Welcome to Lesson #3 of our 5 part Smoothie Expert Series.
You are probably wondering, how is it possible to make a healthy smoothie in 3 minutes from start to finish, including preparation and clean-up time?
This is achieved by a clever trick. First, we use the prepared frozen bag of ingredients per our "Smoothie Bag" Method from Lesson #2. Second, in order to thaw the ingredients enough to blend, we add in warm water. The water is pre-heated by either a microwave or electric kettle during the first steps.
Note: If your tap water is warm enough, you can use that as well, but your results may vary. As you can see from my smoothie workstation I use an electric kettle every day. This quickly warms the ingredients enough to allow them to blend, but still allows for a cool drink temperature.
The huge time savings comes from combining these two techniques in that you don't have to do any washing, cleaning, cutting, or pealing of ingredients. These initial preparation tasks can be a major pain and waste of time. Removing these steps drastically reduces the time you need, making it amazingly fast and simple.
As explained in Lesson #2, blending mostly frozen ingredients and doing a quick clean-up both require a high-end blender. For our demonstration we'll assume you are using a Vitamix 5200, as described in our best smoothie blenders article.
For this lesson we will be using our Optimum Health Smoothie Recipe, previously discussed in Lesson #2. For reference, here are the ingredients:
- 1 cup frozen spinach leaves (or any greens mixture)
- 1/2 cup frozen broccoli
- 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1 cup hot water
- 1/4 cup of walnuts
- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (25 grams)
Because protein powder is stored at room temperature we recommend storing it on the counter close to the blender to save time.
To keep things simple, we will divide all the steps for smoothie making into a list of both daily and weekly tasks and show the time needed for each.
Once Per Day: Fastest Smoothie in 3 Minutes or Less
Step 1.) Fill a coffee mug with 1 cup of water and place it in the microwave. Set the microwave on high for 40 seconds and hit start. Alternatively, you can use an electric kettle to save even more time, as it heats faster than a microwave and can be stored next to the blender.
Time: 15 seconds
Step 2.) Assuming your blender container is upside down on the counter (having air dried from the previous day), take the container and place it on the Vitamix 5200 blender base.
Time: 5 seconds
Step 3.) Take one of the frozen bags (prepared using the "Smoothie Bag" Method from Lesson #2) out of the freezer and empty the ingredients into the blender container. Then place the empty bag back into the freezer.
Time: 20 seconds
Step 4.) The water is now ready. Remove the cup of water from the microwave and pour over the ingredients in the blender container.
Time: 15 seconds
Step 5.) Place the lid on the blender container. With the speed dial set to level 1, turn the blender on and gradually increase the blender speed to level 4.
Time: 20 seconds
Step 6.) With the blender still running, remove the blender lid and place one full scoop of protein powder in the middle of the blending liquid. Continue to blend while gradually increasing the speed to level 6.
Time: 25 seconds
Step 7.) Turn off the blender. Pour the contents of the blender container into a large plastic cup or glass. Use a spoon to scoop or scrape out any thick parts. (we recommend any easily washable plastic BPA-free container like these blender bottles)
Time: 20 seconds
Step 8.) Place the blender container and the lid under the faucet and rinse them thoroughly. You can use a brush like this to gently brush along the side and bottom of the container as well as next to the blade. Finish rinsing and then place the blender container and lid upside down on a towel to air dry.
Time: 60 seconds
Total Daily Time: 180 seconds = 3 minutes!
The first time you try this it might take a little more time. However, when you get used to repeating these tasks doing this in 3 minutes will be easy.
In addition to these daily steps, there are two additional tasks you'll perform once per week which are also quite easy.
Once Per Week: The "Smoothie Bag" Method & Blender Cleaning
Step 1.) Using the "Smoothie Bag" Method described in Lesson #2, prepare a weeks worth of bags using frozen ingredients and place them in the freezer. After you've mastered the preparation of our sample smoothie recipe, feel free to vary the ingredients slightly from one day to the next.
Time: 12 minutes
Step 2.) Take the empty Vitamix blender container and place it on the blender base. Add in 3 cups of water, about 3 drops of concentrated dish soap, and 1/4 a cup of vinegar. Put the lid on the container and run the blender at level 6 (medium speed) for 30 seconds. Then thoroughly rinse out the container and lid under the faucet. When done place the container and lid upside down on top of a towel to air dry. If you are making smoothies every day we recommend always keeping a drying towel on the counter next to the blender base where the container and lid can dry from the previous day.
Time: 3 minutes
Total Weekly Time: 15 minutes
That's it! You'll only need about 15 minutes one day a week to do both the cleaning of the blender as well as the batch preparation of your frozen ingredients. As described in Lesson #2, if you shop at a warehouse club and purchase the frozen ingredients, almond butter, and protein powder in bulk then you should be able to limit yourself to just 1 trip per month or less.
Thank you for reading.
In the next lesson we'll explain the health benefits of our Optimum Health Smoothie Recipe, give you a brief tutorial on how to create and customize your own recipe depending on your goals, and show you how to easily calculate the nutritional profile for your recipe. (to read the lesson click on the link at the bottom of the page)
To your success...
Matt S. - PerfectSmoothie.com
BONUS TIP: Can you make an amazingly healthy smoothie from start to finish in 3 minutes? Including preparation and clean-up time? If not, check out our recommended best blenders for smoothies.