The rise of the smoothie came with the invention of the blender in the 1930s. Before blenders were invented, there was no way to blend together ice and fruits to achieve the consistency that is commonly associated with smoothies. The earlier smoothies were basic drinks made out of blended fruits, juice, sugar, and ice and were targeted at beachgoers who wanted to have a refreshing drink on a hot day. In the early 70s, people started adding vegetables, milk, vitamins, and supplements to their smoothies which completed the evolution of the smoothie from just being a cold refreshing drink to a healthy alternative to milkshakes. In the 2000s, smoothies underwent another evolution when it became linked to diet, exercise, and healthy living. Today, the term smoothie is synonymous with health, nutrition, and weight loss.
- The term “smoothie” wasn’t used to describe the drink until the 70s when the first “Smoothie King” opened and used the term to describe the drink.
- Smoothies have evolved from being refreshing drinks to becoming health supplements, meal replacements, and diet aids.
- The main difference between smoothies and milkshakes is that smoothies do not use ice cream in their mix.
- The secret to having an icy smoothie without watering down the blend is to freeze all of the fruits before blending.
Smoothie Buying Guide
Smoothies have taken the country by storm ever since the healthy food movement started. You can’t visit a supermarket or a store without seeing smoothie related products. You have to be really careful though to ensure that you’re actually buying products that are actually healthy and not just marketed as healthy. Off-the-shelf products may feature a lot of vitamins and minerals added to them to make them seem healthier but are hiding lots of chemicals, preservatives, binders, and emulsifiers. Here are some of the smoothie products that you might run across when you’re out shopping for smoothies.
- Ready-to-drink smoothies – These are found in the refrigerated section of many stores. While this may look like a nice and quick way to get your smoothie fix, it is worth noting that these drinks are usually pasteurized which can deactivate a lot of the nutrients found in fresh fruits that make the smoothie healthy. Another thing to look out for with ready-to-drink smoothies is the use of gums and emulsifiers. Natural smoothies tend to separate and to prevent that, a lot of emulsifiers are being added to make sure that the smoothie still looks attractive on display for extended periods.
- Instant smoothie powder mixes – This is a tricky product category. As a rule of thumb, avoid smoothie powders that claim to be an all-in-one solution or smoothie mix. These will tend to contain a lot of sweeteners and artificial flavorings. The other type of smoothie powder mix is those that add on to your existing home smoothie. Examples of these are protein powders, nutrient packs, and powdered green superfoods like wheatgrass and matcha. These add-ins are generally fine as they still require you to use real fruits to make your smoothies at home.
- Frozen smoothie fruit packs – These are generally fine. These are combinations of frozen fruit that have been portioned out so you can just pop them in the blender for an instant smoothie. Depending on the kind of fruit used, you may want to purchase USDA certified organic fruit packs.
Of course, if you have the time, we would recommend that to get your smoothie fix, just visit one of the local smoothie bars or visit your local farmers’ markets to get the freshest local fruits in season and make your own.
Smoothie Production & Farming in Texas
With the wide assortment of locally grown fruits and vegetables in Texas, you’ll never be at a loss for choices when it comes to smoothies in Texas. There are countless smoothie bars in Texas that offer everything from traditional blends, signature blends, and smoothies that are infused with superfoods.
Another good thing with local smoothie bars is their commitment to using locally grown organic produce in their smoothies which supports the local community and in turn, keeps the prices low. By keeping the supply chain local, the environmental impacts of transporting fruits from all over the country (or the world) are all but eliminated.
Local smoothie shops also deliver freshly blended smoothies wherever you are so that’s another convenience to take note of.
Different fruits have different levels of pesticides and it would take more than a few pages to list every single one for every single fruit that’s used in smoothies. For more information, check the specific fruit page here in our Texas Real Food Promptuary.
That being said, if you want to avoid pesticides, make sure that the smoothie shop that you get your smoothies from supports local organic farmers or source their fruits and vegetables from USDA certified organic farms.
Store-bought ready to drink smoothies are usually sold in bottles. Smoothie mixes and add-ons are sold in resealable plastic bags. Frozen fruit packs are also packed and sold in thick plastic bags that protect them from freezer burn.
Smoothies are best consumed immediately after blending/making.
For store-bought products, refer to the packaging for storage instructions. For freshly made smoothies, they are best consumed immediately, and for leftovers, they can be stored in the fridge for a day or so, but the consistency will be a little bit off.
Make Your Own Smoothie:
If you have access to fresh fruit then making your own smoothies at home should be a breeze.
1 ½ cup fresh juice (apple or orange juice works best)
2 cups assorted frozen fruits (locally sourced organic fruits are best)
¾ cup Greek Yoghurt
Add everything into a blender and blend until smooth
Making your own smoothies are extremely easy. Just use any fruit that’s available and it should make for great smoothies.
Tip: Buy fruits when they’re at their best and cheapest when they’re in season. Portion them out for smoothie use and freeze.
Depending on the fruits used, smoothies contain all of the nutritional values of each individual fruit or vegetable used in the mixture.