By Claire Hansen
Blog Content Contributor
Yup, it’s another foodie post from yours truly — but who ever gets tired of hearing about new culinary ideas to incorporate into your life? Not me, at least.
In this article, I’m going to break down the anatomy of a smoothie and teach you how to make one. Why smoothies, you ask? They’re healthy, quick, can be eaten on the go and, best of all, can be personalized to whatever you like! I’ll also include a few of my own favorite recipes at the end.
Instructions: What makes smoothies so awesome is the fact that there are no instructions. You literally just throw everything in a blender and you’re ready to go. Booyah!
So, let’s get to it.
First, you need your liquid. Fill about a third of your blender up with the one you choose. You can always add more later if it’s too thick. The most common choices for the base of a smoothie are:
- Coconut water
- Milk (coconut, almond, dairy, rice, whatever you prefer)
- Juice (fresh squeezed, fruit or vegetable)
- Iced coffee
- Iced green tea
Then, add your other fruit. This can be any kind of fruit — whatever you fancy! You’re also not limited to one. Choose as many as you’d like. It also helps to buy them frozen so they last longer. I would recommend adding about a cup’s worth or a handful of fruit (total, not each kind). Some of the fruits I’ve found to be the most delicious in smoothies are:
Next, throw in those greens! Incorporating half a cup or a small handful of greens or other veggies into your smoothie will really make it a nutrient-dense, well-rounded meal. Your best options are:
Now, make it creamy. This step is what will give your smoothie that yummy, goopy texture. It can be done with:
- Whole or half banana (fresh or frozen)
- Half an avocado
- Nut butter (almond, peanut, cashew — any kind!)
- Greek yogurt (or whatever type of yogurt you prefer; a quarter cup or a few spoonfuls should do)
If you want, add a little bit of natural sweetener. A small spoonful is usually perfect!
- Agave nectar
- Raw honey
- Maple syrup
- Dates (1 or 2)
You can also add some healthy flavor to really spice things up. Here are some good pairings, but be cautious with the quantities! Half a teaspoon is typically enough.
- Cocoa powder
- Vanilla extract
- Mint leaves
- Cayenne pepper
Finally, give yourself an energy boost. This part is totally optional, as these things won’t really affect the taste of your smoothie all that much, but they will add even more health benefits to it! Use your best discretion when incorporating these, but I would recommend about a tablespoon for all of them (except oats — you can add a bit more oats if you’d like).
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Maca powder
- Hemp or hemp seed powder
- Acai powder
- Matcha powder
Lastly, you may also need to add a few ice cubes to your smoothie, especially if your fruit or banana isn’t frozen!
So there you go. You’re a smoothie expert now.
Another quick note: Blenders are often believed to be high-tech, expensive kitchen tools that only the grown and established can afford. Well, yes, a Nutribullet might not be the most practical purchase for someone our age, but, there are actually tons of $20 blenders out there that not only work wonderfully, but are tiny enough to fit comfortably in a dorm or apartment. Here’s a few to choose from! You can also find them at H-E-B or Walmart.
I know I just gave you a lot of options to choose from for smoothie-making. I also know that having lots of options can be scary, especially when you’re new to the smoothie game. So, here’s three exact recipes for smoothies that I think are the bomb.com. Keep in mind the quantities stated earlier and you’ll be good to go!
Java chip smoothie: coffee, almond milk, frozen banana, spinach, ice, agave nectar, almond butter, cocoa powder
Pina colada: coconut milk or coconut water, banana, pineapple, vanilla extract
Cinnamon bun: almond milk, banana, oats, maple syrup, cinnamon
Featured photo by Claire Hansen.