As I’ve mentioned before, my life is fairly busy. I spend an awful lot of time rushing from A to B and trying to fit just one more hour into the (infuriatingly short) day. As a result of all of this charging about, I often end up eating on the go and bolting down a quick snack here and there. I don’t know about you, but I loathe this kind of ‘speed feeding’; invariably it means you’re munching on something you don’t really like or want, and which is doing nothing for your figure. Enter the smoothie: I just love them. These filling, fruity concoctions are easy to make, packed with nutrients and – best of all – very quick and portable. To help you to make your own, I thought I’d share my 8 steps to a home-made smoothie: enjoy.
Before we get going with the step by step guide to a delicious smoothie, let’s consider the kind of appliance you’re going to need in your kitchen. While the jug blender – also called a ‘smoothie machine’ – is the most popular food processor for this kind of task, you can use a variety of other kitchen implements. A stick blender will work very well for example, as will a standard processor or, for that matter, a hand operated ‘shaker’ cup.
The first thing you’ll want to do before embarking on your smoothie-making process is to decide on a variety of ingredients to include. You’ve pretty much got free reign here: smoothies are widely variable and you can tailor them to suit a whole range of goals. I like mine to be relatively low-fat but fairly high in energy, since I tend to use them as mini meals on the go. This means I use banana, frozen berries, fat free Bulgarian yoghurt, honey and ice chips (if need be).
It’s not really a good idea to chuck a load of ice blocks into your blender whole. Do this once too often and you’ll find your blades have become pretty blunt. To prevent this from happening, simply wrap some ice in a tea towel and using a heavy, blunt object (the butt of a wooden spoon, the pestle from your pestle and mortar) bash up it up until it is suitable fine.
Banana is a fantastic ingredient and you will find them in most basic fruit smoothie. They’re packed full of energy and potassium, and they help to give your liquid snack a delicious, creamy texture. Slice yours up into small chunks before loading into the barrel of your food processor with the chipped ice.
You don’t need to use frozen berries in your smoothie: you can go for fresh if you want to. If you decide on the latter, you will find your smoothie a little more on the juicy side, and the flavour may be more intense, but you will absolutely need to use chipped to get the texture right.
I’m a big fan of fat free Bulgarian yoghurt. It has a really clean, sharp flavour, and its full of calcium and good cultures, and – of course – it’s very low in fat. If you’re looking for a more luxurious snack, however, and calorie counting isn’t part of your m.o. feel free to go wild with frozen yoghurt or even ice cream.
It’s not really a necessity but I like to finish my smoothie off with a tea spoon of runny honey. It’s delicious, boosts energy and satisfies that craving for something sweet in a relatively healthy way.
Once you have combined all of the ingredients in the jug or barrel of your food processor, pulse them together a few times until you get a smooth, even consistency and the drink looks creamy and delicious.
Eating on the run is no fun at all, but at least, with this kind of fruity drink, you’re able to get the energy and the vitamins you need quickly and easily. Hopefully my list of 8 steps to a home-made smoothie has inspired you to try out your own recipes. Use mine as a blueprint and get creative with ingredients. Do you have any tips or ideas to share?
Top Photo Credit: Nikki L.
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