A smoothie offers you a hefty serving of fresh fruit that's low in calories and fat, depending on the ingredients you choose. Plus, it only takes a few minutes to fix and is ultraflexible regarding the fruits, juices, and dairy you use. The real key is a good blender that will whirl the ice and other ingredients into a thick and frosty beverage.
How to Make a Smoothie
We've got good news: There are no rules with smoothie making. You can use just about any fruits you want, customizing based on flavor or availability. Just remember this simple formula: fruit, juice, yogurt, and ice. Follow our instructions to learn how to make your new favorite recipe.
Step One: Choose the Fruit
For two servings, measure 2 cups peeled and cut-up fruit into the blender. You can mix a combination of fruit flavors, or just stick to one favorite. Both fresh and frozen fruits work great (do not thaw). Some favorite fruits include:
- Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries
- Chunks of mango, papaya, pineapple, and melon
- Pitted cherries, peaches, and nectarines
- Ripe banana
- Mandarin orange sections
Smoothie Tip: When your favorite fruits are in season, freeze them (unwashed and pitted) in 2-cup portions in freezer bags to use when they are not so plentiful. Fruit can be frozen for up to 9 months.
Step Two: Add the Liquid and Dairy
For the liquid, use 1 cup of any kind of fruit juice or juice blend, milk, drinkable yogurt, buttermilk, soymilk, or even water. Measure the liquid in a glass measuring cup, and add it to the fruit in the blender. For the dairy, use 1 cup plain, flavored, or frozen yogurt (low-fat works well). For a nondairy version, omit the yogurt and increase the fruit by 1/2 cup and the juice by 1/2 cup.
Step Three: Optional Add-Ins
Just like at the smoothie shops, you can add a scoop of protein powder or other powdered supplements. You can also add a teaspoon or two of wheat germ or flaxseed. Or consider spicing up your smoothies with 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg or cinnamon per recipe or add 1/2 teaspoon grated citrus peel.
Step Four: Add Ice and Blend
The amount of ice you use depends on how thick you want your smoothie to be. Start with about 1 cup crushed ice for a fairly thick smoothie that is still drinkable with a straw. Omit the ice if using frozen fruit or if you want the smoothie to be thinner and less cold. Cover and blend until nearly smooth.