Are you having trouble making good green smoothies in your blender? Naturally, I’d recommend that you upgrade to a high-end blender. But if upgrading is not an option for you, then here are some tips for making delicious green smoothies with less effort and hair-pulling while using a standard blender.
Add the water or liquid first. Water, juice or coconut water help create a vortex that blends your smoothie ingredients and pulls fruit and leafy greens into the blades. Depending on your blender and the types of fruit you add, I recommend using anywhere from 6 to 8 ounces of liquid for a smoothie recipe.
Add fruit next. When making a green smoothie, always add the fruit before adding the greens. Greens just love to get bottle-necked into the middle of your blender’s pitcher just out of reach of the blades. By adding the fruit first, you’ll have a much larger and more powerful vortex as the fruit puree will pull the greens into the blades.
Chop/shred, then add to the pitcher. Chop your fruit first and shred your greens with a knife before adding to the blender. The more powerful the blender, the better it will handle larger chunks of fruit. If your blender isn’t top-of-the-line, then dice up the fruit and shred the greens adding a little at a time.
Use the pulse button to get things started. The pulse feature gives the ingredients in the pitcher a powerful nudge to get things going. It helps crush ice, break up large pieces, boost the speed and dislodge pieces of fruit that get stuck.
Varying the blending speed helps deal with all of the shifting fruit and greens in a green smoothie. With my old blender, I’d hit the pulse button a few times to start, then run it on high. Sometimes I’d need to stop it half way through and pulse it a few times before running it on high again to finish blending.
Find a blender with a “tamper” tool. A “tamper” is tool specifically designed for (and should come with) your blender that allows you to push ingredients into the blades while the blender is running. It’s a wonderful thing to have if you make a lot of green smoothies. Unfortunately, very few department store blenders will come with one. Also, resist the temptation to use a kitchen utensil as a tamper. I once blended a fine mixing spoon that way!
You can, of course, stop your blender and push ingredients down with a kitchen spoon. Adding a little extra water is also helpful when blending becomes tough.
If upgrading your blender is not an option but you’re going nuts with the one you’ve got, then try these tips for smoother, stress-free smoothie making.
Upgrade To A High End Blender For Less Than You’d Think. High end blenders like a Vitamix are spectacular…and spectacularly expensive (but oh so worth it). You can’t go wrong with an investment in a Vitamix blender.
But if you cringe at spending (or refuse to) about $450 on the top blender on the market, then consider a much less expensive alternative – the OmniBlend V. At $250, it’s a high-powered blender that impressed me very much. Read my OmniBlend V blender review for more information.
Tracy Russell is the creator of the Green Smoothie Weight Loss Program, the 30-Day Whole Foods Challenge and founder of Incredible Smoothies. She is passionate about helping people improve their health with green smoothies and a whole foods lifestyle.