With such a wide variety, you can also prefer unsweetened milk if you’re cutting out on sugar.
Water is good if you want your smoothie to be thin, as milk is used for a dense texture to keep the smoothie soft and running.
Although optional, for those who’ve tried it, yogurt is a key component for a smoothie. Besides a creamy smoothie with protein, you’ll also get different types.
If you’re making a smoothie with water or coconut water, yogurt adds texture and flavor to it, balancing out the need for milk.
You can also use unsweetened yogurt or a flavored one depending on the sugar level you prefer. For example, if you’re using any fruit and sweetened milk, then you might prefer unsweetened yogurt. If you’re a vegan, still, you can use plant-or-nut-based ones.
You can also try Greek yogurt, Culina coconut water, and vanilla yogurt.
Banana leads to a creamy smoothie and acts as a natural sweetener. A frozen banana can be best if you don’t want to put ice. You can make a banana smoothie or experiment and add other frozen fruits or dry fruits or chocolate milk to give flavor to your drink.
Mixed berries make good smoothies, too. Like frozen bananas, you can also use frozen berries. You can also make a smoothie with any one type of berry and not a mixture necessarily, such as strawberry, blueberry and raspberries.
Not only do they give smoothies a fine density and taste, but they also have a beautiful color. This makes berry smoothies perfect for serving to the guests.
3.5 Frozen Fruit Smoothies
You can also use any frozen fruit, such as peaches, apples, oranges, pineapple, cherries, mango, kiwi, and watermelons to make a fruity smoothie.
All types of fruits make any drink sweet and flavored but using them frozen makes the drink slushy rather than watery. Make sure to let the fresh fruit freeze for a minimum of 5-10 hours before using it or freezing it overnight.
If you have time, let the frozen fruit adjust to room temperature for a minute or so before using, as it makes the smoothie less frozen and easy to blend with other ingredients.
3.6 Fresh Fruits
Even though frozen fruit is recommended in all fruit smoothie recipes, it can be tricky as you might need more liquid to blend it, so what you can do is use fresh fruits, and if you don’t have it, you can rest the frozen fruit for 30 minutes outside, and it is just as useful as any fresh fruit.
Unknown to many, you can use fresh and frozen fruit to get the right consistency and not use extra milk or any liquid you’re using.
It depends on the ingredients you’re using to determine if you need to add extra sugar. If you’re trying to cut out sugar from your diet or for any other reason, you can make fruit smoothies, as natural sugar is healthy and won’t compromise on the taste.
If you’re making banana smoothies, you might not need sugar, but in pineapple, kiwi, vegetable, or milk usage, you might want it to be a little sweet. In such cases, it’s better to use sugar alternatives such as honey, jaggery, pure maple syrup, Stevia liquid abstract, pitted Medjool date, or Coconut or Agave nectar.
Ice is not preferred by many in a smoothie. If you want to have a chilled smoothie, you can use frozen fruit or cold liquid that you’re using. But if you want your smoothie to be chilled, you can use ice or, better, crushed ice, but then you should drink it right away; otherwise, your perfect smoothie might get watery and lack flavor.
After making your smoothie, you might want add-ins or make it pretty to serve or post on your social media. The add-ins can also be a source of consuming nutrients. They’re not important to make a smoothie but definitely add texture, taste, and flavor; above all, they’re healthy.
3.9.1 Nuts or Nut Butter
Nuts like almonds, cashews, and peanuts are a great source of nutrients. Either blend them with other ingredients or cut them into small pieces and sprinkle them on the smoothie.
You can also use nut butter, such as almond butter, as it can not only add healthy fats and proteins and the flavor and healthiness of the nut you’re using. It also gives a good texture to the drink.
Just like nuts, you can sprinkle seeds on your smoothie. A small amount of any seed or a mix is a great healthy snack since they’re loaded with fats and protein. Healthy seed options include- chia seeds or flax seeds, or hemp hearts.
Similar to seeds or nuts, grains are not only much more affordable but also healthy. They’re bigger in pieces than seeds making a better add-in.
To include grains in your smoothie, transfer it to a bowl and mix a scoop of oats (a great source of fiber), quinoa, cooked brown rice, or any other grain preferred by you, and you’re good to go!
Protein powder is essential for many since it adds nutrients and flavor to the smoothie. You can also use collagen powder or maca, or Acai powder.
If you want your smoothie in a bowl, add pumpkin or sweet potatoes since they’re healthy and add to the creamy texture. Adding them will make it perfect to eat since they are more of a puree. You can always add more liquid to get the thinner version of the same.
Chocolate is the best topping since a small amount of it can add taste. You can use it from diced solid chocolate to cocoa powder or syrup. Use the unsweetened ones if you want less sugar in your diet.
- Cheese- Cream or cottage cheese is best to give your smoothie a creamy texture. They’re thick, so they are good for texture.
- Extracts- As mentioned in liquids, you can add extracts for the smell and taste. Vanilla extract and maple or almond extracts are the most commonly used ones.
- Spices- For aroma and delicious taste, you can also add spices such as spirulina, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, or turmeric to your smoothie
- Oils- You can add cod liver oil, fish, or flaxseed oil for a perfect smoothie.
- Citrus- add a pinch of lemon juice, lime, orange juice, or any other fruit juice to your smoothie.
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