Smoothies Primer

I have a number of smoothie recipes on this site. Here are some basic things you need to know about them: 

  • You do not need a high-end, industrial strength blender to make these recipes. I have a Ninja, which has a fair amount of power, but I don’t expect that every household has the budget or space for such a machine. I developed most of my fruit shake recipes for the snack program at my son’s school, which always had a tight budget. When buying a blender, I went with a $60 model from a department store and all of these recipes work just fine in it. You can even manage with an immersion blender.  
  • Because these recipes were first created for our school, most are dairy-free. I initially omitted dairy because of allergies, but it also ended up saving a good amount of money. Many of my recipes also contain vegetables for added nutrition. 
  • The recipes are inherently adaptable to what you have on hand (or can acquire in a pandemic)–fresh, frozen, or canned fruit and some juices. 
  • Buy whatever you can afford! I use regular produce, fresh or frozen, not organic. No-name brands are absolutely fine too. As for juices, you do not need to spend a fortune on the “fresh” juices sold in the produce section. In some cases they do taste better, but you can certainly make a perfectly fine shake with the cheaper tetra-pak juices available in the grocery aisle. Just try to find the “no sugar added” version. 
  • My family makes fun of me for measuring ingredients, but when you are first making a smoothie, it is really important to get the balance right. Too much kale is not a good thing in a green smoothie, nor is too much pineapple or mango. After you’ve done a smoothie a few times, you can eyeball it, but I recommend measuring at first. 
  • If you find the smoothie is too thick to blend, just add a little water or juice. A little goes a long way, so start with a small amount. The more you make these smoothies, the better you’ll be able to judge the right amount.
Black and white sketch of a blender

Blender image from

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