Smoothies include dietary fiber (e.g. pulp, often also skin and seeds) and so are thicker than fruit juice, with a consistency similar to a milkshake. The fiber makes smoothies healthier than fruit juice alone. Smoothies - particularly green smoothies (which have a high vegetable content) - are often marketed to health-conscious people.
In addition to blended fruit/vegetables, smoothies may include other ingredients such as fruit juice, crushed ice, sweeteners (e.g. honey, sugar, syrup), dairy products (e.g. milk, yogurt, low fat or cottage cheese, whey powder), soy milk, tea, chocolate, peanut butter, herbal supplements, or nutritional supplements.
A smoothie containing dairy products is similar to a fruit milkshake, though the latter typically contains less fruit.
Commercially produced smoothies may be pasteurized.
Green smoothies include a substantial proportion of green vegetables - typically raw leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, swiss chard, collard greens, celery, parsley or broccoli - as well as fruit and water or ice. They are healthier than other smoothies, as balanced diets recommend a substantial proportion of vegetables, particularly green leafy ones. To balance flavor and nutrition the typical ratio in a green smoothie is about 60% fruit to 40% vegetables.
Some blender manufacturers specifically target their products towards making green smoothies, and provide a booklet of green smoothie recipes.
Around the world
Since the 1990s, smoothies have been mass-produced (usually in bottles) and sold very widely in coffee shops and supermarkets around the world. However they have a much longer history in various countries.
Health food stores on the West Coast of the United States began selling puréed fruit drinks in the 1930s, thanks to the invention of the electric blender, and based on recipes that originated in Brazil. The term 'smoothie' was in use in recipes and trademarks in the mid-1930s.
By the late 1960s, smoothies were more widely available from ice cream vendors and health food stores. They were mainly made from fruit, fruit juice, and ice, though from the early 1970s, ice milk was sometimes added to create the "fruit shake".
Many types of smoothie are found in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. Fruit sharbats typically include yogurt and honey. In India, the mango lassi is a smoothie or milkshake using crushed ice, milk and cane sugar; in South India, pineapple smoothies using crushed ice and sugar (without milk) are more popular. Smoothies are also mixed with soft drinks and/or alcohol to make cocktails.
- O'Brian, Betty Sue (2009). Going Green the Smoothie Way. ISBN 0-578-02306-7
- Caldwell, Kim (2009) How Green Smoothies Saved My Life: A Guide for Using Green Smoothies, Uplifted Thinking, and Live Food to Enhance Your Life, p.12. ISBN 0-615-30290-4.
- Boutenko, Victoria "Ode to a Green Smoothie", first published 2005 newsletter, RawFamily.com. Reprinted in Kyssa, Natasha (2009). The SimplyRaw Living Foods Detox Manual, beginning p.29. ISBN 1-55152-250-0.
- Zavasta, Tonya (2009), "Smooth Moves: Enjoy the Benefit of Green Smoothies and Puddings", Raw Food and Hot Yoga, p. 39, ISBN 0-9742434-9-3,
A green smoothie...is a mixture of about 60 percent fruit and 40 percent leafy greens blended together in a delicious, nourishing beverage.
- Smith Jones, Susan (2008). Health Bliss, p.179. ISBN 1-4019-1241-9. "...about 50-60 percent fruit and 40-50 percent greens."
- (Nov 2008 - Jan 2009). Organic Gardening, p.44. Vol. 56, No. 1. ISSN 1536-108X.
- Brown, Ellen (2005). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Smoothies. p. 3. ISBN 1-59257-318-5.