Before you look at your budget to see if you can afford a daily smoothie from the local juice bar, consider making your own. It’s fun, affordable and easy.
To make your own smoothies, you only need: produce, a good blender and some recipes. Let’s take a closer look.
Smoothies can be made up of any combination of fruits or vegetables. Try not to think about the kind of produce, but rather what it contributes. That way you can build some really amazing tastes and textures. For example, you may think, “Spinach? In my smoothie? No way!” But spinach delivers a really nice earthy flavor in addition to a lot of nutrients. When you pair spinach with something naturally sweet, like strawberries or bananas, you don’t really taste “spinach.” Instead, you get a nice, sweet, complex flavour. Remember, most produce has naturally occurring sugars. When blended raw, you are getting a bit of sweetness without having to add refined sugar.
Bananas, avocados and cashews – just a bit of these make your smoothie rich and creamy without the addition of dairy or cream.
While fresh or frozen produce in prime condition is best, a tip to keep the produce affordable is to keep an eye on Flashfood’s produce boxes and the last-chance section at the grocery store. Be sure to use these up right away and discard any produce that shows signs of mold.
It is important to note that starchy root vegetables digest much slower than leafy greens. Avoid starchy root produce in your smoothies if you want to avoid indigestion! Beets are the exception; you can use just a little piece for colour and flavour. Root veggies are best for juicing, but leafy greens are great for smoothies.
Consider freezing your produce. Unless you have a special blender, most conventional blenders are not ice crushers. To get that nice, cold, thick and creamy smoothie texture you need to either add ice or blend frozen produce. It’s much easier to blend frozen produce. Bananas have a naturally high sugar content, so they seldom freeze rock solid. Even if nothing else in your smoothie starts off frozen, adding frozen bananas turns your smoothie into a cold, refreshing, decadent treat. It’s a great way to get a creamy smoothie without ice.
Save time by pre-bagging your smoothies in combinations you love. Freeze strawberry/banana/spinach, or avocado/mango in a bag. When it’s time to blend, just pop them in the blender with the milk or non-dairy milk of your choice. You can even blend with a little water if you prefer.
Home cooks love the Vitamix for good reason. It’s a powerful blender and can crush anything from ice to whole apples. However, that’s a big investment if you won’t be using it for other kitchen duties. Some other options are:
- Ninja Professional Blender
- Blendjet (it’s portable!)
- Instant Pot Ace Blender
- The Beast Blender (designed for countertops)
These are suggestions to get you started; don’t be shy about coming up with your own flavour combinations.
- Healthline has a list of easy recipes along with their nutritional benefits. Be sure to try their tropical avocado raspberry smoothie.
- Prevention has a list of both cup and bowl smoothie recipes so you can have your breakfast at the table or on the go.
- Well + Good has smoothies designed around heart health and lowering inflammation. Who wouldn’t love their turmeric, ginger and apple spice smoothie?
- Ready for veggies? A Couple Cooks has a great list of veggie-based smoothies for you to try. The beet smoothie is as pretty as it is tasty and the flavour is balanced with the addition of banana, pineapple and apple.
Get Started Today
So, what type of smoothie can you make with what you have on hand today? Give it a try. Smoothies are the fast, fun and delicious way to pack more produce and nutrients into your day…. every day.