Do This Before Adding Sturdier Fruits and Veggies to Smoothies

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Firm and sturdy fruits and vegetables, like carrots and beets, are one of the simplest ways to give your morning smoothie a colorful reboot — especially in the winter when they’re readily available and filled with sweet, earthy aromas that make your smoothie feel cheery.

But instead of popping them straight into the blender, you’ll want to take a minute or two to tackle their texture.

Shred Them on a Box Grater Before Blending

Instead of tossing chunks of sturdy fruits and vegetables straight into the blender, shred them using the largest holes on a box grater.

Why This Extra Step Is Worth It

I’m generally in favor of finding smart shortcuts that cut down prep time and minimize the dirty dishes in the sink, but every so often there are worthwhile exceptions — and this is one of them. Taking a couple minute to shred firm produce before tossing it in the blender will not only improve your smoothie’s texture, but also helps to avoid dulling your blender blade.

  • Better texture: This is the simple way to avoid those pesky chunks of fruit that clog the straw and get stuck at the bottom of the glass. Grated fruit and vegetables are more likely to be fully blended and incorporated into your smoothie for a better overall texture and taste.
  • Doesn’t dull the blade: Grated produce doesn’t take as much of a toll on the blender blade. Even if you have a high-powered blender that can work through the sturdiest of ingredients like a champ, over time those hard objects and firm produce dull the blade.
(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)

Fruits and Vegetables to Consider Grating

To grate, or not to grate? That is the question — at least when it comes to tossing firm produce into your smoothie. Consider using a box grater for fruits and vegetables that aren’t quite ripe yet (pears, for example), those that have a crunchy texture (looking at you, apples and carrots), and those that are firm by nature (like beets and ginger). Here are eight ingredients worth shredding on a box grater.

  • Apples
  • Beets
  • Broccoli stalks
  • Carrots
  • Fennel
  • Ginger
  • Pears
  • Sweet potatoes