Smoothies are all the rage nowadays. Its delicious taste and healthy ingredients makes it a favourite for both the health conscious and the not so health conscious. Drinking a smoothie is an effective way of ensuring that we are well on our way to getting the proper servings of fruits and vegetables each day. I am sure many of you, like myself, can testify that our blenders are regular work horses in our kitchen. You probably use yours every day….. well, almost every day, whipping up delicious and nutritious smoothies. But what if your blender broke? Horror of horrors! What would you do? How are you going to make a smoothie without a blender?
Heart be still. It can be done. Here is how you go about it.
First let me ask you a question. When you are making a smoothie, what does the blender do? Did you say “it mashes and pulverizes and mixes all the ingredients together”. You are right. Well that’s the same thing you are going to do with your ingredients. You are now the Blender.
Let’s take a look at the Ingredients
Choose your fruits wisely
Remember you are going to be mashing them….with a fork. While you might like peaches, it might prove difficult to mash to a pulp. Instead, choose very ripe, soft fruits such as banana, mango, strawberries, blueberries or blackberries. You can use one fruit in your smoothie or a combination of fruits.
Don’t leave out your vegetables
We don’t want to miss out on the large amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants provide by our vegetables and we certain want to achieve our goal of 5 to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
Most vegetables will be too fibrous to use in a smoothie without a blender, so it is best that you try soft vegetables or vegetable puree. You can use a soft, ripe avocado or a few spoonsful of puree such as pumpkin, squash or carrots.
A quick tip: If your steam the vegetables such as your pumpkin and carrot (just lightly, we are not overcooking it), you will be able to mash them with your fork as well.
These mashed up or pureed vegetables will not only help to thicken your smoothie but will also give it a bright color.
Your smoothie needs to be filling
Have you ever grabbed a smoothie on the run? You probably didn’t have time for breakfast and this drink will have to hold you for a while. So when you drink your smoothie, you certainly don’t want to start feeling hungry soon after. You therefore need to add ingredients that will help to fill you up. Protein and fats do that well, so here is where you will think of adding your yogurt, peanut butter, chia seeds etc. for that hearty full feeling.
Another quick tip: Chia seeds take a little while to absorb the liquid it is in and to thicken, so it would be best to leave your smoothie in the refrigerator for a while before drinking. If you can’t wait, hey, just go ahead and drink your smoothie. Just be prepared to deal with the chia seeds which will not be as soft as they would be if given some time.
What liquid should you use?
That’s totally up to you. Do you want to use almond milk or soy milk or any other milk for that matter? You decide. You can also use coconut water or fruit juice. If you have none of these, plain water will do.
The amount of liquid you use will depend on how thick or how thin you want your smoothie. Chances are you won’t need a lot of liquid. If you want a creamy smoothie, it is better to use milk. If you want to make your smoothie sweeter, you may use fruit juice such as orange, grape, apple or pineapple juice.
My secret tip: To make green smoothies so delicious that even the greatest of skeptics will want more, use a fruit juice (I use apple juice) for the liquid base.
When you are making your smoothies, feel free to experiment with the flavours. For example add cocoa powder for a chocolate flavoured smoothie.
Combining your ingredients
Get your fork and get to work with your fruits. Mash, mash, mash. Do the same with your vegetables.
Add the liquid and mix and mash. Add your other ingredients (peanut butter, yogurt etc.) and mix everything together. Guess what? Your smoothie is ready.
If you want a foamy drink, put a few ice cubes into a large jar and pour the smoothie into it. Seal the jar and shake it until the smoothie is cold and foamy. You need to shake it for about 30 seconds.
Ever heard of Fruit powder?
Fruit powder is dried fruit that’s been finely ground. Freeze dried fruit powder is chock-full of flavor, as well as valuable vitamins and minerals. If you do not have any fruits or maybe not enough, add a tablespoon of fruit powder to the rest of your ingredients and mix away until it is smooth.
One of the good things about fruit powder is that it doesn’t go bad, is easy to travel with and there is no chopping required. It also doesn’t require any preservatives or added ingredients – so you’re just getting the pure fruit goodness.
Frozen fruit cubes
Here is another method you can use to make smoothies even if you don’t have a blender.
Take all the fruits (and vegetables) that you will use in your smoothie and puree them in a food processor. Even the harder fruits will work here. Do them separately. Don’t mix them up.
Pour the pureed fruit individually into an ice tray. One ice tray can be used for several fruits and vegetables. Just ensure that each fruit is in its individual cube.
Place in the freezer until set and then remove the cubes and store in a freezer bag for future use.
When you are ready to make your smoothie, just choose any cube or cubes you want to use, place in a jar and add the liquid of choice. It is best to do this the night before to give the cubes time to melt.
Shake the jar vigorously for a few seconds and there you have it. Delicious smoothie.
Please note that whichever of these methods you use, the smoothie will be more lumpy than if you used your blender. But don’t worry about a few lumps. It’s all good. Go ahead and enjoy your smoothie.
Even if your blender should break, remember there is no reason you should be deprived of your delicious, nourishing smoothie.
Have you ever made a smoothie without a blender? Tell us about it in the comments section below.