The Mini A–Z Of Smoothie Ingredients
2.6k words (9–11 mins to read)
First Things First
If you’ve been curious about getting into the extensive world of juicing and making smoothies, there are probably several things that you will want to know before you get started.
So before we get to the smoothie ingredients and some of their use cases, let’s just go over a couple of important things about juicing and making smoothies before we get started.
What You Need
A blender. Technically, you don’t need one, but you should definitely get one as it makes a better smoothie!
Careful With Using Too Many High Sugar Fruits
This might be something that you already know, but when you eat a fruit as a fruit you are taking in all the fruits’ contents, which includes its fibers and fleshy parts. But when you juice it’s like creating a concentrate. Juicing, in a way, is liquid sugar.
As such, the more high sugar fruits you use the more sugar you are having. Doing this too much and too often can easily lead to weight gain, which then often means you’ll want to take it off.
Add Green Vegetables For Lower Calorie
Contrary to that, greens are lower calorie, so you can be a lot more generous with adding watery greens (like cucumber, celerey and spinach).
Drink Them with Fats
Fat is necessary to absorb certain vitamins (all but C and the B’s).
This means that you should drink your juice with either a small meal that consists of some fat, like animal proteins, or mix in some plant-based fats to your smoothie directly.
Some people like to go organic as they think organic produce contains less pesticides, but this isn’t true.
Others like to go organic because the pesticides used on organic produce are natural and, therefore, safer and healthier, but this is unknown. Further, this is an appeal to nature fallacy, which is just that—a fallacy.
The facts are:
All produce, organic or otherwise, must conform to the safety regulations of the governing body.
And all produce contains pesticides.
Maybe you think organic tastes better? Well there’s a perfectly valid reason to go organic!
Go organic if you want to.
But whichever way you go, wash the produce first so as to remove the chemicals from the skin.
And with that, onto our smoothie ingredients!
The Lowdown On Smoothie Ingredients
Not only do smoothies taste great, but they can also be an excellent solution to the time crunch where your nutrition can be taking a hit.
So let’s have the lowdown on them and consider some of the more time tested smoothie ingredients that you can start with to get your confidence up.
Of course, experimenting can be fun, and we encourage it, but the basic smoothie ingredients should come first.
This might seem strange if you’re new to juicing, but seaweed is good for various minerals, including magnesium and manganese.
Seaweed also carries an unexpectedly large amount of antioxidants and iodine.
Juice it with tomatoes to give it a more pleasing flavor.
Carrots juice pairs well with lots of other flavors without being too overbearing, and it even can be slightly sweet.
Carrots are a decent source of potassium, Vitamin A and often contain a good amount of B vitamins.
Try putting carrots with another vegetable like cucumber or a leafy green.
Celery might not be at the top of everyone list for their favorite thing to juice, but celery is antioxidant rich and very low calorie.
Try juicing it with tomatoes, cucumbers, and other leafy greens.
People seem to forget that beets exist. They are high in potassium, vitamin C, and choline.
They pair well with other vegetables and will give your juice drinks a pleasing color.
These little blue fruits have made it onto thousands of lists, and for good reason.
Antioxidant and phytochemical rich.
Go well with most anything.
Sweet and have a wonderful flavor.
Full of vitamin C and are a good source of a few B vitamins, like folate. Potassium content is also notable.
A classic smoothie addition.
Lycopene is present in many fruits and vegetables, but the tomato has a particularly accessible store of it.
Adds bulk, thickness, and a nice flavour.
Cherries are a most interesting addition to the taste of a smoothie.
Like blueberries, they are heavily antioxidant.
To some, the idea of adding avocado to their smoothie might seem extremely adventurous (and we’ll cover a couple of recipes later), but in reality avocado is one of the most appropriate fruits that you can have.
Contains well over 15 different vitamins and minerals and more potassium than bananas.
High concentration of healthy fats .
High calorie though, so if your weight is a consideration, use carefully.
Acai berries have been popular for smoothies and juicing for almost 10 years. Loaded with antioxidants and high levels of vitamins and minerals.
They are low sugar and calorie.
Their use for smoothies is popular in both fresh and powdered forms.
Slightly sweet and a ton of common vitamins and antioxidants.
Excellent source of folate and other B vitamins.
This large watery fruit has been a picnic favorite and summertime snack food for much of the last 100 years.
A good amount of vitamins and minerals and important nutrients like lycopene.
Can easily be cut up and frozen to keep for drinks through the week.
How to Sweeten Your Juice
People have wide taste ranges as well as a taste for something a bit sweeter, so here’s how to go about sweetening your juice while keeping with the juicing ethos.
It’s important to note that the honey and juice should be at room temperature before you try to blend them.
Salt increases sweetness.
There are some flavors that can work with other flavors to create an enriched experience. Salt is one of those flavors. Salt has a way of magnifying the sweet flavors in food, and it often doesn’t take much to send your taste buds into orbit.
Try sprinkling a small amount on the rim of your glass or over the top of your drink to see what you might be missing.
Don’t go overboard as it’ll taste salty.
A Little Goes A Long Way
When in doubt and looking for an easy fix, you can simply add another high sugar juice to the mix.
It’s easy to use too much and end up with a smoothie that’s too sweet, though.
Keep it conservative.
Juices like pineapple juice, orange juice and cherries can add a lot of sweetness.
Smoothies have to be one of the greatest modern drink inventions of the 20th century and the introduction of chia seeds has changed the face of things again.
Chia seeds make it possible to enjoy the feeling of a complete meal even by way of liquid.
Chia Seeds Are High in Fiber
One of the most often missed dietary elements is that of fiber. Fiber has many benefits, including digestion and motility, cleaning waste, plaques and binding to cholesterol so you excrete it.
They Add Texture to Your Drink
Chia seeds add body and a pleasing texture to whatever you pour them into.
When you first add them they will add a pleasing and subtle crunchy grit to your drinks, but if you allow them to soak they become soft and make the drink more filling.
So either way has benefits!
Chia seeds are 19% protein, which is good for satiation and our bodies.
Have plenty of minerals but are a poor source for vitamins.
Contain a decent amount of omega-3 ALA fatty acids.
Avocado Smoothie Bowls
Avocado is an amazing additon to a smoothie. Packed with omega 3 fatty acids and other useful chemicals, they should most certainly be on your list of ingredients.
Here are some example avocado smoothie bowls:
Avo-Melon Breakfast Smoothie
Makes one serving:
½ fresh avocado
½ cup honeydew melon cubes
¾ teaspoon lime juice
½ cup fat-free milk
½ cup fat-free plain yogurt
¼ cup apple juice
½ tablespoon of honey
Makes two large servings:
1 cup orange juice
¾ cup frozen blueberries
½ cup frozen raspberries
1 peeled kiwi
½ cup ice
Avo-Power Mango Smoothie
Makes 2 servings.
¼ cup of fresh avocado
½ tbsp minced ginger
¼ cup frozen mango cubes
¼ cup plain low fat yogurt
½ tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup of water
1 cup of ice cubes
Tropical Smoothie Flavours
Many people can be completely content with the regular everyday fruit that you see in lots of recipes online, but if you’ve seen one banana then I say you’ve probably seen most of what a banana has to offer.
Fortunately, there are a lot of other choices, including exotic fruits and vegetables for tropical smoothie flavors.
Sun Love Smoothie
This smoothie might just be able to help you feel like you’re on vacation!
High in carbs, so good for filling you up.
1 cup organic frozen berries
1 frozen banana
1 peeled and separated orange
4 oz Greek yogurt.
Hawaiian Pina Colada Smoothie
Obviously festive, the Hawaiian pina colada smoothie is there to be your quiet friend on a sunny morning or afternoon.
Has everything you need to start your day right, but it’s taste will be the reason why you decide to make one.
1 frozen peeled banana
¾ cup fresh pineapple cubes
½ cup shredded coconut
⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup ice chunks
Mango Kiwi Smoothie
It’s pretty easy to imagine yourself on the beach with this one.
Perfect to get you into a tropical and festive mood and the fruits will dazzle your taste buds.
1¼ cups frozen mango chunks
1½ tablespoons hemp seeds
1 frozen kiwi, peeled and cut up
½ cup apple juice
½ cup water
1 tablespoons freshly lime juice
3 Dessert Smoothie Ideas
Smoothies aren’t just limited to fruits and veggies. Indeed, sometimes you just want something that tastes really good and is super fun! And this is where dessert smoothies come in!
High Protein Cookies N Cream Milkshake
Just because you want to be healthy doesn’t mean that the treats have to be bitter.
The only part of this shake that is less than ‘healthy’ is the cookies, but you can probably find a low calorie alternative if you wish.
Use a salt free version of the cottage cheese.
Makes 2 servings:
450 grams fat-free cottage cheese, salt free or low salt
2 cups of milk, preferably skim milk
6 stuffed chocolate cookies
2 tsp sweetener
2 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate Peppermint Smoothie
Though this dessert smoothie seems like it would be prefect for more festive times of year, it can actually hang with other drinks all year round.
There’s 12 grams of protein in this recipe.
½ large banana, frozen
2 large ice cubes
½ cup non-dairy milk of choice
½ scoop Chocolate flavored whey protein powder
1 tbsp cocoa powder
¼ tsp of sea salt
⅛ tsp pure peppermint extract
toppings: homemade whipping cream and vegan chocolate chips/flakes
Freedom Toast Protein Smoothie
Will definitely catch your attention, and not just because it has a snappy name.
¼ cup of low fat or fat free cottage cheese
½ scoops of vanilla whey protein powder
¼ tsp Maple extract
¼ tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp pumpkin spices
3 packets of sweetener
⅓ cup Water
4 Ice Cubes
How To Stores Smoothies & Juice
It’s really exciting when you decide to make your first homemade juice or smoothies. You may even make lots so you always have you favorites available when you want it.
But how to store smoothies?
Keep Juice in An Opaque Container
When juice is made, many of the important nutrients can be destroyed simply by being exposed to light. Containers that are colored in a way that doesn’t let as much light in can help slow this process down.
What would be even better would be for the container to be completely solid as to let basically no light in at all.
- The less you expose your freshly made juice to elements the longer it will stay delicious and retain its vitamin content.
There are also metal containers that you can use for this purpose.
Air Free Environment
When juice is being manufactured, the typical way it’s kept as fresh as possible is for the manufacturer to remove the air from the containers. When no air is present, juice can last much longer than when the juice is allowed to sit in an oxygenated environment.
Store produce in airtight containers.
There are also machines that will allow you to store your juice in specially made, airtight containers.
Doing this will reduce waste and help you with preparation, thus saving you both time and money.
Freeze Your Juice for Longer Life
One of the simplest tricks you can do is to just freeze your juice.
When juice is frozen it helps the juice to retain many of the nutrients. Couple this with an airtight container and we have a strategy for long-lasting freshness and taste.
Thaw it on the counter or refrigerator, depending on the speed with which you want it.
The acid will limit the amount of bacteria that can be present.
■ ▲ ●
How To Create Visually Appealing Smoothie Bowls
So you make amazing smoothies, maybe you want to show them off!
So you start taking photos of your smoothies with the intention of uploading to your social media, but after snapping a few shots you suddenly realize it’s not as beautiful as some others you’ve seen.
Well, we’ve got you covered! Here are some tips for instagram smoothies so you can create visually appealing smoothie bowls!
Make Sure The Texture Is On Point
The first thing that people see when they are looking at pictures of your smoothies will be whatever the toppings are on the outer crust of your smoothie bowl.
This means that whatever you choose has to sit on it in a way that is visually appealing.
One of the things that makes topping visually appealing is the way that they cling to the surface of the mixture.
That means making sure that you have a nice creamy texture, which can be achieved by:
Adding banana and other thicker fruits.
Blend The Vegetables
When you want your smoothie to look pretty while being a super green mix of some kind, it’s a good idea to make sure that the veggies don’t stick out all over the place.
It’s better to make sure they are blended into the mixture. That way people can only see the delicious and sweet fruits peeking through.
Get Into Plant Based Milks
Plant based milks are often a great source of protein and can help you create a smoother texture for your bowl.
Each of them have different nutritional aspects, and some like almond milk can add a very relaxing flavor to your bowels.
When you want to make a beautiful bowl, one of the most important parts of aesthetics will always be the colors.
You don’t want to have colors clashing in your bowl because that will make for a less appealing photo.
Try to stay in the same color temperature ranges for your ingredients.
For anything that doesn’t match, try to blend it until it isn’t visible.
Go Unflavored & Uncolored
Protein Powders can add a lot of nutrition to your smoothie bowls, but if you aren’t paying attention the colors in your powder can turn your beautiful mix of fruits into a grey mess.
Use uncoloured and/or unflavored powders to avoid this.
■ ▲ ●
Light and its reflection makes the world of difference, so move around your bowl to find that perfect glow!
All the best on your juicing and smoothing journey!