Making a smoothie is not always as simple as it seems. Sure, making a smoothie is one of the simplest ways to start your day with a healthy kick, but many people make serious smoothie mistakes. And it leads to a lot of questions, like how long should you blend a smoothie?
Today I’m going to answer the question of how long to blend your smoothie, as well as a handful of other smoothie-making mistakes that are extremely common. To help you live your best life with healthy smoothies and delicious blended beverages, simply follow the steps in this guide.
Of course, you can always just throw some fruit into your blender, add a bit of ice, pour a few splashes of almond milk, and hit the blend button – but there is a certain way of doing things that can ensure you get the maximum amount of nutrients and the maximum flavor.
How Long Should You Blend a Smoothie?
Knowing how long to blend your smoothie is critical in getting a proper mixture every time. It doesn’t matter if you are blending fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, frozen cucumbers, or mushy bananas, there is a certain timing to your blend that makes it perfect.
Basically, you don’t want any chunks. You don’t want slimy pieces of skin floating in your drink and you don’t want hard chunks of food leftover in the mix. You want to take your time, so that your smoothie comes out completely blended, with all the ingredients mixed to perfection.
This means you need to blend your smoothie for more than just a few seconds. The biggest mistake people make is blending for between 10 and 20 seconds and assuming their smoothie is good to go. This is a serious mistake especially if you are blending nuts or seeds with your smoothie for boosting health.
You see, all the best nutrients in seeds and nuts are stored inside of them. For you to properly ingest all the desirable nutrients and minerals, these hard ingredients need to be broken open and blended into the smoothie. If you have ever blended a drink and found yourself chewing on little bits of nut, you didn’t blend your smoothie for long enough.
As a general rule, you want to blend your smoothie for about 2 full minutes when using a regular blender. This may seem excessive, but it will really make the best texture for your drink. It will also prevent bits and pieces from getting stuck on the inside of the container or on the inside of your glass.
When it comes to using a powerful Vitamix blender, you can shorten the time to about one minute. A full 60 seconds in a Vitamix blender should be enough to perfectly blend and mix your drink, resulting in the best possible texture and flavor for your beverage.
Should You Add Thickener to Your Smoothie?
A lot of people don’t know about thickener. If you want a creamy smoothie the same texture you find in most professional smoothie shops, you need a thickener. Thickener is what makes your smoothie creamy, thick, and utterly delicious.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is selecting fruit and veggies for their smoothie based on taste alone. But you should keep in mind that certain fruit will thicken your smoothie and give it an improved texture. You can add lots of other ingredients, but using a thickening fruit is definitely the way to go.
For this, you can use either peaches, mangoes, apricots, avocados, or bananas. My personal favorite is bananas, as these add a delicious taste to any smoothie while making it thick and creamy. You might also try adding one or two tablespoons of soaked chia seeds, as these can help thicken the batch while also providing a good and healthy dose of omegas.
How Sweet Should You Make Your Smoothie?
Making a smoothie that is too sweet is as big of a crime as making a smoothie that is too bitter. You really need a balance when it comes to smoothies. You also don’t need any extra sugar when you make a smoothie. You don’t even need sweetened milk. You should understand that fruit is imbued with natural sugar. You don’t need any additions to make your smoothie sweet.
For example, berries, bananas, and almond milk are all naturally sweet, while there are many other fruits included with natural sugars, just like mangoes, oranges, and kiwis. Try to refrain from filling your smoothie with sweeteners like added sugar, sweetened milk, or even honey. If you select your ingredients properly, you won’t need to make your smoothie too sweet.
How Many Ingredients Should a Smoothie Have?
Another enormous mistake people make is that they add too many ingredients. I understand that everyone wants to get funky and experimental when making smoothies, but when you start to add everything from your refrigerator into your blender things start to get messy.
I always recommend that people only add about four main ingredients. It’s generally good to have a leafy green like spinach or kale, a thickener like banana or mango, some form of berry like blueberries or mixed berries, and then one subtler ingredient like seeds or nuts.
The great thing about seeds and nuts is that they blend and are flavorless. I always add a scoop of almonds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds into my smoothies and it never makes a difference in flavor.
However, if you begin adding kale, avocado, strawberry, banana, orange juice, slices of kiwi, three different kinds of berries, and everything else you can get your paws on, your smoothie is going to taste weird!
A good practice is to choose your flavor before you start to blend. If you are looking for something with a heavy banana taste, add banana and spinach, a handful of peach slices, and call it good. If you want something that tastes like strawberries, go heavy on the strawberries and extremely light on the other ingredients. Choosing a flavor and sticking with it will be your best friend.