Tricks & Tips

Smoothie ingredients – a rainbow in every glass

Fruit, veggies or even nuts – when it comes to smoothies, anything goes! Today we take a look at which ingredients taste best and how to prepare the perfect smoothie.

When it comes to smoothies, these brightly coloured drinks taste just as good as they look. And all with all those fresh ingredients, they’re the perfect choice for a healthy breakfast or mid-morning snack. Best of all – smoothies are simple to prepare. If mornings are always a rush, pre-chop your ingredients and freeze them. That way you can toss them in a blender and sip away on your way to work.

But what tastes best in a smoothie? The answer: almost every fruit and vegetable under the sun, as well as herbs, nuts and even seaweed varieties. However, some ingredients taste better paired with others so today we talk you through our top tips for a thick and tasty smoothie.

The classic fruit smoothie  

With a plethora of flavours on offer, it’s little wonder that fruity versions top the smoothie charts. Native fruits like apples and pears, as well as summer berries and stone fruits taste super fresh as they’re often sourced locally.

But exotic fruits can give your smoothie an extra kick, especially in winter when there’s not as much regional fruit in season. Pineapple, mango and passion fruit all lend a tangy, fruity note. And what’s more, these tropical treats can be easily combined with your favourite home-grown produce. Like your smoothie sweet? Add an overripe banana that’s already turning brown. Or drizzle in some agave nectar or maple syrup.

Veggies in smoothies? Oh yes.

Ok, we admit it. Smoothies made from 100% veggies can take some getting used to. Unlike fruits, vegetables create a savoury flavour. But health freaks everywhere swear by adding cucumber and co. Plus, it’s a great way of getting your five a day if you don’t eat many greens. Bell peppers, carrots, cucumber, spring onions and tomatoes can all be whipped into scrumptious veggie smoothies.

Trending now: green smoothies  

Green smoothies are big news on social media. They’re made of at least 50% leafy green vegetables and 50% ripe fruit – a perfect balance that has seen them rocket in popularity.

When making green smoothies, hold back on too many “heavy” ingredients like root vegetables, nuts and seeds. Blitz in your blender for a minute longer than fruit smoothies to make sure you’re left with a creamy beverage and not just vegetable puree. Citrus fruits neutralise the earthy, savoury flavour of leafy greens.

Smoothie bowls for breakfast

Smoothie bowls are another hot topic on Instagram and Pinterest. The ingredients are frozen and then blended for a creamy consistency that can be spooned rather than drunk. Garnished with fruit pieces, nuts and seeds, they’re the perfect alternative to muesli and look mouth-wateringly good. One 17-year-old Brazilian teenager has even made smoothie bowls into an art form! Check it out...

Make your smoothies more creamy

If you’re using “harder” ingredients like carrots, apples or pears, you may need to add extra liquid to achieve a creamy consistency. Try filtered tap water or still mineral water, but avoid anything carbonated. Depending on the other ingredients you could also use freshly pressed juice or even milk. If your smoothie is too runny, add a dollop of yogurt. Or go vegan by substituting yoghurt for a dairy-free alternative made from soya, rice or oats.
Top your smoothie with fresh mint leaves, frozen or dried fruit, cocoa nibs, nuts or seeds.

Time to get mixing! What’s in your favourite smoothie?