Great for a simple breakfast, snack or even lunch, a smoothie is a delicious way to pack fresh fruits and veggies into your day. And since smoothies are so customizable, it’s easy to come up with recipes that suit your tastes and needs. Once you’ve learned a basic fruit smoothie recipe, you’ll be able to throw together your choice of ingredients to create a perfectly blended smoothie any time.
Start with Your Choice of Liquid
When making a smoothie, always add the liquid ingredients to your blender first. Starting with the liquids ensures that any additions like powders will dissolve easily. And once you start blending, the liquid on the bottom will help to pull the other ingredients into the blades for a nice, smooth consistency.
For just one serving, you’ll only need to use about ½ cup of liquid. However, you can always adjust the amount of liquid to suit your preferences. If you like your smoothie on the thicker side, use less liquid. Or if you’re using an ingredient with lots of flavor, like lemonade in this recipe for Strawberry Lemonade Smoothies, you can adjust the amount based on taste and sweetness.
Strawberry Lemonade Smoothie
This quick and easy smoothie is made with lemonade, Greek yogurt and strawberries for a creamy, sweet and totally refreshing treat.View Recipe
As for what kind of liquid to use, the options are endless. For a heartier breakfast smoothie, you may want to use whole milk or full-fat coconut milk. Other dairy-free milk alternatives like almond, soy or oat milk are also great choices. For something on the lighter side, coconut water, juice or just plain water may be good options. You can choose to follow a recipe, or pick whatever you like.
Mix it Up with Flavorful Additions
Next, it’s time to add ingredients like powders, thickeners or sweeteners to your blender. These types of ingredients are fun additions that add flavor and complexity to your smoothie. Thickeners and sweeteners to add at this stage include Greek yogurt, peanut butter or other nut butters, honey and sugar. You’ll also want to add powders like protein powder, powdered dried dragonfruit or cocoa powder. In some instances, you can also try spices like turmeric, nutmeg, cinnamon or even chili powder.
Again, there are many options based on your tastes and willingness to experiment. We especially love this unique recipe for a Golden Fruit Smoothie, which includes vanilla protein powder, turmeric, cinnamon, ground ginger and black pepper.
Add Fresh or Frozen Fruits and Veggies
Finally, it’s time to add your star ingredients: the fruits and veggies. Since these foods are heavier than other ingredients, it’s helpful to add them to the blender last so they cover the mixture and prevent splashing.
As for whether you should use fresh or frozen fruits and veggies, the answer is both. Using half fresh and half frozen ingredients will give you the best of both worlds with a smoothie that’s juicy and sippable, but still nicely chilled and thick.
If you don’t have fresh options available, thawed frozen fruit works well as a substitute. Just pull some out of the freezer and thaw for about 30 minutes until softened. And if you’re in a rush and don’t have time for that extra step, just be ready to add some extra liquid to your smoothie as needed.
If you have the opposite issue and want to have a colder, thicker smoothie - but you’re out of frozen fruit - add ice. Again, you may have to adjust the amount of liquid you use, but after some experimentation you’ll have a delicious smoothie in no time.
You can choose any combination of fruits and vegetables, then match the rest of your flavors. Don’t be afraid to get creative. For example, this recipe for Green Grapple Smoothies calls for the unusual (and delicious) combination of green apples, green grapes, celery, spinach and avocado. These choices may not seem to complement one another at first glance, but the result is absolutely worth trying.