A guest post by Monica Shaw of Smarter Fitter.
Let’s face it; most of us don’t have the money or inclination to spend hundreds of dollars on a super high-power blender. And why shouldn’t you make do with an affordable jug blender or stick blender? They still blend, and are perfectly suitable for most blending needs.
But at the same time, with all these smoothies making the rounds using beetroot, carrots, kale and other more challenging vegetables, those of you with humble blenders may feel a bit left out. But you needn’t be!
Tips for making a killer smoothie in any blender
Use spinach instead of kale. Kale is great but spinach (and Swiss chard) is much more tender and easy to blend, not to mention highly regarded for its health benefits. For an added bonus, freeze your greens before you blend – frozen leaves are much easier on the motor than big rocks of ice!
Use green powders. If you really want to get your greens and guarantee a good blend, use green powders like wheatgrass, chlorella and spirulina.
Steam those beets. For those tough root vegetables that you know you want to use – carrots, beets and the like – steam them first before blending. In fact, steamed root vegetables (as well as pumpkin, squash and sweet potato) are fabulous ways to make your smoothie creamy without adding extra fatty stuff.
Use nut butter instead of nuts. I love putting cashews in my smoothie but if you’re blender isn’t super crazy powerful, you might end up with lots of little bits in your smoothie. If you want your smoothie to actually be smooth, then reach for the nut butter (almond and cashew are favourites) instead of whole nuts.
Chop your fruit and veg into small pieces. Basically, this makes less work for your motor and lessens the chance of it burning out.
Get the order right. Add your liquid first – and make sure you add enough of it; a full blender of smoothie needs about 1.5-2 cups liquid, possibly more if you’re using lots of greens and frozen stuff. After the liquid, add your chopped fruit and veg, then your greens. You want to create a VORTEX of smoothie that will pull the toughest stuff down into the blades and pulverise it to smooth perfection!
Add frozen stuff at the end. If you are using frozen fruit or adding ice cubes, add this at the end after you’ve blended all of the other ingredients together.
Embrace easy to blend ingredients. A few of my favourites are spinach, avocado, cucumber, banana, pineapple, berries, mango, peaches and ripe pears.
Here’s one of my favourite blends that works in just about any blender. The dates add sweetness; feel free to omit or use an alternative sweetener like honey, maple syrup or stevia.
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup spinach
- a few sprigs of fresh mint
- 2 soft dates (or more to taste)
- a spoonful of cashew butter or other nut butter
- a few ice cubes
- water, nut milk or coconut water
- Combine everything in the blender with enough liquid to blend and blitz until smooth.
Monica is a true juicing and smoothie enthusiast. She wrote the book Smarter Fitter Smoothies and writes the blog smarterfitter.com where smoothies and juices are a huge draw, along with other articles on healthy living and how to be awesome. In addition to cooking, juicing, blending and writing, Monica also has a thriving freelance business as a social media consultant, focused on web analytics, SEO and other geeky ways to help businesses and bloggers improve their rankings and succeed above the rest.