What Is a Blueberry Smoothie?

Brandi L. Brown

A blueberry smoothie is a beverage that is commonly made from fruits, yogurt and juice or milk, and works well as a snack or as a meal replacement, especially breakfast. The nutritional benefits of blueberries make them a popular choice for the fruit base of a smoothie. Blueberries also have a strong flavor, which means they hold their own if one adds other flavors — in the form of proteins or vegetables — to the smoothie.

Blueberries are often added to smoothies for their nutritional value.
Blueberries are often added to smoothies for their nutritional value.

A smoothie requires only that a liquid and a solid are combined together, usually in a blender, to make a drink. That foodie definition hardly describes a blueberry smoothie, however. To begin making a blueberry smoothie, one should select ripe fresh or frozen blueberries, because they will have the sweetest flavor. Frozen blueberries can be allowed to defrost overnight, or they can be used frozen to provide a thicker consistency to the drink. A single-serving blueberry smoothie should contain around 1 cup (140 grams) of berries.

Ice cubes are often used to make smoothies.
Ice cubes are often used to make smoothies.

After choosing the blueberries, one should add a liquid to the blender. Yogurt is a common addition to smoothies of various flavors, and juice or milk can be added — a bit at a time — to achieve the desired consistency. For a slushier drink with more of a milkshake consistency, one can blend in a few ice cubes. The blueberries and liquid should be blended for around 30 seconds and the result sampled to determine if the blueberries are blended enough to suit individual preferences and the taste is satisfactory. Sweeteners such as honey or agave nectar also may be added to taste, though the smoothie may be sweet enough without either.

Blueberries have around 80 calories per 1 cup (140 grams). Though many people know blueberries as a “super food,” few people are aware of exactly why blueberries have this reputation. It's because they contain as much vitamin C as orange juice, which makes them an excellent way to help stave off winter illness. Blueberries also are high in fiber, a nutrient lacking in many Western diets.

When making a blueberry smoothie, adding in extra nutrients is fairly simple. Wheat germ and flaxseed meal both include protein and a heavy punch of micronutrients. Putting a spoonful of either into a blueberry smoothie will not change the flavor of the smoothie. Some vegetables also work well for adding nutrients to a smoothie. Avocado, zucchini, carrots and squash can help increase the nutritional value of a blueberry smoothie.

While blueberry smoothies have their base ingredients, they also offer a chance for variety. Combining ice cream and a little milk with the blueberries will make a blueberry milkshake. Strong juices, such as pineapple juice, can give the smoothie a different flavor. Smoothies can work well at breakfast, because they take only a few minutes to make and require little clean-up, along with providing a healthy start to the day. Smoothies also work well as an afternoon snack, helping to stave off hunger until dinner is ready.

A smoothie blender is powerful enough to chop ice and frozen blueberries.
A smoothie blender is powerful enough to chop ice and frozen blueberries.

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