how to make really good smoothies

Making a smoothie is easy and delicious. You can make a green smoothie with spinach, kale, or even a fruit smoothie with berries. Here are some tips for making the perfect healthy drink:

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How to make really good smoothies

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Who needs ice cream when you can make a smoothie that tastes like your favorite frozen treat? This orange-vanilla smoothie tastes like the Creamsicle/Dreamsicle you loved so much as a kid—but instead it’s packed full of nutrition that makes it a perfectly acceptable breakfast or snack.

Reading: how to make really good smoothies

One note here: it’s really important to have a high-powered blender for this one, because standard blenders can’t handle the orange slices very well. Let’s get blending!

Overhead of the five ingredients needed to make an orange smoothie.

What do I need for a fresh orange smoothie?

The ingredients for this smoothie are pretty straightforward:

  • Frozen banana. The frozen banana is a triple threat: it thickens the smoothie, chills it so that you don’t need ice, and adds some natural sweetness.
  • Orange or clementines. You can’t have an orange smoothie without oranges! I do like using clementines in place of regular navel oranges, though—they are a little easier to blend and are usually seedless.
  • Milk. You can use whatever milk you prefer—regular cow’s milk, unsweetened soy milk, coconut milk, unsweetened almond milk…the choice is yours!
  • Plain Greek yogurt. This adds more creamy texture to your smoothie, and gives it a little more staying power so you aren’t immediately hungry again.
  • Vanilla extract. The vanilla is what takes this from a standard orange flavor to full-on creamsicle flavor!
  • Honey or maple syrup. Taste test your smoothie before you sweeten it—you may not need any added sweetener!

Read more: How to make a good old fashioned cocktail

Top view of frothy smoothie with fresh ingredients around it.

Don’t I need ice?

Not if you are using a frozen banana! Ice is usually added to chill and thicken a smoothie, but frozen fruit can serve that purpose too!

Can I make an orange smoothie without banana?

Yep! You can try one of the following:

  • Replace the banana with ½ cup plain Greek yogurt and some ice cubes.
  • Substitute half a ripe avocado and a handful of ice for the frozen banana. You’ll also want to add a touch more sweetener.
  • Use canned pineapple or pears and a handful of ice cubes instead of the banana.

Orange smoothie in a glass with a glass straw.

How do I make this smoothie vegan?

Use soy milk or unsweetened nut milk, replace the Greek yogurt with non-dairy yogurt, and sweeten with maple syrup instead of honey.

What’s the best blender to make this smoothie?

Because of the orange slices, we recommend working with a high-powered blender to get this orange smoothie nice and, well, smooth! Here are two recommendations:

  • STARTER: Ninja Professional Blender—For under a $100, you get an incredibly powerful blender that makes a dreamy, creamy smoothie.
  • SPLURGE: Vitamix Professional Blender—A Vitamix is the top of the line when it comes to blenders, and it’s what we use everyday in the Wholefully test kitchen.

Read more: How to get rid of keloids tea tree oil

Overhead of creamsicle smoothie with orange segments and banana slices.

How do I make an orange smoothie?

For the best results, you’ll want to add the ingredients to the blender in this order:

  1. Add the yogurt and milk to the blender first.
  2. Drop in your frozen banana, followed by your citrus.
  3. Top it off with the vanilla and any mix-ins (more on those in a sec).

We recommend waiting to add the honey or maple syrup until you’ve blended and tasted your smoothie. Some bananas are sweeter than others, so you may not need the added sweetener! It is always easier to make a smoothie sweeter than to make it less sweet.

Blended smoothie served up in a glass with fresh fruit around it.

Is there a way to get more vitamins and minerals into this smoothie?

This recipe makes a creamy orange smoothie, but you can add whatever seeds or powders that you’d like! For this one, I might add:

  • Chia seeds. Not only will chia seeds thicken your already dreamy-creamy smoothie, but they will also give you a ton of omega-3s.
  • Ginger. Ginger has a ton of health benefits, and adds a little spice to your smoothie, too.
  • Turmeric. Turmeric works as an anti-inflammatory. As a bonus, its yellow color will make your smoothie even more orange-tastic!

If you find a set of mix-ins that you really like, you can freeze them into booster packs for super quick smoothie-making.

Read more: How to make thai iced tea at home

Where can I find more smoothie recipes?

  • Berry Smoothie
  • Cold Buster Smoothie
  • And 20+ more smoothie recipes!

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