How to Make a Smoothie in a Blender

Making a smoothie in a blender…easy, right?

It can be.  But the line between easy/lusciously smooth and stupid hard/chunky and gritty is a fine one.  

Follow these simple rules, and you should be fine.  Skimp on any of them, and you’re better off dropping $10 at Jamba Juice.

How to Make a Smoothie in a Blender

How to Make a Smoothie in a Blender Tip #1: Invest in the Right Tools.
Namely, the right blender.  People think they can go drop $50-100 at Wal-Mart and get something that’s going to do the job right.  It won’t.  If you’re serious about your green smoothies, protein drinks, and more, invest in something that’s going to last AND do the job right the first time.

I recommend Vitamix blenders.  I not only am a rep for the company, but I have and use mine every day. My typical daily smoothie is listed below.

Before I got it, I had a $50 Oster blender.  We would fight it to get it to grind things up.  And inevitably, it would do a sub-par job — chunks and grit everywhere. 

Most blenders spin at around 3,000-5,000 RPM (rotations per minute).  Some of the better ones go up to 15,000.  Vitamix machines spin at 30,000-37,000 RPM.  The faster and more powerful the motor, the more finely ground your ingredients and the smoother your smoothie. 

I put in apples with the seeds, stems, and core; slices of pineapple with the core and rind; even avocados pits (great sources of soluble fiber, btw), and that machine turns it all into one smooth liquid.

How to Make a Smoothie in a Blender Tip #2:  Pay Attention to Your Ingredients.

When people ask me how to make a smoothie in a blender, I ask them what they’re trying to achieve.  You can alter your recipes based on your tastes and objectives.

  • If you want a smoothie where you don’t want to add extra water, I typically start with a fruit or vegetable that has a lot of water in it, i.e. grapes, celery, watermelon, cucumber, etc.  With the liquid ingredients at the bottom (and the heavier stuff, like ice) at the top, the smoothie will naturally blend itself better.
  • If you want a smoothie that’s more like a juice, start with all your ingredients in the container and turn on the machine with the lid on, but the cap in the lid off.  Then, begin adding water until you reach the desired consistency.  Usually, this is about a cup or two of water.  If possible, use water that’s been alkalized to a higher pH level.
  • If you’re wanting to go heavy on the greens but aren’t big on something that tastes like grass clippings, you can add certain elements to balance it out (without adding sugar-laden fruit).First, I recommend using the greens with the highest level of nutrient density.  Kale and spinach are my typical go-to greens, but your best bet is to use what’s local and in season.
    Next, start incorporating elements that will help offset the green taste.  Ginger is bright and spicy.  Citrus fruits like lemons and limes (with the peel) cut through the green haze as well.  Green apples have less sugar than most, but still add a note of sweetness.  If you want something similar to a V8, start with a couple tomatoes and some fresh herbs and seasoning. 

If you have more specific goals with how to make a smoothie in a blender, i.e. weight loss, mitigating or preventing disease, I have a special Fighting Diseases section of the site.   Look under the Nutrition menu at the top of the page.

How to Make a Smoothie in a Blender Tip #3: Watch the amount of ice.

It’s very simple; too much ice = too thick.

People ask me all the time why their smoothies are coming out too thick.  Go easy on the ice — start with a half to a full cup of ice.  If you’re in doubt, just start with a few cubes, and add more if it’s not enough. 

Need more smoothie smarts?  Ask through the comment section below!

Mega Fruit Smoothie
Yields 3
Lotsa fruit. Smoothified.
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  1. • 1/2 cup green or red grapes
  2. • 2-3 strawberries with stems
  3. • 1/2 banana
  4. • 1/4 medium Gala apple
  5. • 1 whole orange, peeled
  6. • 1/2 cup pineapple, rind removed
  7. • 1/2 cup ice
  1. Blend all ingredients on high for 30-45 seconds.
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