This time of year many of us are thinking about healthier habits. Drinking wholesome smoothies can be an easy and enjoyable way to increase our intake of fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-dense foods. However, sometimes we just get out of the habit. Whether you’re new to healthy smoothies, or have been drinking them for years, the following tips can make it easier to keep on blending.
Everyone is different, so please feel free to pick and choose from these ideas.
1. Keep recipes simple
You don’t need to add everything to every smoothie. Focusing on certain flavors can improve the taste, and using fewer ingredients also speeds preparation time. I see some recipes calling for chia and flax seeds or spinach and kale, but I don’t think you miss much by just choosing one of each of those types of ingredients. I still recommend using a variety of ingredients, but you can rotate through them over the course of days or weeks.
2. Prepare ahead
Preparing ingredients ahead can save time, and it is especially useful if you have to rush to get out of the house in the morning. There are a few different ways to go about it:
- Blend a big batch and store in fridge. I don’t do this because I prefer maximum freshness, but a day-old smoothie is often better than no smoothie.
- Load blender container the night before with all ingredients except for liquid and frozen, and store overnight in fridge. (I avoid storing liquid in the container because I’ve heard that it’s not great for the bearing seal.)
- Prepare multiple batches and store in individual containers or bags. (That is, wash produce and cut into chunks as if you were putting it straight into the blender.) Depending on what you’re using, and how long you’re storing, you can keep them in the fridge or freezer. If you freeze the batches, don’t add any liquid until it’s time to blend.
3. Keep the blender accessible
Maybe this one’s obvious, but keeping the blender out on the counter makes a smoothie routine easier and faster. If your blender does not fit under your kitchen cabinets with the container on it, there are a few options to make it shorter: store the lid separately, try inverting the container on the base, or just store the container off the base. Or you could get a shorter container (the Vitamix 32-oz and 48-oz containers are compatible with all current Vitamix models).
4. Stock smoothie staples
Keep smoothie ingredients on hand so you’re always ready to blend! I always keep my freezer full of frozen berries and mango, and sometimes other frozen fruits as well. I also have a set of stand-by produce that I buy each trip to the grocery store: apples, oranges, greens. Then I add whatever else looks good or is in season. I buy chia seeds in bulk online.
5. Stay satisfied with variety
If you start getting bored with your smoothies, look for new ways to spice up your blends. Browse this blog or your favorite recipe site. Even a single added ingredient can bring new life to a smoothie—to name a few: cinnamon, cilantro, or ginger.
6. Log favorite recipes
I love variety, so my smoothie recipes constantly drift. After a surprisingly short time I completely forget great ingredients that I used to add. By keeping this blog I’ve been able to rediscover old favorites. If you don’t have a blog there are plenty of other ways to keep track of your favorite smoothies:
- Journal (physical notebook, or an app)
- Photo snapshots
- Browser bookmarks
7. Track your progress
If you’re trying to build a new habit, recording progress can be helpful. This could be a simple calendar that you check off, or I’ve also heard good things about the app Coach.me (formerly Lift). The idea is to hold yourself accountable, and reward yourself for progress.
8. Use a good blender!
If you’re reading this site, you probably already have one, but a top quality blender like a Vitamix can make the most palatable results—especially if you want to add tough nutrient-dense ingredients like greens (with stems!) nuts, and seeds. I know I’m more likely to keep drinking smoothies if they’re not chunky!
Do you use any other tips that I missed? If so, please share below in the comments.