Why spend five bucks for a smoothie when you can make one quickly and easily at home with your blender?
The best thing about smoothies, other than being really healthy, is once you have a formula down, you can mix and match at will to create new smoothie combinations. You already know strawberry-banana in a creamy yogurt base is good, but have you thought about blueberry-kiwi in soymilk with protein powder? Or mango with pineapple juice and coconut?
But I'm getting ahead of myself. First we need to learn the formula for how to make a smoothie. It's not rocket science, but it is sort of like quantum theory in that which ingredients you use depend on what's in the fridge/freezer/cupboard at the exact moment you're standing in front of it.
Base Elements for Smoothies
- Fruit (Fr)
- Yogurt or liquid (Yo)
- Extra stuff (Ex)
The Base Recipe
(1 part Fr) + (1 part Yo) + (as much Ex as you like) = 1 dang good smoothie
Choose your favorite fruit, or a combination. Softer and frozen fruits work best, like strawberries, blueberries, bananas, mango, or melon. If you'd like to use a hard fruit like an apple, you'd better have one of those super-fancy juicers or plan on having a lumpy smoothie.
As for liquid, nothing beats some plain yogurt. It instantly makes your smoothie nice and thick without having to mess with ice cubes. Other good mixers are milk, soy milk, plain old water, or juice. Remember, juice is loaded
with sugar, so keep that in mind when concocting your brew.
With extra stuff, the sky's the limit. Every time I add protein powder to my smoothie, I visualize myself with six-pack abs. As you may have already guessed, I always
add protein powder. Ground flax seed or wheat germ is another super-healthy add-in for smoothies. Honey will help sweeten things up if necessary, and try new flavors like peanut butter (peanut butter-banana smoothies, anyone?) or even tahini (like peanut butter, but made from sesame seeds).
Here's an easy recipe for a delicious, healthful strawberry smoothie
that's around 300 calories:
Get all sorts of fantastic vitamins, and a great-tasting pick-me-up, by making your own smoothie with the base elements above. This smoothie makes for a small meal or a great-tasting larger snack.
If you're a smoothie novice, though, there are all kinds of smoothie recipes out there with flavor combinations that you may not have thought of, such as strawberry orange
, creamy mango
, raspberry chocolate
, blueberry pomegranate
, or even Creme Caramel Chai Smoothies.
Use the recipes as they are written, or use the ingredients as inspiration and take liberties with the rest, creating your own signature smoothie recipes as you go!
What's your favorite smoothie?