A Smoothie, described in the simplest terms, is a kind of “fruit-milkshake”, blending together a choice of fruits with a liquid base to create a drink with all the goodness and nutrition of eating fruit. An easy way to get your 5 a day, make sure the kids get their vitamin C with minimum fuss, and a great aid to a healthier lifestyle.
Traditionally, smoothies were created using a food blender or juicer, which is still perfectly apt for this purpose, but more recently dedicated smoothie makers have also appeared on the market, which have similar functions but with a few alterations making them more suitable for smoothies.
To Get the Best Results
Using frozen fruit gives smoothies a thicker consistency and you won’t have to wait for it to chill in the fridge before getting stuck in! If you’re freezing your fruit it’s best to spread the pieces on a plate initially so that they don’t freeze into one big lump. Once frozen they can go into a bag or a container. Chop up any larger fruits like bananas or melon so it freezes faster!
If your smoothie still turns out thinner than you’d like, you can thicken it up by adding ice cubes or yoghurt.
Keep it Healthy
Aside from the fruit, you need a liquid ‘base’ to make your smoothie drinkable. The most popular smoothie bases are fruit juice, yoghurt or ice-cream.
If you want your smoothie low in fat, fruit juice or water is probably the best choice, although skimmed milk and frozen yoghurt are also good substitutions. For a non-dairy option you could use rice milk or soy milk.
More recently the concept of the Green Smoothie has become popular; a mixture of fruit and vegetables, such as kale, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots and spinach, among others. They’re usually an unappetising green colour, but the trick is to add enough fruit that it still tastes good!
Tips for Perfect Preparation
When blending your smoothie it’s advisable to pour in the liquids first to prevent the blades from getting stuck in the fruit pieces. Starting off with a low-medium speed is the best way to get the fruit broken up (a higher speed may just push them all to the edge). Increase the speed gradually to ensure the minimum amount of pulp and chunks, finishing up on high speed to get your smoothie really ‘smooth’
- Is it smooth enough? Try sipping your creation through a straw – if it’s difficult to suck up or any bits get stuck, blend it for a little longer.
- Soft fruits such as banana or strawberry are more suitable for smoothie-making, as hard fruits like apple are more difficult to break down. If you do want to use these fruits, try putting them through a juicer to break them down a bit first.
- For a breakfast smoothie try adding oats, honey and yoghurt to produce a nutritious ‘Thickie’
- Don’t have time to make a smoothie every day? Make up a big batch and freeze individual portions, then simply remove them from the freezer to thaw whenever you want. Don’t forget to leave some space in the containers as the liquid will expand when freezing.
If you love smoothies, why not enter our competition* to win a Kenwood Smoothie Maker by telling us your favourite smoothie recipe.
*this competition has since ended, but don’t forget to keep an eye out for our future competitions.