Tips to smooth your smoothie-making

Calvin Falk

Minnie Ongsricharoenporn, Contributing Writer

If you find yourself lining up for a “Deep Blue Açaí” smoothie at Liquiteria after your daily gym routine, you may end up breaking the bank by the end of the month. Avoid that hole in your wallet and save up with these tips for making your own juice bar-style smoothies at home.

Invest in a blender. Although many blenders are expensive, there are some pretty affordable ones out there that fit a college student’s budget. Hamilton Beach’s blender, which also doubles as a food processor, works just as well for around $30. For anyone who’s willing to spend just a little more, the NutriBullet is a great choice. It comes with a blending cup instead of a pitcher, which means you’ll only have to wash one dish.

Add your ingredients in the correct order. To avoid making a mess, start out with the liquid portion of your smoothie. Add the thickeners — frozen fruits or yogurt — followed by powdered add-ins and ice. Always leave the fresh fruit for last, as you want to preserve their flavor and not over-blend.

Know the golden ratio. The ideal liquid-to-fruit ratio in a smoothie is one part liquid, one part fresh fruit and two parts thickener. If your smoothie is too thick, you can always add more liquid later.  

Find out what works for you. For those who prefer sweet-tasting smoothies but want the nutritional benefits of vegetables, use twice as many fruits as vegetables, like beets or carrots. If you’re big on savory smoothies, try adding a pinch of sea salt to your kale and spinach mix — you’ll be surprised how well the flavors work together.

Be prepared to make adjustments. Keep in mind that soy-based products do not combine well with citrus fruits. Lemons and soymilk can give cause a tart and rancid taste when mixed together. For vegetable smoothies, ditch the dairy milk and opt instead for alternatives such as coconut water, almond and rice milk to avoid any bizarre flavors.

Add boosters. Turn your already healthy smoothie’s nutritional value up a notch with add-ins like chlorophyll and activated charcoal powder, which are great detoxifiers. Cayenne pepper and ginger can help boost your immune system against colds while also acting digestion. Chia seeds and flaxseeds are an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. And of course, don’t forget whey protein powder. This booster helps rebuild your muscles after an intense workout session  refuels your amino acid levels. You can also try enhancing your smoothie’s taste with nut butters or raw cocoa powder, like peanut butter blueberry smoothie featured in our video.

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