Summer is here, and you know what that means – smoothie season! I try to start each day with a green smoothie most days of the year, but when Summer hits and the array of fresh fruit starts hitting the farmer’s markets, smoothie season is in full swing. Read on to find out some of the best tips for the perfect smoothie this summer!
Who doesn’t love a nice, creamy smoothie on a hot summer day? Making smoothies at home can be a little daunting at first – which recipes to use, how to get the right consistency, ice or no ice? – but once you’ve got the basics down, you’ll be blending them up like a pro in no time.
Tips For The Perfect Smoothie
- Choose Your Base: Always start with the base, and build up from there. You can use water, milk, fruit juice, coconut water, etc. depending on the flavors you’re using. If I’m not using water, I love to use Silk Almond Milk, especially since my son is sensitive to dairy.
- Order Matters: The best way to add the ingredients to your blender is liquid, greens, frozen fruit, add-ins, ice (if using), and then fresh fruit at the very end (after pre-blending the other ingredients). If your blender is having a bit of trouble, try blending in layers, ie: blend the liquid with the greens first, then add frozen fruit and blend, etc.
- Freeze Your Own Fruit: Summer is the perfect time to stock up on fresh fruit and freeze it for later. Lay your fruit out on a cookie sheet, flash freeze it, then transfer to a bag or container to store in the freezer. When your bananas are too brown or mushy, simply peel them and freeze to use later.
- Add Greens: Fruit smoothies are great, but the only thing better is a boost of nutritious vitamins and minerals found in greens like kale, spinach, romaine, etc. Adding greens to your smoothie won’t alter the taste much, but will definitely alter the nutrition content, and it’s a great way to get veggies into your picky eaters!
- Vitamin C Boost: The iron in dark leafy greens is best absorbed by the body when combined with a dose of vitamin C. So adding some lemon, orange, grapefruit, etc. either whole or in juice form is a great way to enhance iron absorption while also adding a fresh, tart flavor.
- Super Food Add-Ins: Smoothies are a great way to top on those super foods! I love adding chia seeds, hemp seeds, hemp protein powder, flax seeds, or even a big old spoonful of peanut or almond butter for a healthy protein boost.
- Probiotics: I love yogurt, and I especially love adding it to smoothies. It not only makes them thick and creamy, but it also packs a nice probiotic punch. I’ve even frozen leftover whey in ice cubes and used those in smoothies. You can also add your probiotic supplement right into the blender.
- Ice or No Ice?: I usually don’t add ice unless it’s the off chance that I’m all out of frozen fruit – it happens. The best thing is to blend everything up first, and then if you feel you need some ice, go ahead and add about 5 cubes or so. Too much ice can make your smoothie watery and compromise on flavor, so add a little at a time.
- Recipes: Start off with a couple of basic recipes to get you started so you can get the hang of how much of each ingredient to add. A good basic formula is 2 cups liquid + 2 cups greens + 3 cups fruit. Then just top off with any add-ins you’re using and blend away! You can also check out simplegreensmoothies.com for some great recipes.
- Upgrade Your Blender: Although you don’t need a high-speed blender, they do make the job much easier. I used to use a cheap $40 blender, which works fine if you use the blending advice in #2 above. I recently upgraded to a medium-speed one, which has made a huge difference in time and consistency. I’m saving up for the coveted Vitamix though – psst! Keep reading to find out how you can WIN a Vitamix blender and other goodies below!
WIN a Silk Summer Smoothie Kit!
Enjoy Silk Smoothies all summer long with a Silk Summer Smoothie Kit! One prize will be awarded each week and readers can enter once daily. Each winner will receive a kit that includes a Vitamix blender, a $350 Visa gift card, a Silk tumbler, eight Silk coupons (each good for one free 1.89 L Silk of any variety), and five recipe cards. The contest has started and ends July 27, 2014. The contest is only open to Canadian residents only – excluding Quebec. Enter HERE for your chance to win a Silk Summer Smoothie Kit!
What are your best smoothie tips and recipes?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.