Smoothies are tasty, healthy and easy to make. I think you’ll soon learn to enjoy them just as much as I do so I’d like to teach you my smoothie secrets.
It only takes five minutes to prepare, blend and drink your smoothie.
Here is my six-step guide to making a perfect smoothie – ideal for breakfasts, snacks, meal replacements or deserts.
The texture and thickness of your smoothie depends on the fruits or vegetables you use. Some fruits, like mango and banana contain more sugar which will make your smoothie sweeter while others, like melon or orange, will make your smoothie more liquid. Combine two or more fruits to create different flavors and textures.
Popular fruits used in smoothies include:
- Berries: Blueberry, Raspberry, Cranberry, Strawberry
Vegetables commonly used in Green Smoothies include:
- Yellow Peppers
There are different types of liquids you can use for different taste and texture results. Most smoothies
Goat or cow’s milk, whole or skimmed – milk is a good base for smoothies providing you don’t have any lactose intolerance issues. Whole milk contains 150 calories per cup (8 grams of fat) while skimmed milk has most of the fat removed and contains only 80 calories per cup. While milk is high in protein, calcium and Vitamin D, due to cholesterol, allergies and other recent studies, many people prefer milk from plant sources.
Plant Based Milk
Plant based milks aren’t really milks at all but are the liquids extracted from certain plants that can be used as a replacement for milk. There are several choices…
Almond Milk: Made from almonds, when unsweetened almond milk is lower in calories than to other milks. It contains no saturated fat, no cholesterol and is lactose free. It’s low in protein and calcium, although brands usually add supplemental calcium. Almond milk is a good choice for weight loss smoothies.
Soy Milk: One of the most popular alternatives for milk, it’s lactose and cholesterol free, low in fat (4 grams per cup) and a good source of protein containing just as much protein as cow milk. It’s lower in calories too and contains no cholesterol.
Rice Milk: Naturally high in sugar and low in protein, rice milk is the least allergenic of all the milks making it the best option for people with lactose and nut allergies. The high sugar content means it’s not recommended for people with diabetes or for those trying to lose weight.
Since yogurt comes from milk it is a good source of protein, calcium and vitamins as well as probiotics. Probiotics play an important role in keeping your digestive and immune systems healthy. Yogurt is also often very low in fat.
Some of the different types of yogurt available include:
Low-fat yogurt – Contains 3 grams of fat and is low in sugar when none is added, always check nutrition label.
Fat-free yogurt – Less than 0.5 grams of fat.
Greek yogurt – High in protein and low in carbohydrates (if no added sugar), Greek yogurt is a very good choice for low-carb and weight loss diets. Containing less lactose than a regular yogurt, Greek yogurt is less likely to upset your stomach if you are lactose intolerant.
Kefir – High in probiotics, kefir contains calcium and protein and is low in fat and carbohydrates. This is considered the healthiest option although it does have a sharp, strong taste.
Adds caffeine and taste to your morning smoothie.
Perfect for a light, refreshing smoothie plus it’s calorie-free.
Protein: If you need to add more protein to your diet, protein shakes are the way to go. There are a lot of options so I have created an article “Choosing a protein powder” to guide you.
Replace a meal: When following a meal replacement diet, you combine vegetables, fruit and protein to make a low-calorie shake that will replace a whole meal. Learn how to create your own meal replacement shakes here.
Meal Replacement Shake Powder
Meal replacement shakes are an easy and effective way to lose weight but you need a plan if you want to be successful – I’ve shared mine here. There are a lot, probably too many, shake powders products available on the market and I’ve tried many of them. Here I share my research and findings and list my winners for weight loss.
Vanilla Extract – Warm, honey-like flavor, usually 1 teaspoon is enough.
Almond extract is more concentrated, more potent and has a stronger flavor when compared to vanilla extract so you generally add half the amount.
Honey – A natural way to make your smoothie sweeter.
Add 3 or 4 ice cubes to your blender to make a fresh smoothie. If you’re using frozen fruit you’ll need less or even no ice cubes. Start your blender on slow and increase to medium and then to high speed for a perfect mix.
Once you have all ingredients gathered you are ready to start blending!
Depending on the blender you use, the results will vary. Restaurant grade results can only be achieved with professional blenders, although budget blenders can blend fruit smoothies with acceptable results. Green smoothies and crushing ice requires a more powerful motor and professional blenders are recommended for these tasks.
I’ve used several budget blenders and I was happy with the results. These are my top three blenders for smoothies under $200.
Once you try a professional blender you will be amazed with the results and that’s one of the reasons why I’ve spent $484 on my kitchen blender. Find the other reasons here.
How to blend
If you have a powerful blender you can start directly on high speed. Otherwise, start at low speed and increase the speed slowly so the ingredients and liquids start to fully circulate within the jug. After 60 seconds your smoothie will be ready.
Enjoy your smoothie straight away or store it in the fridge for a couple of days. A smoothie bottle, the one I use is available at amazon.com, is useful for situations where you want to store your smoothie for drinking later.
6. Blender cleaning
Clean your blender immediately after using. Put some warm water and a few drops of dish soap in the jug and let the blender run for 60 seconds on high speed. Remove the water and let the jar dry. Easy!