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Last updated: September 3, 2021
Preparing a nutritious smoothie that not only tastes good but also has that perfect texture is not as easy as it may seem.
Instead of sticking with a proven smoothie ratio, I used to mix all sorts of ingredients together in my blender, hoping something magical would come out of it. But all too often my smoothies ended up tasting bad or they would be too thick.
So, how can you avoid making the same mistakes? By using a good smoothie ratio that works for you. A proven formula that always results in a delicious drink with a creamy texture and a good balance of nutrients.
Why Is Making a Good Smoothie So Difficult?
You’d be forgiven for thinking that creating a smoothie is easy. Simply throw a bunch of fruits and vegetables in a blender, add some water or milk, and the blender will do the rest.
Unfortunately though, blending that perfect smoothie, one that is both nutritious as well as delicious is not always that simple. A lot can go wrong in the process!
There are a lot of things to consider, such as flavors, texture and nutritional value. Some ingredients don’t work well with others, some ingredients have too strong flavors, and then there’s ingredients that can mess with the texture of your green smoothie.
Chia seeds and avocados, for example, can make your smoothies very thick, so you’d need to be careful with how much you put in there.
You also need to find a good balance of sweet fruits and leafy greens. We all love the sweetness of fruit, but it’s the vegetables that typically provide the most nutrients.
A lot of this comes down to experience. The more often you blend, the better you’ll be able to figure out what works and what doesn’t work for you.
I personally also keep track of recipes that worked and that I liked, just so that I can easily make them again in the future.
The Perfect Smoothie Ratio
Let’s be honest, the perfect smoothie ratio doesn’t really exist. A lot of this depends on what your personal preferences are.
But even though it’s hard to cater for everyone’s taste buds, a good smoothie ratio does help with creating a good texture and a good balance of nutrients in your smoothie.
A smoothie ratio works like a formula, or a template. A lot of people create smoothies based on their past experiences. A template is something that you can keep using new smoothie recipes. It forms the basis for all of your future blender creations.
The below smoothie ratio works quite well for me, and I typically use it as a guideline for all of my own recipes. It’s a template that allows me to create an endless amount of variations.
This template serves two people. Also note that the ingredients go into the blender in corresponding order, with softer ingredients closer to the blades at the bottom:
- Liquids (1 large cup)
- Fruits (2 large cups)
- Greens (2 large cups)
- Thickener (optional) (1 small cup)
- Proteins (1 small handful)
- Extras (1 tablespoon)
- Ice (1 small cup)
Let’s dive in!
Every smoothie needs liquid in order to blend everything together. Plain water works fine, as it doesn’t interfere with the flavors of the smoothie.
Alternatively, you can use milk, or almond milk. If you like a bit more sweetness, use coconut water or orange juice. Green tea also works as a smoothie liquid base, believe it or not.
You can also mix water with any of these other types of liquids.
>> Add 1 large cup of liquids.
You can literally blend any type of fruit you want, but just be mindful that some fruits are a lot sweeter than other fruits. And fruits can also impact the texture of your smoothie.
For example, bananas can make smoothies a bit thicker (and more on that further below).
It’s worth freezing in portions of chopped up fruits, not only to make it easier to get the ingredients together, but also to keep your smoothie nice and cold.
>> Add 2 large cups of fruits.
This is my favorite part because leafy greens tend to provide the most nutrients. And blending greens is the best and easiest way to get those vital nutrients in!
Example of vegetables that I often blend in my smoothies are spinach, collard greens, beet greens and kale.
Same as with fruits, some vegetables are a bit harder to blend and can result in increased thickness. Carrots for example are not the easiest ingredient to blend, and may require a bit more water.
>> Add 2 large cups of greens.
4. Thickener (optional)
Adding a thickening ingredient is entirely optional, and this will depend on your personal taste buds and also on the other ingredients you’re going to put in your smoothie.
I personally love smoothies that are a bit thicker as they make you feel more satisfied. As such, I almost always add something like Greek yogurt or avocado.
As mentioned above, bananas can also help to make your smoothies a bit thicker, in which case you wouldn’t need to add a thickening ingredient.
>> Add 1/2 avocado or 1 small cup Greek yogurt.
Some leafy greens are actually quite protein rich, but adding a handful of nuts can give your smoothie a real protein boost.
Other protein rich sources suitable to add to your smoothies are hemp seeds and nut butters, just to name a few.
>> Add 1 small handful worth of proteins.
When preparing a smoothie, I am always keen to add extra ingredients just to add more nutrients and flavors.
Some of these smoothie add-ins have very powerful flavors, so it’s important to be conservative when adding these.
Typically, one tablespoon worth of these extras is more than enough.
>> Add 1 tablespoon worth of extras.
Adding a handful of ice cubes at the top is an absolute must to keep the temperature of your smoothie low.
A green smoothie should be cold and fresh, and ice cubes really help with that. However, if the fruits you’re putting in this smoothie are frozen, you don’t necessarily need to add extra ice.
>> Add 1 small cup of ice cubes.