Over the warmer months I drink a lot of smoothies (which you’ve probably already noticed if you follow me on instagram!) and I’ve had a few questions about what I put in them, so today I thought I’d share my top 9 tips for better smoothies. Once you master some of these things then your flavour possibilities will be seemingly endless!
1. Blend your liquid & greens first
One thing people often find off-putting about green smoothies is the texture of the greens, particularly if you don’t have a super powered blender (and I don’t!). An easy way to overcome this is to first blitz the greens and your liquid until the greens are well broken down before you add the rest of your ingredients. This helps distribute the greens more evenly through your smoothie, meaning there is a lot less of a chance you’ll find yourself chewing on something green!
2. Freeze your fruits
No-one likes a lukewarm smoothie and whilst you can always add ice to help chill things, it’s even better to add frozen fruits! I generally always have Australian grown frozen berries in my freezer, but I also buy other fruits when they are in season (and therefore cheap!) and stock my freezer with the as well. Bananas are particularly excellent to freeze, just wait until they are really ripe then peel them and freeze them, either whole or in chunks. Pineapple, mango, grapes and watermelon are also great fruits to freeze yourself to pop in your smoothies.
3. Add lemon
If you’re finding your smoothies are a little on the bitter side then the best way to combat this is with a squeeze or three of lemon juice. It cuts through the bitter flavour that some greens can have and gives you a fresh, balanced and delicious smoothie to enjoy. Oranges and other tart flavours like pomegranate can work well too.
4. Bulk it out
If you’re drinking a smoothie as a meal (I have mine for breakfast) then you need to make sure you bulk it out with some protein and healthy fats to ensure it is a balanced meal. There are lots of ways to do this, some of my favourites are:
- chia seeds
- protein powder
- silken tofu
- coconut oil
- nut butters (almond is my favourite)
- flax seed
- greek yoghurt
It’s best to add one protein source and one healthy fat choice, otherwise you might find yourself getting hungry well before lunchtime!
5. Match your liquid to your needs
There are lots of different liquids you can use as the base of your smoothies, and it’s good to mix them up to keep things interesting. Knowing what you want from your smoothie can help choosing the right liquid to meet your needs, ensuring you end up with a delicious outcome every time! Here are some of my favourites:
- For a creamy smoothie I use almond milk or cashew milk
- For a refreshing smoothie, or in hot weather, I use coconut water
- For a zingy smoothie as a snack I use freshly squeezed orange juice
6. Make it creamy
Part of the reason I drink smoothies is because they can act like healthy, grown-up milkshakes but in order for that to happen they have to be super creamy. The best additions to make your smoothie extra creamy are frozen bananas or mango, avocado, yoghurt, chia seeds, oats or nut butters. You also need to use a creamy liquid, so any kind of milk is your best bet!
7. Start with more fruit
If you’re new to green smoothies then it is easy to get excited and throw in all kinds of leafy green veggies and be rather unimpressed with the outcome (if you can drink it at all!). Ease yourself into the wide-world of smoothies with more fruit and less greens to begin with, then overtime alter the ratios in favour of the greens as you get more experienced with what works for your taste buds. Don’t forget to add some lemon too!
8. Use natural sweeteners
If you’ve got your ratios of fruit and greens right then you shouldn’t need to add to much in the way of sweeteners, but then I don’t have much of sweet tooth! If you do want a sweeter smoothie then try adding more high-sugar content fruits like pear and apple, or add some fresh dates (or soaked dried dates) into the mix. Syrups like agave or maple can be useful as well, or even a squeeze of honey!
9. Mix things up
Don’t be afraid to try all kinds of flavour combinations for your smoothies – that’s part of the beauty of them! You can add spices like cinnamon and nutmeg for a more savoury smoothie (perfect with banana and oats for breakfast!), a pinch of salt, some fresh ginger, you name it!
Mix up your fruits too, there is so much more out there than just banana and berries! Mango, peach, pineapple, grapes, kiwi, papaya, grapes – you name it – are all excellent smoothie ingredients and help stop any boredom from having the same thing every day. You should also mix up your greens to make sure you’re getting a range of nutritional benefits, so don’t just stick to spinach or kale!
If you need some combo ideas then check out my healthy drinks guide e-book which is free for all newsletter subscribers (or pay as you wish in the shop). It has lots of smoothie ideas as well as juices, cucumber waters, iced teas and more!