If you have tried and tested a smoothie already, it won’t be long until you’ll want to make your own. You can either follow a recipe or get creative yourself. Worried you might mess up? Fear not – the following tips will help you create a sensationally delicious smoothie, every single time.
To make the perfect smoothie, add your ingredients in the following order to your blender:
1. Liquid ingredients first:
In order to blend everything up well, you need some kind of liquid. Depending on how juicy the other ingredients are and on how much you actually want to make, you should place 1 or 2 cups of liquid in your blender. If you use a lot of frozen ingredients, it is important to know that too much liquid will let the frozen bits float on top and they won’t blend.
Water: the simplest option; if you are using sweet fruits anyways, water will be a perfect companion. It can also be a good substitute if you do not have coconut water available. Make sure to use clean water and filter your water if need to be. A lot of buildings have old and rusty pipes which are permeable to everything around them. Many countries also put chlorine into tap water for hygienic reasons.
Coconut water and jelly: Coconut water is a natural isotonic and rich in minerals. Coconut jelly will give your smoothie a creamy texture.
Nutmilk: If you want to make thick, rich smoothie that resembles a milk shake, nut milk is the way to go.
Fresh fruit juice: Juice will make your smoothie sweeter, and it will also give it an extra dose of vitamins and minerals.
2. Leafy Greens, Fruits and Vegetables:
If you are making a green smoothie, add leafy greens next.
This could be anything like:
- all sorts of lettuce,
- the green tops of carrots,
- herbs like mint, cilantro, basil or parsley,
- beetroot leaves,
- dandelion leaves
Pack the remaining ingredients on top of the leafy greens.
If you want a refreshing, ice-cold smoothie, frozen berries or bananas are a great alternative to ice cubes because they won’t water your smoothie down. Bananas also give a wonderful creaminess to your smoothie.
Some other fruits with a creamy effect are pineapple, avocado, pear, kiwi, mango, peaches or papaya.
Fruits like apples, strawberries, oranges or raspberries do not have this creamy effect as their fiber isn’t water soluble. That’s why it is important to make sure to always use one creamy ingredient as well.
Many vegetables also work great for smoothies – cucumber, asparagus or zucchini for example.
3. Extras for your smoothie:
Every now and then you want a superfood smoothie, with macro- and micro nutrients, or some extra vitamins or minerals, or maybe a special taste.
Algae – Chlorella and Spirulina are amongst the most popular ones found in stores these days. Algae have are high in iodine, and also have lots of protein – up to 70% per 100g!
Spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, cacao and vanilla or chai spice make a smoothie could so delicious that you you even call it a dessert.
If you do not use frozen fruit, you might want to add a few ice cubes. Do not use ice that is already months old – it takes on the taste and odour of other things in your freezer. Also make sure to use clean water.
5. Here we go:
The ingredients are ready, you are too, so let’s get started. Remember to close your blender properly before you start it – I know from personal experience that a strong blender can soak everything up the ceiling and you’ll find smoothie specks in the most surprising corners.. So put the lid on well!
Start your blender on low speed. If you have a high speed blender, the lower part of the ingredients should be pureed after 5 or 10 seconds and the above ingredients should be moving down slowly. If you have a weaker blender, it may take half a minute or longer. If nothing happens, your mixer maybe needs gentler treatment. Remove the ingredients on top and try again. And consider whether you might actually invest in a more powerful blender that not only would last for years but can also do things like grinding nuts, making cake batter or thick cream cheese.
If the lower part of your ingredients has been liquified, switch to a higher speed and then up to the maximum level. Overall, it should take a minute and half in a high speed blender.
6. Your smoothie is ready!
If you have followed all the steps you should have a fresh delicious smoothie before you. You just can either enjoy it straight away or store it for up to 48 hours in your fridge. This means that you can prepare for a day ahead 🙂 and take a smoothie to to work / school / uni / vacation instead of buying some packaged thing that is half as tasty but twice as expensive.
7. Extra tips for delicious smoothies, every time:
- If you use dates or other dried fruits (goji berries, raisins, figs, etc), de-seed them if necessary and soak them for at least an hour. Dried fruit puree are often very hard and heavy.
- Do not overload your blender. Some recipes’ ingredients are enough for more than a litre of smoothie. That is enough to completely fill up a Vitamix or some other industrial blender, but all other blenders are usually neither big enough nor do they have the appropriate power.
- Less is more – a few ingredients suffice to make a good smoothie; too many will only make it taste like some multivitamin juice at best.
- Pineapple is very rich in enzymes which help to break down protein – also that of the other ingredients. If you use pineapple in your smoothie, it is therefore better to enjoy it immediately or at least on the same day.