A deliciously refreshing and satisfying treat, the smoothie is more than just a beverage–it can be substituted for an entire meal. All it takes is a blender and a few healthy ingredients to join in on the fun for National Smoothie Day!
History of National Smoothie Day
It seems natural that the invention of smoothies coincided with the invention of the electric blender, which is a key component of making these delicious treats. Of course, it would be ridiculous to try to make a smoothie with a hand blender!
Health food stores in California, Oregon and other western states of the US began getting creative with blenders to create these tasty and nutritious drinks. These drinks may have been an alternative version of Brazilian recipes where pureed fruit drinks were common. Or, perhaps the goal was to provide a healthier alternative to the rather recent creation of ice cream milkshakes that came around a decade earlier.
By the 1960s and 1970s, Orange Julius, Smoothie King and many other companies had entered the smoothie market in the USA. In 1964, the official drink of the World’s Fair, held in New York, was declared to be the Orange Julius.
Since that time, with people becoming even more and more interested in making sure they are eating a healthy diet, the popularity of smoothies has continued to grow.
2003 brought with it the introduction of the “Magic Bullet” which started the craze of personal blenders that let people drink directly from the blending vessel. This advantage made it even more convenient and easy to make smoothies at home, without a lot of mess or cleanup.
People all over the world continue to love smoothies and National Smoothie Day is an indication that the popularity of the smoothie is here to stay!
National Smoothie Day Timeline
First electric blender is invented
With the intention of making milkshakes and malts at soda fountains, the first electric blender is created by Stephen J. Poplawski, called the “drink mixer”.
Orange Julius company gets started
This American juice company begins serving beverages made from fresh juice and eventually sells smoothies. Dairy Queen buys the company in 1987.
Smoothies are created
On the west coast of the United States, health food stores begin offering smoothies as they have access to electric blenders.
Orange Julius is official drink at the World’s Fair
Orange smoothies become so popular during the previous decade that the Orange Julius smoothie is touted as the official drink of the World’s Fair held in New York.
Predecessor to Smoothie King opens
A juice bar in a health food store in Louisiana will eventually lead to Smoothie King, a company that will grow to more than 1000 stores.
Green smoothies become popular
In keeping with the trend toward healthier eating (and drinking), smoothie recipes begin incorporating greens such as spinach and avocado.
How to Celebrate National Smoothie Day
No matter where a person finds themselves, National Smoothie Day is one that can be celebrated with ease. So get started with plans to enjoy the day with some of these ideas:
Visit a Smoothie Bar
One ideal way to celebrate National Smoothie Day is to visit a smoothie bar or juice bar that will offer a delicious and satisfying beverage. Try out a local version or head to one of these chains that serve across the United States. Who knows? Some of them might even be offering discounts, coupons or deals in celebration of National Smoothie Day!
- Smoothie King. Founded in 1973, this franchised chain of smoothie shops has more than 1300 locations all over the United States as well as Korea and Grand Cayman, with potential in other Asian countries as well as Australia and Brazil.
- Jamba. Started in 1990, this smoothie chain used to be called Jamba Juice, but they dropped the “juice “ in 2019 when the company updated its brand. Jamba runs more than 850 stores in several places, including 36 of the United States, as well as the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia and others.
- Tropical Smoothie Cafe. Getting its start in Destin, Florida in 1997, this smoothie chain has more than 1000 stores across 45 of the continental United States and the company continues to open many more.
Use a Smoothie as a Meal Replacement
Though some people choose to drink a smoothie as a beverage, the concept is meant to be more along the lines of a meal replacement. Smoothies can be fairly high in calories and rather nutritious, making it the perfect substitute for a full meal, especially in the summer when it’s hot outside!
Not only can smoothies be healthy if the sugar is kept low, but they are also good for the environment. This is because smoothies can function as a vegetarian (or possibly even vegan) meal that helps to reduce emissions and promote a healthier planet. Even just replacing one meat filled meal a week with a plant-based meal, like a smoothie, can save 133 gallons of water and reduce the carbon footprint by 8 pounds!
Make Your Own Smoothies at Home
All it takes is a blender, some fruit and veggies, as well as a few other ingredients and you’re on your way to a delicious celebration of National Smoothie Day! One of the best things about smoothies is that no one can really go wrong because just about any ingredients added can make a unique and flavorful taste. Just about anyone can be a delicious maker of smoothie recipes–simply by using what can already be found in the kitchen!
Here are some of the basic components of a good and healthy smoothie:
- Liquid. Something needs to thin out the consistency of the smoothie, whether it’s a fruit juice (but watch the sugar content), dairy milk (for those who aren’t vegan), alternative milks (almond, soy, coconut, etc.) or even green tea. The liquid is the first ingredient to add to the blender when making a smoothie.
- Protein. This can come in the form of a powder, like whey, soy, hemp or spirulina, but other options include flax seed, chia seeds, or wheat germ. Put this ingredient into the blender following the liquid.
- Fruits and Vegetables. While any type of fruit and/or vegetable can act as a base, frozen fruit tends to work well in smoothies as it gives an icy consistency. Some people do tend to overdo it on the fruit, making the smoothie super sweet that can hijack its healthful benefits. Add the fruits and vegetables to the blender after the liquid and protein have been added.
- Creamy Thickener. For a deliciously smooth smoothie, don’t forget to add a few spoonfuls of a creamy ingredient, such as yogurt, nut butter, tofu or even avocado. Toss this into the blender on top of the previous ingredients.
In addition to the above, some smoothie ingredients might not be as full of flavor, But it’s always possible to boost the natural taste by adding ingredients such as honey, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg or other flavorings. Use them sparingly, especially the honey and maple syrup which are high in sugar content.
National Smoothie Day FAQs
How to make a smoothie?
Smoothies can be made using a blender or food processor, with fruit, vegetables, yogurt, juice, milk, nut butters, honey, protein powders, chia seeds and more.
Are smoothies healthy?
When used as a meal replacement, smoothies that are made without a lot of sugar can be a healthy, fiber-rich part of a regular diet.
Can smoothies replace meals?
Yes. Smoothies make a great meal replacement, as long as the sugar is kept low and some protein options, such as nut butter or protein powders, are added.
Where did smoothies originate?
Likely associated with the invention of the electric blender, smoothies originated in the 1930s on the west coast of the United States in health food stores.
Should smoothies be refrigerated?
While best if consumed immediately, smoothies can be stored in the refrigerator for approximately 24 hours, though it may thin out a bit.