Smoothies are everywhere: at the mall, at fast-food restaurants, in coffee shops. But for the most part, those smoothies might be better termed fruit milkshakes. Stuffed with sugar, frozen yogurt, even ice cream, those smoothies do more harm than good. But made properly, smoothies condense large amounts of fruits and vegetables into one compact and very tasty drink.
Just two go-to smoothie recipes won’t do, though. Plants are most nutrient-dense at peak season (here are some tips on how to keep a seasonal diet). So when putting together a smoothie, try to use the freshest organic ingredients from the garden or farmers’ market. When something is in season, it packs the healthiest punch.
TOP SMOOTHIE TIPS
+ Invest in a blender with at least an 800-watt motor. (Vitamix is the gold standard. New Vitamix models retail for around $600; certified refurbished models cost about half as much).
+ Prepare frozen fruit ahead to save time. Cut and freeze on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag or container.
+ Frozen bananas go a long way. Peel, slice, and freeze them. This go-to smoothie recipe ingredient adds thickness without taking over other flavors. And don’t chuck the banana peel—incorporate it into your smoothie (here are 6 reasons you should put the whole banana—peel and all—in your smoothie), or use old banana peels in the garden.
+ Add smoothie recipe ingredients like milk, yogurt, water, or juice first to get the blender moving. Then, add lighter, drier ingredients, like leafy greens, followed by heavy ingredients like ice and fruit pieces.