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Making a smoothie: blenders vs food processors

Get in the mix for super smoothies…

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Smoothies aren’t just tasty, they’re a great way of eating more healthily. Replacing one of your main meals with a smoothie can be a great tool for weight loss.

Go for a healthy breakfast smoothie instead of a croissant or bacon roll, and you could be contributing to your 5 a day, boosting your vitamin C levels, and getting the nutrients you need from the get-go. Not a bad way to start the day.

If you’ve got a blender or food processor, then you’ve already got the kit you need for whipping up a smoothie.

Read on for our top smoothie-making tips and favourite recipes. But first of all, let’s explain the differences between the two types of appliances…

Is a food processor the same as a blender?

Both blenders and food processors can be used to make smoothies, but there are some differences in how they get the job done:

  • Consistency. Blenders are specially designed to create smooth and even textures - ideal for making smoothies. Their powerful motors can easily break down fruit, veg and other ingredients into a creamy blend. Food processors, on the other hand, are designed for a variety of tasks like chopping, slicing, and shredding, so you might not get the same level of super smoothness.

  • Blade design. Blenders have blades designed to create a vortex that pulls ingredients down into the blender, for smoother results. Food processors blades are designed for different types of cuts, so you might not be able to create that same vortex effect.

  • Convenience. Blenders are generally easier to clean due to their smooth and removable pitcher design. Food processors usually have multiple attachments, making them more fiddly and time-consuming to clean.

How to make smoothies in a blender

1. Add all your ingredients into the blender jar. The choice is your - fruit, veg, yogurt, milk, juice, ice cubes, and anything else you like – even nuts and seeds.

2. Make sure not to overload it. There’ll probably be a line showing you its maximum capacity.

3. Put the lid securely on the blender jar. Are you sure it’s secure? You don’t want your smoothie ingredients escaping at high speed.

4. If your blender has a ‘Smoothie’ mode, use it. If not, start at a low speed and gradually increase it until the ingredients are blended smoothly.

5. If the mixture gets stuck or isn't blending properly, you can stop the blender, open the lid, and use a spoon or spatula to push the ingredients down towards the blades. For safety, we recommend switching it off at the plug when you do this.

6. When it’s done, pour the smoothie into a glass and enjoy. Cheers!

How to make smoothies in a food processor

The method for making smoothies in a food processor is pretty similar to doing it a blender. So…

1. Add your ingredients to the food processor bowl.

2. Make sure you’re not exceeding the processor's capacity.

3. Attach the lid to the bowl. Please make sure it’s attached properly – you know why.

4. Pulse the ingredients a few times to start breaking them down.

5. Run the food processor continuously until the ingredients to blend together.

6. You might need to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl now and then, just to make sure everything’s incorporated. Switch off the plug if you do this.

7. You might need to process your ingredients a bit longer compared to a blender to get the same level of smoothness. But anyway… when it’s done, pour the smoothie into a glass and enjoy. Cheers!

Easy smoothie recipes

Here are three of our favourite smoothie recipes. Use the methods we’ve mentioned above to turn each one into a smoothie sensation.

Green smoothie
This green smoothie packed with immune-boosting nutrients. Popeye might actually have been onto something, as spinach helps to maintain brain function and healthy bones!

Ingredients:

One avocado

Two handfuls of spinach

Half a cucumber

Two celery sticks

250 almond milk

Juice from half a lime

¼ teaspoon of matcha green tea powder

Super healthy smoothie
This oh-so healthy smoothie is packed with super foods. Yes, it’s good for you. Yes, it actually tastes great too!

Ingredients:

Half a pineapple

Thumb-sized piece of ginger

A handful of kale

One celery stick

250 Greek yoghurt

Juice from half a lime

¼ teaspoon of turmeric

Banana smoothie
And finally. Time to go bananas.

Ingredients:

One ripe banana

125ml almond milk

125ml Greek yoghurt

1 tablespoon of clear honey

Pinch of cinnamon

We’ve also got some simple baby recipes to make in a blender. And of course, you’re free to use your imagination and come up with your own smoothie creations. Stick in some of your favourite fruit, veg and other ingredients you like, blend them together and give it a taste. A little more of this, a little less of that… it doesn’t take long to create a great tasting smoothie. Just remember to write down the quantities if you do nail it – there’s nothing worse than forgetting that perfect recipe!

Need more help?

If you’re looking for more info on blenders, food processor and lots more, our small kitchen appliances buying guide is a great place to start. If you’re thinking about getting a juicer or blender, check out our article on juicers or blenders: which is right for me? Or if you’ve got any questions, why not pop in-store and ask one of our expert colleagues? They’re always happy to chat.

It pays to trade-in. Ker-ching!

We offer trade-in for most types and makes of devices, even if they’re damaged and non-working. If you’re interested, head to our trade-in page and check that your old tech is eligible for trade-in. You’ll also see a handy calculator that will give you an instant valuation. Then bring your device to one of our stores and we’ll confirm its value, take it off your hands, and give you a gift card to spend on the tech you really want. Easy.

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Super smoothie makers…