Learning how to make a smoothie at home can open up a world of healthy and delicious possibilities.
Ready to master the art of the perfect smoothie? I’ve got you covered with this step-by-step smoothie formula + troubleshooting FAQs for how to blend up the best smoothie you’ve ever tasted!
This guide will cover:
- Smoothie basics
- The components of a perfect smoothie
- How to make a smoothie in 3 steps
Let’s get blending!
What is a Smoothie?
A smoothie is simply a blend of different fruits (and sometimes veggies), liquids, and other ingredients to create a thick, flavourful drink.
The thickness/texture of a smoothie is variable. They can be juice-like, milkshake-like, or even smoothie bowls that you eat with a spoon!
But generally, smoothies have a thick and creamy, yet still drinkable consistency.
What’s in a Smoothie?
The beauty of smoothies is that they can be made with so many different ingredients and can have so many different flavour profiles and textures.
Most typically, smoothies are made with fresh or frozen fruits.
Green smoothies are another popular option for people wanting to eat healthier and incorporate more greens in their diet. Green smoothies often have fruit, but focus on adding leafy greens or other vegetables in to make it healthier.
Protein shakes are great for post workouts and will usually incorporate protein powder or high-protein foods in them, in addition to the usual smoothie ingredients like fruits.
And sometimes, smoothies are just a great way to use up fresh produce that is going to go bad soon!
What do You Need to Make a Smoothie?
To blend the perfect smoothie, you are going to need your ingredients of choice (liquid, fruit/veg, and extras – see below) as well as a good blender (obviously).
While high-powered blenders can be expensive, they allow for much greater versatility and you are able to blend in certain ingredients much better.
The Components of a Perfect Smoothie
A smoothie consists of the following parts:
- Liquid base
- Fruits and vegetables (fresh or frozen)
- Extras: sweeteners, thickeners, flavours, nutrients, etc.
To construct a basic, well-balanced smoothie, you will want to select a few ingredients from each section. (However, feel free to make it your own and add in or leave out whatever ingredients you choose).
Below are a few of my favourite ingredients from each section, but you can see a more comprehensive smoothie ingredient list here).
Some of the most common and versatile bases for a smoothie include:
I typically use water or milk, depending on the type of smoothie I’m making. I like water for green smoothies (somehow veggies and milk doesn’t seem like a great match), and milk for more creamy smoothies.
Check out this guide to learn how to make a smoothie without milk.
However, the options for the liquid base of your smoothies are endless. You can even get fancy and try things like:
- Vegetable juice
- Chocolate milk
Some of my favourite fruits for smoothies include:
- Citrus fruits like orange, lemon, grapefruit, etc.
Vegetables are usually added to green smoothies, to add some extra nutrients, especially when you do not want to eat the vegetables by themselves.
However, certain veggies are definitely better for smoothies than others – after all, you don’t necessarily want to actually taste them.
Leafy greens such as spinach and kale are the most popular
Other vegetables such as cauliflower and zucchini are fantastic healthy additions to make a smoothie healthier without compromising on taste, especially when frozen.
Some vibrant vegetables such as beets and carrots can be great with certain flavour combos.
Extras are the ingredients that are used to really customize your smoothie and bring it to another level.
These can be ingredients that enhance the flavour of the smoothie.
They can be ingredients that make the smoothie healthier and more nutritious.
They can be used to improve the texture of your smoothie.
There really are so many options and possibilities for what you can do with some of these ingredients.
Here are just a few examples of “extras” that you can toss in your smoothie:
- Natural sweeteners
- Oats, grains
(See full smoothie ingredients list here).
How to Make a Smoothie in 3 Steps
Step 1: Assemble ingredients
- Select one or two ingredients from each section (liquid, fruit/veg, extras). Smoothies can really be as simple as you’d like.
- Start with a rough ratio of 1:2 for liquid to fruit/veg, and adjust as needed to get your ideal consistency. (more on this later)
- The order you put your ingredients in the blender can help your blender get a smoother blend without too much trouble: first put in liquids, then greens, then soft fruits and other soft ingredients, then hard frozen fruits and other hard ingredients like ice.
- On the other hand, if you’re short on time you can always just toss everything into your blender and blend up until smooth or desired texture. Just remember it is recommended to place the ingredients in the blender in the order of: liquids, greens, fresh fruits, then frozen fruits and ice.
Step 2: Blend!
- Start the blender at low speed, then gradually increase. Let the blender blend it all up until smooth, usually about 30-60 seconds.
- For smoothies made with mostly hard or frozen ingredients, you may need to stop and scrape down the sides as needed, or use a tamper while blending to help it along.
Step 3: Serve and enjoy!
- Depending on what kind of smoothie you make, you can enjoy it fresh, take it to go, or eat it from a bowl. And you can always top a smoothie up with even more toppings for extra yum.
Are Smoothies Healthy?
Smoothies can be incredibly healthy. It’s all about what ingredients you choose to put in.
Smoothies are such a great health hack because you can pack in so many healthy ingredients that you would not otherwise consume or consume as much of.
And they are so customizable – you can really use them to your advantage and focus on the areas of your health/diet you are trying to improve…
If you are aiming to get more greens into your daily diet, learn to make a kickass green smoothie.
If you are aiming to get in more protein, find a high-protein smoothie recipe that you enjoy.
If you are lacking in a nutrient, pack it into a daily morning smoothie.
Whatever your goals, there’s a smoothie for that!
How to Make a Smoothie Healthy
Adding greens to your smoothie, in addition to fruit, is one of the easiest ways to make a smoothie healthier. With the right balance of veg and fruit, you can get your veggies in without even tasting them.
Similarly, you can add in things like nuts and seeds, or nut/seed butters. These delicious ingredients are an excellent way to add in fibre, protein, healthy fats, and flavour to your smoothie, while also improving texture.
Enjoy the natural sweetness of fruits and avoid putting in extra sugar (in any of its manmade forms). Even avoiding fruit juices and opting for water/milk and fresh fruits instead can help reduce sugar and increase fibre.
How to Make a Smoothie Sweeter
Again, we want to avoid simply adding sugar to make smoothies sweeter. There are plenty of natural sweeteners to use instead.
First of all, fruit can be incredibly sweet, while still providing nutritious benefits. Fruits such as apple, banana, mango, and pineapple, are naturally very sweet – by adding in a bit more of these fruits, you can really make your smoothie sweeter.
Other natural sweeteners that are great to add to your smoothie to make it sweeter, are dates, honey, and maple syrup.
How to Make a Smoothie Thicker
Texture is very important in a smoothie – we’re looking for thick and creamy.
First of all, avoid making your smoothie too watery. Simply don’t add too much liquid from the get go.
If you find it is too watery, simply add more of the thickening ingredients listed below.
If you want to make a smoothie thicker, you can do so by adding some of the following ingredients – these are ingredients with natural and healthy fats which can readily help improve creaminess and thickness of your smoothie:
- Avocado – the healthy fats and creamy consistency of avocado translate well to smoothies, creating a thick and creamy texture.
- Milk – a great alternative to water or juice, milk is slightly thicker and creamier, providing more substance.
- Yogurt – similar to milk, yogurt has fat and creaminess that is going to create a thicker smoothie than the other liquid options. Especially Greek yogurt – yummmm.
- Any other fats – like milk, yogurt, and dairy products, any other fatty ingredient is going to make a smoothie thicker – things like nut butters, tahini, etc.
- Ice – adding ice can definitely make a smoothie thicker, but creates more of a frosty texture as opposed to creamy.
- Chia seeds, flax seeds, oats – these ingredients, when blended up, definitely add more substance and make a smoothie thicker. Chia seeds in particular can be stirred into your smoothie at the end and will gradually gel up, creating a thicker and unique texture.
- Frozen fruits – freezing your fruits and vegetables creates a much thicker blend than the same ingredients not frozen.
How to Make a Smoothie Thinner
On the other hand, what do you do if your smoothie is too thick?
The easiest method is to simply add more of your liquid base to the blend.
The only downside to this method of making your smoothie thinner, is that it may water down your smoothie, resulting in a milder flavour.
Other ways to make your smoothie thinner include:
- Letting the smoothie warm up a bit – cold ingredients like frozen fruit or yogurt will become more liquidy/less thick as they warm up.
- Blending it for longer – the more you blend, the more frothy and liquified the ingredients become.
How to Keep Smoothies From Separating
Smoothies tend to gradually separate over time after being blended, leaving a more liquid-y portion on the top, and the heavier, thicker portion on the bottom.
One quick and easy tip would just be to drink your smoothie right after blending it. This is when the consistency will have the best creaminess and uniformity.
If your smoothie has begun to separate, you can also just toss it back in the blender to refresh it, or give it a shake if you’re on the go.
However, you can also prevent your smoothie from separating through the way you make your smoothie…
Certain fatty and fibrous fruits will help create and maintain a thick and creamy texture that holds its shape. Think banana, mango, avocado, pear, etc. As opposed to more watery fruits and vegetables such as apples, celery, and leafy greens.
Similarly, you can use the above tips on how to make a smoothie thicker, to help prevent separation, as separation usually occurs with more watery ingredients. For example, try using thicker liquid bases like milk, instead of water.
Lastly, a strong blender can help, especially when using gritty ingredients like leafy greens. The more incorporated your ingredients are in the smoothie, the less likely they will separate out.
Do You Need Ice For a Smoothie?
Ice can be a great way to make your smoothie cold, frosty, and refreshing, but you certainly do not need ice for a smoothie.
Ice creates a certain frosty and slushy texture, which can be nice sometimes, but not if you are opting for a creamy, thick, and smooth smoothie.
Instead of ice, frozen fruits are an excellent way to make your smoothie cold, while still packing it with flavour and maintaining a nice texture (especially when paired with other creamy ingredients like milk, avocado, or nut butters).
Note that a powerful blender is needed to properly blend up a smoothie with ice.
How to Make a Smoothie More Filling
To make your smoothie feel more like a meal, you can try adding in more fats and proteins.
Some of the best fat- and protein-rich ingredients to add in to your smoothie include:
- Nut butters
- Seed butters
- Milk, nut milk, coconut milk
Check out this guide for details on how to make a meal replacement smoothie.
To make a smoothie, simple gather together some complementary ingredients, blend them up in a good blender, and enjoy your tasty creation! Don’t be afraid to get creative – smoothies are incredibly versatile and customizable!
I hope you found this guide on how to make a smoothie at home, helpful!
I’d love to hear about your smoothie-making experiences! Let me know in the comments your favourite smoothie recipe, your best smoothie tips and tricks, or your biggest smoothie problems.
If you liked this guide, be sure to check out our other smoothie guides:
- Select a liquid base (1 part), a couple of fruits/vegetables (2 parts), and any additional ingredients.
- Add all ingredients to a blender in the order of: liquids, greens, soft ingredients, hard ingredients.
- Blend for about 30-60 seconds, gradually increasing the speed, until the mixture is thoroughly smooth. To help the blender along, stop to scrape down the sides, use a tamper, or add more liquid as needed.
- Pour into glasses, top with toppings if you'd like, and enjoy!
- Start with a rough ratio of 1:2 for liquid to fruit/veg, and adjust as needed to get your ideal consistency.