As we approach the warm summer months, frozen smoothies will increasingly become sought-after commodities. Offering unrivaled refreshment and health benefits, smoothies are easy to make and can help your restaurant, café, or concession stand attract a wide range of customers. This guide will explain the subtle intricacies of making a smoothie and help you offer the best smoothies for your particular establishment.
Types of Smoothies
When someone thinks of a smoothie, they typically envision the classic fruit smoothie. Featuring a liquid base that’s usually juice or water, fruit smoothies can be made with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, honeydew, pineapple, bananas, avocados, mangoes, oranges, and any other fruit you desire. Since they possess so much fruit, these smoothies tend to be very high in sugar. A good fit for nearly any foodservice, fruit smoothies are especially perfect for establishments that attract children.
The vegetable smoothie is ideal for places like gyms that attract health-conscious consumers. These nutrient-dense drinks often feature leafy greens like spinach, broccoli, kale, bok choy, and collard greens. Other vegetables commonly found in these smoothies include asparagus, zucchini, rhubarb, cucumbers, and carrots. Keep in mind that vegetable smoothies often have a more bitter taste than fruit smoothies, and they can be off-putting to kids.
A green smoothie is the perfect compromise between fruit and vegetable smoothies. A more recent phenomenon whose popularity has continued to grow, green smoothies contain a mixture of fruits and leafy green vegetables. These mixtures pack the dense nutritional punch of vegetables while also offering the sweet, delicious taste of fruit.
If you want a shortcut to smoothie success, there are a variety of smoothie mixes that only require the addition of ice. These mixes are available with fruit, vegetables, or a combination of both. If you want to opt for convenience and go the smoothie mix route, be sure to equip your establishment with a quality commercial ice machine.
Choosing a Liquid Base
Smoothies always need a liquid base. Juice is probably the most popular choice, but water is great for reducing overhead costs and decreasing the amount of sugar in each smoothie. Possessing plenty of energy-inducing electrolytes, coconut water excels at hydrating and is ideal for pre- or post-workout smoothies. Other great base options include almond milk—which is rich in vitamins—and hemp milk—which is an excellent source of protein and omega fatty acids.
Make sure your customers have the opportunity to have everything they want in their smoothies. Whether that means offering nuts or whey protein powder, carrying additives will help ensure your customers leave completely satisfied. Available in a wide assortment of flavors, whey protein can change the flavor profile of your smoothie in addition to providing nutritional value. Honey and syrup are great natural sweeteners for vegetable smoothies that might taste a little bitter. Chia seeds and flaxseeds are also commonly found in smoothies, as they’re both excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Many of these additives provide additional nutritional value and transform a smoothie from a refreshing snack to a satisfying meal. Be sure to also carry spices like ginger, cinnamon, and mint so you can achieve precise flavoring.
Fresh or Frozen Fruit
While fresh fruit seems like it’d be the better option for smoothies, frozen fruit offers several benefits that make it a superior choice. Frozen fruit is both less expensive and longer lasting than fresh fruit. Since the fruit is picked at the peak of its freshness and promptly frozen, the quality of frozen fruit is generally much higher. Lastly, using frozen fruit means you won’t need to fill your blender with ice cubes to attain an ice cold smoothie. Taken directly from your commercial freezer, frozen fruit alone will ensure your smoothies are refreshing as can be. Furthermore, your smoothies will be less watered down since you’re not using chunks of ice in addition to your liquid base.
Smoothie Thickening Agents
Thick smoothies are usually preferred over watered-down varieties. There are several thick agents you can use to ensure your smoothies boast the rich texture that patrons crave. The classic choice, bananas can thicken your smoothie while also serving as a natural sweetener. Avocados give your smoothie a healthy green glow and are perfect thickening agents for vegetable smoothies. Peanut butter, which is ideal for adding fat to your smoothie and making it more filling, is another great way to ensure the consistency of your smoothie is perfect. Other thickening agents include cottage cheese, yogurt, and chia seeds.
Choosing the Right Blender
If you’re going to be producing a large number of smoothies, you’ll want a commercial blender that can handle your establishment’s demand. Even though commercial blenders are more heavy duty in nature than residential blenders, they are still compact enough to conveniently fit atop counters. Commercial blenders possess bowl capacities of anywhere from 2.5 qts to 7 qts. So whether you’re operating a concession stand that also carries smoothies or a drink bar whose main offerings are smoothies, there’s a commercial blender that suits your needs.
Naming Your Smoothies
Make sure to give your smoothies appealing names that will draw the interest of customers. Anyone can name a smoothie based on what goes into it, so flex those creative muscles to differentiate yourself from the competition. Have a berry-rich smoothie? How about calling it, “Berry Bonanza.” Maybe advertise a green smoothie as the “Green Goblin.” The options are nearly endless. Just be certain to also list the smoothie’s ingredients on your menu so customers know exactly what they’re getting.
The proper beverageware can help your smoothies look as good as they taste. Transparent glassware really allows the vivid colors of your smoothies to sparkle. And if you want to go the extra mile, insert a beverage parasol in each smoothie to help your customers feel like they’re vacationing on a tropical island!
Offering smoothies is a great way to satisfy customers who crave a refreshing and nutritious snack or meal. A smoothie operation is relatively inexpensive—as its requirements are minimal. Especially great for year-round warm weather climates, smoothies can supplement your menu or be your main offering. If you haven’t already embraced smoothie-mania, now’s the time to do so!