Blender Basics: Simple Tips for Creating the Healthiest, Most Delicious Smoothies!


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Smoothies are one of my go-to’s when I want a healthy pick me up or a way to squeeze in some extra fruits and vegetables. They are super simple to make, so if you’re not a smoothie expert yet, don’t be intimidated. Today, I’m going to share some smoothie basics to help out beginners or to improve your blends.

fruit smoothie

1) The blender is important.

Having a powerful blender is key to getting that thick, creamy texture that I love in a smoothie. It also allows you to throw big chunks of fruits and veggies in there without having to waste any time chopping them up. Though the blender is important, you don’t necessarily have to spend your whole paycheck on a Vitamix. I use a Ninja Professional blender, which is about $99.

Here is a link to the one that I have:

http://www.amazon.com/Ninja-NJ600-Professional-Blender/dp/B003VWXXXK

2) Choose a liquid.

My favorite liquid to use in smoothies is vanilla almond milk. It tastes good with everything and adds to the creamy shake-like texture. If you’re not into almond milk, you can use regular (preferably organic) cow’s milk, coconut water, coconut milk, or even ice tea. Adding fruit juices to your smoothies is delicious (I love using orange juice on occasion) but it can also add quite a bit of sugar to your otherwise healthy snack, so be a bit cautious with this.

3) Experiment with fruit.

smoothie

 

Smoothies are so fun because you can get creative with your concoctions. I’ve rarely made a blend I didn’t like. Usually I will taste it before I pour it out, and just keep adding stuff until I like the taste! Some of my favorite fruits to use are pineapple, mango, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and peaches. I usually buy frozen fruit for smoothies because it’s cheaper, lasts longer, and gives the smoothie a better texture than fresh fruit. When you’re using frozen fruit, you won’t need to add ice either, which makes the smoothie creamy instead of slushy and icy (a personal preference).

4) Add frozen banana!

This is my favorite blending trick and the secret to making every smoothie super thick and creamy. It’s also a great use for those spotty bananas lying around in your fruit bowl. Peel a banana, break it in half, and pop it into the freezer in a plastic bag. I typically will add 1/2 a frozen banana to my one-serving smoothie. If I want to make more of a thick, ice-cream texture, I will use a whole one.

5) Bulk it up.

raspberry smoothie

This would be a good time to use some protein powder if you’re into that, or you can add some staying-power to your smoothies by adding a tablespoon or two of nut butter, a scoop of greek yogurt, or a handful of oats (like the one featured above). Another way to add some healthy fats and protein to your smoothies is to throw a small handful of nuts into your blender like almonds or cashews (cashews make it really creamy and delicious!). This will make your smoothie a bit heartier and keep you satisfied.

 

6) Go green!

green smoothie

One of the best aspects of smoothies is that it’s a fantastic way to disguise vegetables. I personally like the taste of vegetables, but I know there are a lot of people out there who shy away from the green stuff. Smoothies are a great opportunity to get a couple servings of glowing goodness into your body. I usually put a couple handfuls of raw baby spinach in my blends. You can also experiment with other greens, such as kale, romaine, etc. If you are new to green smoothies, spinach is your best bet since it blends right in and you won’t taste it at all.

7) Spice it up.

Smoothies are also a great way to sneak in some good-for-you spices. Cinnamon (antioxidants) and cardamom (detoxing) are delicious in sweet, dessert-like smoothies made with peaches or berries. Turmeric (anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory) and ginger (anti-inflammatory and stomach soothing) are great healthy additions to refreshing green smoothies.

8) Blend it!

blueberry smoothie

Blend everything together until you get the consistency you like. Sometimes I want a thinner smoothie I can drink through a straw, and other times I want it super thick to eat with a spoon like ice cream. Adjust the amount of liquid you use accordingly.

I hope these tips showed you how easy it is to make yourself a healthy smoothie for breakfast, an afternoon pick-me-up, or even dessert! They are delicious, satisfying, and the perfect way to get in some of your daily fruits and vegetables. Comment below if you have any other helpful smoothie tips you’d like to share!

Reference: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/spices-and-their-health-benefits/2014/01/07/4f074f24-6f2d-11e3-aecc-85cb037b7236_story.html

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