Get to the authentic texture and taste of a smoothie and learn how to customize your own for many different purposes
Even if you are a total failure cooking, smoothies are relatively simple beverages that can be prepared at ease, when you have the right ingredients and the right tools to get to that cinematographic last result you often see being served in restaurants, cafes or carried around by your gym mates.
The big issue about preparing an authentic smoothie is the consistency. It is what defines the most this beverage and sometimes can be hard to achieve if you are not aware of what you are including in the mix, and we are going to help you out exactly with that apart from the very basic that must be included in a smoothie preparation.
Making a Smoothie
Before we get that though, is important to know the very basic definition of smoothies, as many people wonder why they are so different from juices when they are almost the same thing: processed fruits and/or vegetables.
- First, smoothies take more than just the actual juice of fruits or vegetables. Even the juices that include pulp and seeds tend to be much more about, in fact, juice, liquids. Smoothies start to differentiate by their texture. They are almost 50/50 when it comes to water and solids, but they also require a method of preparation that pulverizes it all into that singular, smooth cream of sorts that is served.
- Second, smoothies can include more than just fruits/vegetables and water. They can also include dairy ingredients, from milk to yogurt, or other kind of alternative nutritive beverages, like any sort of vegetable milk, specially convenient for lactose intolerant people, vegans or vegetarians.
- For last, you won’t get the ideal smoothie if you don’t have the correct appliance to mix it good: a powerful blender. Smoothies are quite homogeneous beverages, and they just get their authentic consistency when you have a proper blender that can deal with the kind of ingredients you are about to include in your mix. Let’s take a look then on how all these elements combine to create the authentic smoothie.
We are going to start with a very general recipe of what a smoothie is. remembering what you must know as the golden rule for making smoothies: the 50 liquid /50 solid ratio.
Let’s prepare 1L (around 34 oz) of a general smoothie.
For that, you’ll need either of these combinations of our 50/50 rule:
- 500g of fresh fruits.
- 100g of ice (around 7 cubes, considering each is 14g)
- 300g of hard vegetables and/or leaves
- 100ml of a milk of your preference or yogurt
Let’s break the numbers of this basic recipe to you understand how it will provide a good smoothie texture.
First, remember that fruits are rich in liquids, they are at least 80% water or even more, and the rest is solids, from pulp to skin and seeds. From the 500g of fruits you include, at least 400g is liquid. To match our 50/50, then you can complete with the additional 100ml of a beverage of your preference.
Ice here, with the hard vegetables or leaves – both who have few water – are the solid part of the formula with the remaining 100g of solids of the fruits.
The other variation of our basic recipe is to remove the ice by adding frozen fruit, and the numbers will get like this:
- 600g of fresh fruits.
- 300g of hard vegetables and/or leaves
- 100ml of a milk/yogurt
For this second variation, the smoothie will have a stronger taste, as there is no water from the ice to dilute the flavors. On the other hand, you have to beware of the fact it may get too thick depending on the hard vegetables you are going to add, but recipes like this are great for hot summer days as the smoothie will melt faster. You can reduce either the amount of fruit or vegetables and add the correspondent amount in milk or yogurt if that’s not the case.
But to sum up the selection of ingredients and have it with accuracy, check how much water has each fruit or vegetable you want to include in the smoothie recipe. This is the best way to ensure you will not end up with something too watery or too thick. Some fruits like banana, for example, are 74% water, which is quite solid compared to other fruits like strawberry that are around 90% water!
Mixing it All Up
For last, but not less important at all, the way you are going to blend it all, requires an ideal blender. To start, some of the best blenders in the market have a powerful build that makes them ideal to break ice at ease.This is very important because, even if you are not going to include ice cubes into your recipe, smoothies require hard ingredients and they have a harder than usual consistency. If your blender can’t take it, it will get screwed soon or later.
However the important reason on using a powerful blender for smoothies is the fact you really need to pulverize all ingredients to a very homogeneous and seamless texture. If your blender can’t do that, you will get something a bit weird as the outcome of your smoothie or simply, disappointing as a powerful blender not only breaks all solids into dust, but mix them perfectly with the liquid.
So here goes the tech part of our guide about the ideal profile of a blender for your smoothie:
- A 1L (34 oz) max. capacity cup, at least
- 1.7 horsepower motor, at least
- A stainless steel 4 blades min. grinder gear.
Breaking these specs so you can understand better the ideal appliance for you, the 34 oz capacity is quite much a referential of efficiency. There are many smoothie machines that actually are designed to prepare and serve in cups (12 to 14oz). No problem, but if you are planning on making things faster, once and for all, is much better to have an appliance that can blend it all once and store it for later.
The horsepower capacity though is the core of a smoothie blender. The higher that power, the stronger and faster the blender will pulverize all ingredients. If you get a quite robust blender, you have no limitations on what you can mix. You can check the profile of some of the best blenders in the market and take a look on how these super machines work.
Blenders with capacities such as 1.7 and 2 horsepower are largely used in gyms, cafes and restaurants where smoothies are a limitless array of combinations, you can basically mix any food with this capacity. On the other hand, there is no problem if you are acquiring a smaller blender for smoothies and it has a lower capacity like 1.3 or 1.5, since they are manufactured to mix less amounts of ingredients.
For last, the blades system is very important. 4 blades is a basic for the grinder gear, as it provides enough surface to really ensure that everything in the cup will pass by the blades and have its turns to be chopped and pulverized. There are blenders with sets of 6 blades, which is even better. Stainless steel blades are also very important so they will not get damaged and start to malfunction when you mix harder ingredients.
Since smoothies are not a cake, or any kind of dish of sort that you have to start and finish with an accurate set of ingredients to have success, you can and should try and test your own recipes.
Many people add spices, extracts, honey and other kind of sweeteners and flavors to enhance the experience of the taste. Feel free also to find the ideal texture for your taste, you can always add more of this and that until you reach the perfect balance.
Also, smoothies are great to add protein powder, no wonder many people at gyms consume them like that. While mixing whey and similar proteins to fibers, sweets and fat from milk are not the ideal way to absorb it after a work out session, you can surely make use of it, always remembering it is a solid addition to the texture.
Most importantly, once you get to enjoy your own smoothies you will learn that it is a great way to consume a lot of quite healthy and nutritious foods in a straight-forward, raw fashion with easy preparation, and the options and combinations are always, with no limits.
How to Make A Smoothie Infographic
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