Smoothies 101

They're trendy, easy to prepare and there are a million different combinations to try.

16 Sep 2014

The popularity of smoothies is growing throughout the world and these rich, thick drinks have already splashed their way into local cuisine lingo as people start dropping in at the nearest restaurant or take-away joint to order a satisfying smoothie rather than a regular juice or cup of coffee.

A smoothie can be fruity, chocolatey, coffee-based, even savoury. And you really don't have to stick to a recipe; simply throw together whatever fruit or vegetable you like, add a liquid (milk, soy milk, fruit juice or a herb supplement) and a frozen ingredient like ice cubes, ice cream or sorbet, and whiz it up.

Although a normal food blender is perfectly good for preparing smoothies, some brands of electric appliances are nowadays selling proper smoothie machines that makes the job easier and quicker. The end result of these nifty bits of engineering is usually a lot smoother, seeing that the measuring cup have indicators up to where you should fill the container with liquids, fruit and frozen ingredients.

The smoothie can be thickened by using frozen instead of fresh fruit. These smoothies are usually more flavourful while a smoothie made of fresh fruit will be more authentic and suitable for easy sipping.

Some people might expect a boost of a different kind from their smoothies: If you aren't that much of a fruit junkie, you can always mix together different combinations of strong brewed coffee, espresso, milk, vanilla yogurt, chocolate syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cream and honey.

Smoothies are to be enjoyed around the clock and are wonderful alternatives for on-the-go meals, snacks, refreshments and dessert. And, as we said, a smoothie doesn't have have to be sweet. Try making a savoury smoothie by blending cucumbers, tomatoes, celery stalks, spinach, onion, Tobasco sauce and salt and pepper to taste.

Or how about a chunky blend of oranges and raw egg? Simply add the juice of 1 orange to a cup of soda water and 3 cups of ice cubes. Add half a cup of sugar syrup and 1 fresh raw egg. Let the blender do its thing and sit back to enjoy a great morning-after-the-night-before booster.

Talking about the night before... impress your guests with a:

Party starter: Pineapple Coconut Refresher
Blend together 1 can of pineapple chunks (in juice), 250ml pineapple juice, 1 cup of coconut milk, 60 ml Malibu and 6 small scoops of vanilla ice cream. The result? One hectic party with a Caribbean vibe!

And a spoonful of smoothie might just be the thing to make the medicine go down. Next time you can't sleep, try soothing yourself with the following blend:

Feel-good smoothie
Add 1 cup of chamomile or vervian tea (frozen into ice cubes), to 2 sliced oranges (pips removed) 1 tablespoon clear honey and 4 drops of Valerian root (optional). Blend it all together until the ingredients become slushy. Bottoms up and off to bed you go! When the sun comes up again it's time for a:

Early morning energy booster
Combine 500ml freshly squeezed orange juice and 4-6 pitted, soft dates in a blender and blend until smooth. Cut 2 frozen bananas, peeled, into three pieces. Add about 6 ice cubes, crushed, and blend until thick and creamy. Serve immediately.

Or try these simple smoothies that never fail to deliver:

Mixed berries smoothie
In a blender, process 250g mixed berries and 30ml (2T) sugar until smooth. Add 160ml (2/3 cup) milk and stir. Serve immediately.

Mango smoothie
Blend 2 cups diced mango; 1 banana, peeled and sliced; 125ml (1/2 cup) vanilla yoghurt; 2 scoops vanilla ice cream; 20ml (4 tsp) lime juice and 30ml (2T) sugar together until smooth. Pour into glasses to serve.

6 things to do with smoothies

Raspberry smoothie

Papaya smoothie 

Yoghurt smoothie

Banana, honey and apple smoothie

Pear and honey smoothie

Superfood smoothie


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