Fruit Smoothies

So smoothies are one of those culinary mysteries that have always kind of eluded me. They seem so simple, right? Fruit…juice…something with a little substance in it…and yet getting that right balance of flavors has always been so hard for me.

Well, we’ve officially reached the point in summer where I refuse to cook unless it’s absolutely necessary and preferably not inside my house. This has led to a lot of smoothie experimentation and with that experimentation, I’ve discovered that pretty much every smoothie is made of four parts: 2 bases and 2-ish types of fruit.

So after I came to this realization, I broke down typical smoothie fruits into different categories based on how strong their flavors are and realized that smoothie-making can be a really easy and pretty foolproof, choose-your-own-adventure-type of experience.

One thing I found is that when you can, frozen fruit is great because you don’t have to worry about the ice factor.


As cool as I think Sara and her Blendtec are, most people (including me) don’t have a blender nearly that awesome and therefore are likely to find giant chunks of ice in their smoothies. When you use frozen fruit, the sugar in the fruit prevents it from freezing completely solid (at least most of the time), so it blends smoother but still adds the body and coldness of blended ice.

 

 

 

46 comments

  1. Ok, seriously! We're you reading my mind or something??? I've made smoothies before, but I was just looking for a more definitive "recipe" and then you show up with this! Thanks for the ideas and suggestions. Can't wait to try some new combos!

  2. Thank you! I always feel like such a moron because my smoothies always stink and everyone looks at me like, "How hard is it to blend up some fruit?" Ever had any success with grapefruit? I have a few begging to be used.

  3. Just found your blog today, and I'm so glad! I think I'm going to make smoothies tomorrow!

    I worked at Jamba Juice in high school, and still remember how to make my favorite smoothies. The Sonic ice is the trick!

    Here are a few more combos:
    passionfruit juice
    orange sherbet
    peaches
    strawberries

    raspberry juice
    lime sherbet
    raspberries
    strawberries

    apple juice
    vanilla ice cream
    bananas
    blueberries

    Now I'm going to go browse more of your recipes! 😉

  4. HAHAHA! Thank you for clarifying…this preggo almost hunted you down! 🙂 Love me my SMOOTHIES! (gonna have to pick up some spinach now!)

  5. I enjoy a smoothie for breakfast 2-3 times a week – they're great! One of my favorites is orange juice (or apple cider in the fall), vanilla yogurt, a banana, some pineapple and a tablespoon or so of peanut butter. If I don't have pineapples on hand, I'll use two bananas – and call it an "Elvis smoothie."

  6. I love smoothies! I'm a Utah girl, living in Mississippi now and the summer's are just so dreadful! I will be trying every single one of these smoothie recipe's!

    Do you think this would work as a popsicle? I have a one year old, and I've been trying to find popsicle's that doesn't have high fructose corn syrup in them, but I haven't had much luck. I'm not a huge health gooroo but just want to cut out that one thing if possible.

    BTW, I love this site. And so does my family 🙂 They get pretty spoiled with your delicious recipes!

  7. Thanks for solving the mystery of the smoothie! I have a friend who is the smoothie queen – while mine simply flops. She says, it easy try this….. never works. I am so excited to have a secret formula of my own. Ok, maybe not so secret, but I am still excited either way!

    Happy Day,
    Jasey

  8. Jessie, are you dying yet? I'm dying. I went outside yesterday to Windex my glass doors and it took about 3 minutes and I didn't want to go back out again, hahaha!

    Anyway, I haven't ever made them into popsicles, but I totally bet you could. Maybe I'll try it today! If you do, please let me know how it goes! 🙂

  9. Yay for smoothie goodness! I'll admit that yes, finding the right combo and measurements is pretty difficult. I usually end up with something lacking in the flavor department. Thanks for sharing this!!

  10. All of them sound so wonderful right know…in our 105 degree weather…that's for all the options. They all sound great..

  11. This is such a great post. And hey, even with my fancy schmancy blender, I too have found the secret to a good smoothie is finding that perfect blend of proportions and flavors.

    One of my favorite add-ins is peanut butter. It's great with milk, banana and a little chocolate protein powder.

  12. Totally added peanut butter to the list. Thanks, guys! 🙂 Chocolate milk, ice, banana, and PB would be so yummy!

  13. I love making smoothies. When I make the fruit salsa and make too much (which I always do), and we haven't eaten it after a couple days, I throw it in the blender with some yogurt usually, and it actually makes a delicious smoothie.

  14. I love smoothies and I'm definitely going to try some of these.
    I always make my smoothies way too huge and I have found one of the greatest things, due to my inability to throw out the extras of a good smoothie, is to put the extra into small single serving tupperware bowls and freeze it. Just grab a spoon and you've got a great desert or quick snack. I also find that it helps me to actually have a breakfast smoothie when I otherwise wouldn't have the time to make one in the morning.

  15. I always put smoothie mix into my juice-pop molds, and they turn out great!

    And I'm loving the pineapple sherbet idea…gonna try that next.

  16. I love fruit smoothies. I make one just about every morning. I just started using coconut water as my liquid and I really like it.

  17. I wish we had your weather but that is another post! We love smoothies here and always put leafy greens in them like baby spinach, kale or collard greens. One of my faves is apple juice, banana, blueberries and spinach and ground flax seed (just a Tbsp) – delicious! Another great one is chocolate soy milk, a little plain yogurt, banana and peanut butter – yummy!
    I love the idea of pineapple sherbet though, will have to try that one!

  18. Kate, we are on fire here in LA, aren't we? I wish I didn't have to walk from the parking lot to a building. Near 100 every day in early June is not nice. My veggies are NOT appreciating it one little bit!

    Lisa (in BR)

  19. I LOVE smoothies and have always been pretty good at coming up with my own concoctions but am glad to have some new things to try, thanks!

  20. I love to make smoothies! And I love the combinations you have. My favorite smoothie to make is:

    1c. milk (plus some if the smoothie is too thick)
    1 big scoop orange sherbet
    1/2 c. frozen mango chunks
    10 frozen strawberries (probably 1 1/2 c.)

    I love my smoothies really thick like soft serve ice cream.

  21. i LOVE smoothies!! my favorite one to make at home is a watermelon smoothie. use 14 oz. pineapple juice (use Dole 100% juice in a can from the juice aisle–so much better than generic brands!!), 1 cup frozen watermelon chunks and 1 cup frozen strawberries (you can add more or less strawberries or watermelon depending on which way your tastes lean).anyways, it's awesome and will not disappoint!!

  22. Any smoothie will make delicious popsicles. Just pour into a mold, freeze and enjoy.

    Another trick is to use concentrated juices, without diluting them. This is how you can get some amazing flavor. I typically use yogurt and scoop the frozen concentrate out of the can and put it directly into the blender. I like my smoothies to have bold flavor. Strawberries Wild has always been too bland for me.

    Also, I never add ice to my smoothies. I feel this just waters them down. Use frozen fruit instead.

    My smoothie making expertise comes from working too many years at a certain smoothie store while attending BYU.

  23. A smoothie shop recently opened next door to my office and my wallet has been pretty skinny ever since. So, I started making copy-cat versions at home! My favorite is pineapple, orange juice, vanilla yogurt and ice. Oh my, so so good!
    Thanks for the post! I was still trying to figure out the right combination of ingredients. : )

  24. These look great! I'm going to have to try a couple of the smoothies shared in your post and in the comments. My favorite:

    1 cup mixed frozen berries
    1 frozen banana
    1 cup orange juice
    1/2 cup yogurt

    I usually add a couple of kale leaves and a bit of flax seed oil, too, but it's great without those, too.

  25. We do smoothies and popcorn every Saturday night for dinner. When my husband makes them they turn out just like a Jamba Juice, but without the sugar or ice cream, so very healthy.

    Favorite easy combo (for 2 adults, 2 kids – fills one blender)
    – two whole pineapple cut up and frozen (or buy the frozen pineapple at the store if you can find it)
    – 4 big bananas
    – 1/2 liter of 100% mango juice (can use orange for more tropical taste, but mango is a lot sweeter)
    – a couple handfuls of frozen strawberries or blueberries if you have them

    We always turn the leftovers into popsicles using the Tupperware popsicle makers – the fruit discolors a tad bit, but tastes fine and my kids love them. Great to keep on hand if you have an upset tummy as it gets them fruit and fluids without processed sugar.

  26. Amen to using frozen fruit and eliminating the ice (although using Sonic ice is a good idea…)!

    Another trick I've discovered is freezing any leftover juice into ice cube trays. For instance, last week I made peach jam with some REALLY juicy peaches. I didn't want runny jam, so I drained out the juice and froze it. Perfect for smoothies! It also works great with all the leftover juice from cutting up watermelon.

  27. I used Crystal Light White-cran-peach juice as my base, with lite blueberry yogurt to keep the calories down. I added frozen peaches, blueberries, strawberries and fresh spinach. It was great!

    My husband didn't believe me when I told him there was spinach in the smoothie. I'm always looking for ways to use up the fresh spinach since the two of us have a hard time eating a whole bag.

  28. Thank you so much for posting this! I've always felt like a dork because I couldn't get the balance right for smoothies and didn't ever want to ask anyone! Now I need to pick up some fruit and yogurt and get going on experimenting.

  29. Used this for a Miamaids activity tonight, with tons of options for the girls to mix and match…HUGE hit, thanks girls!

  30. Great ideas, love the morning smoothies. I use water instead of juice so I don't get the extra sugar, also add 1/4 cup hemp seeds or a few tablespoons of flax seeds also gives you a boost of goodness in there.

  31. any way you can make smoothies completely DAIRY free? like if you use rice milk as base 1, what should you do for base 2?

  32. you can totally make them dairy-free, my sister-in-law is vegan and loves smoothies. 🙂 use the tofu, the sorbet, cream of coconut, dairy-free ice cream or soy yogurt and you should be good! enjoy!!

  33. I love all these great ideas. We have an amazing smoothie that only uses fruit–for anyone who wants it dairy free, sugar free, all that good stuff.

    Put enough water in the bottom of the blender to cover the blades.
    Half a can of sliced pineapple w/o juice.
    One frozen banana (I always have a ziploc full of peeled, frozen bananas in the freezer)–the banana gives it that creamy texture without having to use the dairy
    A handful of frozen strawberries (I have added raspberries and/or blueberries as well)

    It comes out amazing, and you can boast that it is 100% fruit! (And no ice needed).

  34. Wonderful! I used to make smoothies by dumping a bunch of different frozen fruits (because it was all in one bag… duh!) and some crystal light. Honestly it didn’t taste that great but I was too lazy to figure it out myself. Thanks for taking the work out of it for me!!!! =)

  35. You can also add chunks of fresh zucchini or yellow squash – like the baby spinach, it sounds wierd, but you totally can’t taste them and it’s a great way to get veggies in kiddos! I also sometimes add a scoop of orange Tang powder for some extra orange flavor. Cottage cheese is another great protein addition. Just add a teaspoon of sugar to sweeten things up, since the cottage cheese isn’t sweet like yogurt or ice cream.

  36. Thanks for your inspiration. I have an extremely picky toddler who currently loves Danimals Smoothies (which aren’t so great nutritionally and come in a 4oz serving size) I threw together a smoothie with ingredients we had on hand- 100% juice fruit punch, vanilla yogurt, blueberries, a huge scoop of peanut butter and a handful of baby spinach. It sounds disgusting, but it tastes so good, I don’t want to share it!! I’m crossing my fingers that my toddler loves it!

  37. The money saving tip I have for smoothies is to buy the yogurt in the larger size. I then take some of it (that I may not get around to using before it expires)and drop it into ice cube trays. When they are frozen I put them in a ziploc bag. It works great as the “ice” then I add juice and fruit. I also have just a regular blender and it blends up great.

  38. I never had a smoothie until about 10 months ago. I needed to make some serious healthy lifestyle changes so I splurged and bought a Vitamix (initially I bought a Blendtec but I found it didn’t pulverize things like raspberry seeds and I’m really picky and hate seeds! The Vitamix was definitely worth the extra money!)
    I always use a base of Vanilla or Strawberry Activia, then a handful of baby spinach, a heaping tablespoon of Chia seeds, a tablespoon of ground flax and a teaspoon of wheat germ.
    Then my favourite is a peeled orange, a bunch of frozen peaches, frozen red grapes, frozen strawberries, a cube of frozen watermelon (I buy watermelon in season, purée it and freeze in ice cube trays, then Ziploc bag it) and a chunk of frozen pineapple. Don’t throw the cores of fresh pineapple out, they are full of bromelin which is very good for you. I buy a lot of local fresh fruit in season, prep it and freeze it for the winter months. More flavour and healthier! If the smoothie is super thick, I’ll add a splash of Simply Orange and keep blending. It’s really tasty and you wouldn’t even know the spinach, chia, flax and wheat germ is in there. Super healthy and tasty!

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