Saturday, August 17, 2013

Smoothie Sailing

Maybe doing stuff in the kitchen isn't your thing, and you don't want to end up making something you'll end up throwing away. Maybe you just don't know where to begin. I have a basic formula of how to make great smoothies that can be adapted to any taste.  It's still hot outside and we need every bit of cool escape we can get.

Smoothies are fantastic. I especially love drinking one after a workout because you get amazing nourishment and the cold feels really nice after sweating like crazy. I follow a few "rules" to making a smoothie and I don't have to stick to one flavor every single day.

This isn't a recipe: these are basic necessities for creating a smoothie. We have another blog post that features a recipe if following step-by-step directions is your thing.

There's a few things you need for every single smoothie you make. The ingredients you chose to use can fulfill more than one of the required elements; they aren't mutually exclusive. I'll show you how I make my smoothies further down.

  1. Something frozen. 
  2. Something liquid.
  3. Something to sweeten.
  4. Fruit. 
The first thing you should do to make sure your smoothie comes out, well, smooth is to blend your frozen ingredient with your liquid. Always add your frozen ingredient to the blender first. Once that's blended you add your sweeteners and/or your fruit. I either make fruit smoothies or chocolate based smoothies.

If you follow the basics, you'll end up with a great smoothie each time. In every smoothie I make, I try to use a whole banana in the mix because they're, basically, a super-fruit. Even in the chocolate based smoothies, add a banana, their nutritional value is amazing; in these types of smoothies, the banana will be the fruit element.

For your fruit smoothies, you can cut up fresh fruit as soon as you buy it and divide it up into plastic bags to freeze. You'll have the perfect amount for your smoothie and you'll have your frozen and fruit bases covered. Right now, strawberries are crazy cheap and you can freeze them without worrying about them going bad.

I usually use milk for my liquid, but for the fruit smoothies, you can use juice. For the chocolate based smoothies, you can use iced coffee for an extra kick (I haven't done so yet, but the sky's the limit!). If you want a little extra sweet added to your smoothie, you can use honey, (a small amount of) sugar, yogurt, or a chocolate drink powder (that has nutrients).

For anyone else that grew up in a Mexican household.

Let me show you how I make my smoothies.

I use a travel cup blender because it's the perfect serving size, it's easy to use, and it's a travel cup.

If you have fresh fruit, take advantage of it. Blend some ice and milk until the ice is perfectly crushed. Add your fruit (a good place to start is strawberry and banana but you can add whatever you please), approximately a half a teaspoon of honey. Blend again until you no longer have any big chunks of fruit. Notice how you've got all four of your elements present.

Once you freeze some fruit, all you have to do is add some milk and your sweetener and then blend. If you have some extra time, you can freeze your yogurt into chips and then add to your plastic bags for later.

Ready for the freezer

For a chocolate-based smoothie, blend ice (or iced coffee frozen into ice cubes) with milk. Once smooth, add cocoa powder (or chocolate drink mix), a banana and a teaspoon of instant coffee. I have, also, forgone all the coffee and added peanut butter instead. You really can't limit yourself; add Nutella if you want.

Next time you find yourself craving something sweet, cold and nutritious, you can think back to the four basics of smoothie making and create a healthy treat. You really can't go wrong with these elements, except trying to make a "chocolate covered strawberry" smoothie, which sounds good in theory (I'm not saying it's gross, just proceed with caution).

Let me know how this works for you.


Julia Bodiford said...

This is an epic smoothie blog. I think I may change some of my smoothie making ways. 0_o

Patricia Peralta said...

I'm happy to open your mind to new things. :)

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