How to Make a Delicious Smoothie

5/13/2015 - 4:41:32 AM

The days are more consistently warming up into the 70’s and hotter weather is almost as welcome as those peonies and bleeding hearts coming up outside. This end of winter feels coldest because we’ve been looking forward to warmth more than ever and it feels like the longer we wait for it the colder the “almost warm” sunshine feels. At any rate we know we’re actually almost there and with it smoothies and shakes are making their way to the top of our recipe queue.

How do you make a delicious smoothie or shake?

For seasoned smoothie makers this may almost seem funny but making an incredible smoothie is a little bit harder than it looks. The ratios have to be right, the base good, the flavors complementary, and texture and consistency make a big difference. Some people have a natural sense of how much a recipe takes but not everyone is an aficionado and for everyone who thinks smoothies and shakes look intimidating we’re here to help.




Milk is usually the first base considered for shakes. It’s basic, almost everyone has it on hand and it’s easy to work with. This is usually what you would use with frozen fruit because the consistency ends up about right for a drink you can sip with a straw. In shakes the kind of milk won’t make much different, though obviously the higher fat content in some milks will change the creaminess of the end product.

  • cow’s milk
  • almond
  • coconut
  • rice
  • etc


Probably the most popular base for smoothies it is an obvious choice for more reasons than one. Yogurt is easier to digest than milk, creates a smoother and thicker consistency, and provides more probiotics (that is if you buy yogurt with active cultures). Another benefit to using yogurt is it works well with a mixture of frozen and fresh fruit, or even only fresh fruit. The end result will be more of a creamy yogurt with only fresh fruit, so for the true smoothie result go for a mixture of both.

Tip: If you want to use fresh fruit only add in ice to get that frozen consistency. You could also freeze leftover coffee, milk or just about anything to get that consistency you want.

We all scream for ice-cream

We’re going right back to the 50’s with this one, and those amazing cream concoctions made up by drugstores and burger joints. Shakes are the perfect complement to burger and fries and even double as dessert at the end, and we wouldn’t mind if places other than Steak and Shake would come up with the old-fashioned basic menu and create 25 different flavors. Shakes can be made from a basic mixture of real fruit, ice-cream and milk, or even just blended basically with a little bit of milk if you’re using a flavored ice cream. (More on ratios later)

Add -ins

There are almost as many add ins as there are flavors in the world, and with combinations you can literally create almost anything. Of course there are some basic things to remember like:

Yogurt + strawberries & kiwi = Amazing

Yogurt + peanut butter and strawberries = not so amazing


Vanilla ice-cream + peanut butter & chocolate = rich goodness

Blue moon ice-cream + chocolate = ick

Of course you can try anything you like, that’s the fun of creating smoothies and shakes, but just remember to go with things that sound good together. If you wouldn’t eat them together as a base and topping unmixed you won’t enjoy the blended result either.

Some other ideas

  • spinach
  • kale
  • vegetables
  • chia
  • protein powders
  • dates


Every smoothie needs a sweetener, and shakes that are made with milk will need something as well. How much you add will depend on how sweet you want it to be and since the ratios of each part of the smoothie is coming up we’ll just list a few idea for sweeteners.

  • sugar
  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • coconut palm sugar
  • stevia
  • agave


Flavorings stay basic, though it can be really fun to add some off-the-wall flavorings now and then.

  • vanilla
  • almond
  • amaretto
  • spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, etc
  • mint
  • nutella
  • caramel sauce
  • chocolate fudge sauce
  • fruit juice for an extra pop of flavor
  • using coffee syrups for flavor

Once again this is a case of mixing and matching to put together what will be good blended, but it is really fun to come up with surprisingly good blends.


Here’s where the really important part comes in, because if you’re not used to making blended creations it’s hard to decide how much of something should go in. Just remember that for every base you should follow this basic ratio:

1 part fluid + 1 part ripe fruit + 2 parts frozen fruit/thickener/ice + flavorings = consistency and flavor

This isn’t set in stone but this is basically what you’ll go with to get a good base. If you want more chocolate, vanilla, chia or spinach go for it and adjust as necessary. Remember you can add in, but you can’t take back out. For our smoothie today we have 3 parts fruit, and 1 ? fluid that also doubled as the flavor.

Tip: If you’re having trouble getting the flavors to pop you can try adding just a dash of salt.

Raspberry Sunrise Smoothie

Serves 2

1 1/2 c frozen raspberries
2/3 c milk
1 1/2 c frozen mango
2/3 c orange juice


combine the raspberries, milk and ½ cup of ice in blender until it is smooth, set aside
combine mango, orange juice and ½ c ice in blender until smooth, set aside
serve raspberry mixture immediately, topped with the mango mixture and a raspberry.
Watch the sunrise

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