Smoothie Tips and Hacks

smoothie tips and hacks

Don’t get the wrong impression from my last post, where I provide some caution about eating smoothies …  I’m actually a big fan of smoothies. I make them several times a week, and I’ve done so for the past 10 years or so. So, as a self-proclaimed smoothie expert, here are my top tips for getting the perfect smoothie.

Texture

Banana:

This is the magical smoothie fruit. It has a subtle flavour so it won’t overpower the other flavours. BUT, don’t use an over ripe banana… they’re potent. Unless your intention is for your smoothie to taste like banana bread, use a just-ripe banana. These will add a creamy thickness. Lip-smacking good. 

Frozen fruit:

Oddly enough, frozen fruit generally blends better than fresh fruit. This tip is especially true if you don’t have a wicked powerful blender. With fresh fruit, the skins tend to get ripped off instead of blended, and you end up with a chunk of fruit skin. Not very appetizing if you ask me. 

Ditch the ice:

People use ice to thicken their smoothies but unless you chug it within 30 seconds of making the smoothie, you’re just going to be watering it down. You should take the time to enjoy the smoothie you just lovingly crafted, without it going slushy. 

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Invest in a good blender:

This is obviously not the most accessible tip, but I have to include it. My Vitamix blender was the best kitchen purchase I ever made. I couldn’t live without it!  I love my silky smooth smoothies, dips, sauces, batters, and soups.  I highly recommend getting one. As an added bonus, high powered blenders are very forgiving if you don’t follow all the texture tips I’ve written. They cover over a multitude of smoothie sins. They’re awesome. Enough said.

Xanthan gum:

Add 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum for a single serving smoothie if you run out of frozen fruit or other frozen ingredients. Once you’re done blending, pour it into your glass, then allow the smoothie to sit for a few minutes to thicken up.

Mix honey into liquid:

If I don’t mix honey into the yogurt or other liquidy ingredient first I find that it often ends up sticking to the side. Again, my Vitamix will sometimes save me, and blend things in from the side if I run it a little longer. But mixing into the liquid first actually saves time. 

Ratio of frozen to liquid:

This is key. I like to put my frozen ingredients in first and then pour the liquid over until it covers the frozen. Sorry if you were hoping for a more precise ratio. This is not very scientific sounding!

Savings

Freeze juice or use concentrate:

In general, we don’t drink juice in our household. But, I do like to add a small amount to smoothies. So, to prevent it from going bad before I use it all, I either freeze juice in ice cube trays or buy frozen concentrate and add a spoonful. 

Freeze greens:

Spinach and kale are awesome, but sometimes they wilt before you can eat them. I like to make a batch of green cubes by first blending the greens with a small amount of water and pouring into ice cube trays.

Make individual packs:

If you’re rushed for time in the morning, assemble ready-to-go smoothie packs! Put a single serving amount of your frozen ingredients in ziploc bags. Then, when you’re pressed for time, throw the contents in the blender with your liquid from the fridge. Voila!

Easy clean your blender:

Squirt some dish soap into your blender. Fill 3/4 with water and turn it up to high. Depending on your blender you might still have to disassemble it to clean it properly, but this is still an awesome hack for cleaning those hard to reach blades. 

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