We’ve all had the experience of being hyped up about a smoothie recipe only to have it fail us miserably. The order in which you add ingredients to a blender makes a big difference between your smoothie being a mess or a creamy, thick smoothie that satisfies both your appetite and your ego.
1. Use Half the Amount of Liquid
Start things off by only using half the amount of liquid called for in a recipe. If you don’t have a recipe, then a safe amount is around 3/4 cup to 1 cup per 16 to 20 ounce smoothie. Some recipes advise to add all the liquid first, while others say to add it last. I find that if you add half the amount of liquid at the beginning and half at the end, it creates a much more evenly blended smoothie than adding it all at one time.
2. Protein Powder
If you’re using protein powder in your superfood smoothie, such as a plant-based brand like Vega or Sunwarrior, it’s best to add them next. These powders help thicken your smoothie and create a creamier blend. By adding them right after the liquid, they’ll blend much more easily than adding them last where they may end up a bit powdery or chalky.
Now it’s time to add your superfoods! Choose from anything such as maca, cacao, coconut butter, plain cocoa powder, chia seeds, acai berries, goji berries, raw almond butter, flax seeds or even a green superfood powder. Sweeteners such as stevia or vegan honey can also be added here, or any other superfood you enjoy too.
4. Leafy Greens
Every superfood smoothie deserves some leafy greens, right? It’s best not to place them right near the blade where they could potentially oxidize during blending, or wait until last where they may not blend well. By placing them in the middle, they’ll blend perfectly between all of your ingredients so you’re not left chewing bits of greens in your smoothie later on! For a sweeter blend, choose spinach, romaine, or Swiss chard or for an earthier flavor, go with kale, arugula or collards. Use around 2 cups each for each 16 to 20 ounce smoothie.
5. Frozen Fruit
Next it’s time to add some frozen fruit (or even frozen greens) on top of your fresh greens. This helps keep the greens cool and it helps them blend better. You can choose any fruit you like here, so get creative! I’m a huge fan of frozen cucumbers, raspberries, and acai packs, but feel free to choose from frozen bananas, berries, mangoes or peaches too! Use 1 cup of frozen fruit per 16 ounce to 20 ounce smoothie or adjust the amount of liquids if you want to use more fruit.
Be sure to add some ice if you like your smoothies especially thick and cold! You can even freeze almond milk or coconut milk in ice cube trays to use instead for a creamier flavor. Adding ice prevents your superfoods and greens from overheating during the blending cycle. Because no one likes a lukewarm smoothie, right? Use five to eight large ice cubes or more if you want it even thicker.
7. Remaining Liquid
And finally, it’s time to pour in your remaining ¾ cup to 1 cup liquid. Whether you choose water, cooled green tea, almond, coconut, hemp or flax milk, adding just enough at the end is the perfect way to ensure the best blend possible.
8. Blend Time
Now you’re ready to blend! Start on a low speed and then progress to high for the best consistency possible. If you have a Vitamix, you’ll want to use the tamper, and if you have a Blendtec, I suggest using the frozen dessert button to create an extra thick smoothie. No high tech blender? Don’t worry! This technique works in all blenders, including a household blender and a Nutribullet.
Now you never have to dread making a smoothie again and you can vary the ingredients however you like, so long as you remember this order. Hopefully these steps will inspire you to make more smoothies and give you a better blending experience at the same time. Now, get blending already!