Have you discovered smoothies at a local health bar and want to make your own? With so many blenders available, it is difficult to know which model to buy. Here is a guide on best blenders for smoothies.A fter trying smoothies at our local juice bar, my family can’t get enough of them. They want smoothies every day, and it is becoming expensive! Because these drinks are so healthy and nutritious, I decided to investigate making them at home. It is an excellent way for the family to bond and also allows us to get creative with exotic ingredients. My initial problem was – which blender to buy? It was daunting to see how many models there are with different power outputs, speeds, settings, jar types, and features. In this post, I will simplify the options and review some of the best smoothie makers. This will help you make an informed choice that suits your needs, your family size, and your budget.
What is a Smoothie?If you have not yet discovered smoothies – you may well be asking – what exactly is a smoothie? A smoothie is a healthy beverage that is prepared in a blender. It resembles a shake but has a thicker consistency. Smoothies are made using raw fruits, vegetables, or a combination of both. They also contain a liquid which is usually fruit juice or vegetable juice. To make smoothies cold, you can add ice cubes or frozen fruit pieces before blending. Unlike fruit juice, smoothies contain all the dietary fiber, including pulp, skin, stems, and seeds. You can get creative and add sweeteners like honey, syrup, or stevia. For extra nutrition, add ingredients like nuts, seeds, and grains to the mix. Health fans also include protein supplements, vitamin supplements, or protein powders into their blends. For taste and thickness, people add milk or more exotic liquids like almond milk or soy milk. If a smoothie contains a large number of dairy products like milk, ice-cream, or yogurt, it becomes more of a milkshake than a smoothie! A traditional smoothie should only contain natural, unprocessed ingredients.
What Type of Smoothie is Good for You?You may be drinking smoothies for several reasons. First off, they are tasty and fun, much like a decadent shake that never fails to delight. Many people have discovered smoothies as exceptionally healthy drinks and even as meal replacements. I tried smoothies as part of a weight-loss program with excellent results; also, the kids love a sweet, exotic dessert as a treat! Smoothies have evolved to become quite complex. Here are the five main types.
- Fruit – Fruit smoothies are made of fresh fruit. You can choose to blend one specific type of fruit or use many different fruits, giving variety and flavor. You can freeze fruit pieces and use them in the smoothie, making them icy cold and refreshing. Fruit smoothies have a high sugar content and may not be suitable for people with diabetes or as part of a diet plan.
- Healthy – Healthy smoothies provide a large portion of our daily requirements of vitamins and essential nutrients. Because we tend to eat so much fast food, snacks, and on-the-go meals, our bodies do not get the correct amounts we need. Blending a smoothie for health purposes can provide the full recommended dosage of vitamins and nutrients. Many people also choose healthy smoothies in place of artificial supplements.
- Green – Fast becoming a fad. Green smoothies are, in fact, green! And they are exceptionally healthy. They are made primarily of raw leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens, celery, parsley, broccoli, or wheatgrass. Green smoothies may be bitter, and adding sweeter fruits like bananas or mangos will offset the bitter taste. Avocados also add texture and natural fat to a green smoothie.
- Weight Loss – Weight loss smoothies form part of a diet plan as they contain far less sugar. They are made with ingredients like almond butter, seeds, and grains to help ward off hunger. They also may contain liquids like green tea, known for speeding up metabolism. Weight loss smoothies can replace meals, cutting down on carbohydrates, salts, and other fattening ingredients.
- Dessert – Who doesn’t love a decadent dessert? These smoothies are fun, creative, and sweet. Many resemble a milkshake, but are so-much-more! Go crazy with exotic fruits, ice-cream, yogurt, syrups, and honey. Add chocolate toppings, marshmallows, candies, or anything that takes your fancy — a great treat for a hot summer day.
What makes a blender good at making smoothies?The right blender for making smoothies must have a few key features: – High motor power in watts. The higher, the better. – Strong and durable blades. Stainless Steel is the right choice, as they are extra durable. – Variable speeds. Ideal to start slowly and then increase the speed as the ingredients break down. Further on, I discuss all the features of what to look for in the best smoothie makers!
What Are The Different Types Of Blenders?There are two main options. Countertop blenders that stand out on a shelf or kitchen island. Or Immersion handheld blenders that you pack away when not in use.
- Conventional blenders – These blenders are larger than your personal blender and smaller than a high-performance model. The standard blenders are ideally suited for a family; they will offer an average size container and often comes with additional smaller containers. They can cost anywhere from $25 up to $120. They are durable and powerful and will blend, crush ice, chop, liquefy, purée, emulsify, and may even make dough or batters.
- High-performance – A high-performance blender comes with a higher price, as much as $600. Motor speeds are usually well over 1000 watts, and containers are larger, holding 70oz or more. Many of these models are best suited for restaurants or juice bars. If you do a lot of entertaining, you may want to consider buying a high-performance blender.
- Personal blenders – Small, compact blenders ideal for a quickly whipping up smaller or single-serve portions. They are lightweight and usually have fewer complex settings and features. The jars hold 12oz to 24oz, ideal for an on-the-go drink. Many personal blenders are portable, suitable for taking to the office, the gym, or on vacation. They are less potent than your conventional or high-powered model and probably won’t last as long.
Immersion blendersImmersion blenders, also known as ‘stick blenders’ are ideal for kitchens with limited countertop space. After use, you can pack it way in a drawer or pantry. The blender is held in your hand. You insert the arm into your container, press the trigger or button, and it spins the blades. They are ideal for smaller dishes when you are in a hurry. They also save you lugging out a heavy machine every time you want to blend. Handheld blenders are not ideal for people who struggle with weak or painful hands. These blenders do require strength in hand to hold when in use.
How to Choose the Right Type of Blender Jar for You?When it comes to the blender jar, people may have preferences. I prefer glass, but my hubby loves plastic. These are the most common types of jars available.
- Plastic – Plastic jars are usually made of sturdy and durable Tritan. Tritan is shatterproof and dishwasher safe. It is also long-lasting. Plastic does tend to lose its clear color after time. It can also scratch, creating crevices where germs can hide. I always check that the manufacturer has stated that the plastic is BPA-free.
- Glass – Glass is heavier than plastic and may not suit everyone. It will break if dropped! I always look for Boroglass, which is an extremely durable tempered glass. It does not shatter nor break. It is also dishwasher safe, BPA-free, and does not absorb odors. Glass jars always look clean and have a classic vintage appeal. Glass retains its clear appearance much longer than plastic.
- Stainless Steel – Stainless Steel is also a great option. It will never tarnish nor lose its shiny finish. Stainless Steel does not absorb odors and does not encourage the growth of bacteria. Very few blenders come with Stainless Steel as the main container. It makes it difficult to see what is happening inside as you blend. You will find that some models have extra on-the-go jars that are Stainless Steel, a great perk!
What to consider before buying a reliable blender for making smoothies?
- The Power of the Motor. The number of watts determines the strength of your blender. Cheaper, smaller blenders range from 200 watts upwards. Larger machines offer 700 to 1200 watts or more. For a great smoothie – the higher the power, the better, to get a consistent, smooth mixture with no lumps. This is especially important when making green smoothies as you need to pulverize stems and leaves.
- Blender Size and Weight. When considering purchasing a new appliance for your kitchen, where to keep it is the first challenge. If you have countertop space, you can choose a more cumbersome model that will stand out. If you have limited space, a small, lightweight model or an immersion blender will suit you better. You can pack it up and put it away when not in use.
- Blades Design and Material. The first choice for me is Stainless Steel blades. They are super durable and long-lasting. Most blenders for smoothies have a design that offers dry blades that chop up dry goods and force then downwards, preventing loads of dust from floating up. They also have a wet blade technology that throws the ingredients against the sides of the jar to mix them consistently. You probably won’t have to worry too much about this! Try to find blenders with blades that detach for easy cleaning.
- Various speeds. A model withvariable speeds is very convenient. You can start slow and then increase the speed as the contents become emulsified. Many blenders have pre-set programs specifically for smoothies, taking away the guesswork.
- Pitcher Capacity and Material. Decide whether you prefer glass or plastic. If plastic, check that it is durable Tritan, which is shatterproof and BPA-free. Glass is best if it is Boroglass, a strong tempered glass that will not break. Capacity will depend on your needs. For a single person, a small pitcher size of 14oz is ideal. For a larger family, you will need a container of around 40-60oz. If you are catering for large parties, you can find pitchers of 70oz or more.
- Easy to clean – this is vital. You don’t want a blender with dried ingredients stuck between the blades or in the jar cavities. Self-cleaning blenders are great. Many blenders have dishwasher safe parts – a great pro. I prefer models with removable blades, knowing that I can clean them perfectly.
- Warranty. I always look for a blender that comes with a warranty. The longer, the better, like that, implies that the manufacturer will stand by and support the product.
- Cost. Decide on your budget before buying. Keep in mind that some cheaper models do a great job, and many expensive models do not always deliver value for money. For a conventional model, plan on spending around $80 to $150. Personal models are cheaper at $50 to $100. High-performance models will cost anything from $300 to as much as $600. Immersion blenders average $50 to $100.
How to Make a SmoothieHere are my necessary steps for making delicious smoothies
- Prepare your ingredients. Get together your fruit, veggies, and other ingredients. Wash fruit and veggies well. If you are using frozen fruit, make sure they are placed into the freezer long before you want to use them.
- Set up your blender, remove covers, and plugin. If you are going to use a pre-set program, choose the program you want.
- Chop up substantial pieces of fruit and veggies. Plan on around 1 cupful per person.
- Add optional liquid – can be fresh juice or dairy products like milk, ice-cream, yogurt, or almond milk. The more liquid, the thinner the smoothie, so monitor carefully.
- If you want to add supplements or protein additives, do so now.
- Optionally add in your ice or frozen fruits.
- Close the jar and start the machine. If you have a pulse function, it is useful to pulse a few times to get the more significant ingredients chopped up.
- Blend until you get the consistency you want or until the pre-set program is complete.
- Add more liquid if it is too thick.
- Pour out into icy glasses, add decadent toppings and serve. If your jar is a single-serve, remove, snap on the lid and go!
How to Clean Your BlenderAlways do a quick clean after every blender use. Then do a deeper clean when you have time.
- Half fill the blender container with hot water.
- Add a drop of dishwashing liquid.
- Run for around 10 seconds.
- Tip out the container and rinse with hot water.
- First, do the 30 seconds clean above.
- Disassemble the jar and blades if possible. Be careful not to cut your hands. Wash under warm water.
- If your components are dishwasher safe, place it on the top shelf.
- Don’t put the motor, base, or electric cables into water.
- Wipe down the motor section and panels with a soft damp cloth. If your control panel has buttons, remove any spilled ingredients that have collected around the buttons.
- Pay attention to the rubber gaskets and rings where ingredients may have collected. Wipe away if they have become dry.