It's summertime, the perfect time for a smoothie. And if you're cultivating a smoothie addiction then you may be at the point where you need a few tips regarding the smoothie life.
As you build your smoothie place the liquid and/or fresh ingredients in the blender jar first. So this includes soy milk, regular milk, water, oranges, berries, nectarines, kiwis, etc. Placing the liquids and juicy fruits nearest the blade ensures that blade assembly won't whir fruitlessly whilst you waste electricity (green tip). If you place all your frozen items in the jar first (at the bottom), then often your smoothie-making time lengthens (time management & productivity tip) as your blender blade bogs down with burden of frozen items.Then you end up removing the lid, stirring the contents, pushing liquify again, watching more impotent whirring. Repeat. And there you stand, jonesing for your smooothie. Repeat with gnashing of teeth.
Through trial and error I've found that adding my powdered items second, just after the liquid, helps distribut them throughout the smoothie. Try it and see. So these are protein powders, and ground seeds and nuts you might use like almonds, pistachios, walnuts, etc. Chia and sesame are small enough that I leave them whole. But most blenders won't pulverize nuts, and you can't suck whole nuts through your straw (eighty-six the straw unless it's a reusable stainless-steel--green tip). You need to hand-chop/grind nuts with a knife, spice mill, mortar & pestle or buy them already prepped. I use Bob's Red Mill organic brown flaxseed meal and almond meal (they have hazelnut meal as well). Speaking of other "powders," I add spices to my smoothies such as cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger.
Freeze your bananas. I know, it's crazy. But fresh bananas don't do well in the blender. Just try it and see. Let me know what your experience with that is. Mine is this: They mush. They chunk. And they don't get small enough to incorporate well within the smoothie. This tip straight from The Body Reset Diet. Chop frozen bananas into coins and then pop them into your blender jar with other frozen fruits for your smoothie.
Let your frozen fruits (and veggies as the case may be) thaw a few minutes before blending. Received this advice straight from KitchenAid after burning through one drive/gasket on my blender. When you let them thaw, your blender's blade has less work to do and this extends the life of your blender. However, I like a thicker smoothie, more along the lines of a "freezie", and I don't necessarily follow this advice. But, if you want to save energy (green tip) and conserve your appliances then this tip is for you.
Take risks with your protein sources. Sure you like bananas, and they're high in protein, but also contain 27.5g of sugar. So incorporating chia seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, almonds, walnuts, and other sources of protein like avocados into your smoothie for variety and to meet your daily nutritional serving requirements thus keeping your glycemic index intake low is important if your goal with consuming smoothies is health and lifestyle related. Man, that was a long sentence. Sorry.
Experiment with texture/thickness/thinness by adding liquid, ice, or semi-solid ingredients. After you've made a few dozen smoothies you'll figure out your smoothie preferences: whether you like a thin smoothie, a thick smoothie, or one in-between. When you over or under-do, correcting the smoothie is as simple as adding more to your blender jar. When it's too thick, add soy milk or water. When it's too watery, add ice. When it's too thin, add a fibery fruit, skin on.
While glassware is prettiest and shows off your blending-prowess for all to admire, a smoothie in your hand makes the hand cold. Use an insulated double wall plastic tumbler; they're all the rage, especially the BPA-free variety. One of the best things about the smoothie is its portability (time management) thus making it an excellent meal for those people between places.
Clean-up by rinsing your utensils, cutting board, and blender jar and lid immediately after use and drying with a dishcloth (or air-drying) so you don't have to run those items through the dishwasher (green tip) and they're ready for re-use immediately.
Any questions? Suggestions? Would love your input on how I can make your and my smoothie experiences better. Oh, and hey, why not follow my blog with Bloglovin?