There is a variety of blenders on the market for all budgets and space with a wealth of different features and accessories. But the question is; what is the best blender for smoothies?
The first point to consider is what type of smoothies you want to make. Depending on the density of the ingredients you want to use, the size of the blender motor can be a relevant piece of information. Also, some of the blenders can feature different attachments to simplify the smoothie process; blend it then drink it. Or make larger amounts to separate up for later consumption.
The smoothie craze started in the 1960s with ice cream vendors and health stores. But the roots of the drink came from the 1930s with pureed fruit drinks which came originally from Brazil. By the 1990s, they had become common place in cafes and coffee shops and even pre-made bottles in supermarkets.
Sweet smoothies are usually made from fresh fruit with the addition of crushed ice or frozen fruit to make thicker slush drinks or honey or syrup to make milkshake-like drinks. Another base ingredient may be milk, ice cream or yoghurt or healthy options made with soy milk or whey powder. They can even contain herbal supplements or nutritional mixes. Soft drinks can be added to the smoothie, and they are sometimes used in cocktails with alcoholic drinks.
Fruit smoothies have spread across the world including into Indian cuisine with the sharbat, made from yoghurt and honey with fresh fruit or the traditional Mango Shake, a summer smoothie with mango, ice, milk and sugar blended together.
As well as being filled with vitamins, fruit smoothies can also aid in weight loss depending on the ingredients used. Watermelon is a good example of a fruit which is low in calories and fat so combined with water or low fat yoghurt, can make an idea healthy fruit smoothie. Blueberries are also great for their antioxidant properties and fantastic colour when blended!
To the savoury side are green smoothies, which are a kind of health shake. They use green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, swiss chard, parsley or broccoli and add fruits such as oranges, apples, pears or bananas, either fresh or frozen. Water or ice is added to liquefy. The typical ratio given to balance the taste with the goodness is 60% fruit to 40% greens.
Another healthy option for the smoothie makers is to replace water in a recipe with cooled tea. This won’t work with every recipe, but green tea, for instance, is full of anti-oxidants and can be obtained in powdered form to add to the blender.
Nuts and seeds are useful to help the digestive system absorb some of the vitamins in other ingredients such as fruit. Some manufacturers produce nut or seed products which can be added to smoothies without affecting the consistency. Other seeds such as flax can be grounded up and added for their goodness.
Coconut is a good all rounder for smoothies. Coconut water comes from young green coconuts and can be added in replacement of other liquid to help boost electrolytes. Powdered or flaked coconut is also available, and coconut milks can help with creamy smoothies.
Protein powders are a simple all-in-one addition to the smoothie recipe. There is a huge range including those suitable for allergies like soy or for vegans. There are often flavoured and un-flavoured options available.
Chocolate in the smoothie sound like heaven? A healthy option to this is using cacao beans, the seeds from which cocoa is extracted to make chocolate but largely unprocessed, so the nutrients are left all together.
Best Blenders for Smoothies
If you are new to smoothies, or to making your own, here are a few ideas about the kind of smoothies you can make with your own smoothie blender.
The Ninja BL660 is a powerful blender which lives up to it’s tag of professional. It has a 1100 watt motor and extra large 72 oz. pitcher provided with it. The set also comes with 2 16 oz. single serve cups which feature the useful To-Go lids. This means you can create your smoothie straight into the cup and then drink it from the same container.
The blender has three different speeds and a set of 6 stacked blades so there is very little it cannot successfully blend. This also means that unblended amounts of food are not left in the bottom of the pitcher, causing problems when cleaning.
This blender will easily blend a host of ingredients including frozen fruit and ice, normal blending and nutrient complete juicing. It can easily and successfully tackle green smoothies including reducing raw carrot without any problems. One tip from a green smoothie maker is if you are adding a powdered supplement, do this at the beginning, so it gets pulled through the whole of the smoothie, otherwise the lightness of the powder will get blown away at the top!
All the components are dishwasher safe, so easy to clean. Its dimensions are 12” wide x 9.25” deep x 16” high.
Reviews from people using this product are consistently high, praising the ability to create snow from the ice in minimal time and also for producing complete green smoothies. It also runs without making too much noise.
The Oster Blender is a powerful blender running on a 600 watts motor with seven speed options including a pulse setting. It has Oster’s patented All Metal Drive, known for its lasting durability and also an automatic reversible motor which works with on all of the settings without the need to change anything for it to work.
The one touch settings involve time and function as well as low, medium and high manual settings so you have full control over what is blended and how. Even the pulse setting comes in two options, high and low. It has a frozen drinks mode which is ideal for smoothies which are made with ice.
The blades are made from stainless steel for crushing even ice without problems. It is provided with a six cup glass pitcher which has been thermal shock tested so it can withstand extremes of temperature and has the different measurements marked on the side for ease of use. It is also scratch resistant and dishwasher safe.
This Hamilton model is designed specifically for smoothies and has powerful ice crushing blades using their patented Ice Sabre system. Another unique feature is their patented Wave Action system which means it produces smoothies without the need for constant stirring. It runs on a powerful 700watts motor.
This blender has a one-touch smoothie programme which means the guess work is removed from smoothie making, and the glass pitcher comes with a no mess, pouring spout. The pitcher also has a large base area which means it is easier to clean than smaller models.
This model can easily blend frozen fruit, fresh fruit and chopped greens as well as warm products such as hot chocolates and soups. It can even blend nuts and ingredients for salsa, so this is not a single use smoothie maker.
The elements of the blender are dishwasher-safe and the base unit can be simply wiped clean, with no crevices for dirt to accumulate.
The Ninja Master Prep runs on a strong 400 watts motor and can be used for a wide range of jobs as well as making smoothies.
It can easily blender frozen food and ice as well as mincing, dicing and chopping ingredients, blending into purees and, of course, making smoothies. Making green smoothies are also no problem with the blades cutting up spinach, kale and carrot, for example, as easily as fruit. It can also be used for jobs such as making salsas and sauces.
The blender comes with a large 48 oz. pitcher which features an easy pour spout and a special non-slip base to avoid accidents. It also has a 16 oz bowl in the set for alternative jobs.
All the elements are dishwasher-safe and the motor unit, which is on the top of this blender, just wipes clean.
These are just a brief overview of the smoothies you can make with one of the best blenders for smoothies or some of the ingredients that can inspire you. Be it sweet and luxurious fruit smoothies or ultra-health green food smoothies, there are a huge range of recipes available and a wide selection of product to make them with. There is something for every budget and every space.
Not only that, but smoothies can be a great way to use up leftovers around the house, the odd apple or banana or some spinach from the lunch, in a new and exciting way. Whether you start the day with a smoothie or enjoy one during the day, there is a smoothie for every occasion.