Well, it’s hot out. That’s the understatement of the year, Captain Obvious. Instead of complaining about this rising heat (yes, Climate Change is indeed real), let’s do something about it and sip on some smoothies! Okay okay, I allow some complaining about this weather because these fossil fuels are, to put it articulately, truly sucky, thinking they are so great by going and destroying our planet.
Back to the food part because Jorey here is a big fan of her food.
I love smoothies because I never get bored of them. Sometimes I go for the peanut butter chocolate smoothie, other times a vanilla bean one, or even shake it up with a mix of fruits. I follow foodies on Instagram and drool over their super fancy smoothies, like ones titled “peach cobbler”, “blueberry cheesecake”, or “French toast”. Smoothies are so great because it’s a meal in a cup! Even if you are challenged in the cooking/baking area, you can still make a smoothie. I believe in you.
What I don’t like are smoothies that more resemble a juice.
You know what I’m talking about. These are watered down and have a thin consistency. I want the good, thick stuff! With some research over the years and much experimenting, I’ve found several ways to ramp up your smoothie game. Yes, my smoothies are as thick as the ones you can buy for a whopping $6 or $7 that maybe total to $2 if made at home. Here’s how:
Frozen fruit. This option is the most commonly used method to thicken smoothies. Frozen bananas are typically the most popular, but peaches and mango are also at the top of the list. These are high in soluble fiber, which absorbs water to create a thicker consistency.
Freeze your milk of choice in ice cube trays overnight. This ensures that your smoothie won’t be as watery.
Blend in half an avocado. This gives you some healthy fats and fiber. Avocado is best used as a base for chocolate smoothies or ones that feature greens.
Toss in some chunks of tofu. Yep, sounds gross. It isn’t. You won’t taste it, I promise.
Another go-to thickening agent is cottage cheese. I just tried this one, and I’ll admit at first I was tentative, but man oh man, my smoothie turned out so creamy and did not taste like cottage cheese in the least. Stick to ½ cup per smoothie.
Sweet potato puree, pumpkin puree, or carrot puree. Also? Freeze your greens.
Throw in a tablespoon of gluten free flour. Almond, coconut, rice, tapioca, or chickpea. This adds some fiber and plant-based protein.
Soaked nuts. I once made ice cream simply out of cashews, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and a tiny bit of almond milk, and it was divine. It is best to allow nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts) to soak overnight to ensure ultra smoothness.
Chia seeds or flax meal. You can simply toss in some chia seeds or make a gel first by soaking them in water for around 20 minutes. Chia seeds are a superfood, as they are abundant in protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. In order to get the best results for flaxseeds, combine 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds with 2.5 tablespoons of water and have it sit for 5 minutes.
Any type of yogurt will add some extra creaminess and thickness. Opt for Greek yogurt to get the best results- it’s also the best source for protein. This does have a unique flavor, so make sure you like it!
Oats. This is where the peach cobbler smoothie comes from. This is another source for protein and fiber.
Nut butters like almond, peanut, or cashew.
Key rule: You can always add, but you can’t subtract. This means stick with the minimal liquid at first and if it’s too thick or cannot blend, then you can always add more.
Okay, maybe I lied. Making the perfect smoothie can be a little hard. It’s an art, as there’s a layering guide to ensure all the ingredients are fully processed and that the final texture is smooth and creamy.
• Liquids are first! This will allow the rest of the ingredients to easily be pulled down to be blended.
• Powders (protein, cocoa, maca) or sweeteners (agave or honey). Put in second, this ensures that any powder will dissolve and not leave a chalky texture.
• Soft ingredients like yogurt, nut butters, tofu, or avocado.
• Fresh fruits, seeds, and nuts.
• Frozen and hard ingredients like ice cubes, frozen fruit. Since these are heavier, their weight acts as a boost to push everything else towards the blade.
And now I send you off, star pupils, to make and rock your own delicious smoothies.
Also published on Medium.