Making Smoothies: Easy Tips from Alton Brown

It may be frigid outside and prime season for oatmeal, but we're in the middle of a smoothie kick. We don't have the best blender – just your average model – but a couple of tips from Alton Brown have saved us from struggling and shaking it every morning as we make our breakfast. They're so obvious, too!

Earlier this month, Sarah Rae highlighted Alton Brown's tips for eating light and his food lists that helped him lose 50 pounds. He talked about starting his day with a fruit smoothie – usually a combination of "purple" liquid (pomegranate, acai or concord grape juice), soy milk and a variety of fruits.

We were interested in what he put in his smoothies, but what really got our attention was how he made them. Alton gave us a couple of simple blender tricks that are a huge help and make the process much more, well, smooth. Here they are:

  • Put the liquid in in first. This may seem totally obvious, but we never thought to do this. As Alton says, it's easier on the blender and gets things moving faster.
  • Start at the lowest speed and slowly work your way up to high. Turn the speed up about one-third of the way and wait until the big pieces of fruit begin to break up and you see a vortex begin to form in the center. Then slowly add more speed. If you increase the speed too quickly, an air bubble will form and the blades will just spin around inside it. This seemed to make a big difference in our blender. No more shaking!

Do you have any good smoothie-making tips?

Related: Alton Brown on Eating at Home and Eating Light

(Image: Flickr user realSMILEY, licensed under Creative Commons, Good Eats via YouTube)