This basic smoothie recipe shows you how to make smoothies of all kinds, including fruit smoothies, vegetable smoothies or a combination of the two.
The basic smoothie formula is:
- 2-3 parts fruit or vegetables (2-3 cups)
- 1 to 1-1/2 parts liquid (1 to 1-1/2 cups)
- 1/2 part yogurt or other thickener (1/2 cup)
Fruit or Vegetable Options for Making Smoothies
I like to use frozen fruit and vegetables for my smoothies (yes, I will use frozen spinach or broccoli in smoothies). I find it gives the smoothies a frosty, milkshake-like texture that is pleasing to the kids (and me).
But frozen fruit, especially big fruits like strawberries, can be tough to puree in a regular blender. If you don't have a high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix or Blendtec (compare prices), you might want to make your smoothies with fresh fruits and vegetables. You can add ice to make the smoothie frosty, but be aware that these smoothies tend to be a bit more watery.
Another alternative is just to make your smoothies in a food processor. Most food processors can crush the frozen fruit as well as a smoothie blender, it's just not as easy to pour the smoothie out of a food processor.
What types of fruit can you add to your smoothies? Anything you can imagine! Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, grapes, bananas, oranges...you're only limited to your imagination.
If you can't buy the fruit already frozen, simply wash it and cut it into pieces, then place it on a baking sheet that has been lined with waxed paper. Freeze for 30 minutes, then transfer to a freezer-safe storage bag. Your frozen fruit will be ready to use whenever you like.
The Liquid Component of the Basic Smoothie RecipeFor the liquid component of your smoothies, you can use any type of juice - I recommend all-natural, no-sugar-added juices or milk, including whole, skim or low-fat milk, coconut milk, rice milk, soy milk, almond milk, etc. You can even make smoothies with coffee - though I wouldn't recommend that for the kids!
The Yogurt or Thickening Component of the Basic Smoothie RecipeI typically use an all-natural sweetened or unsweetened yogurt for my smoothies. Either regular, Greek or soy yogurt works well. You can even use coconut milk yogurt.
If I'm using a sweetened yogurt, such as vanilla yogurt or another flavor, I won't normally add any sweetener to my smoothies, since the combination of the sugars from the fruit, juice and yogurt is usually sweet enough. But if I'm using plain yogurt, I might add honey, maple syrup or even a teaspoon of chocolate hazelnut spread (like Nutella) to add sweetness to the smoothie.
How to Make Smoothies More InterestingYou don't have to stick to the basic smoothie recipe for all of your smoothies. There are lots of ways to jazz up smoothies. Consider adding nuts, honey, flaxseeds, coconut, oatmeal, dried fruits, chocolate chips or even cookies and spices to make your smoothies more interesting. For example, when I'm trying to make a smoothie taste like a certain dessert, such as my pumpkin smoothies, I might add graham crackers and cinnamon.
Coming up tomorrow
How to Make a Strawberry Smoothie - Learn how to make the most popular smoothie recipe ever.