What's better than a smoothie to cool off during the summer or take in your daily needs for vitamins and fiber during the winter? Smoothies are good, and they are good, but what are smoothies? Can I make them with fruit only? What ideas can they exploit?
In our in-depth study, we will provide you with all the knowledge you need about smoothies, their alternatives, and how to prepare them to perfection... Without further delay, let's get straight to the point!
What is a smoothie
A smoothie is a drink that is made by blending different fruits and vegetables together. A good smoothie, in fact, can also contain other ingredients such as milk, honey, soy drinks, almond, or rice (the so-called plant milk), and even a sprinkle of cinnamon cocoa!
When ice is added to the smoothie, it is called a milkshake. The ice, inserted inside the blender and chopped together with the fruit, gives a particular consistency to the fruit mix that we can define frothy. In the milkshake, we often also find the ingredient of milk.
But if we want to stay on the subject of smoothies, we must limit ourselves to talking about a mix of fruit and vegetables with variable consistency: the smoothie can be more or less dense (but not frothy) in relation to the type of fruit and vegetables that are used and is also based on whether or not water or milk is added.
What are fruit smoothies?
We have just seen that fruit smoothies are mixes made with a blender: when we talk about fruit smoothies, we exclude those that also include vegetables, but we do not exclude those that contain a quantity of milk or water.
The addition of milk (or water), in fact, is sometimes dictated by a real technical requirement.
In fact, if we choose our ingredients among fruits that contain lower percentages of water, such as peach, banana, and apple, we will have difficulty blending the ingredients, especially if we prepare large doses, perhaps for two or three people.
In this case, the addition of milk or water serves as a "trigger" to the blender that will be able, in addition to chopping the pieces of fruit, to create a more uniform drink.
But what aren't fruit smoothies? Fruit smoothies are different from fruit juices. While fruit smoothies generally contain all the fruit, including the skins and seeds. Juices, on the other hand, contain only the pulp of the fruit, which is why they are less dense than fruit smoothies.
Compared to juice, precisely because it uses all parts of the fruit, the fruit smoothie is much richer in fiber and vitamins.
Why drink a fruit smoothie?
Fruit is one of the most important foods for the benefits it brings to our body, but also the one we underestimate most of all.
Most of us do not eat enough fruits a day and this - when we also lack proper vegetable consumption in our diet - becomes even more serious. Why drink fruit smoothies?
- A fruit smoothie brings important doses of vitamins and fiber to our body, improving the health of the intestine, our immune defenses, and our energy levels.
- It is a tasty and quick way to eat three, or even four, fruits a day, which is even more than our daily requirement of fruit.
- It is a low-calorie snack, ideal for those who have embarked on a path to lose weight or for those who try not to get heavy, for example, after dinner.
- The fruit smoothie is preferable to fruit juice, especially those of the most common brands that we buy at the supermarket.
- The smoothie contains all the parts of the fruit (keep in mind that, inside the fruit, the highest concentration of vitamins is found in the peel); secondly, fruit juices contain sugar.
- When you make a smoothie, you may also want to add sugar, but you can choose which sugar to add: we recommend honey, Agave syrup, or brown sugar.
In summer, the fruit smoothie is a refreshing and nutritious drink that helps to face the sultry days, even and especially when we have to carry out physical activities (for sports or for work) outdoors. Smoothie gives fruit energy and keeps you hydrated.
How to make a fruit smoothie
The fruit smoothie cannot be separated from a small appliance which in this case is essential: the blender.
In addition to the blender, to prepare a fruit smoothie, you will need the right ingredients: fruit in this case, but also vegetables.
There is a small distinction: while all fruits - without exception - are suitable for preparing a smoothie, not all vegetables are equally so (some have a too strong flavor, or their consistency is not such as to be used for making a smoothie).
Generally, it proceeds like this:
- Wash fruit: unless you have just picked it from your tree in the garden, away from busy roads, the fruit must always be washed well; otherwise, in addition to fiber and vitamins, insecticides and other chemicals are also ingested.
- Some fruits should be peeled, but not all. Some peels are inedible, such as that of a banana or kiwi. In this case, the fruit must be peeled. For fruits such as apples, peaches, apricots, etc., the peel is an excellent source of taste and vitamins: in this case, then, just wash the fruit well.
- We then proceed to de-bone or remove the core for those fruits that need this operation, such as apples, apricots, peaches...
- At this point, all the fruit can be cut into small pieces and placed in the blender.
- To add or not to add milk or water? This is our expert tip: run the blender without adding anything other than fruit and/or vegetables. If the blender manages to create the mix you want, add nothing.
- If, on the other hand, the result is too thick, or even the blender is unable to blend the ingredients, gradually add a liquid ingredient to facilitate this operation.
Your fruit smoothie is ready! You don't have to be good in the kitchen to make a good fruit smoothie!
What are the best fruits for making a fruit smoothie?
Fruit smoothies can be made with any type of fruit. However, there are some fruits that are more suitable for their texture, flavor, and properties than others.
1. Peaches, apricots, apples
These are among the most common fruits in our pantries. When you run out of ideas, just blend one of these fruits with a banana to make a fruit smoothie that's good for you and tastes good.
Banana is one of the sweetest fruits. Not surprisingly, it is one of the favorite fruits of children. Its texture then gives the smoothie a very pleasant creamy texture.
It is also a very nutritious fruit: those looking for a fresh and healthy snack that still brings enough energy to face part of the day with a banana-based smoothie will get the desired results.
3. Orange or lemon
To make smoothies less dense or even to make it easier for the blender to chop all the pieces well, a liquid ingredient is often added to fruit smoothies.
This ingredient can be water or milk, but the idea is to use a juice from another fruit, and for this, citrus fruits are ideal.
From the orange and lemon, you get squeezed in less than two minutes using a common citrus squeezer, you avoid adding milk that can weigh down the smoothie, and a good dose of vitamin C is added to the fruit smoothie.
Kiwi is a fruit with beneficial properties as important as they are unknown. Few people know that a kiwi contains much more vitamin C than orange and lemon, which contains a high percentage of water which makes it low-calorie and helps keep hydrated during sultry days, and which is an excellent diuretic and ally for the health of the vessels. Blood and therefore of the heart.
Melon is ideal for smoothies because it is very sweet and contains a high percentage of water. This generally means that you won't need to add any ingredients other than fruit, and the smoothie's flavor will be much more intense.
Types of smoothies
So far, we have focused on fruit smoothies, but are these the only possible alternatives?
Fruit smoothies are what we have talked about so far. They are a mix of fruit minced through a blender until you get a liquid or thick drink.
This does not mean, however, that all the ingredients must be fruit; in fact, when we add milk - vegetable or other nature - to a smoothie, we can still consider fruit smoothies. However, this is not the only alternative available to us: the world of vegetables, in fact, can reserve us great surprises!
In addition to fruit smoothies, we can make equally tasty vegetable smoothies. In fact, vegetables are also rich in vitamins and other minerals that are very important for our body.
As for the intake of fiber, then, vegetables are even richer and therefore contribute more to the health of our intestines.
For fruit smoothies, we talked about how our break can become a way to eat the right amount of fruit a day since few of us are able to eat the right amount of fruit every day.
The same goes for vegetables and maybe even more. Are you among those who cannot eat the right amount of vegetables every day because you don't like them or because you don't have time?
Then a vegetable smoothie or a fruit and vegetable smoothie may be the right remedy. In a nice fresh and tasty glass, you can collect your dose of fruit and vegetables for the day.
Vegetable smoothies, then, are allies for your weight loss diet even more than fruit ones can be: while fruit has excellent qualities but also a fair amount of sugar, with vegetables, you will not have this drawback.
While you can't eat as much fruit as you want if you're on a diet, you can have no limits with vegetables and use vegetable smoothies to fight your nervous hunger multiple times throughout the day as well.
How to make a good smoothie
We have already seen how to prepare fruit smoothies, and the same goes for vegetable smoothies: once you have washed and cleaned the vegetables, you just have to put all your ingredients in a blender and adjust the consistency by adding water or vegetable milk (in the case of vegetables, you will notice that there is almost never a need to add liquid ingredients because vegetables contain a sufficient percentage of water to allow you to obtain a liquid smoothie).
Since the procedure should be clear by now, let's move on to deepen the subject with some tricks that will allow you to get the best out of your fruit and vegetable smoothie.
How to get the best out of a smoothie
What are the tricks to get the best fruit and vegetable smoothie?
1. Use all the fruit
Unlike the fruit juices we buy at the supermarket, when making the fruit smoothie at home, we have the possibility to use all the parts of the fruit that are edible.
This mainly includes the peel, which is a very tasty part of the fruit and contains most of the vitamins and minerals. By exploiting all the edible parts of fruit and vegetables, our smoothie will have a more concentrated flavor, and above all, it will bring greater benefits to our bodies.
2. Avoid adding liquids
We have abundantly explained how liquid ingredients can be added to the smoothie to adjust the density to our liking.
However, to get the best out of a smoothie, it's best to avoid these additions and only use ingredients that are fruits and vegetables. This way, the fruit and vegetables will not be diluted, and the smoothie will taste better.
What if the smoothie is too thick or liquid? The trick is to know how to regulate the density by coupling fruit (or vegetables) more or less rich in water. For example, if we blend a banana with a kiwi, or melon, or orange juice, there will be no need to add milk or water.
3. Don't forget about dried fruit
By dried fruit, we mean almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, etc... They too are excellent ingredients for your fruit smoothie, especially because they are very rich and, above all, healthy sources of energy!
Nuts provide calories to your body without raising your blood sugar, making them ideal for energy smoothies. Alongside dried fruit, you can also take advantage of the properties of seeds - such as flax or sunflower seeds - which are also a healthy source of energy for your body. Flax seeds are also very rich in omega 3!
Read Interesting Articles Below: