Homemade smoothies are easy to make and customize. They are an excellent way to add nutrition to your diet and use up ripe fruit. Keep reading to learn how to make a creamy smoothie at home.
What are the best things to put in a smoothie?
Smoothies can be a healthy breakfast or snack, provided they are filled with a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Unlike juices, smoothies don’t strip away the fiber from vegetables and fruits so they’re more filling.
There are very few rules when it comes to how to make a creamy smoothie at home. Just about any fruit will work, so choose your favorites. Smoothies have several basic ingredients:
Frozen fruit gives smoothies a creamy milkshake-like texture. The best way to freeze fruit is to wash it, slice it into pieces and lay it out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes and then transfer to a zip-top freezer bag. If you don’t have time to freeze your fruit, you can add ice to your smoothie but it will be more watery.
Here are some fruit suggestions:
- Berries, such as hulled and halved strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries
- Chunks of peeled mango, papaya, pineapple, or melon
- Pitted cherries, peaches, or nectarines
- Banana chunks
- Sliced and colored apples
- Peeled kiwi or pear slices
- Orange, Lemon, or Lime sections
How do you freeze bananas?
Frozen bananas are probably one of the most popular ingredients to add to a smoothie. They make amazingly creamy smoothies with just a hint of natural sweetness. Plus we always seem to have an overripe banana or two.
To freeze bananas, peel them, break them into three or four chunks, and freeze them in a single layer on a sheet pan. Once the bananas have frozen transfer them to a zip-top freezer bag and label with the date and contents.
Tossing in a handful is a great way to sneak in an extra serving of vegetables in your day. Start with 1/2 a cup. Here are some great vegetables to try:
- Cooked Butternut, Pumpkin, or Acorn Squash
- Baby Spinach
- Baby Kale
- Tougher greens like kale or collard greens should be removed from their stems.
- Cooked Beets
- Zucchini – peeled if the skin is tough
- Carrots – cut or grated into small pieces
- Cooked Cauliflower
- Cucumbers – peeled if the skin is tough
- Cooked Sweet Potato
To save money stick to in-season produce. You can also buy extra in-season produce and freeze it (washed and dried, sliced and pitted, if necessary) in 2-cup portions in zip-top freezer bags. Fruit can be frozen for up to nine months.
For information on which produce is currently in season, check out these seasonal produce guides:
- January Seasonal Produce Guide
- February Seasonal Produce Guide
- March Seasonal Produce Guide
- April Seasonal Produce Guide
- May Seasonal Produce Guide
- June Seasonal Produce Guide
- July Seasonal Produce Guide
- August Seasonal Produce Guide
- September Seasonal Produce Guide
- October Seasonal Produce Guide
- November Seasonal Produce Guide
- December Seasonal Produce Guide
When adding fruit to your smoothie aim for about 2 cups of fruit.
To thicken your smoothie you can add sweetened or unsweetened yogurt. Any variety of yogurt will work. (regular, Greek, coconut or soy) You could also add a banana, avocado, tofu, protein powder, or nut butter. Adding about 1/4 cup of a thickener is ideal.
The liquid in your smoothie can be any type of juice, milk, or water. Some options to try are no-sugar-added juices or milk, including whole, skim, or low-fat milk, coconut milk, rice milk, soy milk, cashew milk, almond milk, etc. About 1 cup of liquid makes a perfect consistency. If you skipped the thickener, use less liquid as well.
Additional ingredients such as vegetables, nuts, hemp, honey, flax-seeds, chia seeds, coconut, oatmeal, dried fruits, chocolate chips, cookies, extracts, herbs, and spices can also be added.
Do you have to put ice in a smoothie?
Nope. Smoothies don’t need ice. In fact, I prefer them without ice. Ice is really difficult for a blender to chop up. Which means there are often small bits of ice that aren’t blended into the smoothie. As the ice melts it dilutes the flavor. Rather than add ice to a smoothie simply use frozen fruit instead.
What’s the best way to blend a smoothie?
Use a high-quality blender to blend your smoothie. Blending frozen fruit isn’t an easy job. I currently use a Ninja blender. It does a pretty good job, but sometimes I have to stop and push the fruit down towards the blade. My dream blender is a Vitamix blender.
Follow these seven simple steps to make a homemade creamy smoothie perfectly every time:
- Add the liquids first to avoid jamming up the blades.
- Next, add greens if you are using them.
- Add the frozen ingredients. (Frozen Fruit or Fresh Fruit and Ice)
- Then add the thickeners.
- Finally, add any add-ins.
- Start blending at low speed. Then gradually increase the speed and blend to your desired consistency. Starting at a lower speed allows the larger pieces of fruit and ice to blend before they are pushed up and away from the blades.
- Rinse and wash your blender container with soap and warm water immediately. Nothing is worse than scraping dried smoothie out of all of the nooks and crannies.
How long do I blend a smoothie?
Blend time will depend upon the strength of your blender and the ingredients you have added. One clue to look for is that the smoothie is fully circulating within the blender for about 5 seconds with no visible chunks. This could take up to 2-3 minutes.
Do smoothies keep overnight?
Personally I think smoothies taste best fresh. But if you do need to store your smoothie here are some tips.
A thick smoothie will last in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours and still maintain its flavor but may become runny as ingredients melt. To store a smoothie in the refrigerator, pour it into a tightly sealed container such as a Mason jar.
If your mornings are busy, why not make up freezer smoothie packs? Freeze individual servings of your chopped smoothie produce in a labeled zip-top freezer bag. In the morning simply add your liquid, frozen fruit, and thickener to your blender. Blend and go! Smoothie freezer packs will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Now that we have covered the basics, start experimenting. Discover which fruits and vegetables you like together. Tweek the amount of liquid to get your perfect consistency. Look for flavors and textures which complement each other. Try a variety of add-ins. If you are still a little unsure or just really like having a recipe to follow, I have included even more smoothie recipes for you to try below.
More recipes to try
This power smoothie has greens plus the sweetness of berries! Loaded with antioxidants and great for your digestive tract!
This simple, healthy Strawberry Blueberry Banana Smoothie makes a fabulous breakfast or snack for the whole family.
Avocados and beets are two amazing superfoods. Blend them together in this Easy Avocado Beet smoothie recipe to stay fueled and feel great. This healthy smoothie is ready in just a few minutes.
This non-dairy fruit smoothie uses an orange juice base rather than milk. It is so simple and delicious!
This low carb keto peanut butter smoothie recipe needs only 5 ingredients. You can enjoy this creamy smoothie for a quick breakfast or snack.
Mango green smoothie recipe – Only 4 ingredients smoothie that is healthy yet delicious with tropical and creamy flavors.
A dairy-free raspberry cheesecake smoothie! The ingredients are simple and what could be easier than throwing everything into a blender?!