The Art of Making Great Smoothies
Most people think that making a good smoothie just involves putting ingredients into a blender and then blending them together with ice. The truth is there is a certain art to making smoothies taste great. If you want to learn how to make smoothies at home that taste just as good as the ones you’d get from a café, then keep reading. The steps for making a great smoothie involve preparation, choosing the right ingredients, and then blending them together.
To make café-quality smoothies, you need to first get the right equipment. The blender is obviously the first piece of equipment you’ll need. It doesn’t really matter what kind of blender you use. Just note that all blenders are different so the time it takes to make a smoothie will vary depending on which blender you have.
Next, you will need to get a good chopping board and a sharp knife for chopping ingredients with. Most of the chopping will be done on raw produce ingredients like berries and bananas. And to make your smoothies thick, you’ll need an ice tray available. To measure the ice or any liquid ingredients that you use, use a measuring cup or serving glass.
Finally, a spatula will come in handy to scrape all the ingredients out of the blender that are leftover.
Great Smoothie Ingredients
The secret to enhancing the flavor of smoothies is to choose the proper mixture of ingredients, especially organic and fresh ingredients. Some great examples of these include organic nuts, fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, superfood powders, and seeds. Once you can learn which ingredient combinations go great with each other, then you will have an awesome smoothie. More importantly, you will have a smoothie that is nutritious and free of additives like artificial flavorings and sugars.
1) Sorting the Ingredients
Each Blend it Raw smoothie kit that you receive comes with a combination of various superfood ingredients. This combination gets paired up with a base that consists of one vegetable and one fruit. And to get protein with your smoothie, seeds, and nuts can be added as well. They will also help you feel full after drinking the smoothie as a meal. You can use linseed, chia seeds, or almonds to mix with the base of your smoothie in order to achieve this goal. Below are some examples of superfood combinations that you can use with your smoothies.
To get protein benefits from your smoothie, use linseeds, sunflower seeds and/or almonds.
To get calcium benefits from your smoothie, use carob, chia seeds, and almonds.
To get antioxidant benefits from your smoothie, use cinnamon, cacao nibs, and acai.
To get more iron from your smoothie, use pumpkin seeds and cacao.
To get a creamy texture in your smoothie without using dairy products, use coconut chips and cashews instead.
2) Constructing the Smoothie Base
The base of any healthy smoothie is going to contain a vegetable, a fruit, or a combination of a vegetable and fruit. The produce that is chosen will be based on the current season. At first, you may have to experiment with various produce before you find the perfect base for your smoothie. Most people like to use avocados and/or bananas as their base because it provides the smoothie with a great taste and a very creamy texture. To enhance the flavor, even more, you could add some berries, melon, or mango. For those who want to get more vegetable nutrients in their smoothie, you could add cucumbers, beetroots, or carrots. Again, you will have to experiment with the right combination of these ingredients to find that perfect taste that you will love. Below are some popular fruit combinations that people like to use for each season.
- Apple and orange
- Cucumber and apple
- Orange and carrot
- Banana and pear
- Banana, strawberry, and peach
- Banana and blueberry
- Strawberry and pineapple
Please note: If you want the serving size of the smoothie to be for 2 people, then you will need at least 2 servings of the fruit base that you are using. If there is only one type of fruit, then you can add another in addition to the vegetable that is used.
3) Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are some of the best vegetables you can eat because of the vast amount of nutrients they contain. If you were to add these leafy greens to your smoothies, you will get a huge boost of essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy. On top of that, leafy greens contain lots of fiber which helps your digestive system and they even contain compounds that are known for fighting diseases.
Your Blend it Raw smoothie kit will contain a minimum of 2 green smoothie recipes. Therefore, you will never go without your leafy greens ever again. Below are a few of the most popular leafy green combinations for smoothies.
– Kale, melon & banana
– Spinach, kiwifruit, and banana
– Kale, banana, orange, and apple
Please note: When blending kale, it is always better to remove the stem prior to putting it into the blender. However, if you’ve got a strong blender and you want the full nutritional value of the kale, then just throw the whole thing in there. Also, make sure to use two fruit servings along with your one serving of kale or spinach. This is the proper ratio to use for a green smoothie.
For those who are following a paleo diet, vegan diet, or any diet that does not involve dairy, there is a certain combination of liquids you can use for your smoothie to satisfy your dietary needs. Instead of using cow’s milk in your smoothie, for example, you can replace it with just water or coconut water. But if you prefer to have some kind of milk in there, you can use rice milk, nut milk, soy milk, coconut milk, or oat milk. Aside from that, you can also use herbal teas or freshly squeezed juices in place of cow’s milk. Below are some popular liquid combinations for these types of smoothies:
– Apple & Almond milk
– Cacao, berry, pineapple, & coconut milk
– Any green smoothie & coconut water
If you want to create your own almond milk from scratch, you first start by taking one cup of almonds and soaking them in water for approximately 12 hours. After that, rinse off the almonds and then place them into a blender. Put 2 cups of water into the blender and blend them together for at least 5 minutes or until the texture is smooth. Take a strainer and use it with the solution over a large bowl. A muslin or cheesecloth can be used as a strainer too. Now put the solution back into the blender along with some dates, vanilla drops, or any other natural kind of sweetener that you want to use to enhance the sweetness.
When we talk about sweeteners, we aren’t talking about the ones with aspartame or other unnatural ingredients in them. These sweeteners need to be unrefined. Some examples of these sweeteners are maple syrup, honey, stevia, agave syrup, dates, or rice malt syrup. You can find these ingredients in just about any supermarket in the country.
Please note: A sweetener that is runnier will be easier to blend.
By now, you should have a clear understanding of the various kinds of smoothies you can make using superfoods, liquids, leafy greens, fruits, and sweeteners. Now you can begin blending your ingredients together.
To blend a delicious smoothie in your blender, frozen ingredients are the way to go. You should also use ice to give it the cold, icy texture to it. Your base ingredients can be leafy greens, vegetables, and/or fresh fruit. Aside from that, you can enhance the smoothie more with sweeteners, protein powders, dried fruit, seeds, nuts, and/or superfood powders. On top of that, add a liquid into the mix such as fruit juice, yogurt, milk, or water. Now, turn on your blender and keep it blending until the solution has a smooth texture to it.
If you’re using a blender like the NutriBullet, start by placing the liquid into the blender first. After that, put in the seeds, nuts, superfoods, leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits (in that order). This will create a blend that is even.
You should use 2 servings of ice with your smoothie. This would come out to ¾ of a cup along with ¾ of a cup of water. This will satisfy 2 fruit portions. But if you want more liquid in your smoothie, use less ice and more water. If you still aren’t sure about how to get the consistency that you want, start with a small amount of water for the blend and then slowly add additional water until you have the consistency that you want.
Length of Time
The amount of time it takes to blend the ingredients of your smoothie will depend on which ingredients you are using. If you are using ingredients like dried fruits, seeds, or nuts, these will take longer to get the smoothness that you’ll want in a smoothie. Keep blending until you don’t see any little bits and pieces of the ingredients anymore. This will also ensure the flavor is evenly distributed throughout the drink.
The best way to make these harder ingredients easier to blend is to soak them overnight first. And, if you want to save your smoothie for consumption at a later time, place the smoothie solution into a bottle or glass container with a cover and store it in your refrigerator right away. Once you are ready to finally consume it, shake the smoothie in its container so that the mixture stays mixed.
Clean your blender after you’re done using it. You should also clean the serving glass you used and any other cups or tools you used in the smoothie creation process. Otherwise, if you wait too long, the residue of the smoothie will harden and it will take you even longer to clean it.