Have you ever added up the amount you spend on buying smoothies, and been horrified at the total?
A smoothie is a quick, easy-to-eat meal, and the ingredient lists always make them sound so healthy. No wonder franchised chains of smoothie bars have been popping up all over the world.
And with a single smoothie costing anywhere from $3 to $6 – more if you add special ingredients like bee pollen or amino acids – there is a lot of money changing hands at smoothie bars every day.
If you have a blender, you can make exactly the same quality smoothies at home, for a fraction of the price.
Other benefits of the home smoothie lifestyle include putting an end to the dreadful habit of skipping breakfast. A healthy liquid breakfast is easy on even the most sleepy stomach, and it will stop you from snacking in appropriately later, or from feeling weak, scattered and irritable from late morning onward.
So, how do you do it?
First, understand how a professional smoothie is planned. Then, make sure you have the right ingredients at home ,ready to go. Finally, make a clear plan as to when you will have your smoothie, and don’t let any random mental chatter talk you out of it at the time.
Bonus tip – rinse out the blender as soon as you have poured out the smoothie. This will make washing it quick and easy, even if it is twelve hours later, or the next day, removing that objection before it even arises.
A Professional Smoothie Base
The base of your smoothie is a liquid, which will get between the more solid ingredients and make them blend together easily. Don’t get fixated on the false dichotomy of “milk or water” – the base of your smoothie can be just about anything liquid.
You will need about one cup of the base, so steer away from alcoholic drinks as a base unless you are hosting a cocktail party! Apart from that, anything goes.
Here are some suggestions:
Almond milk, rice milk, soy milk
Coconut water, milk or cream
Iced green tea
Flavoured iced tea (eg lemon, peach)
If you use commercial flavoured milks, teas, or iced coffees, be mindful of the sugar content. A bit of sugar is not a huge problem unless you have a specific health condition, but many small amounts over the course of a day can add up to a lot of calories.
Add Some Fresh or Frozen Fruit
If you use frozen fruit, you won’t need as much ice (in fact, you may not need any at all), but fresh fruit releases more flavour molecules. You will need 1-2 cups of fruit – experiment until you find your perfect mix.
Good smoothie fruits include:
Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries
Bananas in particular are a great smoothie fruit, because of their thick and creamy texture when blended. Power tip – if you are going to freeze bananas, peel and chop them first!
Would You Like Green With That?
Some people can’t take a smoothie seriously as a meal unless it’s green.
If this is you, add a cup of fresh kale, spinach, or avocado.
Avocado is also a good choice for a thick and creamy texture.
Make Your Smoothie More Creamy
If your ingredient choices so far have left you a smoothie that isn’t as thick an dcreamy as you would like, there are ingredients you can add to boost the thickness.
Nut butter – peanut, almond, or cashew butter
Coconut meat (flesh) or dessicated coconut
Ice will only thicken the smoothie until it melts, of course, so drink it immediately!
Make Your Smoothie Sweeter
If you are not happy with the natural sweetness of your ingredient mix, you can add something sweet in the final mix:
Natural maple syrup
Some of the most popular professional smoothies are those with exotic superfood ingredients. There is no reason why you can’t enjoy the same benefits in your home-made smoothies.
And, of course, cocoa powder adds a super chocolatey taste, too!
So, there you have it – grab your ingredients today, and get started making professional smoothies at home. You will never look back!