How to Make a Smoothie Without a Blender – 3 Ways

Do you know how to make a smoothie without a blender? It’s easier than you think! Here are 3 easy ways to make healthy delicious smoothies blender free.

I am often being asked how to make a smoothie without a blender. Most people think you absolutely have to have a blender to make a smoothie.

Of course, it’s ideal to have a blender so you end up with a lovely smooth drink. But what about those occasions where you find yourself without a blender but you still want a nice fruity drink?

For example, you might be on holiday, staying with friends, have a power cut, your blender has broken or you simply don’t have a blender.

** Please note that this post may contain affiliate links which means that I can receive a small payment if you make a purchase through my links.

I’m going to show you 3 great ways to make a smoothie without a blender.

I’m even going to show you how to make a GREEN smoothie without a blender. As I believe it’s so important to get your daily dose of greens especially while you are traveling.

How To Blend Without A Blender

In a minute I’m going to show you 3 ways to make smoothies without a blender, but I just wanted to quickly answer this question.

How do you blend without a blender?

There are a few ways.

  1. Mash ingredients using a fork or a potato masher
  2. Use pre-blended ingredients and stir
  3. Use powdered forms of ingredients
  4. Add all ingredients to a bowl or glass and use your mouth to blend (i.e. chew)
  5. Use other tools to blend without a blender such as a food processor, or non-electric blenders or hand blenders

How to make a smoothie without a blender – 3 Ways

1: Fruit Powder No Blender Smoothie

This fruit powder is highly concentrated so you don’t need much at all. It is freeze-dried so you still get a lot of the nutrients and it tastes lovely.

The great thing 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.

All you do is add 1 tablespoon of fruit powder to your cup and all you need to do is add a little bit of liquid such as fruit juice to make a paste and use a fork to whisk it until it’s fairly smooth.

Then continue to add a total of 1 cup of liquid slowly until you have a fairly smooth smoothie.

How To Make A Creamy Smoothie Without A Blender

For a creamier taste make the smoothie with your favorite milk or yogurt.

I like 1/4 cup of coconut milk and 3/4 cup of water.

1 cup of yogurt mixed with 1/2 cup of water makes a good amount of smoothie.

To easily blend the ingredients without a blender, add the ingredients to a blender shaker bottle (I use this one from Amazon every day and have about 6 of these in my home) and shake it until it’s smooth.

Here are some gorgeous flavor combinations of smoothie for you to try: (serves 1)

  • Strawberry milkshake: 1 Tablespoon of Strawberry Powder and 1 Cup of Almond Milk
  • Tropical: 1 Tablespoon of Banana Powder and 1 Cup of Tropical Fruit Juice
  • Raspberry and Mango: 1 Tablespoon of Raspberry Powder and 1 Cup of Mango Juice.
  • Pomegranate Antioxidant Blend: 1 Tablespoon of Pomegranate Powder and 1/2 Cup of Orange Juice and 1 cup of yogurt.
  • Sweet Acai: 1 Tablespoon of Acai Powder and 1 Cup of Apple Juice.
  • Energising Green Smoothie: 1 Tablespoon of Banana Powder, 1 Tablespoon of Green Powder and 1 Cup of Apple Juice.

2: Mashed Soft Fruit No Blender Smoothie

If you prefer to use fresh fruit in your smoothie, another alternative is to mash some soft fruits.

The technique is fairly similar to using the powder but it takes a bit longer.

You have to use soft fruit such as ripe banana, ripe mango or berries.

You mash the fruit as much as you can in a bowl with a fork.

Keep squashing it until it turns into a mushy liquid.

Then add 1 cup of fruit juice, plant based-milk, yogurt or water gradually continuing to whisk it with the fork until it’s all blended up.

It won’t be perfectly smooth but it will still be drinkable.

3: Non-Electric Manual Blender Smoothie

This non-electric food processor and chopper is such a cool little gadget.

It doesn’t require any electricity so you can easily take it on holiday with you or just into the garden to make some smoothies outside when the weather is nice.

Just add 1 soft fruit and 1 cup of water, juice or milk to this amazing device, turn the handle a few times and voila, a quick quiet smoothie that you could make anywhere.

And if you did want to use a blender, but you just didn’t have a plug to plug it in – why not try a USB blender.

You can add soft fruit and blend it up wherever you can use a USB plug – even if it just sitting in your car! I love this USB blender.

Outdoors Blender

Here’s another manual blender with more power to it and a larger capacity to make a few smoothies in one go for all of the family.

If you’re going camping and you’re really going to miss your smoothies, I suggest you grab yourself one of these blenders.

I love to take mine abroad with me and not have to worry about electricity wherever I happen to be.

I am addicted to my smoothies as they make me feel so good so I wouldn’t want to go a day without them.

So there you go – 3 great ways to make a smoothie without a blender so you never have to be without your healthy drink again!

Have you ever made a smoothie without a blender?

No Blender Smoothie Hacks

Here are some more ulta-cool no blender smoothie video tips that I wanted to share with you.

How To Travel With Green Smoothies

If you’re interested in learning more about how to travel with smoothies, you’ll love this handy cheatsheet I’ve created.

And after reading this, that you think it’s too hard to make a smoothie without a blender, you might want to take a look at my post where I share my favorite blenders with you no matter what your budget is.

Blenders can be cheaper and more powerful than you think.

How To Lose Weight With Smoothies

If you’d love to be one dress size lighter this time next week, why not give my proven smoothie weight loss plan a go?

Check out the reviews by clicking here.

Pin this for later.

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Katherine Kyle @ Green Thickies

Founder at Green Thickies Katherine lost 56 pounds and recovered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with Green Thickies.
Read Katherine’s inspiring comeback story, From Fat and Fatigued To Lean and Loving Life In 4 Months.

Send Katherine a message on Instagram, Facebook, or email here.

Latest posts by Katherine Kyle @ Green Thickies (see all)

  • Easiest Mango Smoothie Recipe (2 Ingredient, Raw, Vegan) – February 1, 2020
  • How To Ripen A Mango Faster (Or More Slowly) – January 3, 2020
  • When Is A Mango Ripe? – 6 Easy Signs – January 3, 2020

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How to Make a Smoothie without a Blender

It wasn’t so long ago that blended fruit smoothies became all the rage, but unlike most health trends, smoothies haven’t waned in popularity. In fact, blended fruit drinks have evolved from a craze into a staple of any healthy diet. It makes sense. After all, why spend half the day trying to cram your essential fruits and vitamins in with each meal when you can drink a veritable fruit cocktail in a single glass?

Smoothies are usually prepared in blenders with ice, fruit, milk, yogurt and/or ice cream. Some have various additional nutritional powders, such as soy, whey, or energy complexes. These drinks can be costly at local shops, so being able to whip one up at home is an inexpensive way to get your fix. You can be nutritionally refreshed quickly and easily whenever the mood strikes you.

One of the biggest obstacles many people face in trying to get their smoothies at home is not owning a blender. If you do happen to have a blender, great! However, believe an electric blender isn’t actually a requirement for a making good smoothie. Assuming you have the right alternative materials, you can still make a wonderful, fruity, and nutritious drink that is not only tasty but also good for your health.

Here is how to make a smoothie without a blender in your own kitchen. If you plan to make more than one smoothie, double up on the ingredients below.

Step 1 – Get Prepared

Gather, wash, and chop fruits into small pieces on your chopping block or hard surface.

Step 2 – Assemble Ingredients in Mixing Bowl

Put all the chopped fruits inside the medium-sized mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of yogurt, and any powder additives you may want.

Step 3 – Mix

If you are using an electric mixer, place the mixer’s blades into the bowl, and turn the power to low. Let the mixer blend the items together until the ingredients reach a smooth texture.

If you are not using an electric mixer, use a large spoon to mash fruits in the bowl before adding milk, yogurt, and the powders.

Note: With either method, fruits may be a little lumpy; that’s OK. Lumps are fine as long as they have been mixed to some degree. They will not be as blended as when they would be if they had been pulsated in a blender or food processor.

Step 4 – Add Ice

Add crushed ice to your mixture, as much or as little as you’d like. Keep in mind, the ice will melt quickly and will water down your smoothie a bit.

Note: If you want your smoothie to be super cold, place it in the freezer for about 5 minutes.

Step 5 – Stop Mixing, Pour, and Enjoy!

Turn off the electric mixer, scrape the sides of the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula, and pour your smoothie into an 8-oz. glass. Whether you clean up now or later doesn’t matter, so long as you have time to enjoy your delicious smoothie!

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During my last trip to Cambodia, for a week-long workshop of writing and photography, some of my group members mentioned they crave a smoothie in the morning for a boost of energy. You can find tons of fresh fruits in Siem Reap. But since the food industry there is far behind that in the US, you probably can’t find a smoothie stand when you need it. We started chatting about how to make smoothies while traveling. Someone even mentioned inventing a portable blender just for trips.

Smoothies and protein shakes are not a big thing in China the way they are in the US. But I got to know more about it from my husband, after moving to Austin from Beijing. The first time I heard that you could add peanut butter into a smoothie, I thought, ew, how strange is that! But now, the peanut butter smoothie is one of my favorite drinks!

My husband and I both enjoy protein smoothies. Not only do we drink them after a short run or before yoga, we serve them for breakfast too. A protein shake is very filling and will hold us over a few hours until lunch, without feeling hungry. Not to mention that it boosts energy immediately and works even better than coffee.

The only problem is, I hate to clean the blender. My husband and I enjoy different flavors when it comes to drinks. So we always use a hand blender to mix drinks separately. This means, cleaning the hand blender twice, plus any cutting boards, bowls, and cups used. Not something I enjoy doing on a busy morning. Or any time of any day.

When I learned about the Thermos® shaker bottle, it sounded like a blessing – now I can mix my favorite drinks in a single bottle without using a blender.

I started right away and tweaked 10 of my favorite smoothie recipes into protein shakes that I can make without a blender.

Making drinks couldn’t be easier. All I have to do is:

  1. Add liquid to the Thermos® bottle. This can be water, milk, or juice.
  2. Add solid contents, such as protein powder, sweeteners, spices, cacao powder, and fruit puree.
  3. Place the green stationary mixer into the bottle, twist on the lid, and put on the locking ring. Then shake! Shake! Shake!

Voila! You will have a yummy and nutrition-packed smoothie in a minute.

The bottle is designed to evenly combine liquid and all types of protein powder. But I found out it works well with cacao powder, peanut butter powder, pumpkin puree, and even tahini!

You can bring the shaker bottle with you on the way to work, to the gym, or on a trip. It is lightweight, seals in liquids very well, is pretty cool looking, and you can clean it up with a quick rinse.

Want to mix a drink on the go? Simply pack your protein powder and your preferred flavorings and supplements in the bottle. You can mix them with water or a juice / milk base you pick up at a convenience store. There are endless options to mix your favorite flavors. For example, you can pack cacao powder, flaxseed meal, and peanut butter powder (my favorite!) into a small ziploc bag and stuff it into the bottle.

This method is extremely helpful when traveling. We pack a few dry ingredients and the bottle into our bag. This way, we can have a quick, delicious, and healthy meal at any time during the day, no matter whether we’re waiting at the airport or driving for a few hours.

Excited about making your own protein shakes? We have good news!

Thermos® is offering a limited time promotion that gives you the chance to win a Thermos® Shaker Bottle through a sweepstakes hosted on the Thermos brand Facebook page.

There will be a total of 10 randomly selected winners for the promotion. And that could be you!

↓↓ ↓↓

Enter to Win!

And don’t forget to follow Thermos on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to get updates on the event!

10 Easy Protein Shake Recipes You Can Make Without a Blender

Now here is the list of quick protein shakes that you can make with the Thermos® bottle. The options are endless and this list is designed to provide some inspiration. Please DO tweak them according to your tastes and try out different types of ingredients. Happy shaking! 🙂

Note: to make a protein shake, add ingredients into the Thermos® bottle in the order listed in the recipes below, place the green stationary mixer into the bottle, seal and lock the lid, and shake until the ingredients are blended.

1. Vanilla coffee shake

  • 1 cup low-fat milk (or plant based milk)
  • 1 cup fresh brewed coffee
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein
  • Honey (or agave syrup, or other prefered sweetener) to taste

Slightly adapted from Body Building.

2. Peanut butter shake

  • 2 cups low-fat milk (or plant based milk)
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter powder
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (or honey, or agave syrup)
  • (Optional) 2 to 3 drops vanilla extract

3. Pina colada shake

  • 2 cups pineapple-coconut juice
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein
  • (Optional) 2 to 3 drops vanilla extract

4. Orange grapefruit shake

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup grapefruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein

5. Matcha shake

  • 2 cups low-fat milk (or plant based milk)
  • 1 teaspoon Matcha powder
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (or honey, or agave syrup)

6. Pumpkin pie shake

  • 1 and 3/4 cup low-fat milk (or plant based milk)
  • 1/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey, or agave syrup), or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Slightly adapted from Eating Well Living Thin

7. Lemon ginger shake

  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or agave syrup), or to taste

8. Tahini chocolate shake

  • 2 cups low-fat milk (or plant based milk)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or agave syrup), or to taste

9. Cranberry shake

  • 2 cups fat free milk (or plant based milk)
  • 1/4 cup cranberry sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon powder

10. Apple Cinnamon Shake

  • 2 cups fat free milk (or plant based milk)
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon powder

Other optional add-ins

You can add one or some of the ingredients below to vitamin, fiber, and more nutrition.

  • Ice cubes
  • Flaxseed meal
  • Chia seed
  • Whey protein powder
  • Goji powder
  • Maca powder

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NO TIME TO BLEND ? If you’re busy and pressed for time, a blender free smoothie can often come in handy. At any time of day, you can quickly whip up a nutrient rich shake that’s loaded with protein, antioxidants and fibre to support your health and wellbeing and get you through your day.

This post is due to the many emails we receive at Healthy Chef HQ and while we absolutely love blended smoothies, there are those occasions where you find yourself without a blender, such as being on holiday, travelling, sporting events, or working long hours in an office that doesn’t have any blending facilities.

A good blender free smoothie needs some basic ingredients to make it successful.

First up you need ice to keep your smoothie cool and refreshing. Then pour over your favourite milk or coconut water – I like to use almond milk as it gives me the creaminess I’m looking for. A good smoothie needs protein, so I always add a spoon or 2 of my protein powder. 1 or 2 spoonfuls is all you need to provide the essential amino acids your body needs for recovery, body shaping and wellbeing. So ice, liquid and protein are the 3 main basic ingredients and I often enhance mine with additional whole foods and super foods such as chia, flaxseed, wheatgrass, smashed berries, organic cocoa, smashed banana, matcha and other super food powders that energise and make your feel great. Don’t forget all these ingredients need to go into a blender bottle – the prefect health accessory to provide you with the ultimate drinking experience.

Here are my top 5 quick and nourishing smoothie recipes that are ready to drink in 15 seconds flat.

1 – BODY SHAPING SMOOTHIE

The perfect shake to kick-start your morning after a workout! Loaded with protein and cold pressed nutrients that will help nourish your body and burn body fat. A little smashed banana can also be added for chromium and extra creaminess and boosters such as matcha can increase fat burning. This type of smoothie will boost metabolism, nourish lean muscle and keep you energized all morning. As a mid afternoon snack, I combine 1 serve of protein with 1-½ cups of coconut water or water then shake in a blender bottle. This will help curb appetite and stop you reaching for the cookie jar when you feel like something sweet.

a handful of ice

1 ½ cups coconut water

2 tablespoons Protein Powder

¼ cup smashed raspberries or strawberries

1/2 ripe smashed banana

1 tablespoon Organic Superfood

1 teaspoon chia seed

Combine ingredients into your blender bottle.

Shake well for 15 seconds.

Enjoy icy cold

2 – SPORTS PERFORMANCE

The best time to consume protein is immediately after exercise. This is when blood flow to the exercised muscles is high and the muscle is especially receptive to nutrients. A blender free shake can boost performance, reduce fatigue and improve exercise performance. This blender free shake is high in protein and essential minerals including magnesium and potassium that is essential for muscle, nerve function and recovery.

1 handful of ice

2 cups coconut water or almond milk

2 tablespoons Protein Powder

1/2 teaspoon organic matcha

1 smashed banana

1 teaspoons tahini

Pinch of cinnamon

Combine ingredients into your blender bottle.

Shake well for 15 seconds.

Enjoy icy cold.

3 – WELLBEING

This shake is bursting with antioxidants and powerful super foods. It has a stabilising effect on blood sugar and promotes feelings of wellbeing. Rich in minerals including magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, riboflavin and essential micronutrients for health, energy and vitality. Vanilla and cinnamon help relax the nervous system and reduce inflammation.

1 handful ice

1 ½ cups almond or cashew milk

2 tablespoons protein powder

1 tablespoon Naked Chocolat

pinch of cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Combine ingredients into your blender bottle.

Shake well for 15 seconds.

Enjoy icy cold.

4 – DETOX

A chlorophyll rich protein shake is a great way to cleanse and repair the body. Chlorophyll the element that gives green tea, wheatgrass and other green plants their signature vibrant colour that is a powerful detoxifier. Nutrients rich in chlorophyll help to cleanse the body, boost metabolism and support optimum digestive health.

1 handful ice

1 ½ cups coconut water or cold almond milk

2 tablespoons protein powder

½ teaspoon Cold Pressed wheatgrass juice

½ teaspoon Organic Matcha

Combine ingredients into your blender bottle.

Shake well for 15 seconds.

Enjoy icy cold.

5 – IMMUNE BOOSTING

This shake provides a boost of antioxidants from pure whole foods that are quickly absorbed by the body – especially good when your immune system is compromised. Research studies have shown that a deficiency of high-quality protein can result in depletion of immune cells, the inability of the body to make antibodies, and other immune-related problems.

1 handful ice

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 cup cold water

2 tablespoons protein powder

1 teaspoon Natural Immune Support

1 tablespoon chia seed

Combine ingredients into your blender bottle.

Shake well for 15 seconds.

Enjoy icy cold.

6 – BEAUTY

Good skin starts from within and every meal is an opportunity to nourish your skin. This shake is rich in antioxidants that gives strength and structure to your skin and is vital for elasticity and firmness and helping improve skin’s hydration and elasticity. Protein is the key nutrient for ageless, beautiful skin. Your skin, hair and nails are made up of protein, so it’s important to include it in your diet. Hibiscus tea is a delicious antioxidant packed addition to this smoothie as a replacement for the milk or coconut water. Its is rich in vitamin C and has astringent properties for tonifying the skin. Brew it the night before so it’s lovely and chilled.

1 handful ice

1 ½ cups iced unsweetened chilled hibiscus tea

1/4 cup smashed raspberries

2 tablespoons protein powder

1 tablespoon Organic Superfood

2 tablespoons natural yoghurt (your choice coconut or dairy)

Combine ingredients into your blender bottle.

Shake well for 15 seconds.

Enjoy icy cold.

It’s 5AM and all you want is a smoothie so you can nourish yourself before the day takes over. BUT… you don’t want to wake the whole house with the whirl of the blender. Or maybe you’re on the go with no shaker cup. Either way, just because there’s no blender is sight doesn’t mean you have to skip your smoothie. Using common household items, I’ve got five smoothie hacks and accompanying recipes to help you make shakes fast. No blender required.

Kitchen Whisk

Best for: Berry or juice-based smoothie.

Directions:

  1. Add fresh, soft berries to a glass.
  2. Press with whisk while adding enough liquid to cover. Stir.
  3. Add one scoop Vega® Vanilla flavored protein powder of your choice and add remaining liquid.
  4. Whisk until combined.

Berry Base Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 scoop Vega® Vanilla flavored protein powder of your choice
  • Ice

Cocktail Shaker Strainer or Fine Mesh Strainer

Best for: Nut butter or berry recipes that you want to smooth out.

Directions:

  1. Add your ingredients to a wide mouth jar
  2. Close the lid, shake
  3. Strain and press over glass with ice

Coffee Nut Butter Recipe:

  • 1 ½ cup cold brew coffee
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1 scoop Vega® Vanilla flavored protein powder of your choice
  • ice

Fork

Best for: Banana-based smoothies.

Directions:

  1. Mash ripe banana with fork at bottom of your glass
  2. Add liquid, stir
  3. Add 1 scoop Vega® protein powder of your choice
  4. and stir
  5. Add ice

Chocolate Banana Recipe:

  • 1 small ripe banana
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 scoop Vega® Chocolate flavored protein powder of your choice

Mason Jar or Smoothie Glass with Lid

Best for: When you’re on-the-go.

Directions:

  1. Add ice to jar or glass
  2. Add half of your liquid
  3. Add your favorite flavor of Vega® protein powder
  4. Add remaining liquid
  5. Shake vigorously with the lid on

Wild Card Recipe:

  • 1 ½ cup almond milk, juice or water
  • 1 serving of your favorite Vega® protein powder
  • Ice

Handheld Milk Frother

Best for: Creamy smoothies that you like a little frothy.

Directions:

  1. Add non-dairy beverage to your cup
  2. Add 1 serving of your favorite Vega® Protein Smoothie
  3. Mix with frother, add ice
  4. Optional: splash of fruit juice

Creamy Tropical Recipe:

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 scoop Vega® Vanilla flavored protein powder of your choice
  • Splash of orange juice
  • Ice

How do you make a smoothie without a blender?

Smoothies are great! They taste good, help you add fresh fruit and vegetables to your diet, and are easy to eat on the go. Don’t spend $7 every morning on something you can make at home. You and your blender can unlock delicious nutrition in a healthy drink!

Whether you’re adding protein powder or extra fiber or cutting calories or just want a tasty treat, making a smoothie is all about physics. The basic ingredients and recipe for a smoothie are all the same. Follow these five simple steps to make a homemade smoothie perfectly every time:

  1. Add the liquids first. Start with water, milk, yogurt, or fruit juice. The physics of blending work out better this way.
  2. Add frozen ingredients. This can be juice, fruit, or ice.
  3. Add large ingredients. This can be fresh or canned fruit or vegetables.
  4. Add any optional extras such as spices, peanut butter, protein powder, or powdered vitamins.
  5. Start blending at low speed. Gradually increase speed and blend to your desired consistency. Start low to blend big pieces of fruit and ice without pushing them up and away from the blades against the sides of the container.

You can throw everything in a cheap blender and get pretty good results, but experimentation and a little physics reveal that the best smoothies come from following a script.

What Liquid Ingredients work in Smoothies?

Most smoothies use at least one liquid. Our recipe rule of thumb is 1/4 to 1/3 cup of liquid per cup of solid ingredients. You can make a smoothie with milk, juice, cream, or a non-dairy alternative such as soy or nut milk. Almond milk is especially tasty.

Use water in some form to make a non-dairy smoothie. We prefer ice. Use the same amount of water as you would other liquid ingredients. You don’t have to stick with plain water; try coconut water or green tea to add more flavor.

You can make a smoothie without liquids, but you’ll be blending for a while. You’ll need a fruit or other ingredient that’s already pretty juicy, such as a peach or frozen strawberries. The end result will be super thick, so get a sturdy spatula ready to dish it out and a thick straw to drink it up.

Yogurt is a staple in our recipes. We prefer Greek yogurt, thanks to its texture (and lower sugar and higher protein than regular yogurt)—but sometimes a few cubes of ice or a couple of tablespoons of other liquid work well. We tend to prefer vanilla yogurt, but honey or unflavored are also popular. Fruit yogurt can be too sweet (with too much sugar and not enough texture), but it works in a pinch.

You don’t have to add ice to a smoothie. It adds a nice cooling touch plus a little bit of liquid in the blender as it melts, but frozen fruit (grapes, banana, strawberry) adds the same cooling without watering down the flavor.

Be Patient

Start with a high quality blender. We proudly use Vitamix blenders, so our drinks always come out great! Even though fancy smoothie shops use the professional Vitamix and Blendtec models, any decent blender will work (Ninja, Oster). Even a good food processor may handle ice better than a really cheap blender.

To avoid blender logjams, add the liquid first. Spinning blades force larger chunks to the top of the mix because they don’t fit in the small spaces. Unless you have liquid around the blades, you’ll form an air bubble with everything pushed up and away from the blades to the sides of the container. With enough liquid around the blades, you’ll get currents so that larger chunks will reach the blades to mix together.

Start blending at a low speed. Work up momentum to move the larger chunks of fruit to the blades so that they get chopped finely. Gradually increase speed to high. This is especially true when using frozen fruits or nuts; the slower you go, the more blending power you have at the start.

If you start too fast or speed up too quickly, you risk making a dreaded air bubble. That makes for a chunky smoothie you’ll have to dig out with a spatula—not bad if you like something like a thick strawberry banana smoothie, but less ideal if you want to blend in anything else.

Remember that the high velocity of fluids swirling in the blender actually acts to break down large chunks of ingredients. It’s not just the blades that chop things up! The shear forces of high velocity liquid break down and smooth out big chunks of ingredients. For more information on the physics of blending, see how blenders cut down food and how cavitation works in a blender.

Clean Up Immediately

Immediately after pouring your drink, clean your container with warm water. The remnants of your delicious drink can quickly dry in your container, making it hard to clean. Our Vitamix is super easy to clean (especially with the automatic cleaning cycle), but if you’re diligent about rinsing immediately, you’ll be fine.

Should You Rest Your Smoothies?

Letting a smoothie sit tends to make it less frothy, but some smoothies will separate. For example, a spinach apple banana smoothie turns into a green juice floating atop a chunky green mixture if it sits for more than a few minutes. The same goes for all green smoothies, in our experience. Other smoothies are better after resting for a few minutes. Anything with a lot of light or frothy ingredients, or a lot of air whipped up into them, applies.

If you’re in a rush, prepare the ingredients beforehand by chopping and measuring them. Start only when you’re ready to eat! You can store ingredients or even store smoothies overnight in the fridge, if you’re preparing for an early morning!

A thick smoothie can last in the fridge up to 24 hours while retaining its flavor and texture. Thinner smoothies may separate before then. We prefer to drink immediately, though grabbing a drink prepared the night before is almost as good. To store a smoothie in the fridge, pour it into a tightly sealed container such as a Mason jar. Unless you have a tight, screw-on lid for your blender bottle, don’t bother—you’ll get better flavor and have an easier time cleaning up if you store it in something else.

In a pinch, you can put plastic wrap over the top of a glass.

Choosing the Right Ingredients

Our standard fruit smoothie recipe smoothie starts with a banana or apple and yogurt. You can use almost anything, though. We’ve made delicious treats with peanut butter, pineapple, carrots, spinach and kale, and more. We’ve even added celery to the spinach pear grape smoothie. If you’re going for complete nutrition, adding protein powder to smoothies puts power in your day without changing the flavor.

Our favorite smoothies use at least one frozen ingredient. Instead of watering down your drink with ice, get creative with whole frozen fruits. Grapes are great—see our amazing spinach pear grape smoothie! Frozen juice such as cranberry or orange works well too.

You don’t have to break the bank by paying out the nose for little bags of washed, chopped, and frozen fruit at the store. Freezing your own fresh fruit takes less time than you think, and you can make your own mixture of ingredients—ready to dump a little baggie in your blender!

The amount of ice affects how smooth or chunky your smoothie is (assuming your blender’s motor is powerful enough to handle everything you put in it). The more ice, generally the chunkier the end result, though you can adjust that with blending time. Too much ice or too much frozen fruit and you’ll end up with a sorbet—delicious, but harder to drink through a straw.

Now that you know how to make smoothies, you can rely on your own taste and style. Experiment. What’s the worst that can happen? You get to eat your results! You’ll discover which fruits and vegetables go well together. Look for flavors and textures which complement each other. There’s a wealth of fruits, vegetables, and herbs to enhance the basic yogurt-ice-banana combination.

Now how about browsing our easy smoothie recipes for ideas, or see our frequently asked questions about smoothies.

Can you purée without a food processor?

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For a long time, we lived without a blender. That doesn’t mean we lived without creamy soups! Here’s how to get a delicious, thick, and creamy soup without using a blender.

To be fair, unless you use an actual electric blender, you’re going to be putting in a lot of work to get a creamy ultra-smooth puréed soup. It can happen though if you’re really determined!

First there’s the obvious answer…

Consider buying an immersion blender. This is the most common response you’ll hear. Seriously, I dare you to ask on any social network—at least half of the responses will tell you to buy an immersion (or stick blender) to make a creamy soup. Honestly, I think it’s cheating the question. An immersion blender IS a blender after all.

Sure, they’re small and easy to store. The good ones come apart in several smaller pieces and don’t take up more than 1/4 to a 1/3 of a small drawer. It’s a handy little device. They’re easy to wash and they even help you avoid additional dishes by blending right in the pot or bowl you’re already using. But it’s still a blender and that wasn’t the question.

You want to know how to make a delicious, thick, and creamy soup without a blender!

Make creamy soups by using a potato masher!

Creamy soups existed before machinery. Just cook your vegetables until they are soft and use a potato masher to squish them down into a pulp. You could also use a ricer to get the same result. This is a great low-calorie way to get extra creaminess in your potato soups and clam chowders without adding extra cream or flour. Potato mashers are awesome because it gives you fine control over how smooth or chunky your food is.

If you’re looking for another no-power option that results in smoother purées, you can always get yourself an old-fashioned food mill. This device basically fits over a pot or a bowl, you ladle your soup into the top and turn the handle. It’s that easy. The screw pushes that food through a mesh strainer and puréed creamy soup comes out of the bottom.

It’s a little old-school, but if you’re living tiny on a homestead, that might fit right into your kitchen. As an everyday tool though, unless you’re making a lot of pureed soups, this one is a bit of a unitasker for me.

There you have it—how to make a creamy soup without a blender!

Have any other suggestions?
Leave them in the comments below.

Of all the appliances we stock our kitchen with, the blender, immersion blender, and the food processor are among the most useful. At first blush, they seem to perform similar tasks—and could even be interchangeable. They all use spinning blades to turn solid food into, well, not-solid food, right? But take a closer look and you’ll see that there are tasks each appliance is best for. Here’s when to use your blender, immersion blender, and your food processor to get the most out of your food:

Blender

The blades of a blender are not super sharp. In fact, they’re basically blunt objects. But the sharpness of the blade isn’t what turns your boiled carrots and stock into soup. It’s the powerful motor that gives blenders their super puréeing powers.

Smoothies and frozen cocktails definitely call for a traditional blender—again, that bossy motor can stand up to tough stuff, like ice. You can certainly use a blender to make puréed soup, but we prefer an immersion blender—more on why in a minute! That said, the deep “bowl” of the blender allows liquid to become agitated without overflowing or exploding through the lid (just don’t fill it to the top). When in doubt, follow this rule: If it needs to be silky smooth and uniformly puréed, take advantage of the motor and use a traditional blender.

An immersion blender is great for mixing scrambled eggs.

Photo by Alex Lau

Immersion Blender

Don’t want to dirty an extra set of dishes? The immersion blender is your best friend. Don’t know what an immersion blender is? That’s fine! We’ll tell you! It’s a handheld tool that’s useful if your soup would require puréeing in multiple batches with a traditional blender. With an immersion blender, just submerge the blade in the pot or pan and let ’er rip.

The immersion blender works best with foods that contain a liquid element, like soups, scrambled eggs, or saucy purées. Word to the wise: Never use an immersion blender in a shallow pan. The blades should be completely submerged in the liquid, or else they’ll splatter, decorating your kitchen walls with sauce or soup.

Smoothie without a blender

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