If you're looking for the perfect blend in every smoothie you make, then I've got the no-fail smoothie formula for you. Seriously, this is the method that started my smoothie journey, and it can help yours too. I'm also throwing in some smoothie tips for some all too common blending mistakes... See if any of these can help you achieve the perfect blend!
How to make the perfect blend
For a 2 serving smoothie, I use the 2-2-3 method for blending. That means 2 cups of leafy greens, 2 cups of liquid, and 3 cups of fruit. You can mix + match your leafy greens within those 2 cups as well as use a variety of fruits to come up with 3 cups.
For example, the #1 rate best smoothie ever uses 2 cups of spinach, 2 cups of water, and 3 cups of fruit (a mix of pineapple, mango, banana) for a 2 serving smoothie.
If you're just making 1 serving of smoothie, then half the smoothie formula: to 1 + 1 + 1.5.
How to blend a smoothie
Once you gather and measure your ingredients, it's time to blend! First, add the leafy greens, then liquid to your blender. Blend until there are no leafy chunks. Depending on your blender, this might take 10 seconds or 60.
Then add the remaining ingredients and blend again until smooth. If you want that refreshing smoothie to be cold, make sure at least 1 of your fruit ingredients is frozen.
Pro smoothie tip: by adding protein + healthy fat to your smoothie, you can stay full longer + not get a sugar crash from the natural fruit sugar.
Leafy greens like spinach or kale, fruit like pineapple, mango, banana, and berries. If you want a liquid base other than water, then buy (or make) dairy free milk like almond milk or oat milk.
There are so many great liquid bases for smoothies. I keep all mine dairy free, to avoid upsetting my stomach. My fav bases are water, coconut water or nut milk such as almond or cashew.
The easiest smoothie formula is this: blend liquid + leafy greens first, until there are no chunks. Add remaining ingredients to blender and blend again until smooth. If you want a cold smoothie, make sure to add at least 1 frozen fruit.
Top 5 blending mistakes
So, you bought your ingredients, dusted off the blender, and yet your smoothie still isn't perfect.... what went wrong?! I asked the Simple Green Smoothies community for their most common blending mistakes, and they provided some great ones! Here are the top mistakes as well as how to fix them:
Blending Mistake #1- adding too many frozen ingredients
In almost every green smoothie recipe I share, I advise to add at least 1 frozen fruit (or ice cubes) so that your smoothie comes out chilled and refreshing. Yet what happens when all the fruit is frozen, and the blender just can’t cut through the frost? The easiest solution: make sure the smoothie has a mix of frozen and fresh fruits/veggies. If that isn’t an option (yay for prepped ahead smoothie ingredients!), then I’ve still got you covered:
- Let the frozen ingredients thaw in the fridge overnight, so they are still cold, yet thawed enough to blend more easily.
- Or, place frozen ingredients in the blender, then pour the liquid over them and let the ingredients sit while you get ready for the day. The liquid can thaw the frozen ingredients out a bit before blending, so the blender isn’t working quite so hard.
Blending mistake #2- not adding enough liquid
We’ve all been there and heard that noise. You know, the one where the ingredients are all added, the blender turned on, the blender blades start out fine. Then, all of a sudden, a high-pitched whine starts along with an increasingly louder motor.
Depending on the blender, it may sound like a car engine stuck in a low gear (lookin’ at you, Vitamix). Most likely, there wasn't enough liquid added at the start, and the ingredients are now in an unmoving blob. Never fear, a simple smoothie tip is here!
Adding a bit more liquid can get that blender on the move again.
Some superfoods like to absorb the liquid (like chia seeds). Adding gluten-free oats (for some extra protein) can also soak up the liquid. Using frozen fruits can take away some liquid. Start by adding in ¼ cup of extra liquid (above my smoothie formula) at a time, then maybe use a spatula to break up the ingredients before starting the blender again.
Blending mistake #3- not blending greens + liquid first
Depending on the kind of blender being used; dumping ingredients into the blender then blending, can leave leafy chunks… and green stuff between our teeth all day.
Blending the leafy greens and liquid first until there are no visible chunks is a simple way to avoid a blemished smile, and keep the smoothie smooth. Every blender is different, so if this hasn't happened to you then skip to the next smoothie tip and #kaleyeah!
Blending mistake #4- Using the same greens every day
Ever feel stuck in a leafy green rut? It may not just be affecting the tastebuds. Even good foods can be consumed too often. I recommend changing up those leafy greens (while still using my smoothie formula for measurements) not just to add in some new flavors to those smoothies, but also to get different health benefits.
Leafy greens come in all shapes, sizes, and health benefits. While kale and spinach are both leafy and green, they're actually in 2 different plant families, and carry different nutrients that our bodies need. Make sure to pick greens from a different family every few weeks.
Green smoothies are highly customizable, so feel free to swap out the leafy green listed in any smoothie recipe with another one.
Blending mistake #5- not blending long enough
In blending mistake #3, I talked about making sure those leafy greens were thoroughly blended to have a chunk-free smoothie. Yet, overall blending time should also be long enough to ensure the whole smoothie can fit through a straw.
I don’t want any chunks cramping my sippin' style! Even with a high powered blender, blend that green smoothie for over a minute to ensure every last ingredient breaks down smoothly. Smoothie tip: For a non high powered blender, give the blender contents a stir half way through blending (with the blender off, of course!). That way no ingredients stick under the blades. This extra step, as well as following the smoothie formula above, will ensure a smooth drink every time.
Still can't drink that smoothie?
Followed the fixes above, yet that smoothie still isn’t drinkable? Check out the honorable mentions below for a little extra help (thanks rawkstar community!):
- Freezing fruits that act as part of the liquid: If fruits with a higher water content are added, then I lower the amount of liquid in the recipe since those fruits act as liquid + fiber. Freezing these fruits, then adding less liquid to blend can cause difficulty in blending since the ratio is off. Make sure to add a little extra liquid if using frozen ‘liquid fruits,’ or use fresh, so they can act as the liquid needed to blend the perfect drink.
- Adding the ‘kitchen sink’: This is a common mistake for beginner and veteran rawkstars. #greensmoothiefails One reason I chose the name SIMPLE Green Smoothies, is to remind us that keeping it simple almost always wins. Limit the superfood additions to one or two options, and focus on fruits that compliment each other. Follow the 1-1-1.5 method when making a new creation for the best possible outcome.
- Leaving in the fridge for too long: Ever blend too much smoothie, or blend then leave for a little later? While a green smoothie is best consumed within 15 minutes of blending, it's perfectly fine to consume 24 hours later (after giving it a good shake!). The problem comes when that smoothie sits in the refrigerator more than 24 hours… it starts to break down a bit more, and become undrinkable. Don’t waste all those nutrients by forgetting to drink that delicious smoothie!
Have any other smoothie tips to share? Drop a comment below to teach or to learn. Every smoothie should be made + consumed with as little frustration as possible. As always, happy blending!