Smoothies are special nutritious drinks that can be used as meal replacements. These thick, milkshakes textured drinks are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals derived from fruits and vegetables.
While anyone can benefit from this nutritious drink and include it easily in their daily routine, people who are weight watchers and fitness enthusiasts greatly rely on smoothies to stay healthy and fit.
Most of us are well aware of how smoothies can be made but this article discusses the right method of concocting this healthy beverage so you don’t miss out on any nutrient while aiming to use this drink and maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle.
The Process of Making a Smoothie
Smoothies are highly nutritious and they are a convenient healthy snack. The best part is that with few basic ingredients on hand you can easily prepare this drink for yourself without any difficulties.
Usually, a smoothie (also spelled as smoothy) is prepared by blending together pureed fruits and vegetables of your choice with milk, yogurt or ice-creams.
Things you must take care of…
A vitamin packed smoothie is the best way to refresh yourself and get all the energy to stay active throughout the day.
The general formula for making a smoothie that most of the people follow is:
- 1 – 2 cups of liquid (milk, yogurt etc)
- ½ a cup fruits and vegetables
- Sweetener to taste
- 1 tsp of favorite flavor extract (optional)
- 3 – 4 cubes of ice
If you have been planning on including smoothies to your daily diet, we advise that you take care of the following things to make sure your smoothy is nutritious and delicious every time.
- Ensure the Right Ratios
To make a smoothy that is delicious and tempting it is important that the ratios of all the ingredients are carefully measured, and they are right.
Yes! Your smoothie shouldn’t be too runny or too thick to swallow. Either way, smoothy loses its taste and charm. It may become bland making it difficult to be consumed on daily basis.
When preparing a single serving, start by putting 2 mugs of liquid base that could be wither milk, yogurt, or ice-cream…or may be any non-dairy alternative like the soya milk or almond milk etc. Never put the fruits into the blender before the liquids, because it is the liquids that provide the base for the purees or fruits that must go into the drink.
Next step is to add the fruits or vegetables of your choice, not more than three quarters of the mug. It is ideal to add banana along with other fruits of your choice, as it gives a nice, smooth and silky texture to the smoothies.
Finally add a natural sweetener to this nutritious snack. Add a squeeze of honey, maple syrup or agave syrup if your smoothie needs it and finally add a few ice cubes to the blender for a thick and frosty smoothie. You can also add dates to the smoothie, this would not only sweeten the drink but it was also act as an extreme energy booster.
- Use Frozen Fruits
Yes! It is ideal to freeze the fruits you like to add to the smoothies, if you have plans of consuming this beverage on a daily basis. Not only does it save time but it also allows the fruits to retain their nutrients and natural colors. Moreover, these frozen foods will instantly chill your smoothie and you wouldn’t need to add ice cube (which means adding water to the smoothie in a way).
While you can easily find frozen fruits at the super stores, we recommend that you take out some time and prepare your own frozen fruit bags. Remember, fruits even like banana are fine to freeze. Simply peel them and then slice them before you put them in the freezer. They will not turn brown.
Similarly, strawberries and melons may not freeze properly but you can still put them in the freezer and they would work excellently fine. You will make a great smoothie that would taste incredible!
- Be Creative
Another important thing to make a perfect smoothie is to be creative while deciding your ingredients based on your own specific needs.
For example, if you prefer beverages with a stronger taste you may add spices like cinnamon powder, grated nutmeg or vanilla essence or ground flaxseeds or chia seeds to your recipe.
If you want to enhance the flavor even more, using cocoa powder to the smoothie would also help a lot.
The fitness freaks may even add protein powder or any other sports formula to their smoothies.
If you like to have more healthy options, you can also use coconut water as a liquid base, and vegetables like beetroot, spinach, kale and even oats and chopped nuts to your healthy drink.
So it is totally up to you how you want to modify the recipe, based on your own needs. And this should not be a problem after you have mastered the basic technique of making this nutritious beverage.
The Different Types of Smoothies you can make!
People have been making smoothies for quite some time, and their creativity in trying out new ingredients has led to the development of different types or categories of smoothies, which can be roughly divided into the following:
- Fruit Smoothies: A smoothie made from fruits, specifically for their sweet flavor.
- Green Smoothies: Smoothies typically dark green in color due to their use of dark vegetable greens such as spinach, kale, avocado etc.
- Healthy Smoothies: Any smoothie whose aim is to optimize the amount of nutritional content, with the goal of replacing supplements and providing all of one’s daily recommended vitamins and macro-nutrients in a natural form. One such example is the smoothie that contains blueberries, beetroot, spinach, bananas, mangoes etc.
- Weight Loss Smoothies: These typically exclude any added sugar (with the aim of minimizing the overall glycemic load of the smoothie), and may contain healthy, low caloric ingredients like coconut water, nuts, oats, flax seed or almond butter to help satiate one’s appetite. Caffeine based stimulants if added to the smoothie can further promote weight loss by both increasing metabolism and reducing appetite.
- Dessert Smoothies: Dessert smoothies typically contain added sugar or fat in the form of ice cream or syrups.