8 steps to the perfect smoothie
by Leah Hyslop
They're such an easy way to get an instant hit of vitamins and nutrients, but what's the secret of the perfect smoothie blend?
1. Add ice cubes
Nobody likes a warm smoothie. For best results, add ice – or a generous handful of frozen fruit – to the blender.
2. Don't forget a 'thickener'
Avocado or banana adds a silky thickness. Oats, soaked briefly in a little water to soften them, have a similar effect.
3. Add acid
A little lemon or orange juice can help prevent your smoothie turning a murky brown colour.
4. Balance your flavours
A mix of sharp (orange, lemon) and sweet (banana, strawberry) works best. Tweak until you get it right.
5. Veggies need a little help
Super-healthy ‘green’ smoothies with vegetables like kale or celery taste better with a small amount of fruit in. Try half an apple or some pineapple.
6. Look beyond H2O
Instead of adding water to the blender, try almond or oat milk. Another option is coconut water, for a more tropical taste.
7. Consider a 'booster'
'Extras' like chia seeds might not taste great, but adding a spoonful to your smoothie provides extra vitamins, protein or antioxidants.
8. Fresh isn't always better
Frozen fruit is great value, convenient and just as packed with nutrients as fresh. Sainsbury’s frozen fruit mixes (from £2) come in several varieties.
Now, try our recipes....
The green one
juice of ½ lime
150ml apple juice
10cm piece cucumber, chopped
2 handfuls of spinach (about 30g)
1 kiwi, peeled and chopped
Booster: 2 tsp chia seeds, for added fibre and omega 3
1 stalk of celery, chopped; juice of ½ lemon; a handful of kale (about 20g); 10cm piece of cucumber, chopped; 100ml apple juice Booster: ½ tbsp chopped ginger
a handful of kale (about 20g); juice of ½ lemon; 80g pineapple, chopped; ½ ripe avocado, chopped; 150ml pineapple juice Booster: ½ tsp spirulina
The purple one
50g strawberries, chopped
120ml soy or regular milk
100g frozen blueberries or mixed berries
1 banana, sliced
Booster: 1 tbsp porridge oats, for added vitamins, minerals and fibre
100g frozen blueberries; 100g strawberries, chopped; 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt; a handful of fresh or frozen raspberries (about 90g); 150ml soy or regular milk Booster: 2 tsp milled hemp
200g frozen blueberries or mixed berries; a handful of kale (about 20g); 1 banana, sliced; 150ml coconur water Booster: 1 tsp Acai powder
The orange one
150g pineapple, flesh chopped
100ml soy or regular milk
1 orange, flesh chopped
1 banana, sliced
Booster: ¼ tsp ground turnmeric, for its anti-inflammatory properties
½ mango (about 100g), chopped; 2 kiwi, peeled and chopped; 60g pineapple, chopped; 100ml pineapple juice Booster: ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 banana, sliced; a squeeze of lemon juice; 1 orange, flesh roughly chopped; ½ mango (about 100g), chopped; 100ml orange and carrot juice (we used Innocent) Booster: ½ tbsp chopped ginger