As the summer temperatures climb into the 80s, 90s or higher, not much is more refreshing than a cool, creamy, fruity drink. But shelling out $4 or $5 a pop for a small smoothie can put a damper on your relaxed mood. The good news is you can achieve that same level of summer nirvana without the $35-a-week price tag by blending your own easy DIY smoothies.
Smoothies are simple to make, and summer, with its array of fresh, seasonal fruits, is the ideal time to save some cash while doing so. All you need is a basic blender, which you can get for under $30. With that in hand, the possibilities are endless. If you think you don’t have time to whip up smoothies day after day, consider the following: You can prep smoothies ahead of time and store them in your freezer all ready to blend. In minutes, you can be sipping a cool smoothie.
If you’re a complete beginner at making smoothies, don’t worry; they’re about as straightforward as it gets. But there are a few things you can do to achieve the best DIY smoothie possible. Here are our best smoothie-making tips:
Order matters. It’s important to add your ingredients in the correct order. Generally, you want to add your liquids first, then soft fruits or veggies, greens, and put your ice on top. This can help ensure a smoothie free of chunks.
Get the consistency right. If you need to make a smoothie thicker, try adding more fresh or frozen fruit (especially bananas), ice or some fresh or frozen yogurt. Yogurt and avocados are also perfect for adding creaminess to your smoothie. To thin out a smoothie, add in small amounts of water, milk or juice.
A little sweetener goes a long way. Use honey, maple syrup, Stevia, dates, grapes or even a little sugar to bump up the sweetness of your smoothie. A little sweetener goes a long way, so add in these extras in small amounts. To combat overly sweet blends, add a squeeze of lemon juice for balance. To keep your green smoothie from tasting too bitter, use baby greens instead of mature ones for a milder flavor. Extra fruit or flavored protein powders can also help mask a bitter taste.
Don’t waste your leftovers. If you have leftover smoothie, make smoothie popsicles. Pour the smoothie into popsicle molds or go old-school and pour into paper cups, cover with plastic wrap and insert a popsicle stick. Then, freeze until solid.
Easy recipes for DIY smoothies
If you’re a smoothie-making novice, start with the basic yogurt and fruit make-ahead smoothie; it couldn’t be easier.
If you want to enjoy your smoothies at lunch, try this method from A Few Shortcuts for making and storing a smoothie to last the morning in a lunch box. The blog offers some tasty flavor ideas, too.
For more smoothie inspiration, check out the following recipes for all the classic smoothie types: fruit, green and chocolate.
If you’re looking for a good, old-fashioned fruit-filled smoothie to make and drink on the spot, there are more options out there than you can count. Watermelon is synonymous with summer refreshment, so any smoothie with watermelon is ideal for a hot day. Start with a basic watermelon smoothie. Or, get more adventurous with a blueberry watermelon smoothie, a strawberry watermelon smoothie or even a green watermelon smoothie.
Green smoothies are all the rage right now. They are a great way to get some extra veggies into your day, especially if you’re not a fan of spinach or kale on its own. This recipe guide is perfect for getting started, and includes a great basic recipe.
I love a good fruit smoothie, but what’s life without a little chocolate? I doubt anyone could resist this peanut butter chocolate smoothie. Or try this raspberry, banana and dark chocolate sweetheart smoothie or this cookies ‘n cream yogurt smoothie. Just remember, these are best as dessert, not breakfast!
Pick your favorite flavors, start blending and let the refreshing begin.
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