I’ve been soooooo into smoothies lately.
That is a weird thing for me say, because I’m finicky when it comes to smoothies. Too thick? Can’t drink it. Protein powders with weird textures? Can’t drink it. Tastes weird? Can’t drink it. Too cold outside? Can’t drink it. Smoothie not cold? Can’t drink it.
Geeze! Goldilocks much?
So for me to be into a smoothie? Big deal. I’m clearly particular. Here’s what I’ve found helps me to make a fantastic smoothie I’ll actually drink. The too thick problem sounds easy, right? Add more milk/ liquid. Thin it out. Duh. BUT, I find that dulls all the flavors! “Waters it down” so to speak. Then you can’t taste some of the things you put in there! And then, adding more liquid makes a ton MORE for me to drink. So if you WANT a bigger meal, more power to you. Go for it. For me, if it’s too big I’ll a) have a hard time finishing it and b) never be hungry for my next meal. And I like to eat. So I ain’t skippin’! To fix this, I avoid certain protein powders because they MAKE it thick. Me no likely. I also go about 1 cup frozen fruit per cup of milk. More frozen fruit or less milk starts to push the texture limit for me. Fresh fruit, however is more watery. So using fresh (or a combo of fresh/frozen) thins it out.
Weird protein powders with funny textures (or taste for that matter). If you go to a real store (vs. ordering protein powder online) a lot of companies make individual serving packages that contain just one scoop of protein powder. They’re perfect for trying a new brand or new flavor. I’ve been seeing them in stores (Whole Foods, Sprouts, and two local health food stores in Durango had them). I love that. Yes, they’re more expensive per serving, but in the long run it’s cheaper than buying a $30+ tub I’ll never use because I find it gross.
Tastes weird? Well, that’s a hard general problem to address. First off, I notice that if I add peanut butter to a smoothie, it has such a strong flavor, 2 tablespoons really makes most of my fruit based smoothies better instantly. Almond butter doesn’t have that same power in my opinion, its taste in smoothies is always more subtle. Yes, I could just use more than two tablespoons, but that can easily pack on the calories and keep me too full for too long. As for the rest of issues, yeah, it could be your flavor combos. It could be too much spinach or kale and not enough sweetness. (Using frozen spinach or kale usually helps that, by the way.) Also, if you use protein powder it could just be that you don’t like. Try another brand. Get some samples like I mentioned above. That helped me a ton!
Too cold outside? Sorry. Can’t do anything for ya on that one. I’m NOT about to tell you to warm up your smoothie. Eeeew. OR, maybe you’re one of those weirdos who wakes up when there’s snow on the ground in the dead of winter and you say, “oooh I just can’t WAIT for my ice cold smoothie!!” as you POP out of bed, no problems, no snoozing.
Smoothie not cold? Keep as many things frozen or refrigerated as possible. Bananas are a big one because we usually keep them on the counter top. Not cold ingredients going in = not cold smoothie coming out of the blender. Yes, you can add ice cubes and blend them into the drink, but again, weird textures. I like my smoothies WAY cold, so by the time I add that much ice the texture is too icy/ slushy. Sooooo, I do two things.
#1: Try to use all frozen fruit/veg, nothing room temp, fridge is okay. “But wait!” you say. “I thought you said frozen fruit makes it too thick!” Yes. More than 1 cup frozen per cup of milk makes it too thick (for me). AND, if you don’t wanna go all frozen as I often don’t…
#2: I make my smoothie and serve it poured over ice. That makes it perfectly cold for me without messing with the texture. The ice can make it harder to drink out of a glass. (Picture me with smoothie covered ice cubes rushing toward my face, colliding with my nose and cheeks and then falling toward my chin as I try to get the last sips from the bottom of the cup. Not a cute look.) So I usually always drink with a straw.
There you have it. That’s what I’ve found! I hope these tips help you with your smoothie making. What makes a good smoothie for you?? Do you have any tricks??
I’m so excited I’ve been into smoothies more lately because they’re so easy to make healthy (you can pack so much good stuff in there!), quick (fastest meal ever), and convenient (hello, portable to-go cup + minimal “cook” time and clean up). It’s finally cooling down a liiiiittle bit outside here, but it’s been SO. HOT. Which is when I normally crave smoothies. And boy, was I craving them! I still am, even with cooler mornings and evenings these days. So I’ve amped up my smoothie game.
This recipe was inspired by this amazing juice and smoothie place I stumbled upon here in Denver. It’s SO good that I wrote my first Yelp review. It was time to contribute to this thing I’ve been using since Dan introduced me to it back in my Seattle days, the first time I lived there. It’s been a GREAT resource every time I move… which is like a million times now. Ok not a million, but moving is exhausting. So it feels like a million. For real? Let’s just say I’m getting close to running out of fingers to count my moves!
Back to the point: I was actually craving a juice a couple weeks ago but our juicer is still packed away in boxes since we don’t move into our permanent home for a couple more weeks. So I Yelped, went, and was in love. The first smoothie I got was SO good I had to try to recreate it. It was a pineapple and strawberry smoothie with cashews, hemp, cinnamon, and vanilla. It soooo hit the spot so I just had to try and replicate it at home.
I love a good strawberry smoothie. My go-to before I made this recipe was the “PB&J” version of my Classic Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie (<– the recipe’s on that page) which uses a strawberry banana protein powder and is soooooo delicious. If you don’t have strawberry banana protein powder though, kinda specific, I know, you can just add frozen strawberries to get that strawberry flavor! (There’s already banana in that recipe.)
This recipe calls for raw cashews. If you’re like me and weird smoothie textures weird you out, I suggest soaking the cashews overnight. Soaking also makes them easier to digest. You only need to add enough almond milk (or whatever milk you like) to cover them in a small container with a lid or plastic wrap over top. If you don’t soak them, depending on your blender, the smoothie might not come out 100% smooth. That might be totally okay with you, and there ain’t nuttin’ wrong wit dat if that floats your boat. Just keep in mind, your blender might be powerful enough to pulverize the raw un-soaked cashews smooth. I don’t know! If it’s not, I’m just sayin’ so you know. It’s up to you.
- 1 cup frozen tropical fruit blend (strawberries, pineapple, mango)
- 1 cup almond milk
- ¼ cup raw cashews (soaked overnight in almond milk)
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- dash of cinnamon
- splash of vanilla
- (optional) protein powder of choice
- Add all ingredients to a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
Can’t get enough smoothies these days? Try some of my other favorites:
Coconut Refresh Smoothie (coconut + cocoa powder + mint + more!)
Or… my Classic Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie, which has a couple versions of the same recipe on that page: a paleo version, my mom’s original version, a PB&J version, and more.