There’s something to be learned from even the worst relationships. My relationship with the snotty heir to a plumbing empire made me a socialist. My relationship with a rental car facility manager taught me to avoid Midwestern men who are obsessed with Siberian Huskies. But the most valuable life lesson came from my relationship with an aging punk who worked at a health food store: how to make a really, really good smoothie. Behold, a series of tips from my Fugazi-loving ex:
Mild greens like spinach and kale are excellent in smoothies. They’re super nutritious, and it’s easy to sneak in a serving or two without compromising the flavor of your smoothie—but you have to blend the greens first. If you throw your greens in with your other ingredients and blend them all at once, there’s a good chance you’ll be left with spinach chunks in your drink. You don’t want spinach chunks! Instead, start by blending your greens with your chosen liquid (I usually do a big handful of spinach leaves and a cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk). Blend that mixture for about a minute, then add the rest of your ingredients and blend again. Voila, no chunks.
Your fruit ratio is everything here. In a past life, I’d add a whole banana, a large handful of strawberries, and some blueberries for good measure. That’s simply too much fruit for a standard smoothie, especially if you’re only working with a cup of liquid. These days, I blend three parts frozen fruit—usually half a banana, 1/3 cup of blueberries, and 1/3 cup of strawberries—and three parts liquid, usually almond milk or coconut water.
I throw a scoop of protein powder into my smoothies because I am a jock. But blending your protein powder along with your other ingredients aerates the entire mixture, creating a huge, frothy smoothie full of air bubbles. That’s an unpleasant protein belch waiting to happen. Instead, I prepare my smoothie without the powder, only adding the powder in at the very last second. Then I’ll blend it for about five seconds and call it good.
Just a solid piece of advice.