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Smoothie Making Tips

Updated on April 2, 2012

I am fortunate enough to be a young woman who can claim a myriad of unusual talents. Most of them also happen to be completely useless, but that’s beside the point. For now, anyway. However, I am pleased to claim at least two things that I’m insanely amazing at that are, in fact, relatively important. I am marvelously talented at making scrambled eggs and smoothies- which together will procreate in your stomach to produce a breakfast of champions; one that will keep you satisfied for hours, and quite possibly, will induce you to fall passionately in love with me and my blender (scrambled eggs are an entirely different discipline, and will not be further mentioned in this hub. I just wanted to seem more impressive). But I’m cuter than my blender, so you’ll mostly just fall in love with me.

Smoothie making is an art of endless algorithms, careful combinations and most importantly, a sense of dedicated precision. One misstep and you’ll end up with smoothie spattered across your mother’s pristine kitchen ceiling like glorious chunks of brain. I hope that grim image impresses upon you the meticulous and oftentimes even physically exhausting art form that is smoothie making. Perhaps you make another mistake; the end result could be as disastrous and unthinkable as dozens of slivers of wooden spoon embedded in your face and more pink berry-brains happily deposited on your ceiling. Yes, I know these stories are horrendous, and may even put you off attempting to master this art, but I can assure you, both happened to me, and I lived to tell the tale after three hours of scrubbing and another two of tweezing. As with all art forms, practice is inherently necessary, and the end results will bring much joy and happiness into your hum drum life.

Don't expect your smoothies to look this glorious at first. Maybe you shouldn't expect them to look like this at all.
Don't expect your smoothies to look this glorious at first. Maybe you shouldn't expect them to look like this at all. | Source

Now, you may be wondering why I mentioned spinach in my title. Let me explain. Smoothies serve several different useful functions, spinach being theoretically included in all of them:

1) A way to get your fruits and veggies: Like many, I hate fruit. I absolutely loathe strawberries and blueberries and anything vaguely tart that squishes between my teeth like a fat grub. As you can imagine, most people are shocked to hear this, and I feel pressed to explain my revulsion, and then the picnic gets awkward. However, I actually quite enjoy the taste of fruits when happily pulsed together in my trusty art medium of choice, which allows me to still partake in the plentiful health benefits of blueberries (although I still think they taste like rust). Smoothies are an alternate way to quickly combine your dreaded five servings of fruit and avoid the chips of obesity and shame. They are not your friend. They will not listen to your problems and hold your hair while you vomit. Smoothies will.

2) A quick, nutritious meal: Smoothies are quick and easy to make for those who possess the talent. Recipes aren’t even required, as you can easily stuff several different items into the blender with the sort of rambunctious hyperactivity that accompanies being late and make a quick drink to enjoy while you curse out other slow moving commuters. Small single-serving blenders with detachable carry cups make this delightfully simple and extremely novel.

3) A way to hoodwink and trick people: This one isn’t just for people with ridiculously picky brats. I mean children. I’ve used smoothies before to pull the wool over the eyes of my own dear father. He abhors spinach and anything remotely green (or anything that wasn’t shot dead and slathered in bacon grease, but that’s beside the point). It’s always been a household competition to see who can get him to eat the most of his most hated foods without him realizing so. I’m a competitive person, and naturally, I won after stuffing liberal handfuls of fresh spinach into a blender with a banana, strawberries and some ice. I’ll admit it was an odd sort of color, but I swear, you couldn’t taste the spinach, and he sloshed back about three cups of it and asked for more. The sweet taste of victory is one of the few rivals to an expertly crafted smoothie, the other being a root beer float, but again, I digress.

With the basic uses of smoothies out of the way, I can move on to the principles that make smoothie making a success and can perhaps bestow some sort of ability on your careworn fingers.

1. Always, always, always, always use something cold. Ice is preferable, but if you don’t have ice, use milk or use pre-frozen ingredients like berries. Yogurt won’t cut it. Yogurt just makes the smoothie creamier, tames tart flavors and unifies the flavor. In theory, if you’re just plain weird and don’t like cold things, you don’t have to follow this rule. But I’ve seen many promising smoothies die lukewarm, liquid-y deaths at the hands of such awful people. Don’t be one of those people. Only you can prevent smoothie blasphemy.

2. Bananas and spinach literally add nothing to a smoothie besides a faint taste and more vitamins and minerals. Seriously. Unless there are very few ingredients (two or three) and all occupy some sort of bland taste realm (and really, why would you want to make a bland smoothie, you heathen?) you won’t really be able to taste either of these two ingredients as well as you might like. However, this can depend on the banana’s ripeness, quantity, etc. But generally speaking, when added with strong flavors like most berries, bananas fade to the background. Poor bananas.

3. Mixed berry smoothies are the best. That is all that needs to be said.

4. Don’t use canned fruits if you can help it. Canned fruits add a strange, unnamable taste and a dark, unsettling quality to an innocent smoothie; that being said, though, I have used canned peaches. It goes without saying that your smoothie will probably taste better if you drain the liquid before adding your soggy, chemical-coated fruit. Again, draining is advisable unless you’re just plain weird, at which point, I’d really ask you to leave this article. Warm, canned-fruit smoothies are an insult to me, blenders, professional smoothie recipe authors, and swim-up tropical beach bars.

5. Unless you’re following a fancy recipe for some sort of drink (I do have a smoothie book that names a few of these), things like Honey, mint, sugar and cinnamon really aren’t needed. Fruit smoothies can stand easily on their own.

6. If you’re more into the nutrition aspect of smoothies- instead of those of us who just like to park our behinds on our cheap plastic deck chairs in the sun while sipping a refreshingly blended beverage- flax seed, protein milk/powder and other vitamin additives generally can be easily added to any premade concoction without difficulty. Also, throwing in a banana seems to be a popular health food additive, so go for that too. Use the ripest ones first, because it’s just rude otherwise. I hate people who leave the blackest bananas to the rest of us; they work better in blenders anyway because then all the dark spots are ground up and you don’t have to stare at them in disgust and contemplate picking them out versus just sucking it up and eating them. Don’t do it.

7. Get creative! I sort of cringe when I add that, because it reminds me of some sort of plump Martha Stewart- esque old woman who wears lots of gaudy rings excitedly telling you to let your whimsical side show. However, it’s true. Boring smoothies are also an insult to the discipline, and there’s really nothing like the shame and scoffing scorn that accompany failure to live up to blended greatness.

I thought long and hard about finding recipes to accompany this Hub, but in the end, I realized I don’t actually use recipes when I make my masterpieces. Perhaps this is because talent is born, and not written, but it keeps things fresh either way. No two smoothies are alike, just as no original Da-Vince is alike. I think. I don’t know, I’m not really an art buff.

So let there be smoothies like unto my principles, and you shall indeed be known forever as The Smoothie King.


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