- Base (fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables)
- Chill factor (ice or frozen fruit)
Sure, you could head to a juice shop and just order a smoothie, but blending your own is easier on your wallet and you can make several batches to suit your taste.
Whether you're making a nutrient-dense meal replacement, a protein-packed workout booster or a sweet, chill treat, the flavour combinations are endless. You can use whichever ingredients you like, all it takes is a bit of thought.
A basic smoothie is quick and easy and it contains 3 essential elements:
Those simple components inspire all kinds of wonderfully tasty blends.
Choose ingredients for nutrition and pleasure (yes, you can have both!) in equal measure, taking into account taste, texture and vibrant colour.
Nobody wants to drink anything that looks and tastes like the place where plants came to die.
To take your blends to the next level and amp up the "wow" flavour factor, check out this handy guide to help get you blending like a pro:
Step 1: Liquid
Pour liquids (1 to 2 cups) in first for efficient blending. Examples: coconut water, milk, juice, kefir, kombucha, herbal or green tea.
To add a little magic, sprinkle in spices, herbs, citrus zest, natural extracts and flavourings and sweeteners.
For a nutritional boost, sprinkle in superfood powders, chia, hemp, flax, green powders, protein powder or cold-pressed oils.
Step 2: Base
Add soft and hard produce, and fibrous foods such as nuts and dried fruits, then frozen fruits.
The heart of the base is 2 to 3 cups of fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, baked, steamed, dried), as well as raw and sprouted nuts and seeds (1/4 to 1/2 cup).
To taste, include an element of cream: avocado, banana, mango, cooked grains (1/4 cup), tofu, nut butter, raw nuts (such as cashews and blanched almonds, 1/4 to 1/2 cup) or yoghurt (1/2 to 1 cup).
If you like greens, consider 1 to 2 cups. Examples: spinach, romaine, radish greens, kale, beet greens, dandelion, parsley, coriander, mint or basil.
Step 3: Ice
The ice goes in last to help pull all the other ingredients down into the blades for even mixing.
Make ahead. Smoothies can be refrigerated in sealed glass containers for a few hours or overnight. For longer storage, freeze in glass jars, allowing some headspace for expansion of liquids. Defrost in the refrigerator, then shake or blend before serving.
Flavour your ice:
Freeze cubes of leftover fruit and vegetable juice, milk and tea.
Freeze your vegetables. Our taste buds are temperature-sensitive, so 1/2 cup of frozen broccoli or cauliflower can be incorporated without altering the flavour of your smoothie.