If you want to make a smoothie that tastes good, there are a few ways to build a better smoothie using familiar ingredients. Read more, then find my recipe for a simple Pomegranate Berry Smoothie you’ll love!
The scene: Your kitchen.
The mood: Swampy. You’re craving the cool refreshment of a summer smoothie to help you temporarily escape to the tropics.
You throw some fruit in a blender with milk or yogurt, maybe a few ice cubes, let it do its thing and pour it into a glass, eager to take that first sip and feel instantly invigorated.
Only…it kind of sucks. Where you expected sweetness, you get bland. Where you wanted creamy smooth texture, it’s chunky and you’re dodging ice pellets left and right. Not one to waste food, you finish it but begrudgingly swear off smoothies for the time being.
I’m here to help. There are a few simple hacks you can do to make a smoothie taste better. And the good news is that it won’t take any extra time or effort, as you probably have a lot of these ingredients in your kitchen already. Let’s get started and get you on your way to that smoothie that tastes good!
How to Build a Better Smoothie
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: you only need to follow three simple steps to build a better smoothie. And while it’s a nice-to-have kitchen appliance, you don’t need a super high-powered blender that breaks the bank. I received my Vitamix as a gift from family friends, but here’s a more budget-friendly option that works well, too.
1. Start with your liquid
When you add your liquid to the blender first, it makes blending so much easier. When the liquid sits on top of your other ingredients, it can’t get down to where the blades are. As a result, the other ingredients (especially ice cubes or frozen fruit) get jammed up and stuck together. You can avoid or minimize stopping to scrape the sides and reposition ingredients and just let the motor run when you add the liquid of your smoothie first.
Street Smart Nutrition’s Top Picks: Dairy (either whole, reduced-fat, or fat-free milk depending on your personal preference), dairy-free alternative such as soy milk, 100% juice, cold-brew coffee. The Pomegranate Berry Smoothie below uses – you guessed it – 100% pomegranate juice!
2. Add your base
It’s all about that base – this is the bulk of your smoothie. Fruit, greens, veggies, protein, nut butters, spices or herbs, and other mix-ins go into your blender next. There are endless combinations for mixing a smoothie that tastes good, so don’t be shy about experimenting with different ratios of various ingredients you enjoy.
Street Smart Nutrition’s Top Picks: Fresh fruits and greens (if you’re new to adding veggies to a smoothie, start with more fruit and adjust from there), peanut or almond butter, cottage cheese or silken tofu (a few personal favorites for boosting protein and a creamy texture), avocado, spices like cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, or a garnish of sea salt flakes
3. Chill it down
If you’re using frozen fruits or veggies in your smoothie, add them last. This is also where you can add as much or as little ice as you want. The weight of the ice cubes or frozen produce will help drag the rest of your ingredients to the bottom of your blender, help you get that super smooth consistency you want. It’s not a guaranteed solution (if you’ve ever had a small piece get lodged in a straw, you know a few chunks slip through) but it helps.
Street Smart Nutrition’s Top Picks: Frozen berries or mango chunks, frozen banana (a great way to salvage the ones that ripen too fast!), even frozen cauliflower or broccoli can get you a boost of veggies without being too detected by your taste buds
FUN FACT: Our taste buds are tempterature-sensitive, meaning our perception of flavor changes based on how hot or cold our food is. This is why using only frozen fruit in a smoothie seems more bland than expected, but also why you can add veggies to a smoothie without significantly changing the flavor. Add spices, vanilla, or a sweetener, and you’ll definitely end up with a smoothie that tastes good!
Pomegranate Berry Smoothie
Like I mentioned above, 100% juice is a great liquid to use in smoothies. And did you know 100% juice counts towards your daily servings of fruits and vegetables? It’s estimated only 1 in 10 Americans is eating enough fruits and veggies every day and *raises hand slowly* I’m not one of them.
Pomegranate juice is especially beneficial, as it contains antioxidants that provide anti-inflammatory benefits. It has a very concentrated flavor, tart but still sweet, and adds some beautiful color to your smoothie, too.
Here’s the recipe for a Pomegranate Berry Smoothie
Easy Pomegranate Berry Smoothie
- Measure all ingredients. Build a better smoothie by adding the juice first, then the other ingredients, then the ice last. Pulse on high until ice is broken up, then blend until a smooth consistency is reached. Transfer the mixture to a glass.
- Garnish with additional hemp hearts, fresh pomegranate arils, or whole berries if desired. Serve immediately.
The hemp hearts add some additional fiber, plant-based protein, and healthy fat, but you can skip those or swap for chia seeds or other toppings.
Looking for more smoothies that taste good?
Check these out:
- Blueberry Cardamom Smoothie with Oats
- Wild Blueberry Ginger Peach Smoothie
- Caramel Apple Smoothie
- Banana Chai Smoothie