Here are 10 simple tips that will help you to make a tasty smoothie at home.
- Use the freshest possible, ripe ingredients. Over-ripe or damaged fruit will not improve by being made into a smoothie.
- Use fruit and vegetables that are in season and, preferably, locally grown for the best flavour and greatest natural sweetness.
- Do not prepare fruit and vegetables in advance, as they will start to dry out and lose their juiciness. Some vitamins are quickly destroyed on exposure to air so this would also reduce the nutritional value – one of the great benefits of smoothies.
- Smoothies are best served chilled, but adding ice will dilute them. Keep milk and other dairy products in the refrigerator until required. Chill the glasses before you make the smoothie. If you want to add ice to the blender, crack it first to avoid damaging the blades. Put ice cubes in a plastic bag, wrap it in a clean tea towel and hit with a hard object or swing against a hard wall that won’t be damaged.
- When adding strongly flavoured spices, such as ground ginger or chillies, err on the side of caution. Add half the suggested quantity, taste and add more if you like.
- Never overfill the blender goblet; check the manufacturer’s instructions for the maximum capacity for your particular model. Overfilling may result in liquid spilling out of the top and/ or the ingredients being inadequately combined. About half full is best for smoothies, so if necessary, make them in batches.
- To save time and for even mixing, chop ingredients into pieces about the same size. They don’t have to be finely diced but should be fairly small.
- When measuring spoonfuls of honey, the most popular sweetener for smoothies, dip the spoon in hot water first. This makes it easier to get all the honey into the mixture rather than leaving half of it behind. This is also a good idea with ice cream scoops if you are using ice cream straight from the freezer for shakes.
- Use fresh herbs whenever possible, but if the one you require is not available, substitute a similar one or use frozen herbs. Dried herbs do not work in smoothies.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment. Try substituting different berries, a flavoured yoghurt for natural or, if you are cutting down on your intake of fat, skimmed milk for full-fat.
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