Are you a strict recipe follower when it comes to smoothies, or do you just end up throwing a bunch of stuff in? Or maybe you don’t make smoothies and would love a quick and easy way to get it done.
I’ve been a smoothie drinker for longer than I can remember, and though TYPICALLY I’m a “follow the recipe” girl, I think I’ve always been a “just throw some things in” smoothie maker. 🙂 Smoothies in general are pretty forgiving, but there ARE a few things to keep in mind if you want a smoothie that is balanced with flavor, texture, and nutrition!
Below you’ll find my smoothie formula and then I’ll also share some tricks I’ve learned along the way, and my fav ingredients in case you need some recommendations.
My formula for the best smoothie is this:
- 1- 1.5 cup liquid
- 1 – 1.5 cups frozen fruit
- Protein to equal 20-30 grams
- 1-2 handfuls of greens
Blend WELL and ENJOY (preferably with a cute cup and straw) 😉
Ok, so now the details for each one:
- You can honestly use any combination of milk, juice, or even water. I’ve found that I prefer a mixture of juice and almond or coconut milk. I don’t love JUST milk because I find it less flavorful, but just juice adds a fair amount of extra sugar. So I’ll typically do ½ cup of orange juice (my favorite for smoothies), and then ½ – 1 cup of coconut milk. I’ll easily substitute almond milk and I don’t feel like it affects the flavor much. I don’t have a dairy allergy, but I prefer these due to their lower calorie content.
- I keep a variety of frozen fruit on hand all the time. I usually buy from Costco b/c it’s SO much cheaper than my local grocery stores. My favorites are mixed berry, strawberry, and mango, and then I usually have some frozen banana halves in my freezer from bananas that went ripe on my counter. I take off the peel, cut them in half, and throw them in a freezer bag. Then add a half to my smoothie if I’m looking for that flavor.
- When I make a smoothie, it’s often a meal replacement, so I want to make sure it’s heavy on protein to fill me up. Most of the time it’s either breakfast (I have an egg sensitivity so it’s REALLY hard for me to get good protein sources in the AM without eggs!) or a quick lunch on my work days if I don’t have much time. 30 grams is preferable and I’ll do this in various ways. I LOVE the collagen powder from Thrive Market. It has no taste and it packs in 10 grams of protein. One scoop is perfect to throw in a smoothie (or any drink). Then I’ll add either greek yogurt to equal 20 grams of protein or a protein powder. My favorite greek yogurt lately is Oikos brand, and my favorite protein powder for a fruit smoothie is Ka’Chava vanilla. Either of these combinations will make for a great-tasting smoothie that will keep you full!
- Greens – I prefer spinach b/c it has very little flavor and blends well. I’ll share more about how I blend it below. You can definitely experiment and see if you like something else better! I love how I can get a bunch of veggies in without even tasting them. 😉
And now some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way:
- Blending your greens. I find that the quality of blender makes a big difference here. I’ve had several lower-priced blenders (under $100) that were fine for smoothie making. If you fall in that category, you’ll want to blend up your greens with your liquid FIRST before adding any fruit to the cup. This will help get your smoothie as smooth as possible with fewer chunks of spinach in it (b/c who wants to be sucking up spinach leaves in the straw?). 😉 A couple of years ago I invested in a Vitamix blender and it’s hands down better than any other blender I’ve owned, and well worth the investment. If you don’t make smoothies on a regular basis, it probably won’t be worth the price tag. But if they’re a regular part of your routine, Vitamix is the way to go!
- Any sort of greens LOOK gross but honestly, with spinach especially, you will NOT taste it as long as you have some other flavors in there. And if you use mixed berries, they’ll hide the green color. 🙂 Unfortunately lighter colored fruit cannot hide the green, but once you get over the color, you’ll be amazed by how it does NOT change the flavor of the smoothie!
- Balancing nutrition and taste. This is so tricky, but for me personally, I’ve learned that I’m willing to sacrifice a little nutrition to find something I love to eat and will be a great and easy substitute for something less nutritious (ie: the leftover pizza in the fridge!). So I’ve found that using ½ cup of juice adds a lot more flavor than almond milk alone. ½ cup adds a little more sugar and calories, but not enough to make it “unhealthy.” To me, it’s a good compromise. I usually keep Oikos vanilla yogurt on hand for smoothies or just a snack. It has 3 grams of sugar and 20 grams of protein. Could I eat plain? Sure, but the payoff of great flavor is worth a few grams of sugar (to me).
- If you find your smoothie’s too thick (and not blending well), add some more liquid slowly. I prefer a thicker smoothie, so I always start with less and then add more as needed.
- I don’t use ice. I find ice gives more of a crunchy texture that I don’t like, but if you start with frozen fruit, you shouldn’t need ice.
- Start by blending on low and then slowly move to high speed as the bigger chunks get broken apart. This is a little kinder to the motor of your blender. 🙂
I hope that was helpful! I’d love to hear from you – what tip did I miss? What do you love to add to smoothies? The add-ins are endless! If I’m doing a smoothie as more of a snack, I’ll do chocolate protein powder with a ½ frozen banana and 1 T of nut butter. Or I’ve thrown in flax or chia seeds for an added source of fat. What’s your favorite combo?
Products I love: