HEALTHY LIVING
04/10/2014 12:00 am ET Updated Apr 11, 2014
PRESENTED BY GREEN GIANT

12 Smoothie Hacks To Help You Slim Down This Summer

As hard as it is to believe after bundling up all winter, warmer weather is finally here! And before you know it you’ll be lounging on the beach soaking up the sunshine you’ve been craving. While a frozen drink might not seem like the perfect way to prep, fruit-and-veggie-packed smoothies can be a perfect supplement to your beach-body gym routine.

Smoothie making is a fairly quick and simple task, but a flawless drink requires much more than sticking your favorite ingredients in a blender. In an effort to help you upgrade your favorite frozen formulas, we’ve partnered with Green Giant to bring you this list of the ultimate smoothie-making secrets to help you master the tastes and texture you’re sure to love in time for summer!

  • 1 Choose Your Liquid First
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    If you’re looking for a low-calorie smoothie, opt for tap or purified water as a liquid base. As another option, try coconut water, green tea or fresh fruit juice made from a juicer. If you want a creamy smoothie, opt for milk, whether regular, almond or soy.
  • 2 When In Doubt, Go Frozen
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    Freeze as many of your ingredients as you can for the smoothest possible final drink or better yet, stock up on frozen veggies and fruits to give your smoothie a healthy boost with no added work necessary.
  • 3 Prepare Portions
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    Gather enough ingredients for a smoothie and freeze them all together in a muffin tin or plastic baggie. This will cut down on prep time, increasing the likelihood you’ll reach for a smoothie rather than an unhealthy snack.
  • 4 Liquid In Little Steps
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    When it comes to adding the liquid base to your smoothie, start out small. ½ a cup of liquid per serving is a good starting point. Adding too much too soon could make your smoothie watery and thickening it back up will be hard to do.
  • 5 Thickening Trick
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    If you did add too much liquid and want to thicken up your smoothie, try yogurt, oatmeal, avocado, extra banana, or chia seeds.
  • 6 Nut Butters Are Better
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    Try adding some nut butter, like peanut butter or almond butter to increase creaminess of the smoothie.
  • 7 Safe Ways To Sweeten
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    If your smoothie needs to be sweeter, try adding an over-ripe banana (sliced and frozen), maple syrup, honey, stevia or agave.
  • 8 Not Everything Mixes Well
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    Soy and Citrus may not always be the best mix, as the two could curdle when combined.
  • 9 Flavor and Flair
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    If you want to kick your smoothie up a notch, try mint, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla extract, nutmeg or cloves for a flavor-packed punch.
  • 10 Protect The Protein
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    Over-blending protein powder could diminish the impact. If you’re planning to add protein to your smoothie, do it as close to the end as possible after you’ve blended the rest of your ingredients.
  • 11 Add Ice Last
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    If you’re planning to add ice to your smoothie, be sure to add it last, once you’ve blended all of your other ingredients. Adding it along with the rest of your mix-ins will make your smoothie watery instead of cold.
  • 12 Find The Right Vessel
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    Find a jar or glass with a wide opening. There are special smoothie jars, but many also use mason jars for their portability. If you’re going to use a straw, make sure it’s a wide one and be sure to get a straw brush for easy cleaning afterward. If you’re not taking your smoothie to go, try freezing your glasses for an extra refreshing drink!

Put your new smoothie making skills to the test with these tasty drink recipes. Already a master smoothie maker? Comment below and tell us how you whip up your favorite smoothie formulas.

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