How to Build the Perfect Smoothie


Superfood Smoothies: 100 Delicious, Energizing & Nutrient-Dense Recipes (Sterling) was one of the best-selling cookbooks of 2014, and is still at the top of the charts. Below, author Julie Morris shares an excerpt from the book, on how to build the perfect smoothie. 

Whenever I teach a class on making smoothies and we get caught up on details, I have a little saying: “It’s a smoothie, it’s not a science.” In other words, we’re talking easy and flexible. Nevertheless, following an overall “architecture plan” while building a smoothie will ensure the best textural result. No one likes a clumpy smoothie! This is how the pros do it:

Base: Hard, chunky ingredients, like frozen fruits, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds, go in first so that they’re the closest to the blades.

Bulk: Soft, chunky ingredients, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nut butters, tofu, and so on, are next.

Powders and superfoods: If you add powders to the smoothie first, they may get trapped below the blades of the blender, and adding powders last often clumps them together into undesirable, unblended solids. Adding them just after the base and bulk, but before the liquids, makes them stick to the base ingredients and ensures they get whipped up into perfection.

Liquid: Liquids should always be added last. This distributes them evenly, and avoids “smoothie splash”—a problem when adding chunky ingredients to a blender already filled with liquid (think of cannonballing into a swimming pool).

Ice: Ice can be added either first or last. If your smoothie contains very hard ingredients like nuts, blend everything but the ice into a creamy mixture first, then stop the blender and add the ice before blending once more. This allows the blender blades to process the hard ingredients properly so you won’t be left with chunks of food. Otherwise, simply add the ice first, with other base or bulk ingredients.

Smoothie recipes to try:

Brain-boosting smoothie

Blueberry-almond butter smoothie

Superfood-packed smoothie