Build a Better Smoothie


Ingredients

Step 1: Pick a Smoothie Recipe to Make

Determine the smoothie recipe you would like to make based on your purpose. Are you trying toget more greens into your diet, protein after a workout, or simply looking to make a delicious dessert recipe or a tasty snack?.

Step 2: Add Your Liquid

The first thing to add into your blender is the liquid, which is usually around 1 cup. The more liquid you add, the more watery or runnier your smoothie will be. Some people like it this way. If you prefer a thicker consistency, use slightly less liquid.

Here are the liquids I recommend for making healthy smoothies: water (filtered or real spring water), almond milk, coconut milk/water, raw milk, hemp milk, cashew milk and kefir (from milk or coconut water).

Step 3: Add Your Base

The “base” is what will provide a creamy smoothie texture. Think of it as the “body” of your smoothie. Many smoothie recipes call for a banana. Bananas are a terrific base and provide your smoothie with a nice creaminess, and sweet taste, but be mindful, as bananas are higher in sugar than, say, berries. Fruits such as mango, peach, pear and apple will also do the trick as a base. Even better options include avocado, coconut meat, chia seed gel, nut butters (almond is my favorite), full-fat plain yogurt,and ice.

Step 4: Add Fruits and/or Vegetables

Now that you’ve got your liquid and base squared away, it’s time to add the fruits and/or vegetables.

This is also a great time to experiment, get creative, and have fun exploring the various fruit and vegetable combinations your taste buds adore. Most fruit can be used either fresh or frozen, see which you prefer. I tend to like my smoothie fruit frozen for texture.  Note that organic frozen fruits and vegetables can be a great choice, because they are flash frozen as soon as they are picked, and are often "fresher" than the fruits and vegetables in your grocery store, which may have traveled many miles and days.

If you’re making agreen smoothie with the likes of spinach, kale, beet greens, dandelion greens,arugula, or lettuce, you may want to cut the greens into smaller pieces depending on the power of your blender. You also may want to add the greens into your blender last, after adding any optional add-ons.

Step 5: Optional Add-ons

This is where you can really take your smoothie to the next level of nutrition and tastiness, and have lots of fun doing so. Many of the add-ons below can be incorporated into anumber of smoothie recipes. As your smoothie skills develop, you’ll intuitively know which add-ons to use in which recipes. The list below is not meant to overwhelm you, but rather give you an idea of what’s possible, and available.

Sweeteners

Most smoothie recipes include enough sweet fruit to bypass a sweetener to enhance the taste,but if not, here are some good ones I recommend: stevia, brown rice syrup. Avoid the popular sweetener agave nectar, as it is very high in fructose.  

Salt

A dash of a high quality salt will increase the minerals and improve the taste of your smoothie. I prefer Celtic sea salt and pink Himalayan salt. There are a plethora of good salts to choose from, just make sure to avoid nutritionally bankrupt white table salt.

Spices

You can also adjust he taste, and healthiness, of your smoothie by using common spices. Cinnamon,vanilla, ginger, nutmeg, and cayenne are a few of my favorites.

Protein Powder

If you’re making an after workout smoothie or simply looking to get more protein into your diet, add in a high quality protein powder. I recommend picking up a Sun Warrior brand protein and a good hemp protein powder. The protein powders come in several delicious flavors further reducing your need to add a sweetener.

Superfoods

There are an abundance of superfoods available to boost the nutrition of your smoothie. Here are some of my favorites: cacao (raw chocolate), maca, flax seeds, goji berries, spirulina, coconut products (oil, shreds, flakes, meat), bee pollen,hemp seeds, acai (powder), and aloe vera.

There are also a number of highly nutritive green superfood powders designed for boosting the nutrition of your smoothies. 

Step 6: Blend It Up!

Now that you’ve added all your lovely ingredients into your blender, it’s show time. Depending on your blender, and smoothie ingredients, you may need to start out on a lowsetting (or pulse) before getting up to top blending speed. Some blenders evencome with a handy smoothie button for extra easy smoothie making.

I like to blend my smoothies until the liquid is fully circulating within the blender for about 5 seconds. Total blend time is usually between 30 to 60 seconds depending on theingredients. It may take you a few blends to get it down. Don’t worry, once you do it will become second nature, like riding a bike.

Now for the mostimportant smoothie making step of all: Enjoy and Share!

Smoothie Troubleshooting

Here are a few ofthe common smoothie making mishaps people often experience along with the remedy.

Is your smoothie too frothy? Try using a littleless liquid, and make sure not to blend too long. Try withholding the liquid(maybe just half) until the other ingredients are thoroughly mixed or liquefied, then add the remaining liquid and only blend on the lowest speeduntil it’s incorporated.

The thickening or“base” ingredients mentioned above (banana, avocado, coconut meat, chia seedgel, nut butter, yogurt, frozen fruit and ice) will help. Milk can cause frothiness, maybe try water instead. When blending greens like baby spinach, you won’t need as much liquid because they blend so well and contain a fair amount themselves.

Is your smoothie to runny? The quick fix for this is reducing the amount of liquid. More thickening smoothie ingredients will also alleviate this problem.

Is your smoothie not tasty or sweet enough? Simply add a little more of your preferred sweetener, as above.

Is your green smoothie toobitter? This happened to me the first time I used dandelion greens. Use less greens and/or more sweet fruit and sweetener.

Is your smoothie not blending very well? Filling your blender jar to high might result in less than ideal blending. If you have anolder or low powered blender, you may need to blend your liquid, base, fresh fruit, and greens (chop into small pieces) first, then add in any frozen fruitor ice cubes and blend until nice and smooth.

You may also need to add more liquid to balance out the ingredients. Your blender may be the culprit. You may have an older, less powerful, blender that simply can’t get the job done.