There’s more to making smoothies than throwing every healthy ingredient you can find into a blender and hoping for the best. If you’re an aspiring stay-at-home-smoothie-maker and want to make sure your smoothies taste as good as they look on Instagram, you’re in the right place. We’re sharing what you need to consider when prepping, selecting ingredients, and blending, so you know how to make the perfect smoothie, every time.
The beauty of making smoothies is that you can create cafe-style smoothies at home with a just a few pieces of equipment:
Blender (anything goes, even stick blenders, but keep in mind that the blending time and smoothie consistency can vary considerably depending on your blending device)
Sharp knife and chopping board (not always necessary if you’re working with ingredients that don’t need the knife treatment, like bananas and berries)
Ice tray (if you’re a fan of thicker smoothies like me, ice is your secret smoothie weapon)
Serving glass (which can double as a vessel for measuring ice and liquid volumes)
Smoothie Tip: If you’re a smoothie fiend, have a spatula on hand to scrape down every last bit of smoothie goodness from your blender!
Not all smoothies are created equal and the best-tasting smoothies rely on the right combination of quality ingredients to achieve boss status. You can’t go wrong with fresh produce and organic nuts, seeds and superfood powders - the secret is knowing how to achieve the best combination of these ingredients. When considering ingredients to craft nutritious smoothies, steer clear of processed ingredients with added sugars and artificial additives.
A healthy smoothie wouldn’t be complete without a superfood-kick to add a nutrient and flavour boost. Every Craft Smoothie recipe includes a carefully selected superfood combination, which is then matched with a complimentary fruit and vegetable base. Nuts and seeds will give your smoothie an added protein kick and ensure you stay fuller for longer. Delicately flavoured superfoods like almonds, chia seeds and linseed work well with most smoothie bases. Check out some of our recommended superfood mixes below to give your smoothies a kick in the right direction.
For a calcium boost: Almonds, chia seeds and carob
For a protein shot: Almonds, sunflower seeds and linseeds
For an antioxidant hit: Acai, cacao nibs and cinnamon
To boost your iron intake: Cacao and pumpkin seeds
To achieve a dairy-free creamy texture: Cashews and coconut chips
All healthy smoothies start with a fruit and/or vegetable base, which can be customised for the season and the fresh produce available to you. Finding the perfect combination can require some trial and error, but bananas or avocados form a brilliant base and will give your smoothies an awesome creamy texture. They taste great when blended together, or with other fruits like berries, mango or melon. If you’re wanting to boost your veggie intake, carrot, beetroot and cucumber are all smoothie-friendly ingredients that will taste surprisingly sharp when combined correctly.
Winter: Apple and orange, banana and pear, orange and carrot, cucumber and apple
Summer: Pineapple and strawberry, blueberry and banana, peach, strawberry and banana
Smoothie Tip: When crafting a smoothie for two people, two or three servings of fruit is generally a good base to work with. Two servings could equate to one banana and one handful of strawberries, or one apple and one banana.
Mum always told you to eat your greens, but why not drink them? Leafy greens are among the most nutritionally-dense foods you can get your hands on, and adding these nutritional powerhouses to your smoothies will crank up your vitamin and mineral intake, while providing you with a rich source of fibre and a healthy dose of disease-fighting plant-based compounds. Every Craft Smoothie box contains at least two green smoothie recipes, ensuring you get a delicious leafy green fix.
Banana, melon and kale
Banana, kiwifruit and spinach
Apple, orange, banana and kale
Smoothie Tip: Removing the stems from the kale makes life easier for your blender, but if you’re not adverse to a stalky-taste and your blender can hack it, throw in the full shebang for the full nutritional benefits.
Smoothie Tip: Two or more servings of fruit and one serving of greens is a good ratio to work with for a green smoothie.
If you’re following a vegan, paleo or dairy-free diet, smoothies are the perfect breakfast or snack option because they can be easily customised according to your dietary requirements. If a smoothie recipe calls for cow’s milk, you can simply substitute directly for water, coconut water or your favourite nut milk, rice milk, oat milk, coconut milk or soy milk. Freshly squeezed or pressed juice and herbal teas (that have been chilled) are also tasty non-dairy options. Combos we love include:
Almond milk with apple smoothies
Coconut milk with pineapple, berry smoothies or cacao-based smoothies
Coconut water with green smoothies
Smoothie Tip: Making almond milk (or any other nut milk) from home is easy too. Here’s what to do:
Soak 1 cup of almonds in water for at least 12 hours
Rinse almonds well
Blend almonds with 2 cups of water for several minutes until smooth consistency is achieved
Strain mixture into a large bowl through cheesecloth or muslin
Put mixture back into blender with a few drops of vanilla, and dates or other sweetener to achieve your desired sweetness
If you want to add to the natural sweetness of your smoothie combo, adding unrefined sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, rice malt syrup, agave syrup, stevia or even a date will do the trick! These sweeteners are readily available from supermarkets and health stores to satisfy your sweetness preferences.
Smoothie Tip: When selecting sweeteners, keep in mind the consistency as the runnier the sweetener, the better it’ll blend.
Now you have your base, greens, liquid, superfoods (and maybe a sweetener) sorted, it’s time to start blending.
Add ice and/or frozen ingredients.
Add fresh fruit and/or vegetables and/or leafy greens.
Add any optional extras. This can be nuts, seeds, superfood powders, dried fruit, protein powders or sweetness.
Add your favourite liquid of choice. This can be water, milk, yoghurt or fruit juice.
Blend until smooth.
Blending Tip: If you’re using a NutriBullet or a similar-style blender, reverse the above order of steps so add your liquid first, then add nuts, seeds and superfoods, then add your leafy greens, fruit and vegetables for an even blend.
To blend two servings, we recommend using 3/4 cup of ice and 3/4 cup of water (for every two portions of fruit ie. one banana and one apple). If you prefer a more liquid consistency, you can reduce the amount of ice and add extra water.
Blending Tip: If you’re experimenting with consistency, begin with the minimal volume of water necessary for your blending and gradually add more liquid until the desired consistency is achieved.
Blending times can vary depending on the smoothie ingredients and the blender you’re working with. If you’re blending with ingredients like nuts, seeds or dried fruits, keep an eye on the mixture and continue blending until the smoothest consistency possible is achieved. The less “bits” you can see, the better the ingredients will be blended and the more evenly the flavour will be distributed. For easier blending, try soaking nuts, seeds or dates overnight.
If you’re saving your smoothie or a portion of your smoothie for later, we recommend transferring to a covered vessel (either a glass or bottle) and storing in the fridge as soon as possible. The smoothie mixture will separate after some time, so remember to give it a shake or stir before drinking up.
The golden rule for any seasoned smoothie maker is to clean (or at least rinse) your blender and serving glass as soon as possible after use. This will save yourself scrubbing away at the hardened smoothie residue 12 hours later.
Want to make boss-like smoothies every week without the hassle of sourcing your own fresh ingredients and superfoods? Craft Smoothie has your back - find out how to get a fresh set of recipies each week plus all the ingredients you need to craft healthy smoothie recipies from home.
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