• Homemade smoothies are a quick, fun nutritious snack that can easily be customized for every set of taste buds.

Their benefits don’t end there; smoothies are cool and refreshing in the summer heat, and provide a healthy meal replacement for those trying to slim down. The key to making delicious smoothies is to experiment often.

The three basic elements of a smoothie are fiber-rich foods, a liquid base, and a frozen substance such as ice or frozen fruit. Begin with fruits and/or vegetables that are popular with your family.

Favorite smoothies are often made with strawberries, raspberries, bananas, pears, kiwi, blueberries, mangoes, and other fruits. The general rule of thumb is if you enjoy eating it raw, it will be great in a smoothie.

The next ingredient is a liquid base such as yogurt, fruit juice, coconut milk, ice cream or sorbet. Yogurt and ice cream are best if you desire a thicker creamier smoothie. Each blend or concoction will have a unique flavor, and the finished product can always be improved with a little honey, sugar or other sweetener if your fruit is too tart. 

Some super slick moms add vegetables to the smoothie, such as spinach or peas, and the flavor is usually overpowered by the fruit.

You may also add nutritional supplements to enhance the nutritional value of your liquid snack. The most common additives are whey protein powder, soluble fiber for smooth digestion, flax seed for heart-healthy Omega-3 essential fatty acids, and spirulina to boost the immune system and aid in digestive and heart health.

Consult a local nutrition retail store to find the right ingredients to turn your delicious treat into a healthy snack.

Textured smoothies can be made with added ingredients such as oats, muesli, wheat germ, bran, flax seeds, honey, wheatgrass powder or other nutrient mixes to give an extra boost, especially for breakfast. Ground nuts or peanut butter can also be used for extra protein and flavor.

Turn any fruit smoothie into a delicious and satisfying adult beverage by adding your favorite liquor. Rum is a drink of choice when added to most tropical fruits. Vodka can be added to almost any drink. It adds a nice kick especially to drinks with an orange juice base.

The bottom line: you simply cannot make a bad smoothie! Take some time to try different combinations of ingredients to produce a beautiful eye candy for the mouth – in a glass.

Making smoothies at home can help you lose weight, save money and time, and give you confidence you are enjoying a very nutritious snack!

Tips and Equipment:

Blenders do not need to be expensive to be effective. The key elements to look for are power over 400 watts, dishwasher-safe parts, and a good warranty for the occasional motor failure.

Tips and tricks for making great smoothies:

  • Freeze glasses ahead of time to ensure smoothies remain cool and thick.
  • Instead of using whole ice cubes, always crush the ice before adding it to the blender.
  • Cut the fruit into chunks before blending.
  • Freeze fruits ahead of time to use in place of crushed ice for more flavor.
  • Always have thick straws on hand; these can be purchased at any health food store or kitchen supply.

Breakfast Smoothie

Running late? Don’t want to eat your breakfast with a spoon? Drink your breakfast!

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbs. of honey or sugar-free honey substitute
  • ½ cup granola
  • ½ cup of ice
  •  

Lemon Kiwi Smoothie

A frozen version of summertime lemonade:
½ lemon, peeled and seeded
½ kiwi, peeled
1 t. honey
3 cups of ice

Secret Smoothie Recipe

This recipe has been published on many web sites, claiming to be the most popular at various smoothie franchises.
½ cup apple juice
3⁄4 cup strawberry nectar
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 banana
1 scoop of raspberry sherbet
1 scoop fat-free vanilla frozen yogurt
1 cup of ice

 

About the author: Melanie Wallace is a freelance writer who lives in Frisco.