Part of the fun of owning a high-powered blender like one from Vitamix is experimenting with your own smoothie combinations once you’ve mastered a few basic recipes. Turn your home into your own test kitchen and set yourself up for delicious success with these simple tips for how to make perfect smoothies.
The most delicious combinations blend sweet and acidic flavors, such as pineapple-mango, coconut-lime, and strawberry-banana.
Thickness + Texture
Some combinations lend themselves to a particular thickness and texture. If you’re craving a smoothie that’s rich and creamy, consider combining ingredients like yogurt, dates and almond milk. If you want something light and refreshing, try something like coconut water blended with pineapple, cucumber and mint for a juice-like consistency.
Since we eat with our eyes first, it’s important to consider color when playing around with your own recipes, especially when feeding picky kids. A green smoothie can quickly turn brown with the addition of blue or red berries.
Before you divide a whole batch of smoothies into glasses and serve, get into the habit of pouring a small test sip, and tasting it to determine if any tweaks are needed.
Checking for sweetness is key, especially since the natural sugars in fruits can vary so much by variety and season. Test your fruit smoothie as-is before adding any additional sweeteners. If your mixture is bitter, add more fruit or a few drops of agave. Too sweet? A little acid like a squeeze of lemon will balance the flavors.
The more smoothies you make, the more easily you’ll be able to correctly guesstimate the right liquid-to-solid ratio. Until then, adjust too-thin mixtures by adding some yogurt or a banana and blending for 10 to 20 seconds. Too thick? Add a little more water, milk, juice, or other liquid. Generally, start with ¼ cup liquid for every 1 cup solid ingredients.
The best way to keep a smoothie routine from going stale is to continually play with ingredients. Mix things up with liquids beyond milks and juices, by trying green tea, coconut water, and even coffee. Open up your routine to fruits like melons, persimmons, figs, pears, and apricots. Consider delicate greens like lettuces or pea shoots, and veggies such as cucumbers, avocados and fennel. Try tossing in herbs like mint, lemon verbena or basil into fruit smoothies; parsley or cilantro into green juices. Add a dash of cinnamon or turmeric. And get creative with the miscellaneous ingredients you have sitting in your pantry: a spoonful of matcha powder or lemon curd can help you reinvent a favorite smoothie recipe.
There are countless ways to up the nutrition of your smoothies, from superfoods like açai berries, to seeds including chia and flax, spices, and a huge variety of protein powders.
Keep a handful of ingredients on hand like shelf-stable nut butters and non-dairy milks—plus frozen fruit and spinach—and you’ll always be ready to create your next signature smoothie.