This Mango, Berry & Banana Smoothie is creamy, sweet, and not at all watery. Whoever thought of blitzing a bunch of fruit and vegetables and calling the results breakfast is brilliant. The smoothie has changed our morning routine as we know it, giving us sweet, portable fuel. Healthy fuel. This meal in a glass packs the most important part of the food pyramid into the most important meal of the day. Genius.
And smoothies are easy to make, to boot. But there is one huge misstep–and a few other smaller ones–that, if made, could make turn your tasty meal into a total drag. Here’s how to avoid them all, according to assistant food editor Alison Roman.
1. DON’T Use Under-Ripe Fruit: If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it in your smoothie. Under-ripe fruit has zero flavor and tends to make your drink watery–the number one sin of smoothie making. And don’t waste your time hunting for pristine fruit for your smoothie, either–it’s alright to get bruised, mildly squishy stuff. You’ll be blending it anyway.
2. DON’T Use Warm Fruit: You don’t want a warm smoothie (Unless you’re a weirdo. Kidding. But seriously). If you freeze your fruit when it’s perfectly ripe, your drink will be sweet and icy cold but not watery. Which brings us to…
3. DON’T Add Ice: This is the most common of the common mistakes, and it’s the worst one to make. Don’t use ice! It will dilute your smoothie’s fruity flavor. And never, ever add water to this drink. If your fruit isn’t blending, throw in a splash of fruit juice. When your smoothie is watery, you’ll crave the sweetness it’s lacking, and to fill that flavor void you’ll want to…
4. DON’T Add Sugar: For the love of God, don’t add any sugar to your smoothie. This is supposed to be healthy, remember? If you use ripe fruit and don’t water it down, there is no need for any kind of sweetener–not even honey. If you need a sweet kick in your smoothie, throw a ripe date into the mix.
5. DON’T Use Milk: We love a little yogurt as a thickening agent, but don’t use milk. This isn’t a milkshake. And especially if there’s any citrus in your smoothie, dairy is a bad idea.
6. DON’T Stick to a Recipe: Have some blueberries? Throw them in. Apples? Go for it. For us, it’s a missed opportunity not to throw a handful of spinach into our smoothies–you don’t taste it, but you’re getting all its great nutrients. Don’t be afraid to improvise with your smoothies, especially when it comes to upping their healthy factor.
7. DON’T Use Melon: This is a personal preference, but we’re not fans of melon texture. When blended, it gets grainy, plus it makes the smoothie watery. Melon turns this drink into more an agua fresca, really–and that’s meant for a different occasion entirely.