Anatomy of a smoothie
Posted on October 7, 2013
There are countless ways to make a smoothie. Basically, smoothies have fruits and vegetables and something to make it as thick or thin as you’d like—a liquid or semi-liquid base.
Start with a liquid
For a one-serving smoothie, start with a half cup of a milk (dairy or non-dairy), sugar-free or low-sugar juice or water. Ideas:
Coconut, soy, almond, hemp or rice milk are dairy-free alternatives that are great starters for your concoction.
Fresh squeeze fruit juice. If you’re not making your own juice, choose one with as few ingredients as possible
Kefir, which I’d describe as a soupier yogurt, is also a great starter and provides 7 grams of protein.
Greek yogurt is thick, creamy and less than a cup of it can have about 30% of your daily value in protein!
Add fruits and vegetables (preferably fresh)
Have you tried a green smoothie (like this one)?
You don’t need much more than a hand-full of dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach or chard to make one. The bitter taste of these vitamin-rich veggies is surprisingly masked when mixed with fruit, like pineapples, mangos and blueberries.
A 3-to-1 ratio of fruit to veggies in a smoothie is a good place to start. I usually fill my blender one quarter of the way full with kale and spinach, then three quarters of the way with frozen fresh fruit.
What else can I add?
Part of my love for making smoothies, I admit, is in using the blender. It must be the little kid in me that loves to see whole food get pulverized into a liquid! Like a mad scientist, I often want to add more to the cup and blend away!
Ice (if you’re not already using frozen fruit) to make an ice-cold drink
- Spices like cinnamon or fresh ginger for a kick
Agave nectar or honey to sweeten it up
Reviewed by Patricia McHugh, RN. Hannah Macek contributed to this story.
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The information written about in this blog is not intended to be medical advice. Please seek care from a medical professional when you have a health concern.