I think we need to do a smoothie post. Because it’s been on my mind for, well, years! I want to share a few tips, a few flavors that we love, and then open up the floor to tips and recipes from all of you!
First, a small plug for expensive blenders. I have to say that one of the best things that ever took residence in our kitchen is our heavy duty blender. This is an appliance that I think is completely worth saving up for. We use it all the time and it can handle anything. Our previous blender, which was just your regular run-of-the-mill blender, just didn’t cut it. I don’t care if you get a Blendtec or a Vitamix, just get one. Or start saving up for one. They are awesome.
Okay, on to technique! Do you know how to build your smoothie in the blender? After I got my Blendtec and read the instruction manual, I realized I had been putting the juice and fruit in the opposite order than I should have been! The logic my brain followed was that you should put the harder-to-blend items in first so that they get blended better…but it just jams everything up. As soon as I reversed the order of things, my smoothies improved immediately and significantly. Here is the RIGHT way to do it.
- Juice first. You can also use grapes as your juice base.
- Softer, unfrozen fruits.
- Harder fruits and frozen fruits. Say you’re doing frozen pineapple and frozen banana, put the frozen pineapple in first. Basically you want whatever is easiest to blend to go in first.
Now, on to flavors! Nate is the smoothie master in our house. He’s always blending up some sort of smoothie or “juicey” for the family and he’s quite the master! Here are the fruits and juices he most commonly uses:
- Mango juice for the base. I also love papaya juice as the base. If we don’t have either of those, we’ll go with orange or grape, which are both nice. Apple is just too, well, apple-y for us. It’s still good in a pinch, but definitely our least favorite.
- Frozen strawberries, frozen mango, frozen pineapple and frozen banana make the most frequent appearances in our smoothies! Oh, and when peaches are in season, we love frozen peaches!!
- I love tossing coconut into the smoothie. Nate isn’t such a big fan of coconut, but it makes me (and the girls) super happy!
- Yogurt…usually plain.
- ICE. Lately Nate has been making “juiceys,” which basically means there’s no ice and the smoothies aren’t so slushy. They are very tasty and the girls like them, too…but I gotta say, I love a good, slushy smoothie! Bring on the ice!
No specific recipes from us…our smoothies change pretty much every time we make them, which is part of the fun! We’ve also recently started adding SPINACH to the smoothies and that is a great trick! I know some of you have been telling me to do that for years…glad we finally jumped on board!
Your turn! Please share your favorite fruit/juice combos, specific recipes, tips, anything smoothie related! Can’t wait to be inspired by all of you!