Few things are quite as refreshing and delicious as a homemade smoothie. And as it starts to get warmer in the coming months, you’ll likely be craving them more and more.
But if you’re anything like us, it’ll take a while for you to craft a smoothie that achieves the perfect texture, packs in the proper nutrients, and optimizes your flavors to maximize your smoothie experience. (Really, they should teach a course on the science of the smoothie-making!)
Lucky for you, we’re here to impart our plant-based knowledge with yet another resource to help you #EatPlantsForAChange—or more accurately #DrinkPlantsForAChange this time around!
So whether you’re in need of a way to cool off or just want to learn how to start your day with a healthier option, you’ve come to the right place.
1. Strawberry banana is boring
The first thing we need to get out of the way is that a simple strawberry banana smoothie isn’t going to cut it anymore. Yes, there might be some hallmarked nostalgia for your favorite yogurt flavor from your childhood, but it doesn’t make for a very satisfying smoothie. If you want to be seen as a smoothie expert (or just make smoothies more delicious) you need to up your game! We’re talking tangelo, blackberry, honeydew melon, or papaya. Pick up a different fruit from the produce section every week to try out different combinations that will tantalize your taste buds.
2. Frozen’s not just a good movie
A key mistake smoothie beginners make is depending solely on fresh produce for their fruity blends. While we certainly support using fresh fruit if and when you can, it can become a touch prohibitive. Not only do fresh berries tend to cost a little more, but they spoil if you don’t use them quickly enough. Instead, we have two easy suggestions: 1) Buy your fruit frozen to save money and prep time and 2) If you don’t, freeze it before it turns! Pro-tip: Peel and cut any produce that needs it before you freeze it to save yourself the hassle later on.
3. Go green!
Here’s the thing, smoothies aren’t just for fruit. You might think that smoothies with vegetables don’t taste good, but we’d counterpoint with: Have you ever had a green smoothie? They’re delicious! Plus, they’re packed with micronutrients that’ll benefit your skin, gut, and immune system. Leafy greens like baby spinach and baby kale will pack a nutrient punch without making your smoothie taste like grass. (This is a must-try for those with picky kids in their life!) But for those that want to go full-on kale, try some ginger or lemon to mask the stronger earth notes while giving your blend a little kick!
4. Or nutty
Besides the standard fruits and veggies there are plenty of extra add-ins you can use to upgrade your smoothies. For instance, a tablespoon of nut butter will add just a touch of salt and fat that’ll pair nicely with berries, while adding some extra creaminess. Flax or chia seeds will give your blend some texture and supply you with some essential Omega-3 fatty acids. And if you are looking for a way to bulk up, mix in some oatmeal or plant-based protein powder.
5. Water you doing?
One of the first things you’ll notice when looking at different smoothie recipes is that they often call for plant-based milk or yogurt. While this can certainly help you create a more luscious smoothie, it’ll also add another expense to your blends. Just use some water! Replacing half of the milk (or more) with water, & you’ll cut down on costs without sacrificing deliciousness. You might even cut out some calories, if you're concerned about that! Alternatively, using some fresh banana can help to maintain a silky, smooth texture.
6. Embrace Your Inner "Smoothie Artist".
If our tips above aren’t everything you need, it's time to try out a bold, new recipe! Using online food blogs or recipe books as a resource is a great way to get back in touch with your creative side and to bring your smoothie game to peak performance. Here's a small collection to get you started:
Who says a cookie can't be a smoothie? Not us.
No frills here—just pure, innocent deliciousness.
Kickstart your metabolism with a little heat!
When your body needs equal parts candy and detox...
For those who can't have their cake and eat it too... just drink it instead!
Tequila optional, of course.
It's as easy as A-B-C, really: Follow these simple smoothie hacks and mind-boggling recipes, and you'll be getting your expert smoothie badge before you know it! (Though we're not sure where you apply for something like that...)
We want to see your smoothie creations! Tag us and use the hashtag #EatPlantsForAChange on social media.