It seems like every other summer or so, I get on a major smoothie-making kick. And that is just enough time between kicks to lose all of my recipes and tips, ARGH! But! Since I have a blog specifically for the purpose of stashing all of those wonderful bits of maker information that I would otherwise forget, I decided to write up a post to remind future me of what I have learned this go-round.
The One [Smoothie] Rule That Must Not Broken:
Never, ever, ever combine dairy milks with citrus!
Citrus (or any other acidic substance, such as vinegar) will curdle the milk and make it what modern cooks refer to as “buttermilk,” which is used in plenty of baking recipes but is pretty damn nasty in smoothies. It’s especially gross if you are not expecting it. You are now informed. Do not break the one smoothie rule!
Tips for Smoothie Perfection:
The golden ratio for the average countertop blender is 1c liquid to 1.5c solids. A decent blender (I use a Cuisinart 8speed that is like 12 years old. First kitchen appliance I ever bought!) can handle this like a champ, with no additional stirring or finagling.
For a thicker smoothie, particularly milk-based, I use 1c milk to 2c frozen fruit. This gives me a thick, creamy smoothie, but requires me to do a bit of blender dancing to get it all incorporated. I like to tilt the blender towards me while holding the pitcher onto the base until the blades are able to more easily move the ingredients and I can see the “funnel” appear in the middle. Then a bit of shaking or stirring (with the blender OFF!) using a long spoon, and after a bit the mixture will be smooth enough that the blender can do its thing with no more assistance.
A decent blender needs the liquid added to the pitcher first, so that the blades are able to move smoothly and process the solids effectively. If you add the solids first, the blades will just stir things around or get stuck. This is obviously not relevant if you have a commercial-grade blender, so if your kitchen is pimped then do whatever works.
DO NOT USE ICE. Ice is water, therefore adding it to smoothies will make them watery. Basic science. Freeze your fruit, even if you bought it fresh. Not only is frozen fruit just as healthy as fresh fruit, it creates a cold, thick smoothie without making it watery. It’s also fine to mix frozen and fresh fruit, but at least 1c of the fruit should be frozen so that the smoothie is actually smoothie-ish.
For extra creamy consistency, add in 1/2c of yogurt or 1/4c of peanut butter. Unlike milk, yogurt CAN be added to citrus-based smoothies without resulting in a funky flavor, so knock yourself out if you want an orange creamsicle smoothie. You don’t need to adjust the golden ratio – just add the yogurt or peanut butter in addition to your liquid and solid.
Basic Smoothie Recipes
Strawberry Banana (my version of the “Angel Food” from Smoothie King)
1c whole milk
1.5c frozen strawberries
1/2c frozen banana, sliced
1-2tsp Truvia sweetener
This is a thicker smoothie that requires the countertop blender dance to get it to fully incorporate, but is totally worth the [minimal] effort. Makes around 24oz.
1/4c lime juice
1/2c pineapple chunks
1c frozen cherries
This combination is pretty tart, so swap the pineapple for another 1/2c frozen cherries if you prefer a more mellow cherry limeade. Or you can always put in a tsp or so of Truvia if that’s your thing. My blender handled this with no issues; it was thinner than the Strawberry Banana without being runny.
I have a few more potential smoothie combos in the back of my head which I will certainly have time to test out before the summer ends. Peanut butter banana is sounding pretty good right now, as is chocolate cherry. If I come up with anything stellar, I’ll make another smoothie post for future me. =)
P.S. The photos on this post are from Pexels.com, as I hate taking photos and can’t be arsed to take decent ones when there are plenty of freeware images for me to use. Especially since a smoothie is a smoothie, ya know?