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I have a confession to make. I’m lazy in the kitchen. Oh wait, you are too?
The dread of cleaning the blender is often enough motivation to deter any desire for a healthy smoothie. If I’m going to make one, it’s going to feed a lot of people and it’s going to be amazing. It better be worth the hassle.
The problem is, my other family members don’t always want a smoothie when I do. So I found the perfect solution: freeze the leftovers as popsicles! Not only do I get the most bang for my buck from the blender, but I have a healthy “dessert” for the kids later. Double. Win.
There are a million smoothie recipes out there, but I think one of the problems I always have is that I don’t always have the exact ingredients on hand to make the more interesting ones. They often call for either a type of fruit or liquid that eludes me at the moment. And unless I plan ahead for what smoothies I want to make for the week (Ha! Yeah right), I’m stuck to my own inventions.
And so, I’ve had to cultivate the art of making a good smoothie with whatever is in the house. It’s taken some time, but I have finally figured out the way to make a perfect smoothie every time.
Do you want to know the secrets? It can seriously revolutionize breakfast time, snack time, anytime.
I prefer yogurt smoothies because of the extra protein and nutritional punch, so I use that as a base. Beyond that, the sky is the limit.
This recipe makes about two full glasses of smoothie goodness. Drink it all, share it, or freeze the leftovers in popsicle molds.
Step 1: Yogurt (1/2 cup)
I usually have plain Greek yogurt in the refrigerator so that’s my go-to. Vanilla and other sweetened varieties can also be good; just avoid adding sweeteners later so you don’t go overboard.
Step 2: Liquid (1/2 cup)
You can get creative here; if you like a milky texture you can do milk or a milk substitute. If I have a sweetened yogurt then I usually choose milk; if my yogurt is unsweetened then I like some juice. Just know that the sugar content goes up substantially if you go the juice route. I know it sounds weird, but sometimes I mix milk and juice! It’s delicious when it’s all blended.
Other options include water or even a mild herbal or green tea. Not my favorites, so I stick to the ol’ milk and/or juice.
Step 3: Soft add-ins and fresh fruit (up to 2 cups)
More creative time! Add your soft ingredients next: things like avocados, bananas, even greens. Altogether you’re going to want about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit/veggies added at by the end, so keep that in mind if you’re planning on adding frozen fruit too.
When I have avocados I like to add about ¼ cup. They add a rich, buttery flavor and consistency; plus the healthy fats will keep you full longer. I also like bananas because I usually have some that are too mushy to eat, and they’re cheap. If you have frozen bananas, don’t add them yet.
As far as greens go, you can usually never go wrong with a big handful of baby spinach because it’s so mild. If you choose a more bitter green (like kale), I recommend using a citrus juice along to offset the bitterness.
Put the greens in underneath the heavier items so they’ll be pressed down towards the blades.
If you have fresh fruit, add that now too. If you’re feeling uncertain about what tastes good together, I’ll tell you a secret: all the fruit. Berries are my favorite, but alternatives include oranges and mangoes. I steer clear of grapes, melons and apples; however if you know a good combo then let me know!
I also like to add about a tablespoon of chia seeds. I dunno. Because they’re good for you. Other options include a tablespoon of coconut oil, a dash of vanilla and even a dash of salt (try it!). And if you haven’t used anything sweet up to this point you might want to add a squirt of honey.
Step 4: Blending round 1
Blend, blend, blend for up to a minute or two until everything is smooth! This is especially important if you have a wimpy blender like mine. Maybe someday I’ll get something a little nicer. I’ve got my eye on this one.
Step 5: Frozen fruit/ice
If you’ve already added all the fruit you want then this step is optional; you might want to blend in a handful of ice to make it cold.
Typically I buy a big bag of frozen fruit from Sam’s Club so I can just toss in a handful whenever I get the smoothie urge. Berries, mangoes and mixed fruit blend are my favorites.
Step 6: Blending round 2
This part could get ugly and loud. But wait it out. You know how a blender works. Hopefully you have a base that is smooth so that it’s not a big deal to blend in the chunky stuff.
If your blender gets stuck, turn it off and stir with a spoon. If it’s still having trouble, add in a little bit more liquid and blend again until you find the consistency you desire.
This step varies for me depending on the ratio of frozen fruit I’m using. It’s one reason I hope to eventually get a more powerful blender.
Step 7: Enjoy
Breakfast or snack time! I always like starting out my day with a couple of servings of fruits/veggies. So does my daughter.
Even when it makes her look like the Joker.
Step 8: Popsicles
Pour whatever leftovers you’ve got into some popsicle molds! Or even the whole batch! Done!
What are your tips for perfect smoothies? Feel free to link in the comments!
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