Fruit smoothies can fill you up, satisfy your sweet cravings and when made the right way, provide you with loads of vitamins and antioxidants. They’re great in the morning to start your day or as a quick pick-me-up halfway through. Many “smoothie shops,” however, can pack in unhealthy sweeteners and extra calories to make their concoctions irresistible. To reap the nutritional benefits and spare your waistline, follow our steps to perfect your perfect smoothie combinations.
Components of a Basic Smoothie:
Liquid is necessary to blend your smoothie and add consistency. Start with 1/4 cup. If your smoothie doesn’t mix when the blender is turned on, add more liquid.
– Filtered Water: a great choice when you don’t want the liquid to affect the flavor profile of your drink.
– Milk: we suggest almond, skim, soy, rice, or coconut. Milk is always a good choice when you’re looking to add calcium.
– Coconut Water: use if you’re hoping for a “tropical” flavor.
– Fruit Juice: avoid sugar heavy fruit juices and pick either a “no sugar added” juice or use your own, fresh squeezed juice. Oranges and grapefruit, work well.
– Green Tea
Use chopped fresh or frozen or a combination of both. We love frozen fruit because the fruit has been picked at its freshest point and the frozen texture adds great consistency. Fruit provides plenty of options and the combinations are endless: strawberry, blueberry, pineapple, blackberry, raspberry, mango, peach, pear, orange, banana and so on.
Ice is an obvious step but if you want a thicker smoothie, add in extra banana or use extra frozen fruit. You can also use low-fat yogurt, greek yogurt, low-fat frozen yogurt, peanut butter or soft tofu.
4) Extra Flavor
Depending on the freshness of your fruit, you may want some additional sweetness. If you’re used to store-bought smoothies, you’ll definitely want to add an extra touch as the fruit will probably not be sweet enough. And if your smoothie is made using only frozen fruit, you will probably need an extra dash of sweetness.
Avoid table sugar or artificial sweeteners. Instead choose natural options such as honey, agave nectar, a few dates, Stevia or vanilla extract. If you’re looking for even more, add a pinch of spice like cinnamon or nutmeg.
5) Power Play (optional)
If you’re looking for an additional nutritional punch, add in protein, wheat germ, flax, soy, greens (spinach, kale, wheat grass, etc) or a vitamin powder. Keep in mind this will affect the flavor and texture of your smoothie so modify the rest accordingly.
1 part fluid
1 part ripe fruit
2 parts ice/frozen fruit/ thickener
flavor enhancers (to taste)
These measurements are not set in stone, experiment to find exactly what you like. Unfortunately, or fortunately, there’s no “perfect” smoothie recipe. Lots of things factor into smoothies because of the nature of mother nature! The sweetness and consistency of your fruit will vary so make adjustments as needed. So have fun experimenting and cheers to a healthier tomorrow!
– Use an overripe banana. Yes, you read correctly. This is a secret of many smoothie shops and one of our most important tips. When a banana begins to turn brown, it’s at its peak of sweetness. You can also freeze overripe bananas for quick use in a smoothie. Many national smoothie shops add at least a 1/4 cup of bananas in every smoothie they make as a source of sweetness.
– Try to add at least one “creamy” fruit such as banana, mango, peach, pear, apple or papaya.
– Use water-rich fruits sparingly to avoid a runny drink. This means oranges (and other citrus), grapes, kiwi and watermelon.
– If you only use frozen fruit, you will need less or no ice at all. It will also make for a thicker smoothie.
– Stumped for flavor combos? Look no further than your supermarket. Check out the fruit juice aisle to find inspiration for flavor combinations.
– Try to only use fruit that is in season and ripe. That is when fruit is at it’s nutritional peak and has the fullest flavor.
– Coconut water goes well with tropical fruit like pineapple, mango, papaya and oranges.
– Banana-and-strawberry smoothies are the most popular. Other good picks include mango and pineapple, apple and blueberry, or pear and orange.
– If you’re looking to make a smoothie with the fewest calories, stick to water, fruit and ice.
– If it gets stuck during blending, stop the blender, open the lid and shake. Try blending again. If it’s still stuck, slowly add liquid.
– If your smoothie is too sweet, add a pinch of sea salt.
– If your smoothie is bitter, add in a sweet fruit such as an pineapple, a few dates, ripe berries or overripe banana.
– Make your smoothies when you’re ready to enjoy it. The longer your smoothie sits, the less nutritious it becomes.
Tootie-Frutie Healthy Smoothie
1 cup water
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen raspeberries
1 overripe banana
Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth.
Soy Strawberry Peach Smoothie
1/2 cup soy milk
Small carton of strawberries
1/2 cup frozen peach slices
Combine soy milk, strawberries, peaches and ice cubes. Blend using the pulse option and first and then finish with a 1 minute blend on high and enjoy your non-dairy smoothie.
With a stash of berries in your freezer, you can jump-start your day with this nutritious, tasty smoothie in just minutes. It provides vitamin C, fiber, potassium and soy protein.
Berry Healthy Smoothie
A wonderful blend of raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. Use all-natural juices to avoid unwanted sugar.
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