Now that we’re well into January, we’re all holding on tightly to those New Year’s resolutions we set at the beginning of the month. And if your resolution was to eat healthier, you’re probably searching for easy ways to pack more nutrition into your day.
Search no more, my friends. Grab yourself a smoothie.
Smoothies are a simple way to add more healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and probiotic-rich dairy into your diet. They’re no fuss, require minimal prep and are ready to drink in less than five minutes. A nutritious meal that takes no time to make? Sign me up! Plus, you can drink a smoothie morning, noon, or night with no judgments. There’s a smoothie for every occasion whether it be breakfast, a snack, or even dessert (yes, you can totally add cocoa powder to your smoothies)!
While smoothie making is a fun, creative process in which pretty much anything goes, there is some rhyme and reason to it. There are some tricks of the smoothie-making trade to make sure you’re sipping on the tastiest, creamiest, healthiest, most refreshing smoothie. And it all comes down to ingredients. Making sure you have the right balance and the right order. Have you ever added all your smoothie ingredients to a blender only to press pulse and nothing happens except for an awfully loud noise indicating your blender is not amused? Yep, we’ve all been there (the blender struggle is real). Not to worry, those blender woes can be remedied by a simple tutorial on how to build the perfect smoothie.
- Liquid First: Adding liquid first makes things easier on the blender and you’ll find your ingredients blend faster and more efficiently. Try milk, kefir, coconut milk, or almond milk for a creamier consistency. Use coconut water, herbal or green tea, iced coffee, juice, or water for a refreshing twist. Not sure how much to add? Typically ¾ cup liquid for 2 cups of ingredients is a good starting point. Remember, you can always add more liquid later but you can’t remove it once it’s blended in.
- Sprinkles Come Next. No, not rainbow sprinkles. But the sprinkles of powders, seeds, sweeteners, spices, extracts, zests, etc. that add flavor and nutrition boosts to your smoothie. This way they’ll blend seamlessly with the liquid and the rest of your beverage.
- Hail the Hard Stuff. After your sprinkles come your hard foods – think frozen fruits like Wild Blueberries, vegetables and nuts and The stuff your blender is going to work extra hard on. You want to position these close to the bottom so they can easily come in contact with the blade.
- Be a Softie. Now it’s time to embrace your inner softie and add your softer foods like fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Crazy for Creamy. In my opinion, there’s nothing better than a creamy, rich tasting smoothie. Side by side with your soft produce, add in any creamy ingredients that will impart a thicker texture to your drink. Not sure what add-ins create creamy? Try avocados, Greek yogurt, kefir, canned coconut milk, silken tofu, nuts and nut butters, bananas and oatmeal.
- Get Your Green On. Trying on green smoothies for size? Green smoothies are an easy way to get your greens on and the fruit masks their bitterness so you won’t even taste them! Add leafy greens like kale, chard, spinach, or arugula for a one-two nutritional punch!
- Ice, Ice, Baby. Last but not least, top it off with a little ice, if needed. I only add ice if I’m using fresh fruits and not frozen. This is one of the reasons why I love using Wild Blueberries. They are the perfect smoothie ingredient to keep your smoothies cold because 99% of the Wild Blueberry crop is frozen within 24 hours of harvest, which locks in their nutrition and taste. If you use frozen fruits and your smoothie still isn’t cold enough for your liking, you can always add ice after you blend all the ingredients together.
- Blend Away! Start your blender on the lowest setting and wait until those big pieces of frozen produce start to break up before you gradually increase to the highest speed. This will help your blender blend more efficiently and will prevent your blender from spinning its blades on nothing but air!
Now that you’re a blender pro, how about putting these tips into practice with a refreshing smoothie recipe that’s perfect for the winter months. My Wild Blueberry Tropical Immune-Boosting Smoothie is packed with vitamin C-boasting citrus, sweet, refreshing pineapple, warming, soothing ginger, and electrolyte-loaded coconut water. It’s totally refreshing and sweet with a hint of spiciness from the ginger! Wild your smoothie with this delicious recipe and at the same time ward off the cold and flu this season.