Making smoothies is not difficult at all, but for some beginners knowing where to start can be a bit overwhelming. We are here to give you a helping hand in getting used to how to make smoothies.
We could give you an easy step-by-step guide, but we want to make sure that you can make awesome smoothies and get creative. Smoothies don’t stop at recipes, they continue through all the tasty flavors and yummy possibilities out there!
If you are anything like us, and you want to learn how to make and drink smoothies everyday – let’s get started with our guide!
Warning: Once you blend, you’ll never go back again!
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What Are Smoothies?
A smoothie, or smoothy, is a drink made from raw fruit and/or vegetables, using a blender. A smoothie often has a liquid base such as fruit juice, water, and dairy products, such as milk (however, you can make smoothies without milk), or yogurt. Smoothies sometimes also include additional sweeteners, such as honey, maple syrup, etc. Other ingredients can be added such as protein powders, chocolate, nutritional supplements, and nut butters, among others by personal choice.
But the core base is – the main element, either the fruit or a vegetable, followed by liquid to make it ‘puree-able’ and drinkable. All the rest is optional.
Smoothies Vs Shakes Vs Juice
Smoothies are not the same as milkshakes or juices. The difference between juices and smoothies is very obvious. One is pureed fruit and vegetables, whereas the other is the juices of said fruit and vegetables. In essence, juice usually lacks the body or pulp that smoothies accept with open arms.
Milkshakes and frappes are a totally different thing, they often contain ice cream which makes a drink that was once potentially healthy into a less-than-healthy drink that is more reminiscent of a dessert!
The key things we follow when we make our smoothies:
When you make a smoothie, you really don’t want a watery drink, hence the reason we always consider the thickness; what is our thickness element?
Usually, thickening elements will be typical, such as a banana, but there are other things that can provide thickness, such as – chia seeds, flax seeds, frozen fruit, cooked sweet potato, starchy fruit, and nut butters, such as peanut butter. You can even make your own nut butters too!
When we figure out the thickness, we think of sweetness. If we use fruit in our smoothie, we try not to add any additional sweeteners. However, if you have chocolate present, you may need to add an additional sweetness to break through the richness of the chocolate.
Then, finally, last but not least – the taste! The most important factor really. How do we determine the taste? We try to use the right combination for flavors (the right combination of fruit or veg )
For example, if you have spinach in your smoothie, you don’t want to taste spinach water, right? So, that’s where we think about what else to add to balance it all off nicely.
Step-By-Step Making Your Own Smoothies:
Homemade smoothies are one of the easiest things to make in the kitchen. In fact, there are only 6 simple steps.
- Choose what you want the smoothie for. Do you want it as a meal replacement, weight loss, detox, post-workout, or just because you love smoothies?
- Choose your ingredients. The ingredients you choose will be subjective to what kind of smoothie you want. For a detox smoothie you will probably want a green smoothie, so choose leafy greens, lemon, and so on. Now you also need to pick your liquid of choice too! Water is the healthiest, but plant-based milks are a great choice too!
- Wash the fruits and vegetables. Peeling, removing pits, seeds, and bad spots as needed.
- Place the selected ingredients into your blender. Measure and add the liquid of choice as needed. Most of the time we should add our liquid first – Layering your smoothies is important. However, if you are dealing with tough ingredients, add them first and blend them prior, then add your soft ingredients and liquid for a smoother blend.
- Blend until smooth. Most smoothies will not need a long time to blend. However, remember tough ingredients blend these first!
- Taste, adjusting as needed until it’s perfect. Do not be afraid to taste-test it and adjust it until it’s exactly what you want.
- Pour into your serving glass cups and enjoy!
Always taste! That’s the secret to cooking in general. Taste, and adjust whenever needed!
Remember these critical factors:
And of course, do not forget purpose and health. You can have a sweet smoothie for enjoyment, but if you want something healthy, make sure you choose the right ingredients for this!
Health Benefits Of Smoothies
If made without added tons of sugar or any unhealthy ingredients, but purely natural ingredients, then the benefits are many!
- Provide you with your daily dose of fruits and veg
- Smoothies pack tons of fiber, which is essential for healthy digestion and overall health
- They can also keep your blood sugar in check
- Smoothies provide you with tons of vitamins and minerals your body requires
- Smoothies can aid in weight-loss
Smoothies are a delicious and convenient way to pack a ton of nutrition into an easy, portable meal. Again, only if you choose natural healthy ingredients.
Avoid adding processed ingredients, and too many sugars, and be mindful of how many calories your smoothies contain. They can easily fool you into thinking it’s just a drink, but if not careful, smoothies can contain a lot of calories which can lead to unwanted weight gain.
Additionally, smoothies can always look as if they are healthy, and sometimes the ingredients would make you think they are healthy, but this is not always the case. Some ingredients can be high in sugars and very calorific. So, choose wisely if you want a healthy smoothie!
What Makes Smoothies Healthy?
We have talked about the health benefits of smoothies, however, we have to make it clear that smoothies are not healthy right off the bat. Smoothies are not healthy just because they’re smoothies.
You can make a healthy smoothie and you can make an unhealthy one, it is all about what you add in that blender of yours. Do remember that how tasty a smoothie does not reflect how healthy or unhealthy it is!
We want you to choose your ingredients wisely so that you are making smoothies that are healthy and delicious simultaneously. Healthy foods to put in smoothies include superfoods and vegetables. Even if you don’t like vegetables very much, when they’re in a smoothie, it’s a whole other ball game!
Do Fruits Make Smoothies Healthy?
Most people tend to see smoothies as being fruit-based beverages. That is true, but only about half the time. Fruit-only smoothies are not actually recommended, not when it comes to healthy eating at least!
If a smoothie contains only fruits, there will be way too much sugar. Even when it is only fruit sugars, known as fructose. While fructose is a better sugar to be ingesting, it still is not great for you, and certainly not in large quantities.
Sure, fruits do bring a lot of good to the smoothie, in terms of taste and texture, and adding some fruit is highly recommended. But, you should not only have fruit smoothies, adding other things is recommended, even if it’s just some kale, or perhaps some nuts.
For a truly healthy smoothie, the smoothie should be nutritionally balanced, and fruit alone is not nutritionally balanced.
What Do You Need To Make Smoothies?
There are several things you will need to make a good smoothie. Most smoothies will require the same basic things, however, some smoothies may require a bit more, so let’s look over what you will need for the basic things, and discuss what you need if you want to be more hardcore.
A Good, Functional, Strong Blender.
Okay, you could have a cheap blender if you are not intending to blend anything really hardy, sure, but if you eventually want to up your smoothie game, a hardy blender is well worth the money.
A good working blender should be turning your solid foods into a liquid. You needn’t pay for a super expensive blender just to get clump-free smoothies, however, it should be decent, and it shouldn’t be cheap.
Of course, if you already have a working blender, use that. If it’s a bit old, tatty, and has probably seen better days, you might want to replace it. A new, well-working blender will show you one hell of a difference. The texture will be different and it should make for easier cleaning.
Note that if you are only making smoothies, you can realistically use nearly any blender, however, if you want to multitask with your blender, you should probably avoid ones that have a glass jug.
Glass is great until you try to make soup in it, or some other food types, frozen fruit may be more difficult, and glass can break a lot easier than plastic can. It might be more environmentally friendly, but it’s hardly safer if it shatters when you try to make some soup.
Our Favorite Blender – Vitamix A3500
We will be honest with you, we love this blender, however, it does have a glass jug. But, if you are not looking to make soups, this blender should do just fine. It is a 2L blender, with 10-speed settings and 5 presets.
It means business and can make smoothies, spreads, and dips. So, if you wanted, you could pre-make some nut butters using this blender to later put in your smoothies for an extra bit of nutrition!
Vitamix is known for great blenders anyway, and this company’s only competition in the blending game is probably Ninja or NutriBullet, but even then, Vitamix just has powerful blenders, and knows how to pull you in with presets and speed settings these other brands just don’t!
- Super powerful blades that can crush ice, and blend nuts and hard foods as well as soft foods.
- 10-speed settings.
- Parts are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
- Large & bulky, can take up space in your kitchen.
- Glass jug.
This is probably the most tricky part, you need the right ingredients. This could include any of the following:
Do not go overboard with a tonne of ingredients and add-ons, smoothies are better with fewer well-chosen ingredients. You want to choose 2-3 ingredients as well as a liquid, Ideally, you do not want to include any more than 4-5 ingredients maximum, or you will overload the smoothie.
Something To Put It In!
Of course, you could put a smoothie in just an ordinary glass, but if you are a busy person, you might want to take it on the go with you, for this reason, many blenders come with to-go cups now, these make blending and enjoying smoothies so much easier for us all!
If you want something fancy to have at home, you can get a good-looking glass, or maybe a jar, as many people have taken to enjoying smoothies in spruced-up glass jars.
What Are The Types Of Smoothies
- Green Smoothies – Healthiest option, often made with vegetables and leafy greens.
- Protein Smoothies – Usually made using protein powders, or protein-rich foods.
- Fruit Smoothies – Made using fresh or frozen fruits, often mixed with juice or water
- Chocolate Smoothies – Often made with cacao or cocoa powder, with banana and sweetener.
- Veggie Smoothies – Made out of vegetables, and leafy greens. Some of the components of the veggie smoothie might be cooked beforehand in some cases.
- Detox Smoothies – Used as part of a detox diet to help lose weight and reset the body. Very nutrient rich. Often used in meal replacement diets.
Oh, and there are also smoothie bowls too!
Pick What You Want Your Smoothie For!
Smoothies are much more than just a liquid, they can be tailored to what you need. Therefore, unless you just want a smoothie to be able to chill with a tasty beverage, your smoothie will need a purpose.
Let’s look at the most common purposes amongst smoothie drinkers:
One reason a lot of people enjoy smoothies is that they work well as part of a weight loss journey. They allow you to include all of the nutrition you need to be able to lose weight into one yummy cup.
Vegetables are the best candidates here, depending on your preferences you could use avocados with fruits, green tea, and some nuts for protein. However, if you choose to drink smoothies to lose weight avoid fruit juice, canned fruits, dried fruits, and sugar.
Green smoothies are the best for this!
Some people use smoothies for meal replacement. If you want to do this then you need to supe up this cup! Your smoothie needs to be crammed with all of the nutrition that your body needs. While you need carbs, sugars, vitamins, and so on, your body needs healthy fats and proteins too!
For this reason, you should consider including things such as coconut oil, avocados, cashews, walnuts, and seeds!
Make sure your smoothies are balanced with the nutritional contents your body needs, or your health could suffer instead, which we assume would be the total opposite of what you want!
This is why you should pay more attention to the actual nutritional values of what you put into your smoothies when you are using smoothies as meal replacements. If you are using smoothies as part of a detox diet meal replacement plan, then speak to a dietitian and pay less attention to things such as the 21-Day Smoothie Diet!
The final other reason you might be interested in smoothies is their use during post-workout. If this is the case, you need to have protein in the brain. Think spinach and avocados, avoid sweet fruits and sweeteners, and pack them full of protein and healthy fats.
You should also avoid putting too much protein powder in these, unless you are doing obscene hardcore workouts this could lead to you ingesting WAY TOO MUCH protein! If you do want to add some protein powder to your smoothies, use high-quality veggie protein powders.
Regular protein powders will contain a stupid amount of artificial sweeteners which will do you no good. Not to mention how aggressively the protein has been processed. Use natural protein from veg, nuts, seeds, and so on if you can.
Okay, but what is a smoothie bowl?
It’s the same as any other smoothie, but instead of serving it in a glass cup, you serve it in a bowl and add toppings to it.
Smoothie bowls tend to be thicker as well. They are eaten with a spoon.
They are filling, delicious, balanced meals packed with all the stuff you love about smoothies, and then some. You could use any smoothie as a base, you just need it to be extra thick, and then add your toppings such as fruit, nuts, seeds, oats and so much more.
If a smoothie is not doing it for you, smoothie bowls are the next best thing and make for awesome lunches, breakfasts, and brunch dishes!
You can buy smoothies at the shops, but we do not recommend them, they can be very expensive, and sometimes have concentrated juices and not 100% whole fruit, with added sugars. They are hardly healthy!
Homemade smoothies normally only take about 5 minutes to make. They come out a lot healthier and cheaper. You can add what you want and tailor it to your dietary requirements and tastes too!
Homemade smoothies are a tasty way to add extra servings of fruits and vegetables into your diet. Whether you are looking for a delicious way to start your day or just need a healthier afternoon snack, knowing how to make a smoothie is a great way to expand your culinary knowledge and build your kitchen confidence.
So this was our guide on how to make smoothies! We hope it helped you, and hopefully converted you to start making your own smoothies.