HomeDietsSmoothieHow to make a smoothie – awesome!

How to make a smoothie – awesome!

Behold, the smoothie. A meal in a glass. And not just any meal. A meal anyone can make, no matter how inept in the kitchen or bound by time constraints.  And done right, smoothies are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, healthy fats and so much more. Not only can smoothies be nutritious, they’re also super delicious.  That combination doesn’t come round too often.

Use it as a meal replacement (e.g. breakfast), a post-workout drink, a supplement, snack or a healthy dessert. Use smoothies as a way to get your daily dose of fruit and veg, to lose weight, build muscle, or gain weight. Adapt smoothies anyway you can to suit your needs. The only thing holding you back is your imagination. There’s so much more to smoothies than fruit, yogurt and ice. Here’s your go-to guide on how to make a smoothie – awesome!

Smoothie Step 1: Add Fruits and/or Vegetables

Use fresh or frozen fruits to make your smoothie. Out of season, frozen fruits are a good choice, as they’re picked at the peak of ripeness and immediately frozen, sealing in the vitamins and minerals for maximum nutrition and maintaining textural integrity. Of course frozen fruits are incredibly convenient, but they also score high in terms of taste. Because you need less ice, you can achieve a more intense, purer flavor and yield a creamier smoothie.

Why not freeze your own fruit, especially if you prefer organic? Just buy fruit in bulk when in season (esp. when on sale), peel, cut, place in freezer bags and freeze.

Fruits to add to your smoothie include:

  • Apples
  • Apricot
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Berries (e.g. strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, cherries)
  • Grapefruit
  • Grape
  • Guava
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Melon (e.g. watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew)
  • Nectarines
  • Oranges
  • Papaya
  • Peach
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Pomegranate
  • Strawberry

Smoothies are a great opportunity to get some greens into your diet without actually tasting them. The fruit in smoothies mask most of the flavor of the vegetables, such that it still tastes like a fruit smoothie (though slightly different color). Spinach is one of the most popular greens added to smoothies because it has a mild flavor (its taste is masked by fruit) and because it is easy to blend. Other mild greens include romaine lettuce and bok choy. Adding a few greens will massively boost the nutritional content of your smoothie. As you experiment with ingredients and recipes, try some of the greens listed below:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Swiss chard
  • Bok Choy
  • Collard greens
  • Spring greens
  • Beet greens
  • Dandelion greens
  • Mustard greens
  • Arugula
  • Lettuce
  • Romaine lettuce

SMOOTHIE STEP 2: ADD LIQUID

Smoothies are all about balance. Balance of flavor, balance of texture. Consistency of your smoothie is as important as taste. To get the right consistency add between 1 and 2 cups of liquid for every 3 cups of fruit. Exactly how much you need depends on the type of fruit you’re using. Bananas and mangos for example are thicker fruit, which means you’ll want to add more liquid. Watermelon, on the other hand, produces a lot of juice, so you’ll need to add less. In any case, if it’s too thick you can always add more liquid, and if you added too much liquid just add more ingredients that thicken your smoothie (see next step).

Nothing is irreversible when making a smoothie, you can always add a little more of this or a little more of that to get it just how you want. That’s what the infographic (below) is all about. A cheat sheet! In fact, experimentation is the best way to find out how you like your smoothie!

Liquids to add to your smoothie include:

Milk:

  • Cows milk
  • Almond milk
  • Hazelnut milk
  • Soy milk
  • Rice milk
  • Oat milk
  • Hemp milk
  • Coconut milk/ water

Fruit juice (fresh squeezed/ pressed or store bought):

  • Orange juice
  • Apple juice
  • Pear juice
  • Grape juice
  • Pomegranate juice

Various:

  • Water
  • Iced coffee
  • Iced green/ black tea

SMOOTHIE STEP 3: THICKEN UP

This step will give your smoothie body, texture and creaminess, and balance out any acidic taste from fruits such as oranges and berries. But it’s also an opportunity to boost the nutritional content of your smoothie.  Thickening your smoothie is especially important if you’re working with watery fruit such as watermelon or pineapple, or haven’t used thick, balancing fruits such as avocado and banana.

Nut & seed butters (preferably natural & unsweetened):

Nut and seed butters are rich in protein, fiber, and essential fatty acids.

  • Almond butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Hazelnut butter
  • Macadamia nut butter
  • Peanut butter
  • Pecan butter
  • Pistachio butter
  • Walnut butter
  • Pumpkin seed butter
  • Sesame seed butter (tahini)
  • Soybean butter
  • Sunflower seed butter

 Dairy:

  • Yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Kefir
  • Frozen yogurt
  • Ice cream (best used for dessert smoothie, treat or weight gain smoothie)

 Various:

  • Ice
  • Coconut meat
  • Chia seeds
  • Psyllium seed husks (drink smoothie quickly or psyllium will swell making it difficult to drink)
  • Oats
  • Beans (tip: use white beans or chickpeas in fruit, vanilla or other light-colored smoothies and black beans in chocolate or dark smoothies)

If you don’t want to thicken your smoothie with any of the above ingredients or are only adding ice, work with fruits such as avocados, bananas and mangoes, that are naturally thicker or frozen fruits to achieve a thick, rich and creamy smoothie.

SMOOTHIE STEP 4: FLAVOR IT

This is one of my favorite steps. It’s where you take really good smoothie and make it special.

Sweeteners

Let’s start with sweeteners. Ideally, most of the smoothies sweetness should come from fruit. If you’re using sweet and ripe fruits such as banana and mango, you should need little sweetener. If you do need to sweeten your smoothie, you can use (brown) sugar, but there are many ways you can sweeten your smoothie and add nutritional value or at least limit calories.

  • Honey
  • Stevia
  • Xylitol
  • Maple syrup
  • Agave nectar
  • Dates
  • Figs

Salt

Just as any meal, a dash of salt can enhance the taste of your smoothie. To add extra nutritional value, use high quality sea salt such as Celtic sea salt, instead of table salt.

Spices/ Herbs

Adding spices will take your smoothie to the next level, both in flavor and nutritionally.

  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Lemongrass
  • Lavender
  • Cilantro/coriander (green smoothies)
  • Parsley (green smoothies)
  • Cinnamon (adds a layer of sweetness, without adding calories)
  • Vanilla (extract)
  • Almond extract
  • Nutmeg
  • Allspice

As well as the following  (a little will go a long way):

  • Ginger
  • Clove
  • Cardamom
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • Lime juice

SMOOTHIE STEP 5: SUPERFOODS

This is where you take your smoothie to the next level in terms of nutrition. There are a plethora of superfoods you can add to smoothies to give it a massive nutritional boost.

Adding a tablespoon of healthy oil (e.g. fish oil and coconut oil) is an easy to way to turn a smoothie into more of a meal. Adding healthy fats help you absorb some of the nutrients, will make the smoothie more satisfying and help you feel fuller for longer. Instead of a tablespoon of oil, you can add some avocado, it’s full of healthy fat and will make your smoothie creamy.

Another awesome addition to your smoothie is protein. Like fats, protein transforms your smoothie from a snack into a meal. Protein takes longer to digest, stabilizes blood sugar, helpes you feel fuller and keeps hunger at bay. Protein is important if you’re using smoothies as a meal replacement or as a post-exercise snack. You can add protein powder (e.g. whey protein, hemp protein), which come in all sorts of flavors, or use foods such as cottage cheese, yogurt or milk (see step 3 above) as your protein source.

As with the previous steps, the following is just a list of what you can add, it’s not meant to be overwhelming, but just give you an idea of the possibilities and encourage you to experiment a little.

  • Protein powder
  • Coconut oil/ butter
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Fish oil
  • Fresh sprouts
  • Green powders
  • Cacao powder
  • Maca powder
  • Aloe vera
  • Acai powder
  • Goji berries
  • Spirulina powder
  • Chlorella powder
  • Wheatgrass powder
  • Multivitamin powder
  • Wheat germ
  • Probiotic powder
  • Ground flax seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Bee pollen

SMOOTHIE STEP 6: BLEND!

Added all the ingredients? It’s time to blend! Start out on a low setting and work your way up to the top speed. It’ll take about 30 to 60 seconds – depending on ingredients – to blend. Pour, drink and enjoy!

Did I miss your favorite ingredient or do you have a favorite smoothie recipe? Leave a comment and let me know!

Check out the How to make a smoothie infographic below! And if you love this, you’ll love the Smoothie Recipes for Everything infographic!

How to make a smoothie

24 comments

  1. My recipe for my breakfast smoothie: I make a big vacuum canister full as a base: I dry blend into fine powder old fashion oatmeal whole almonds and honey wheat germ. Then in my Vitamix blender I add frozen strawberries , blueberries and a banana. I add half cup powder blend and almond milk and blend. Delicious!

    • Hi Enid,
      That’s a really good tip! Making the base ahead of time cuts down prep time. Definitely gonna try it, and your breakfast smoothie too!
      Thanks for sharing!

    • Enid, approximately how much of each do you use to make your breakfast powder blend? Great idea by the way! thanks.

  2. Thanks for all these great suggestions. If it weren’t for the quality of what I use, my smoothies would really just be wild milkshakes. I am a vegetarian, but sadly, my stomach problems are making it impossible for me to digest most fruits and vegetables. My partner liked frozen fruit for hers and would eat it with a spoon until it was “straw”able. Sadly, she passed away in February and I still have a smoothie in my freezer waiting for her.

    My smoothies are vehicles for supplements. Since I don’t use fruit, they’re thinner than most. I use aloe vera juice, carrot juice, pear and or banana juice, a little rice milk, all the supplements and vitamins except the time release ones. this is a help because I also have a stricture in my esophagus which makes swallowing pills hard. I empty the capsules right into the smoothie canister. Then I add some applesauce, which is fruit, but cooked and I seem to tolerate it, then some Greek style yogurt, fat free frozen yogurt and top it off with some ginger syrup, agave nectar and, for allergies, a teaspoon of LOCAL honey. One day, my grandchildren were visiting and I was getting ready to make smoothies. My 11 granddaughter was playing with her 3 year old cousin and they were pretending to serve pie. They were pantomiming cutting it, offering it top my son-in-law and he said, “I’d like mine with whipped cream.” So she pantomimed holding a can of whipped cream upside down and when she pretended to squeeze the dispenser tip, she made a little whipped cream squirting out noise. Just at that exact moment, I activated the smoothie blender and that made a much bigger noise. Luckily, someone was recording it with a digital camera. It’s still funny. I don’t know if I can send you that video.

  3. Wow, thanks for this post. Now I just need to print it and keep it in the kitchen for the next smoothie time!

  4. This is great, one of my favorite smoothies is frozen mango chunks, peaches, plain yogurt (regular or greek), oj and a little bit of agave. YUM. Super creamy and delish.

  5. My favorite is frozen tropical fruit (I buy it a bigbox store and keep in freezer), several tablespoons of greek yogurt (I like because it is no fat,but does not have non-sweetners), a big scoop of ground flax seed and oj to thin it. Yum!!!

  6. this is a great resource! I’m a green smoothie addict. I looked over your list pretty hard and could only find one item that I use that was not listed. I like to add a drop or two of my favorite essential oil to my smoothie. It varies depending on the rest of the ingredients, but I typically use wild orange, lemon, lime, ginger, cilantro, and grapefruit. It a super easy way to boost the nutritional and antioxidant level without adding any work or calories. Plus, adding citrus oils gives you a great energy boost. Of course you have to make sure you’re using a 100% pure oil and that you select an oil that is GRAS (generally regarded as safe for human consumption).

  7. Repinned. What a useful tool. Keeping it by my blender. May even laminate it to keep it cleaner longer. Thanks!
    I’m a Facebook fan & Pinterest follower :)

  8. Great tips! I add 2oz of firm tofu to mine instead of the protein powder.

  9. Stephanie Afi Nyavor

    i love this and i followed ur ingredients & used just e right proportions of apple,banana,lemon juice,ice,local honey,mango,ginger,lettuce,dandelion leaves, ginger,vanilla and milk ..and the result was fantastic…thnx very much..i can’t wait to try it on my mum..she loves to be healthy… hey i love tryin new & healthythings when it comes to food though am just 17years…can u send me some recipies of some other foods..using simple ingredients..like the ones i can find in Ghana….ps..you are doing a wonderful job…keep it up.. hope to do something like this in future….

  10. Love, love, love this site, I made a green smoothie this morning before I went to spinning class, I drank it before and after class. Wheatgrass, apple, banana, frozen blueberries, flaxseed, plain greek yogurt, orange juice, protein powder and some ice cubes to boot. What an awesome smoothie it was!!! Thanks!

  11. I love the infographic! I printed it and posted it on the fridge door. Great suggestions on the best way to make healthy green smoothie.

  12. I have found that if I want a protein packed smoothie without compromising the taste I that adding some quinoa does the trick!

  13. I am a smoothie noob and am getting so frustrated because they either taste bad or i have to make a huge batch in order to get the flavoring right. Could you give me an idea of how much of each step I should use for a one person smoothie? I’d also be okay with making 3-4 and freezing the extra, I am just sick of ending up with a smoothie and a half lol!!

  14. Hi! My smoothie recipe is: One banana, 5 strawberries, 2 cups of soy milk, 1 coffe spon of powder ginger. Then for give an extra sweet i just put a little bit of liquid caramel XD. The blend for 60seconds. Enjoy :D

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Scroll To Top