Smoothies have become an obsession…one that I’m thankful to welcome into my home!

Smoothies and smoothie bowls have cast their spell on us all and rightfully so.  Quick and easy with endless, flavorful combinations, these nutrition powerhouses have become a popular go-to for a snack or a meal. Regardless of your age, cooking ability, or food preferences, smoothies are a quick-blend away and can easily be added to your daily schedule. So let’s take a closer look at how this simple basic recipe has become our newest obsession.

Look at the Numbers

The natural food product pioneer, Kashi, released results from their 2016 survey of 1027 nationally representative American’s 18 and older reaffirming this notion. One in four (26%) stated that they consume a smoothie (in some form) on a regular basis.  Half, or 50%, attributed this behavior to wanting to eat a healthier more nutritious diet while the other 50% ate smoothies simple for taste. 

Leafy greens and peanut butter shared the spotlight (32% each) as the two favorite ingredients to add to the blend.  Others included hemp or chia seeds for hydration and protein supplements, especially for athletes and those consuming diets lower in natural protein sources.

I contend that you need to look no further than Instagram to witness the popularity.  If you search with the #smoothie, be prepared for the 8.9 MILLION posts plus the additional 1.4 MILLION for #smoothiebowls.  Still need more evidence, then head over to Pinterest and search, but be warned, your feed will be inundated with beautiful smoothie pins!  If all these beautiful pictures leaving you craving one, keep reading for the only “recipe” you will ever need.

Smoothie Fundamentals

Luckily, there is only one essential piece of equipment for success — an EFFICIENT blender!  Note that efficient does NOT mean expensive.  A friendly word of caution, however.  I tried out a couple on the lowest end of the pricing spectrum and learned very quickly that many simply cannot hand the “roughage” much less produce a palatable, smooth texture that can go through a straw. Sadly, these blenders ended up in my appliance graveyard (or soon to be called “you can take that to college” collection).

Ninja Professional 1000 PictureI finally found the perfect one for my needs, the Ninja Professional 1000 – B10.L6  I LOVE this blender!  Priced around $85, it sits in the lower third of the pricing spectrum (higher end is around $350) and has all the important features:  multiple blades, a marked plastic body with a large capacity (9 cups), three speeds, and dishwasher safe.  You can check at all the specs HERE.

Other than a set of measuring spoons (which you will quickly learn to eyeball) and your favorite serving cup or bowl, that’s it!

Recipe for Success

As I mentioned earlier, there are thousands of recipe combinations available on Instagram and Pinterest.  I feel that is more helpful to have a Basic Recipe, a template or formula, that you can customize to your own preferences and nutritional needs.  If you want to see some great examples, simply click over to my Pinterest Smoothie Board and check out my pins. 

 Here is my Recipe for Smoothie Success:

  1.  Add 1-2 cups (use the measurements on side of blender) Liquid Base .     Options:  water, flavored water, nut milk (almond is our fave), coconut water or milk, milk, green tea or other flavored tea, bone broth, or fruit juice.
  2.  Add enough Greens to blend up to 3-4 cup line (rec. at least 2 types) .      Options:  spinach (top pick due to mild flavor), kale, mixed lettuces, arugula (a bit spicy), chard, beet greens, edible weeds, or broccoli.
  3.  Add Fruit to blend up to 5.5 – 6 cups. (rec. at least 2 types).     Options:  banana, berries, apple, pear, kiwi, pineapple, peach, melon, mango, or citrus.
  4. Add 1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon (depending on selection and strength of flavor) of a Superfood.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

           

Options:  Cacao nibs, bee pollen, sprouted flax, Goji berries, aloe vera, ginger, cayenne, Acai, spirulina, coconut oil, or chia seeds.                                                                   

                                                                                                                         

Optional Additions:

  •  For creaminess: substitute 1/2 cup of yogurt for 1/2 of liquid base,  or add 1 tablespoon nut butter (both of these increase protein content as well), 1 teaspoon of oil (coconut, avocado, flax), 1/2 of an avocado, substitute frozen fruit for 1 of the fruits i.e. banana, berries, mango, pineapple, or add 1 tablespoon oats or chia seeds.
  • For added protein:  add yogurt or nut butters, add seeds (chia, hemp, pumpkin), add peanut butter powder (our fave is PB2), or add a tablespoon of your favorite protein powder supplement.
  • For added flavor: add honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, vanilla or almond flavoring, cocoa powder, peanut butter powder, or cinnamon.

Here is my Recipe for Smoothie Bowl Success:                                            smoothie bowl image

  1. Begin with 1 cup of Frozen Fruit plus 1 Frozen Banana.     options:  in addition to all those listed above, also consider Acai or Dragonfruit which come in frozen packets.  Substitute one frozen packet for 1 cup of fruit.
  2. Add 1/2 cup Veggies or Greens (same as listed above with addition of any vegetable as desired)
  3. Add 1/2 cup of Liquid (same as listed above)
  4. Add 2 Tablespoons of Protein.     options: chia, hemp, or flax seeds, oats, yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu, or your favorite nut butters.

Blend all ingredients until smooth, adding more liquid if too thick.  Now for the FUN part…decorating the top with all kinds of yummy additions.  Once again, it’s really your choice, but some of our favorites include:

  • nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts)
  • seeds (chia, hemp, sunflower, flax)
  • coconut shavings
  • Cacao nibs / shaved chocolate
  • fresh fruit
  • granola
  • dried fruit
  • drizzle of honey or agave nectar

Congratulations!  You are all set and ready to build your own nutrition packed, delicious smoothie or smoothie bowl.  Remember the sky’s the limit, but practice makes perfect.  As you experiment, you will find flavors that naturally taste better together, so don’t get frustrated.  I do find that a bit of research on the aforementioned social channels provides lots of great information regarding successful combinations and starting points for novice blenders.  Most importantly, have fun and share your success with us!