Now that summer is here it’s time to crack out the blender, stock the freezer with frozen fruits and get ready to enjoy some delicious smoothies.
Now, we are lucky enough to kids who will eat most fruits and vegetables so for us it’s not a case of sneaking in the extra nutrition. We enjoy having the smoothies because when it gets hotter, the kids are less inclined to eat, but they never turn down a delicious, cold smoothie.
I have searched the web for techniques and ingredients for the perfect smoothie, and the only thing I discovered is that every piece of advice is contradictory! So to save you the trouble of plowing through numerous posts on the subject here are my top tips for making the perfect smoothie.
There is a lot of debate about the need for a quality blender. I always thought that my regular old, bought super cheap when we moved to Canada, did a good job until we bought a more expensive model. Then I really noticed the difference. With a good quality blender you definitely see the difference in consistency – but having said that I don’t think you need to rush out and buy a new blender just for smoothies – whatever you have will be just fine until the time comes to replace it.
Fresh vs. Frozen
Some people swear by the use of fresh fruit and fresh fruit only for your smoothies. However, I am on the side of “frozen is fine.” It also helps you to save money by either buying in bulk or during sales. I buy what’s in season and freeze the fruits in single portion bags that are good to tip straight into the blender.
As a rough guide, cover the blender blades with your liquid and then add your fruit. The final third should be your ice.
I have found that the best technique is to blend the liquid and fruits first, then add the ice. You should mix until the liquid is fully circulating in the blender and let it blend for about 45 seconds – then voila you have the perfect smoothie!
- Dairy Milk – All types of milk work well as they have a neutral and smooth taste allowing the remaining ingredients to set the tone.
- Soy Milk – is an excellent source of protein, calcium, isoflavones, has no lactose or cholesterol, and lasts much longer than cow’s milk.
- Almond and Coconut Milk – are a great alternative to the others if you don’t want either soy or dairy products.
- Fruit Juices – can be used to increase the nutrient content of the smoothie, but beware of added sugar, as this will increase the caloric density of the smoothie and can overpower the natural sugars from real fruits.
- Spinach (yes, spinach! Throw it in your shake, and you won’t even know it’s there)
- Lemon and Lime
- Bee Pollen
- Ground Flax Seed
- Spirulina Powder
- Udo’s Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Wheat Germ
- Canned Pumpkin
- Liquid Vitamins
- Green’s Plus
- Dry oatmeal
- Natural Peanut Butter
- Pure, Vanilla Extract
- Natural Cocoa Powder
- Mint leaves or Extract
- Almond Extract
- Chai Tea
- Green Tea
- Matcha Green Tea Powder
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Canned Pumpkin