Smoothies are my new BFF. Well, not really. But we do spend a lot of time together. I have one just about every morning. I use any combination of fresh/frozen fruits/veggies I have on hand. There is little rhyme or reason to it. I like to add a big handful or two of fresh spinach and/or kale . But, I don’t want to taste the greens – I just want to be fueled by their nutrients. In order to mask those flavors, you need a lot of fruit (and/or a little sweetener like agave nectar/stevia/etc). And that’s about the gist of it. Simple, right?
If you’re not a veteran smoothie maker, here are a few more tips…
1. A good blender is essential. If you research high quality blenders, you’ll likely narrow it down to two choices – Vitamix and Blendtec. And then you’ll go crazy trying to decide between the two. There are pros and cons to each. I first purchased a Blendtec because of the larger capacity jar, the pre-programmed cycles, and the total height (fits under the cupboard when sitting on the counter top). But my smoothies weren’t SMOOTH, and I was unimpressed in general. Also, I was confused about the whole 4-side vs 5-side jar, and when to use each. I liked it, but I didn’t LOVE it. I ordered a refurbished Vitamix so I could compare the two. The Vitamix has a taller total height, so it doesn’t fit under my counter when the jar is on the base, but that’s about the only downfall as far as I can tell. It makes a much smoother smoothie. And – bonus! – it was less expensive (which makes Hubs happy). I broke up with the Blendtec and returned it. Relationship status: In a relationship with Vitamix (and Hubs).
2. Fresh + Frozen. Warm smoothies suck. I like a ratio of about 1:1 for fresh to frozen ingredients. Makes it cold and thick and yummy.
3. Just a little liquid. I guess this depends on your blender, but with a Vitamix, you need very little liquid. I use just a ¼ cup of liquid for a 2-serving recipe. The liquid can be water, coconut water, juice, soy/rice/coconut milk, etc.
4. Layer liquid to frozen. In your blender jar, the liquid should be on the bottom, then greens, then soft fruits/veggies, followed by firm fruits/veggies, and lastly, frozen ingredients/ice.
My favorite ingredients…
ripe bananas, pineapple, mango, strawberries, nectarines, oranges, blueberries, coconut water, cranberry juice, orange juice, fresh spinach, fresh kale, cucumber, carrots, chia seeds
And now for today’s Fruity Power Smoothie…
¼ cup fruit juice (I used cranberry.)
juice from half a lemon
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 very ripe banana, peeled and cut into thirds
1½ to 2 cups strawberries (I leave the hull on.)
2 cups frozen mango chunks (You could also use pineapple.)
1 cup ice
For an extra boost of nutrients, add a large handful (1 to 2 cups) fresh spinach and/or kale. This will turn your smoothie an unappetizing green color, but you won’t taste the greens.
Layer the ingredients in the blender in the order listed (liquid to fresh to frozen). Blend until smooth! If you have a variable speed blender, start out on slow speed and quickly move to high.
Pour into two glasses and rinse out your blender immediately for easy clean-up.
What’s your favorite smoothie recipe?