Maybe you’re green to smoothie making, or maybe you just haven’t found the right mix. But if you have to mash your teeth or hold your nose to down your morning smoothie, we’ve got the fix!
Whether you choose spinach, kale, romaine or another leafy green as your base, here’s how to give your smoothie the green light on deliciousness:
Start with the right tools
If your green smoothies typically look like semi-liquid salads, chunks and all, then your blender is to blame. Invest in a good one, and your days of chewing drinks will be over. You don’t have to splash out, either (although if you do invest in a premium model like a Vitamix or Blendtec, you’re guaranteed good results — warrantied them, even). Consumer Reports evaluated several machines and found that for basic blending tasks, a $60 Ninja does as well as a $450 Vitamix. But if you’re determined to keep an old, low-power blender until its clunky demise, blend in stages, batching greens and liquids as smooth as you can get them before adding fruit and ice.
Sugar from whole fruits is the best sweetener, and takes a green smoothie from healthy to deliciously healthy. Apples, grapes, watermelon, pear, pineapple, banana, mango, kiwis, cherries and pitted dates are all good sweeteners. Serious vegetable lovers are advised to start at a fruit to veggie ratio of at least 1:1, while sweet seekers will be happier at 3:2. Gradually increase vegetable content as your palate adjusts.
Better yet, add frozen fruit
Frozen fruit chills and thickens without the diluting effects of ice. Plus many fruits, like grapes and mangos, taste sweeter once frozen. But if you’re not adding frozen fruit, do include ice, as chilled smoothies always tastes better.
Build it in the correct order
Proper smoothie assembly reduces stress on your blender’s blades and lets them do their job efficiently. Add liquids first, then soft ingredients, then crisper ones. Start at your blender’s slowest setting and gradually increase speed.
Use an assortment of flavours
Kombucha, kefir, green tea, coconut milk, coconut water, almond milk, rice milk, soy milk and yogurt are flavourful water substitutes, while parsley, ginger and mint are tried and true flavour additions to fresh smoothies and juices.
Water makes a great fix
Sometimes you want to make the most delicious smoothie known to humankind, and sometimes you just want to masticate some vegetables so you can get your daily intake in one shot. But if filling your belly with liquid veggies is your goal, adding lots of fresh water will make it tastier to meet. This is what we do whenever we get zealous, ignore our culinary instincts and create a smoothie that’s a tad too green. It’s not a perfect cure, but a flick of the tap will take your too-green health drink from offensive to palatable.
Not sure which fruits and veggies taste good together? Visit your local juice or smoothie bar to see what they’re doing, then copy the tastiest combos at home. Or check out Vitamix’s guide to custom green drinks and let us know which combinations you like best.