Part 1 of our guide [Selecting Smoothie Ingredients] walked through how to choose smoothie ingredients. Now, we’ve come to our favorite step: blending. Every Vitamix blender can make incredible smoothies, but there are some tips and tricks you should be aware of to get the optimal blend in the shortest amount of time. We’ll also cover how to adjust a blend if it didn’t turn out quite how you expected.
Loading the Container
Loading ingredients into the container in the correct order is one of the best ways to prevent air pockets from forming around the blade (called cavitation), which can stall the blend. Following this order also helps insure the smoothie is completely blended, with no chunks or lumps floating around in your drink.
Blending on High
This applies to just about everything you make in your Vitamix, not just smoothies. Whether you’re making smoothies, soups, or even thicker blends like hummus or sorbet, you’ll almost always get the best results by starting the blender on low and quickly ramping up to high. Blending on high not only reduces blend time, it also helps keep the motor cool. There are a few exceptions, so always follow the recipe instructions–but when in doubt, turn it to high.
Smoothie Tips, Tricks, and Quick Fixes
How to Make a Smoothie Thinner
Add small amounts of water, milk, or juice. Work your machine back up to its highest speed, and process for 10-20 seconds.
Tip: The lid plug of your Vitamix doubles as a small measuring container.
How to Make a Smoothie Thicker
Use or add frozen fruit (especially bananas), add more ice, or add frozen yogurt. Work your machine back up to its highest speed, and process for 20-30 seconds
Tip: Add a variety of fruits/vegetables or greens in an assortment of textures.
How to Make a Smoothie Less Bitter
Pineapple and oranges both add lots of fruity sweetness. Banana, in addition to being sweet, seems to neutralize bitter flavors. Strawberries are also good choices for smoothies. Also try adding a bit of vanilla bean or vanilla extract, agave, cacao, or unsweetened cocoa powder. Flavored protein powders will also mask the taste of bitter greens. After adding these ingredients, work your machine back up to its highest speed, and process for 10-20 seconds.
Tip: Baby greens are generally milder than mature greens. Tastes do change and adapt to new eating habits over time. Try working up to bitter greens by combining small amounts of them with the spinach in your smoothie. Then gradually adjust the ratio as your taste buds adapt. To counteract a chalky taste, add more fruit and/or other ingredients in the recipe. Work your machine backup to its highest speed, and process for 10-20 seconds. Adding more protein powder can give you too much of a good thing; use amounts recommended onthe label.
How to Make a Smoothie Less Sweet
Add a touch of lemon or lime juice. Work your machine back up to its highest speed, and process for 10-20 seconds.
Tip: Fruits add their own natural sweetness, so use a balance of sweet and citrus fruits and reduce or eliminate other sweeteners.
How to Make a Smoothie Sweeter
Add naturally sweet fruits or dates. Using watermelon in place of water will sweeten a smoothie. Work your machine back up to its highest speed, and process for 10-20 seconds.
Tip: A little sweetener goes a long way, so add small amounts at a time.
How to Make a Smoothie Creamier
Avocado is ideal for adding creaminess to smoothies. Its mild flavor disguises its nutritional wallop. After removing its skin and pit, you can add a whole avocado to your smoothie, or save some for the next day. As an alternative, add ice cream, frozen yogurt, or vanilla yogurt for more creaminess. Work your machine back up to its highest speed, and process for 10-20 seconds.
Tip: Smoothies need the right blend of liquid and solid ingredients to achieve just the right texture.