What do you think of when you hear the word smoothie? Something frozen? Sweet? Thick enough to stick in your straw? Google defines it as follows:
For our intents and purposes, let's focus on the latter definition.
It's a definition we don't particularly agree with.
As a company dealing with smoothies, we come across a lot of misconceptions when planning an event. Some people are hesitant to include smoothies in their event because they think they're too sugary with all those fruits, or they're lactose intolerant, or they're not sure if they've got freezer space for all the ice it would take. These concerns are all based on common misconceptions, and we'd like to set the record straight. Or at least smooth.
Misconception 1: Smoothies have dairy
Let's get this part out of the way–we disagree with Google's definition because a smoothie absolutely does not have to include dairy. Sure, smoothies and milkshakes may be in the same genre, but only one of them has milk in the name. A smoothie can use any sort of liquid to reach a nice consistency.
The type of liquid you use doesn't affect whether what you're making is a smoothie or not. Where Google's definition gets it wrong, Merriam Webster has our back, stating a smoothie is "a creamy beverage made of fruit blended with juice, milk, or yogurt." At Wheely Good Smoothies, we tend to use milk substitutes (like oat milk or almond milk), fruit juices, or even just coconut water.
Misconception 2: You need ice to make a smoothie
Sure, ice is usually the way to make a drink cold, so it makes sense that people think blending ice with fruit will get you a nice, cold, smoothie. And technically it will, albeit a chunky and watered down one. But who wants a watered down smoothie when you can blend frozen fruit instead?
Fruits freeze just as well as water does, and blending frozen fruit will give you the bold flavors, smooth textures, and cold temperatures you desire. Frozen fruit also breaks down faster, making it all the more easy to blend.
If you still want to use ice instead of frozen fruit, make sure to use store bought. It'll be easier to blend than the kind you make in your freezer, trust us.
Misconception 3: Smoothies are just fruit
This one may need a bit of a qualifier. Some smoothies really are just fruit! But not all of them. People make green smoothies all the time by adding in veggies like kale or spinach for a bit of added fiber and nutrients, as well as beets to get that beautiful red color along with a nice natural earthiness. We've used fresh ginger in recipes before (also a vegetable; don't worry, we had to look it up too) and even chia seeds.
Not only can you mix veggies in with your fruits, you can add spices or herbs to give it that extra kick! Next time you're figuring out what kind of smoothie to make, try adding some cinnamon, cardamom, or basil.
Misconception 4: You don't need to add any liquid
You do. Seriously, you do. It's not going to make your smoothie too runny. It's going to make it easy to blend and keep it from being so thick you could use it to build a brick wall. You'll want to add a liquid of some sort in order to make your smoothie sippable through a straw, or else you'll need a spoon, and that's no longer a smoothie. What you've got there is sorbet.
There are all sorts of directions you can go with the liquid. You could use water, but like we mentioned before no one likes a watered-down smoothie. Why not use something like mango nectar or orange juice? What about coconut water or oat milk? You could even use something like cold brew or tea if you want a little added boost of caffeine. The possibilities are endless, and they will be what makes your smoothie smooth.
So listen, we may not be the most suave smoothies (definition 1) on the block, but we know a thing or two about smoothies (definition 2), and now you do too!