Nothing beats a refreshing drink on a hot day or after a tough workout. A smoothie is a really nutritious and fun way to incorporate your favorite fruits and vegetables in a drink. But sometimes making one can be anything but smooth. Missing ingredients, a weird slimy consistency, and a bothersome clean up; there had to be some tricks to make our blend sessions a little easier. Irfan Khasru, a senior at Washington High School, has been working at Jamba Juice for 2 years now and has a few tips and tricks to help you create the perfect smoothie!
1. Add crushed ice!
Adding ice to your smoothie can make it or break it for many people. I really recommend adding ice because without it, the consistency and texture of the drink becomes really water-y. Crushed ice especially makes the drink have more of a really smooth, slushy-like texture which I think is ideal for a smoothie. Prevent using an excess amount of ice because using too much dilutes the other flavors you are using.
2. Freeze your fruit/vegetables!
Using frozen fruit is probably the most important tip I can recommend. If you use fresh fruit you get more of a slimy texture, which to me, is super unappealing. If you freeze your fruit, you get the advantage of a frosty consistency and you can store your frozen fruit and use it anytime you want without worrying about it’s freshness.
3. Keep an even fruit to juice ratio!
An even fruit to juice ratio is crucial to blending smoothies. Having enough liquid aids in the blending process and, if you use frozen ingredients, a lack of liquid can make blending the drink really difficult. You generally want to have a ratio of half juice to half fruit. But smoothie making is super flexible ingredient-wise so you can always adjust the ratio to your preference.
4. Ditch the dairy!
Many people only use dairy (such as whole milk, almond milk, and even coconut milk), which is great if you’re aiming to have a milkshake-like creaminess. But people who tend to avoid dairy or are lactose intolerant can switch to the alternative of fruit-based juices like apple juice, mango juice, orange juice, and even pomegranate juice. Fruit juices can really complement the fruits you use.
5. Easily adjust sweetness/sourness!
Have you ever wanted a sweet drink, but ended up running out of sugar? Fear not! There are many healthier substitutes you can use in place of sugar. Honey, agave, maple syrup, or even really sweet fruits like watermelon can substantially increase a smoothie’s sweetness. Or on the other hand, a touch of lemon or ginger can balance out super sugary drinks.
6. Achieve the perfect consistency!!
In my opinion, a smoothie should be exactly what it sounds like. It should be completely blended up, have a silky smooth consistency, and be void of any chunks of fruit or other ingredients that would otherwise clog up a straw. You can visibly see the smoothie reach the right consistency once you start to see the center effortlessly swirl as it blends, that’s when you know it’s finished.
7. A powerful blender is a must!
At the end of the day, the best tip I can provide is just to have a good blender. Being able to blend all the small chunks of fruit is crucial to having all the flavors being incorporated in the drink. Most blenders will have a ‘pulse’ setting and I highly recommend using it as it is the most powerful setting on most blenders.