“Mom, it’s hot!” aka Smoothie Making 101

Ivy says:

I may never be a decent cook, but I can make one heck of a good smoothie.  Smoothies are ridiculously easy to make, and they’re a good way to have something sweet without totally breaking your calorie budget.  Plus, when it’s hot like it has been, it’s a refreshing way to begin, middle, or end your day.

Here are the basics of smoothie making:

First, you’ll need a blender.  Any old blender will do- when our blender that was born sometime in the 1970s finally died, I bought a mid-range blender that suits our needs perfectly.  You don’t need a “smoothie blender” or anything of the sort. Just a plain old blender will be fine.

Then, you’ll need a liquid of some sort.  You can use fruit juice, soy milk, regular milk, even ice cream, although the ice cream will help to blow your calories up.  Me, I like to use plain or vanilla yogurt.  And yes, I know that yogurt and ice cream are not exactly liquids, but they’re not exactly solids, either, are they?  I use about a cup to two cups of yogurt in mine, normally.

Then you’ll need some fruit.  I use fresh fruit in the summer when it abundant and inexpensive.  Offseason I head to the freezer section.  Use your imagination as to what will taste good.  What I like to do is go to Publix and look at what they’ve got in their super expensive, already cut up “smoothie mixes” and just buy the uncut fruits from their example.  Lately I’ve been digging mango, banana, and papaya.  I’ve also been loving strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry.  And sometimes I just add a single fruit. You’ll need about 2 cups of the fruit.

Then, you may need some ice, depending on whether or not your fruit fresh or frozen.  Generally, if you use frozen fruit, you don’t really need ice, unless you just dig ice.  When I’m using fresh fruit, I generally toss a handful of ice into the blender.

Then you can add a scoop of something healthy like wheatgerm or wheatgrass powder.  Or, not.  You don’t have to, these things just add healthy goodness.

Finally, blend.  At first you’ll want to pulse your blender a bit to get everything going without clogging up the works.  Once it looks somewhat blended, go all out with your bad blending self.  Pour into glasses and enjoy.  The amounts I recommend here usually serve about 3-4 glasses of smoothie goodness.

The cool thing about smoothies is, you can make them as healthy or unhealthy as your little heart desires. Now, go and be one with your blender, Home Eccers!

What’s your favorite fruit combination for smoothies?



17 Comments

  1. Paula on April 12, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Love smoothies lately. Here is one of my favourites which sneaks in a little bit of caffeine 🙂

    Morning Jumpstart – Coffee, Banana and Kale Smoothie

    Ingredients
    1 frozen banana
    1 cup chopped kale
    2 teaspoons bee pollen granules
    2 tablespoons of almond butter
    1.5 cups coffee (cold)

  2. Tara on May 12, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Angela – thanks for the recipe! I used to make Orange Julius so often, I memorized the recipe. So of course it wasn’t written down & I forgot it 🙂

  3. Linda on July 14, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    Half a banana
    6 frozen strawberries
    6 frozen peach slices
    1 yogurt cup
    Fill yogurt cup with juice or milk

    Perfect for one meal.

    yum!

  4. warillever on July 14, 2008 at 8:23 am

    Frozen banana makes the smoothie so creamy, and works with just about any fruit combination.

    I add a few tablespoons of oat bran or wheat germ for some crunch and variety. It works especially well with berries for some reason.

    We use plain yogurt as a base, but when my son went completely dairy-free for a while, I put applesauce in his and it worked quite well.

  5. EarthlyJane on July 13, 2008 at 1:37 am

    mmmmm
    I want one right now!
    thanks!

  6. tink on July 11, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    I freeze all my fruit – then I don’t have to add the ice.

    I also add a just a handful of frozen spinach – it doesn’t make it green when I use berries, then I can fool myself into forgetting it’s there. 🙂

    Julie, thanks for the heads up on the raw oats, and Karen and Meghan, thanks for the heads up on the silken tofu – I’ll have to give them both a try.

  7. ScrappyQuilter on July 10, 2008 at 8:29 am

    This one is great for summer because it’s super-low calories:

    Fill blender halfway with frozen fruit.
    Slowly pour in diet sprite or 7up to cover fruit.
    Blend on high, adding more fruit or sprite as needed.
    Add a bit of sweetener if needed.

    This makes enough for 2 smoothies. Our favorite is just plain old strawberries (sometimes with a splash of lemon or lime juice)

  8. Danetta on July 9, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    ***edit***
    Banana and Pineapple

    ice is pretty much necessary unless your banana is frozen and a touch of honey if you like a little sweetner

  9. charmingdriver on July 9, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    My favorite lately has been

    2 cups vanilla yogurt
    1/4 cup pineapple juice
    1 small to med apple (skin left on)
    1 small to med orange (peeled, heh)
    6-8 ice cubes

    So, so good and so, so light mmmmm

  10. emily on July 9, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    OJ, Aldi’s Fiesta Blend frozen fruit, banana, sometimes some extra ice to get the consistency a little thicker

  11. Danetta on July 9, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    I like all varieties but this is an easy and good one.

    1 banana (fresh or frozen)
    1 small can pineapple juice

    It can be as simple as that or you can add other fruits, yogurt, powdered milk, ice cream…

    Wow – I think I need to bring my blender to work with me.

  12. meghan on July 9, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    peach and raspberry or blueberry, or peach, raspberry and mango are delicious. pineapple, pear, ginger mint is also quite tasty. pineapple can be tough in smoothies though as it is rather fibrous. i like to use silken tofu in smoothies along with yogurt, soy milk, and fruit juice. you really cannot taste it and it adds a lot of protein.

  13. Karen on July 9, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    This is a great way to use overripe bananas – just throw them in the freezer until you want a smoothie. I usually add vanilla extract.

    I used to find that a smoothie for breakfast was great but left me hungry in a couple of hours. So, now I add some soft or silken tofu (you really can’t taste it) or an egg.

  14. holly on July 9, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    This also blows up the calorie count, but peanut butter is a classic and yummy addition to flavors like banana–that way you get both the protein AND the fruit goodness.

  15. Angela on July 9, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    A hand blender works great too. I started my last big blender on fire and have resorted to a hand blender. Also my favorite mix lateley (I get juice and milk free) is orange julius.
    60z orange juice concentrate
    1 cup milk
    1 cup water
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    10-16 ice cubes
    mix it all up and it will make 3-4 servings unless you use a big glass then just 2 servings:)

  16. Patrick on July 9, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Mine consist of Fruit Bananananananas are a must plus Peach/Mango/*berries basiclly what I have on hand and two fists full of spinach and aside from the lurid green colour it’s not that green tasting.

    Add some liquid to thin/taste I use water or almond milk.

  17. Julie on July 9, 2008 at 11:46 am

    I love smoothies! I always add a half of a banana, regardless of what my other fruit combinations may be, because it really adds to the smoothness. Also, another healthy sneak in worth trying is a handful or so of raw oats. Sounds crazy, I know, but they disappear in the mix and the fiber is so good for you.

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