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Food

8 steps to the perfect smoothie

by Leah Hyslop
8 steps to the perfect smoothie
Image: Martin Poole

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

Or try...

Veg out

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

Green goodness

a handful of kale (about 20g); juice of ½ lemon; 80g pineapple, chopped; ½ ripe avocado, chopped; 150ml pineapple juice Booster: ½ tsp spirulina

Image: Martin Poole
Image: Martin Poole

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

Or try...

Very berry

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

Blue Monday

200g frozen blueberries or mixed berries; a handful of kale (about 20g); 1 banana, sliced; 150ml coconur water Booster: 1 tsp Acai powder

Image: Martin Poole
Image: Martin Poole

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

Or try...

Totally tropical

½ mango (about 100g), chopped; 2 kiwi, peeled and chopped; 60g pineapple, chopped; 100ml pineapple juice Booster: ¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Citrus zinger 

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

Image: Martin Poole
Image: Martin Poole

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