Not to be a grouch, but I have a real problem with the word “smoothie.” It’s simply an aesthetic issue. I don’t like it when adults adopt cutesy, kiddie-esque words (other offenders on my list include foodie, veggie, and potty). That said, I’ve got no problem with how smoothies taste (if they’re good, that is) or how nutritious they can be (if they’re well-made). We just need to come up with a more appropriate way to refer to them. Smooth thang? Milkshake’s healthy country cousin? Smoothshake? SmoothStuff?
Now, let it be known that I respectfully disagree with Blisstree’s resident nutritionist and Fearless Foodtrainer, Lauren Slayton (@foodtrainers), about a few health-related topics. (I like airline food; she thinks processed meat substitutes are unhealthier than actual meat. She doesn’t mind the term “smoothie”; it makes my skin crawl.) But she and I do gel on one thing that’s relevant today: There are certain ingredients that you simply shouldn’t add to your SmoothShake (see? I’m so going to make it a thing); otherwise you may as well visit your local ice cream parlor and have them whir you up an actual full-fat milkshake.
I asked Lauren for her personal take on the concept of smoothies, and here’s what she had to say:
I love smoothies. I own the Vitamix. I’m sure my friends are sick of hearing about my prolific smoothie-making and I don’t blame them. My clients, knowing I have
a fondness for an obsession with smoothies always ask, “What can I get at the smoothie stand?” My enthusiasm deflates as those corner or mall smoothie places aren’t just about fruit and ice — danger in the form of sugar lurks everywere. My basic smoothie formula goes like this: One cup frozen organic fruit, one source of protein (see gallery), an innocuous liquid (ditto), spices, herbs (basil is great), or zest for added flavor. Plus a green for extra credit.
See, I knew my issue with the word “smoothie” wasn’t unfounded! Turns out, smoothies can be dangerous! Or at least, significantly devoid of nutritional value. (And notice how many times Lauren actually used the word “smoothie,” just to annoy me?) Regardless, here’s our gallery of eight ingredients never to put in your smoothies, until we think up a much cooler name for them.