|Strawberry, Banana & Peach Smoothie|
I think my smoothie-making has reached new heights lately. My non-smoothie-loving husband has even been enjoying them, which is quite an accomplishment in my mind. I've finally found a method that produces a delicious smoothie every time. Want to know how?
Tips for Making Awesome Smoothies
1. Use frozen fruit. Using fresh fruit, or even a mixture of fresh and frozen, results in a thinner, more liquid smoothie. My favorites are strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and peaches. When those fruits are in season locally I buy a bunch at the farmer's market or u-pick farm and freeze them. (My next post at Modern Alternative Kitchen is on Lazy Freezing Techniques. Subscribe over there so you don't miss it!) Then I have enough for smoothies year-round!
|You can freeze strawberries whole with tops for smoothies!|
2. Banana is key. The creamy sweetness of a banana can't be beat! Next time you have some slightly over-ripe ones, cut them into chunks and throw them in the freezer. (You can sometimes find over-ripe bananas for a reduced price. This is an excellent use for them!)
3. Add greens...sparingly. Greens such as spinach or kale add a lot of nutrition to your smoothie, provided they are lightly cooked first. See this post for how to prepare greens for smoothies (scroll down to the smoothie section), or do it the easy way: buy a bag of frozen spinach. Make sure you get the kind that is not all in one solid clump. Add a couple tablespoons to your smoothie right from the bag. They are already cooked before freezing, so you don't have to worry about the raw greens problem. Don't add too much, or the taste may be overpowering. Experiment and see what works best for you!
|See the little green flecks?|
4. Start with just a little liquid, and add more as necessary. I use whole raw milk in my smoothies. Full-fat coconut milk is a good alternative if you can't tolerate dairy. I start with just a little, which I add after I put the fruit into the blender. Then when the blender gets stuck because it needs more liquid, I stream more milk in through the top while it's running. I add just enough to get it going.
5. Season your smoothie. I like to add a pinch of salt, a splash of vanilla extract, and sometimes a little honey if it's too tart. It's amazing what a difference it makes in enhancing the flavor. Don't forget to taste it before you pour it out to see if it needs anything.
6. Use plain, full-fat yogurt. This goes a long way in making the smoothie satisfying. Greek yogurt guarantees an even thicker product, but make sure you buy full-fat! I can only find full-fat Greek yogurt at the health food store.
7. Include coconut oil. I love the subtle flavor that coconut oil adds, and it's a healthy fat. Read more about it here. In the past I've melted it first, but lately I just throw it in solid. As long as you follow the next tip, it will be okay.
8. Blend it thoroughly. It's no fun to run into chunks of un-blended fruit. Don't be shy, let that blender do it's thing until you're sure it's all blended! This also makes the smoothie....frothy. Frothy is good.
|Strawberry Orange Julius|
If you're afraid to make a smoothie without a recipe, you can find recipes all over the internet. Use your judgement and use only real ingredients! And if you want to try something a little different, try my Strawberry Orange Julius. It's a refreshing treat any time of year!