Smoothies are instantly prepared juicy dishes. These are great means for providing the richness and nutritional benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables in our diet, during breakfast or as a supper.
Smoothies are sweet dishes prepared in quick time by mixing two to three cups of frozen fruit cubes with one cup of liquid (juice or milk). Additionally, one might also add yogurt or ice cubes. A morning time smoothie generally contains protein powder or fibers, in order to provide a mix of relishing taste and nutrition. During the process of blending, the desired texture and flavor of smoothie is obtained.
At least one liquid ingredient forms a part of most of the smoothies. Mostly, dairy products like milk or cream are used to prepare morning smoothies. However, one may even use almond milk. Liquid and solid ingredients are present in smoothies in the ratio 3:4.
General method of preparing smoothies
The method of preparing any variety of smoothies is similar. Blending of the constituents is the actual determinant in developing the texture desired in the final product.
Fruits are selected for making the base of smoothies, adding to its juiciness. For making smoothie, we need reconstituted dried fruit. Any of the soft and pulpy fruits like bananas, peaches, melons and grapes may be used as a prime ingredient for preparing smoothies. Few other fruits which are selected to make cool looking smoothies are blueberries, raspberries, apples, bananas, mangoes and avocado.
When the liquid is added initially, the spinning blades of the electric blender help in driving the bigger ingredients to the topside of the mixture. If greater chunks are pushed laterally, an air bubble formation might be the result. In this case, the spaces for liquid currents will be reduced to aid the mixing process. It is at this very step that the frothy texture, providing a relishing look to smoothies develops.
Electric blenders are preferred for mixing the ingredients, since these help to develop smooth and uniform consistency of final product. Alternately, one may use a food processor. In order to avoid leakage, liquid added must be less than the normal value. An immersion blender might be used as they help in mixing small portions of the liquid in a single serving glass. With the help of two teaspoons of sugar, honey, agave and other sweeteners, one can be able to prepare 2 smoothies.
- 125-500 ml fruit
- 375 ml liquid
- 3-4 ice cube
- 125 ml green veggies or herbs
- 2-4 tbsp protein powder
- Sweetener for taste
Materials and equipments required
- 2-3 bowls
- Food processor
- Electric blender/immersion blender
Step 1: Preparation of fruit ingredients
Smoothies are mainly prepared with the help of juicy fruits which do contain lots of moisture. E.g. Mangoes, oranges, pineapple, raspberry etc. Fruits are cut into fine pieces, with the help of a sharp edged knife or in a food processor. Sometimes the solution tends to get too watery. In that case, protein powder needs to be added for developing proper consistency of the solution.
Step 2: Addition of liquid ingredients: Skimmed milk is generally used. Alternately, one may use yogurt, soy milk, Greek yogurt, fruit juice, tea, ice cream or water etc.
Step 3: Protein powder addition
About 30-60 ml protein powder equivalent to 2 to 4 tablespoons is added.
Step 4: Addition of fresh extracts to smoothies
Green vegetables like spinach and herbs like parsley could be added for enhancing the flavor of smoothies. The proportion of vegetables added must be such that they do not disturb the sweet fruity flavors.
Step 5: Additions of sweeteners
Sweeteners can be added to enhance taste of smoothies. Some of the sweeteners are ripe bananas, honey, nectar and artificial sweeteners like ‘splenda’.
Step 6: Adding flavor enhancers
In order to enhance the flavor of smoothie, it is advisable to add 1 tsp vanilla extract, cinnamon for digestion, peanut butter; almond extracts etc. Besides, one may also pour ice cubes or frozen fruits into the mix, to generate a brighter flavor.
Step 7: Adding ice cubes or frozen fruits
Frozen fruits are used for preparing milkshake thick smoothie while ice cubes can enable to provide liquefied texture.
Step 8: Blending and digestion
Once the ingredients are available, one is required to whirl it in an electric blender. Put the lid over the blender and bring it in on position. As soon as blender starts, the fruit is gradually digested very nicely in the mixture. The initial operating speed is kept low and the rate is gradually increased. Blending is in a way and upto the time when the most desired consistency is reached. Blending method and timings are different for smoothly textured and chunky smoothie. The percentage of ice cubes added also determines the chunkiness of the smoothies.
Step 9: Setting
Once the ice cubes of frozen fruits are well blended into the mix, the mixture should be left idle so that it gets one minute setting time. A nice healthy mixture is formed, which is then poured in a glass.
Step 10: Garnishing
In order for garnishing the smoothie, one may add berries, mint, flat leaf parsley. To provide a tropical touch, a tiny umbrella may be added.
Peanut butter banana smoothie
It is a fruit and vegetable mixed food and hence rich in vitamins and minerals. It is also protein rich, owing to presence of soy milk.
- 1 banana
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- ½ cup soy milk
- 2 tbsp honey
The preparation technique is quite simple and only a blender is needed. The ingredients are well blended for 30 to 60 seconds, so that a uniform composition is achieved. Overripe bananas may also be used.
Peanut butter and jelly smoothie
It is a viscous and gel like smoothie with an elegant constitution and sweet relishing taste.
- One cup vanilla yogurt
- 2 tbsp peanut butter Half cup milk
- 2 cups of frozen strawberries
- Peanut butter
- Blend yogurt, milk and peanut butter so as to get a uniform composition.
- Add strawberries and blend for rendering the mixture smooth. Peanut butter and jelly smoothie is ready for serving.
Basic fruit smoothie
It is formed by combining moist and soft fruits like banana and orange, making it rich in Vitamin A and C. The mixed solution yield, mixed with ice, is sweet in taste. In addition, it acts as health and fitness centric diet.
- 500 ml strawberries
- 1 banana
- 1 peach
- 125 ml orange juice
- 250 ml ice
- Firstly, combine strawberries, peach and banana with the aid of a blender, so that a puree is formed.
- To this puree, add orange and ice. Blend again for uniformity of composition. Basic fruit smoothie is ready for serving.
Power berry smoothie
Power berry smoothie is a health boosting meal, during breakfast or smoothie. It is a combination of many varieties of berries, yogurt, honey and water. It is rich in proteins with a value of 9g. It is also antioxidant rich.
- 250 ml frozen berries(including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries)
- 125 ml water
- 60 ml low fat yogurt
- 5 ml honey
- 1 tbsp soy protein powder
- Mix frozen blueberries and strawberries with water and low fat yogurt. Mix honey and soy protein into the mix.
- Blend the ingredients, forming uniform smooth mixture. Power berry smoothie is ready. Serve instantly for best flavors.
Smoothies can be prepared with various fruits and ingredients in varying compositions. Essentially, the preparation mechanism is similar. The fruit pulp or juice, liquid, butter, honey or chocolate are mashed in a blender to yield a uniformly prepared solution. Some varieties of smoothies are:
- Blueberry and Coconut Milk Smoothie
- Strawberry Banana Orange Smoothie
- Banana Avocado Smoothie
- Berry Banana Smoothie
- Chocolate, Banana and Peanut Butter Smoothie
- Spinach grape pear smoothie
- Flavor addition may be done by slight and calculated addition of spices like cinnamon and cardamom.
- Icing the smoothies after preparation develops desired flavors in them.
- One must use freshly pressed or squeezed fruit juice only.
- Very little or no sugar is to be added, since smoothies derive natural sweetness of fruits.
- It is advisable to use organic fruits for the preparation of smoothies.
- Excessive blending of the mixture must be avoided, as it affects its texture.