Learn how to make a delicious and creamy smoothie at home. Easily customize your smoothie into a delicious snack or meal based on the ingredients you already have in your kitchen.
Smoothies are an excellent way to add nutrition to your diet and use up any overly ripe fruit you may have.
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- What are the Best Ingredients to Put in a Smoothie?
- How to Freeze Fresh Fruit
- Smoothie Thickeners
- Do you have to put ice in a smoothie?
- What's the best way to blend a smoothie?
- How long do I blend a smoothie?
- Do smoothies keep overnight?
- 📖 Recipe
- Great Smoothie Recipes to Try
- 💬 Comments
What are the Best Ingredients to Put in a Smoothie?
Smoothies can be a healthy breakfast or snack, provided they are filled with a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Unlike juices, smoothies don't strip away the fiber from vegetables and fruits so they're more filling.
There are very few rules when it comes to how to make a creamy smoothie at home. Just about any fruit will work, so choose your favorites. Most smoothies have several simple ingredients in common:
Frozen fruit gives smoothies a creamy milkshake-like texture. When blended frozen fruit (especially frozen bananas) takes on a creamy slushy texture similar to ice cream.
You can always purchase frozen fruit from the store, but a more economical option is to freeze your own fruit at home. Freezing your own fruit allows you to take advantage of sales on in-season fruit and helps you to preserve overly ripe fruit that may have otherwise ended up in the trash.
How to Freeze Fresh Fruit
The best way to freeze fruit is to wash it, slice it into pieces, and lay it out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes and then transfer the fruit to a zip-top freezer bag. Label that bag with the contents and date.
Here are a few suggestions for fruit that freezes really well:
- Fresh Berries, such as hulled and halved strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries
- Tropical fruits like peeled mango, papaya, and pineapple
- Pitted cherries, peaches, or nectarines
- Ripe Bananas
- Melons like honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon
- Sliced and cored apples
- Peeled kiwi or pear slices
- Orange, Lemon, or Lime sections
Quick Tip: If you don't have time to freeze your fruit in advance, you can add ice cubes to your smoothie but it will be more watery than a smoothie made with just frozen fruit.
How do you Freeze Bananas?
Frozen ripe bananas are probably one of the most popular ingredients to add to a smoothie. They make amazingly creamy smoothies with just a hint of natural sweetness. Plus we always seem to have an overripe banana or two.
To freeze bananas, peel them, break them into three or four chunks, and freeze them in a single layer on a sheet pan. Once the bananas have frozen transfer them to a zip-top freezer bag and label it with the date and contents.
Tossing in a handful of vegetables is a great way to sneak an extra serving of vegetables into your day. Start with ½ a cup of added vegetables and increase or degrease the amount based on your taste preferences.
Here are some great vegetables to try:
- Cooked Butternut, Pumpkin, or Acorn Squash
- Leafy Greesn like Baby Spinach and Kale - Tougher greens like kale or collard greens should be removed from their stems.
- Cooked Beets
- Zucchini - peeled if the skin is tough
- Carrots - cut or grated into small pieces
- Cooked Cauliflower
- Cucumbers - peeled if the skin is tough
- Cooked Sweet Potato
To save money stick to in-season produce. You can also buy extra in-season produce and freeze it (washed and dried, sliced and pitted, if necessary) in 2-cup portions in zip-top freezer bags. Fruit can be frozen for up to nine months.
When adding fruit to your smoothie aim for about 2 cups of fruit.
For information on which produce is currently in season, check out these seasonal produce guides:
- January Seasonal Produce Guide
- February Seasonal Produce Guide
- March Seasonal Produce Guide
- April Seasonal Produce Guide
- May Seasonal Produce Guide
- June Seasonal Produce Guide
- July Seasonal Produce Guide
- August Seasonal Produce Guide
- September Seasonal Produce Guide
- October Seasonal Produce Guide
- November Seasonal Produce Guide
- December Seasonal Produce Guide
These ingredients help to thicken your smoothie creating a rich and creamy texture.
To thicken your smoothie add at least one of these ingredients.
- Frozen Banana
- Plain Greek Yogurt (Flavored yogurt will work well too. One of my favorites is vanilla yogurt because it pairs so well with so many other ingredients.)
- Silken Tofu
- Your Favorite Protein Powder
- Nut Butters (try peanut butter, cashew butter, almond butter, or even sunflower seed butter)
- Cottage Cheese
Adding about ¼ cup of a thickener is ideal.
The liquid in your smoothie can be any type of juice, milk, or water. It is important to add enough liquid to your smoothie to make sure all of the other ingredients can move freely within the blender and blend down into a creamy liquid.
Try adding one or more of these liquids.
- No-sugar-added juices
- Coconut Water
- Milk, including whole, skim, or low-fat milk, coconut milk, rice milk, soy milk, cashew milk, almond milk, oat milk, etc.
About 1 cup of liquid makes a perfect consistency. If you skipped the thickener, you may want to add less liquid.
Depending upon how sweet your fruit is you may want to add additional sweetener. I prefer liquid sweetener over ingredients like granulated sugar because they will blend into the smoothie more completely. Great sweetener options include:
- Maple Syrup
- Agave Syrup
- Golden Syrup
The amount of sweetener needed will vary based on the other ingredients you have used. I suggest adding sweetener gradually and tasting as you go until you are happy with the results.
Additional ingredients such as nuts, hemp, flax seeds, chia seeds, vanilla extract, coconut, oatmeal, dried fruits, chocolate chips, cookies, extracts, herbs, and spices can also be added to customize your smoothie.
Do you have to put ice in a smoothie?
Nope. Smoothies don't need ice. In fact, I prefer them without ice. Ice is really difficult for a blender to chop up. This means there are often small bits of ice that aren't blended into the smoothie.
Plus as the ice melts it dilutes the flavor of the smoothie. Rather than add ice to a smoothie simply use frozen fruit instead.
What's the best way to blend a smoothie?
Use a high-powered blender to blend your smoothie. Blending frozen fruit isn't an easy job. I currently use a Ninja blender. It does a pretty good job, but sometimes I have to stop and push the fruit down towards the blade.
My dream blender is this Vitamix blender.
Follow these seven simple steps to make a homemade creamy smoothie perfectly every time:
- Add the liquids first to avoid jamming up the blades.
- Next, add greens if you are using them.
- Add the frozen ingredients. (Frozen Fruit or Fresh Fruit and Ice)
- Then add the thickeners.
- Finally, add any add-ins.
- Start blending at low speed. Then gradually increase the speed and blend to your desired consistency. Starting at a lower speed allows the larger pieces of fruit and ice to blend before they are pushed up and away from the blades.
- Rinse and wash your blender container with soap and warm water immediately. Nothing is worse than scraping dried smoothies out of all of the nooks and crannies.
How long do I blend a smoothie?
Blend time will depend upon the strength of your blender and the ingredients you have added. One clue to look for is that the smoothie is fully circulating within the blender for about 5 seconds with no visible chunks. This could take up to 2-3 minutes.
Do smoothies keep overnight?
Personally, I think smoothies taste best fresh. But if you do need to store your smoothie here are some tips.
A thick smoothie will last in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours and still maintain its flavor but may become runny as the ingredients melt. To store a smoothie in the refrigerator, pour it into a tightly sealed container such as a Mason jar.
Another option is to pour your blended smoothie into ice cube trays and freeze them. When you are ready to drink your smoothie toss the frozen smoothie ice cubes into your blender with additional liquid and blend until smooth.
If your mornings are super busy, why not make up freezer smoothie packs? Freeze individual servings of your chopped smoothie produce in a labeled zip-top freezer bag. In the morning simply add your liquid, frozen fruit, and thickener to your blender. Blend and go! Smoothie freezer packs will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Now that we have covered the basics, start experimenting. Discover which fruits and vegetables you like together.
Tweak the amount of liquid to get your perfect consistency. Look for flavors and textures which complement each other. Try a variety of add-ins.
If you are still a little unsure or just really like having a recipe to follow, I have included even more smoothie recipes for you to try below.
Great Smoothie Recipes to Try
This power smoothie has greens plus the sweetness of berries! Loaded with antioxidants and great for your digestive tract!
This simple, healthy Strawberry Blueberry Banana Smoothie makes a fabulous breakfast or snack for the whole family.
Avocados and beets are two amazing superfoods. Blend them together in this Easy Avocado Beet smoothie recipe to stay fueled and feel great. This healthy smoothie is ready in just a few minutes.
This non-dairy fruit smoothie uses an orange juice base rather than milk. It is so simple and delicious!
This low-carb keto peanut butter smoothie recipe needs only 5 ingredients. You can enjoy this creamy smoothie for a quick breakfast or snack.
Mango green smoothie recipe – Only 4 ingredients smoothie that is healthy yet delicious with tropical and creamy flavors.
A dairy-free raspberry cheesecake smoothie! The ingredients are simple and what could be easier than throwing everything into a blender?!
Thanks for Reading!
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