Once you've had enough practice making smoothies, you will undoubtedly find your own recipes and preferences. Here is a basic 5 step outline of what goes into a smoothie and how to blend it together. All steps will depend upon personal preferences for taste, texture and consistency. Use it to get started and learn the basics, or go to our compilation of smoothie recipes to explore the pre-tested options we have available here on the site.
First Step: Liquid Base
To start off, you need a liquid base for the smoothie. Depending upon the consistency and size, you will need anywhere from 1/2 cup to 3 cups of liquid for the smoothie. Usually about half a cup per single person serving. It is best to use a little under what may be necessary and then add extra later rather than have too much liquid and try to even it out from there. Liquids include milk (soy, dairy, almond, coconut, rice), water, juice, and yogurt.
Second Step: Fruits and Veggies
Next you add all of the fruits and vegetables that you want to include in the smoothie. Many of the fruits are commonly known. Some of the veggies that work great in smoothies are: spinach, sprouts, carrots, celery, cucumbers, romaine and kale. For this step you can use fruits and vegetables that are either fresh or frozen or a mix of both. However, the amount of fresh vs. frozen will affect the fourth step of the process.
Third Step: Smoothie Enhancers
Now you can add anything extra to the smoothie for added flavorings, added nutrition or to change the consistency. These additions can include: protein powder, rolled oats, other powdered supplements, peanut butter, chlorella, spirulina, chia seeds, flax seeds, ice cream, coffee creamers, flavorings and sweeteners (cinnamon, stevia, brown sugar, cane sugar, honey, vanilla extract), syrups (caramel, chocolate, shaved ice syrups).
Fourth Step: Ice
Temperature and texture can both be affected by adding ice to the smoothie. During this step, you can add whole or crushed ice to the smoothie to help get the consistency to what you like. As stated earlier, the amount of frozen vs fresh vegetables and fruits will affect how much ice you need to add.
Fifth Step: Blend It Up
Finally, you can blend it all together to make the drink. Usually it is good to pulse the blender a little until things get fairly mixed up, and then let the blender liquify everything until it is smooth and exactly the consistency you want. At this point add more ice to make it thicker and more liquid to make it thinner. Pour and enjoy.
Optional Step: Dressing It Up
So, after the smoothie is made you have the option of dressing it up a little. If you think of a tropical smoothies on the beach, odds are you think of the little umbrella and maybe a slice of fresh fruit added to the drink. In reality, you can be as creative as you want to in this step. Whipped cream goes great on top of smoothies. For some of the chocolate ones, add chocolate shaves, chocolate powder or chocolate syrup on top of the whipped cream. Why not add some sprinkles to it?
To get real fancy, you can make cups out of hollowed out pineapples and serve the drink in that. Add some mint leaves, a slice of lime or lemon, or nutmeg. Dip the rim of the cup in some water and then into some colored sugar before pouring the drink to spice things up a bit. Get creative! What can you think to add?
Keep In Mind
Make sure that there will be enough room at the top of your blender for expansion during the blending process.
As a general rule, put liquids in to the blender first, followed by solids and then ice on top.