If you are craving for something that is sweet but healthy, then smoothies are your best bet. There is nothing better than enjoying a glass of creamy smoothie comprised of nutrient-rich fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
However, smoothies are slightly tricky to make because most of the time they turn out to be too thick, too icy, too watery or too sour! To combat this problem, here are a few tips that will help you in making that perfect smoothie every time!
Form the Right Base
The components of a good smoothie are as follows:
One ripe banana or other rich textured fruits such as mangoes, apples, and peaches
¾-1 Cup of liquid components including soy milk, low-fat milk, thinned yogurt or coconut water
Nuts contribute towards healthy fats. Add foods like almonds, pistachios, seeds or avocado. Soak the seeds and nuts in the above-mentioned liquid to soften them and then pulverize them.
4. Superfoods / Thickeners
Superfoods or thickeners contribute in adding to the health quotient and texture of the smoothie. If you wish to add that extra dose of protein add protein powder. Require fiber? Add some oats.
You can add the following as thickening substances:
- Coconut flour or oat flour
- Vanilla protein powder
- Yogurt Powder
- Chia Seeds
- Cocoa powder
- Coffee powder
A handful of greens or vegetables might sound and taste weird, but they certainly increase nutrients in the smoothie. Use collard greens, spinach or kale but make sure you remove their stems for a milder taste. Vegetables that can be incorporated include beets, butternut squash, and cucumbers.
6.Herbs or Spices
Adding herbs and spices boost the flavor and have additional health benefits as well. Toss in some mint to make the smoothie more refreshing whereas ginger and turmeric can help you make it warm. Just add a pinch of your favorite spice to experiment.
Use Fresh Ingredients
1. Fresh Fruits & Veggies
Fresh fruits and vegetables give your smoothie a better taste when compared to using frozen ones. It also has more nutrients thereby making your smoothie healthier than before. Fruits should be consumed within 2-3 days of purchase and vegetables must be consumed within 4 -5 days.
2. Milk Ice Cubes
Instead of adding plain ice cubes to make your smoothie cold, add milk ice cubes to make your drink more creamy. Ice cubes also increase the water content of the recipe. To make these, add milk (coconut, soy, almond, regular milk or cashew) to ice trays and freeze. Store them in sealed bags after they are frozen.
3. Balance the Liquid
If you want a richer, creamier smoothie, use one cup instead of two. Do not add all the liquid in one shot. Instead, add half liquid first followed by the other ingredients. After you have pulverized the added ingredients, add one more cup in the end. This will give you a thicker smoothie.
4. Psyllium Husk
Psyllium Husk is another ingredient that helps in improving the texture of your smoothie. Available in powder form, it absorbs water and makes it thicker. If you have accidentally added extra water, you can add it. Use half to 1 teaspoon for 1 cup of water.
5. Silken Tofu
Silken Tofu has a silky texture which is the best to improve the texture of the smoothie while adding to its protein content. The Silken flavor tofu is not too pronounced so you will not experience a change in the of the smoothie. Add a half cup of tofu initially and increase the amount gradually until the drink is thick.
Build it in layers
If you wish to make the perfect smoothie, add ingredients in layers.The hardest layers of carrots, berries, seeds, and nuts need to go first near the blades so that they are ground well. Followed by the hard ingredients are the greens and nut butter. The other layers comprise of fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, and boosters. The final layer is liquid. Alternatively, you can also blend the ingredients in two parts. Initially, add the hard ingredients and greens with half of the liquid. Blend until smooth and then add the other ingredients and liquid.
Experiment with Flavors
Some of the most incompatible ingredients come together and create a flavorful concoction.For example, sometimes a fusion of bananas, blueberries, peanut butter, almond milk, and greens can create a nutrient-rich and delicious combination.
1. Freeze Greens Beforehand
Another practical tip that can be used to whip up creamy smoothies is that you can freeze your greens for sometime before you use them. This helps you in making thicker and frostier smoothies. To do this, buy kale or spinach and store it in large freezer bags. Use 2-3 cups to make the smoothie.
2. Add Coconut Flesh
Coconut is a good addition to tropical smoothies. It is rich in iron, zinc, and phosphorus. It also has the right concentration of electrolytes.
The last and final secret to making mind-blowing smoothies is that you can freeze your smoothie for one hour before you consume it.By doing this, you will have a smoothie which is a bit frozen around the corners and is creamy in the middle.
Mind Blowing Smoothie Combos
Now since you know how you can make your smoothie creamier, here are a few recipes you can try.
1. Pomegranate and Cherry
1 cup frozen cherries +¾ pomegranate juice, half cup yogurt, lemon juice, one tsp honey and some cinnamon and salt to taste. 2 cups milk ice.
2. Mint and Jalapeno
One third cup mint, one jalapeno pepper (seeds removed) 2.5 tbsp honey, 2 cups yogurt and ice. Cilantro and cumin powder to season.
3. Apple – Spinach
One apple, silken tofu ½ cup, soy milk ¼ cup, orange juice ¼ cup,1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp wheat germ, 1 cup soy milk ice.