5 Tips for Perfect Smoothies & Berry Lemonade

source: Amy Green

Whenever I share a smoothie I’m drinking on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram someone asks for the recipe. When I first started drinking smoothies I used a recipe. I’ve gotten to the place where I just throw some stuff in the blender and go for it. When I hit a flavor combination I really enjoy, I take note and make it again and jot down the recipe so I can share it with you.

Smoothies Are Easy

For those of you who are new to smoothies, there are some things you can do to make sure you don’t end up with a funky texture or less than desirable flavor.

  1. Think Simply. Instead of combining a bunch of different foods you’ve never tried together, start with flavor combinations you know and love. I think about my favorite dessert flavors – cherry and chocolate, berry cobbler, apple pie – and then use those fruits in my smoothies.
  2. Make It Creamy. Use just enough liquid to get the smoothie going in the blender. This yields the creamiest result. It’s easier to start with less liquid and add more. It’s impossible to take liquid away. I like unsweetened almond milk or just good old filtered water in my smoothies, but any liquid that sounds good to you will work.
  3. Veg Out. Smoothies are a great way to get your veggies, especially greens. My favorite green is spinach. It has a milder flavor and is perfect to those of you new to green smoothies. Kale, collards, and swiss chard are more aggressive but delicious. Other veggies I’ve been known to throw in smoothies are carrots, cucumbers, celery, and beets.
  4. Get Your Omegas. Throw in a tablespoon of nutrient-dense flax seeds or chia seeds. They’ll keep your smoothies from separating and will also give you a good dose of omega fatty acids.
  5. Spice It Up. Add a complimentary spice to your smoothie. Cinnamon is great with apples. Ginger and nutmeg pairs well with peaches.

This is a recipe for one of my favorite summer smoothies – it’s refreshing and nutritious. Perfect for those hot afternoons by the pool.

Berry Lemonade Green Smoothie

Serves 1 -2

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup organic blueberries
  • 4 medium to large organic strawberries, stemmed
  • 1 1/2 inch of cucumber, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 stalk of organic celery, cut into several pieces
  • 1 big handful of organic spinach
  • a small slice of lemon
  • 1 teaspoon chia or flax seeds
  • powdered stevia to taste (optional)
  • 1 cup of cold water
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes

Instructions:

  1. Put all ingredients in your VitaMix or blender in the order listed.  Secure lid lightly, start on low and increase slowly to medium-high.  Once the ingredients on the bottom are liquified, flip your VitaMix or blender to the highest speed and blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until desired consistency is reached.  Use VitaMix tamper as needed or stop your blender and manually stir if necessary.
  2. Taste and add more stevia if desired.

If you’re still not ready to blend away without a recipe, try one of these:

How do you blend up your smoothie?

Amy Green is a co-founder of The Balanced Platter and the founder of Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free and the best selling book, Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free: 180 Easy & Delicious Recipes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less. She is also a co-founder of Nourished, the only specialty food blogger conference.

15 Responses to 5 Tips for Perfect Smoothies & Berry Lemonade

  • I love doing this especially for my boys! I can get a lot of nutrition in them quickly and I love that! Great post Amy!

    [Reply]

    Amy Green Reply:

    @Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen), Yes, I agree about getting good nutrition without a lot of effort. Most kids would never sit down and eat all the veggies that go into a smoothie.

    [Reply]

  • Kim says:

    I agree with Sarena. If I start the day out for my boys with a smoothie, I feel a lot less pressure for the rest of the day. (Though, we still eat healthy!)

    [Reply]

    Amy Green Reply:

    @Kim, I just feel better when I get a smoothie in. And, I understand what you mean about less pressure – it’s like when I exercise first thing in the morning. It’s done with for the day and I don’t have to think about when I’m going to fit it in.

    [Reply]

  • those are great tips! i love a good smoothie…especially during the summer!

    [Reply]

  • Maureen says:

    I make green smoothies for my grandkids with spinach, frozen banana, almond milk and a little vanilla. We call them Shrek Shakes. I don’t think they realize the green stuff is spinach. They love them. I make one for myself everyday but I usually use cold green tea instead of the almond milk or sometimes I will use half tea and half almond milk. My all-time favourite though is Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Banana with almond milk. I have to limit these because of the fat content in the peanut butter. I tend to make these as a treat on the weekends. I use my Vitamix blender for my smoothies.

    [Reply]

    Amy Green Reply:

    @Maureen, Who doesn’t love PB, chocolate, & banana? Yum! It’s great that you’re getting your grandkids hooked on healthy foods. Shrek Shakes is a super-smart name!

    [Reply]

  • Kathryn says:

    Mmmm! Sounds yummy. My favorite addition to any smoothie is a tablespoon of coconut flour. It adds a punch of protein, fiber and a wonderful creamy texture.

    [Reply]

    Amy Green Reply:

    @Kathryn, I’ll have to try that in my smoothie tomorrow. It sounds like it does the same thing flax or chia seeds do.

    [Reply]

  • I’m a HUGE smoothie fan, I have one every single morning :) I love, love, LOVE adding greens and other veggies into my smoothies too – it’s my goal to have veggeis with every meal so this is an easy way to sneak them in. My favorite is spinach, but I like to use kale to really boost the color. My new favorite smoothie is pear, cucumber, spinach, almond milk, protein powder, chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg and a dash of stevia. So tasty!

    Yours of course sounds delicious. I just went strawberry picking this past weekend and have lots of frozen strawberries to use!

    [Reply]

  • For so many years I used the same standard smoothie. These days I rarely make the same smoothie twice. Love your tips! And your Berry Lemonade sounds like such a great way to start the day!

    [Reply]

  • Sabrina says:

    Great tips! I have some frozen cantaloupe that I would love to find something to do with. A smoothie sounds perfect!

    [Reply]

  • I love summer and making smoothies. We are blueberry picking next week and I’ll be sharing my blueberry smoothie recipe. I’ve also found that if I freeze the berries I don’t have to add ice and just add almond milk. Makes the smoothies really creamy and still healthy. Plus the almond milk adds a punch of protein to the mix. Thanks for the great tips. Had not thought about cucumbers – yum!

    [Reply]

  • Navitas Vera says:

    Loving your smoothie recipes with chia and flax seeds! Keep an eye out for our next Back to School Smoothment Campaign!

    [Reply]

  • This is a great “how to” for smoothie making! I myself love smoothies of any kind and your recipe here sounds delicious!!! This is a great guide we’ll be sure to pass along to our fans! Thanks :)

    [Reply]

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