In the world of health and nutrition, there are many ways to make a smoothie. But what happens when we have to make a smoothie in a cheap blender? Before we talk about making the smoothie itself, it is important to talk about what are the properties of the cheap blender?
These are the properties of a cheap blender
Advantages of a cheap blender:
- The price: The main feature is of course the low price you can buy the blender, as well as the availability that you can find them in almost any electricity or local store.
- Saving space: The structural base of the regular blender is built from a large base unit and a number of power or speed settings, as well as a pouring jug for pouring the smoothie. However, usually, those cheap blenders have a one-button design that is limited to the use of a variety of operations. Despite this, it’s easy and quick to understand how to operate them.
- The container capacity of the blender: (measured in liters, starts from a blender with one liter and reaches up to 2.5 liters). Usually, in a cheap blender, we find them with a container of one liter (And that’s enough when it comes to a single person or a couple). but, if we want to use a blender for family use, it’s advisable to choose a container with a capacity of 1.5 liters and more.
- Easy to carry: The cheap blenders have the cord wrapped around the base for easy storage, and also can be used to take the juice bottle to any place, sports, outdoor, and picnics.
- Speed and pulses in a blender: Today, most cheap blenders include a number of operating speeds to choose from that can be used to perform the grinding with maximum control.
- The design: They come in the design of a small number of colors (This can be also a disadvantage for those who care about the design of the blender).
Disadvantages of a cheap blender:
- Power: Their electric watt motor is usually weak (about 200 watts and above). But remember! The power of the blender is one of the most important data in its selection, as it expresses the power of the blender, its ability to handle hard materials as well as operate overtime in an efficient and safe manner. The choice of the appropriate power depends on the type of materials to be processed and the amount of material (the fruits or the vegetables) is processed.
- Cheap materials: Another thing to consider in a cheap blender is the material from which the container of the blender is made. Most of the containers of the cheap blenders are made of plastic, some of them are made of glass and some are made of stainless steel. A plastic container is lightweight compared to glass and therefore more convenient. However, if you want to crush ice in a blender it’s better to choose a blender with a glass container. A glass container doesn’t absorb odors and isn’t scratched and worn as happens with a plastic container. Be aware that a few of those blenders may have components breaking or coming apart very easily.
- Crushing capability: Further to what I mentioned, the cheap blenders can’t really handle hard foods or ice, and it may take relatively long to blend them, or they may damage the blender.
- Weak lid: Sometimes, their lid prone tends to leak during grinding.
- Cleanliness and ease of use of the blender. One of the unpleasant things about messing with blenders is the fact that they have to be cleaned every time, and sometimes it exhausts us, especially when we return from a grueling fitness workout and we want to make a smoothie and rest. Therefore, it is better than our blender to be convenient to use and clean. When we have a small and narrow blender, the operation of the cleaner is relatively uncritical in terms of its size. Also, in some of the more advanced and expensive blenders, you can carefully remove the cutting blades and easily clean the pieces left at the bottom (in the blade area). And in some of the expensive blenders, there is a cleaning program in the list of the programs.
- Short warranty: Finally, they are usually coming with a short warranty (When the blender comes with a short warranty, we run the risk that if our device breaks down after the warranty, we will have to spend money and pay for the repair or buying a new one).
Making a smoothie in a cheap blender
Choose your ingredients carefully:
The use of the right ingredients in this type of cheap blender is very important in making the smoothie. Using fruits or vegetables with a strong skin, without peeling them before putting them in the cheap blender, can damage the blender itself (the fruits or the vegetables can get stuck and leave pieces inside the blades) as well as damage the quality of the smoothie. In addition, as I mentioned earlier, in cheap blenders the frozen fruits or vegetables are less recommended. The blades of those cheap blenders are too weak to cut them and can cause two situations: they won’t cut or they will get stuck in the blades.
But, if you want to use frozen fruits or vegetables anyway, it’s important to keep these important rules:
- Cut them as small as possible to make it easy for the blender to grind them into a smoothie (before you freeze them!!!). Another reason is most of the fruit or vegetables have high water and oil content, therefore, the blender is quickly filled with liquid. Thus, reducing the size of the fruit or vegetables will help the blender to work better.
- Make sure the fruit or vegetables don’t have an outer layer that can interfere with the grinding of the blender.
- Combine fresh and soft fruit or vegetables with them so that the grinding operation in the blender will be easier.
- Get the ingredients out of the freezer a few minutes before you are making the smoothies, it will thaw them a little bit and make them softer.
Therefore, it is very important to use a liquid ingredient as the basis for smoothies when we use cheap blenders. The choice here for a liquid ingredient is many: starting with water, milk, various milk substitutes (soy milk, almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, oat milk, yogurt, and more).
Add nuts to the smoothie. As for nuts in cheap a blender, we can argue, because as I mentioned earlier, the grinding option of these cheap blenders is not good enough. Therefore, the use of nuts should be nuts that are part of their outer shell, that are relatively not hard, a single few nuts in the smoothie and nuts that add good flavor to the smoothie (example of such nuts: cashews, peeled almonds, peeled peanuts, peeled macadamia nuts, peeled pine nuts and more).
Quantities in a smoothie:
In a cheap blender, the arrangement of adding the ingredients is no less important. First of all, the liquid ingredient in the bottom of the blender that is the base. Pouring the liquid at first allows the blades to move easily when the machine is turned on. Then, add powdered ingredients (as you wish) if it’s protein powder or any powder of another dietary supplement so that they won’t stick to the top lid of the blender. Finally, add the soft fruits or vegetables and at the top put the harder fruits or vegetables like the frozen or raw ones, in order to press the ingredients towards the blade below.
In conclusion, in terms of using the right amounts before making the smoothie in a blender. It’s important to look at the smoothie recipe or according to what we see with our own eyes. Usually, the basic rules are the insertion of a liquid ingredient (from milk, milk substitutes, or fruit or vegetable juices) into the bottom of the blender to soften our fruits or vegetables in the grinding action. When we add hard or fibrous fruits or vegetables, it’s important to carefully remove their outer layer, slice/grind/scrape the fibers attached to them (such as vegetables such as carrots, ginger, or celery) to facilitate the work of the blender.
When we pay attention to smoothie ingredients in a measured and precise way even in the small pieces of fruit or vegetables, and we see after grinding in a blender that there is more space, then it’s possible to add additions of small amounts of fruits or vegetables to our taste.
Sometimes, we start the grinding in the blender and after a minute, we look and see that we have lumps of fruit or vegetables left (we shouldn’t despair!), A good tip is to add a drop of water (if we have a place in the blender) and grind the smoothie in the blender again for another half a minute. In this case, two things will happen to us: what is not ground, will probably be ground in a blender. In addition, our smoothie will make it less thick and more watery and easy to drink (if you are interested in the thickness of the smoothie, it’s important to note how much water you put in, so about 25ml of water can do the job in this case).
Recommended Smoothie Combinations for a Cheap Blender
Recommended winter smoothies:
- Fruit smoothie for the winter: two bananas cut into thin strips, half a cup of apple without the peel cut into small cubes, half a cup of orange juice (for the liquid ingredient), and a few individual cashews.
- Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie: 2 bananas cut into thin strips, 2 cups of milk (or any other milk substitute), half a cup of peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of honey (or any other sweet liquid substitute), a quarter cup of strawberries cut into pieces (of your choice for balancing the taste of the smoothie).
- Chocolate Banana orange Smoothie: 1 banana cut into thin strips, 8 small chopped chocolate cubes or 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup, 1 cup of hot milk, 2 oranges peeled and sliced, half a cup of yogurt.
Recommended summer smoothies:
- Summer fruit smoothie on yogurt and milk: one banana cut into thin strips, half a cup of yogurt, half a cup of chopped strawberries, a quarter cup of orange juice, and a tablespoon of milk (you can replace the liquid ingredients with any of the other liquid substitutes as you wish).
- Summer breakfast smoothie with oats and fruit: 1 cup soy milk (or any other milk substitute), half a cup of oats, one banana cut into thin strips, 10-14 frozen strawberries (pre-cut into thin strips, before freezing them), and 2 teaspoons of honey (or any other sweet liquid substitute).
- Strawberry Lassi: 7-9 strawberries cut into thin strips, 1-2 tablespoons of sugar (or any other sweet substitute), a quarter cup of milk (preference for reduced-fat – 2% milk fat), 1 cup of yogurt (preferably plain and low-fat), 3 crushed ice cubes (so we don’t ruin the blender).
A Summary of the Tips and Tricks:
- Before putting the cut fruits or vegetables into the blender, it’s important to put the liquid ingredient in the bottom of the blender (that we can see that we are not exceeding in quantities and that we will be able to close the blender well to prevent leakage). The main purpose of adding the liquid in making the smoothie is that the blades in the blender will make it easier to crush the fruits or vegetables with the liquid.
- If you start the grinding in the blender and see that the fruits or vegetables are not ground, use a spoon to mix the fruits a little, and even to crush them so that they grind better in a blender.
- Use more freshly cut fruits or vegetables than frozen ones (for different reasons I mentioned above).
- At the end of the process and getting the texture you wanted for your smoothie, you can add some small, cut or whole seasonal fruits (Like raspberries, berries, kiwis, pitted cherries, grapes, and more) for the “personal touch”. You can also add syrup on top for the taste (like maple, honey, date honey, peanut butter, or any other flavor you want).
- Don’t fill the blender to a brim! Especially if you make a hot smoothie, which can cause steam and blender to explode on you and the kitchen. Stay below the capacity line on the blender!
- Don’t increase the speed of the blender in a short time! Start with a low grinding rate, then a medium grinding rate, and then move to a high grinding rate, within the twenty-second difference between each rate. This will reduce the engine wear of the blender and combine the ingredients better in the blender.
- It isn’t recommended to add ice cubes into the blender again due to the grinding ability of the cheap blender as it may have blades that are not strong enough. But, if you have a cheap blender with good, sharp blades, you can throw in some ice cubes (or crush them before, if we don’t have a blender with strong blades), in the final stage of grinding. Do this after you have already tasted the smoothie and seen that everything is fine. It makes a smoothie lighter, especially if it came out thick or too sweet.
- As I mentioned earlier about vegetables. You can make a salty vegetable smoothie (important to mention! Preference for soft vegetables), in the end, the smoothie comes out a bit like gazpacho. Vegetables that can be put into a smoothie, such as peeled cucumber from its outer peel, peeled tomatoes from its outer peel, beets cut into small cubes and peeled from its outer peel, peeled carrots that are cut into thin strips. In a smoothie like this, you can make an interesting twist and add an avocado that will give you the vitamins and oils it provides inside. You can also add various herbs like parsley, spinach without stalks, chard, mint leaves, celery leaves, kale a bit (considered especially nutritious), rocket leaves a bit (caution! They are bitter).
- A crucial role in a blender, especially in a cheap blender! Know how to wash it after using it for a smoothie. Fill the container about two-thirds of it with water and then add a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Run your blender on high speed for a minute or two, and then rinse it well with a sponge, to scrub off any residue left and stuck to the sides of the container. If we encounter hard stains in the container, soak the container in a solution of vinegar, lemon juice, or baking soda and then rinse and rinse again. For bad odors of residue in a blender, try rinsing it with a light solution of water with some vinegar or vanilla extract.
- One last good tip for the end! It’s important to understand that the quality of the blender doesn’t have to come at a price that will tear your pocket! Cheap blenders can definitely do the job for you!