THE UTENSILS YOU WILL NEED
To prepare smoothies you don't really need anything more than a sharp knife and a blender, but there are a lot of utensils that make the work easier and make the results both tastier and more elegant.
BLENDER. This is a must for making smoothies. A hand-held blender with its own bowl also works well but I recommend investing in a proper blender with a jug. They are more fun and easier to work with. Pour all the ingredients in, press the button, and the smoothie is ready to serve. Blenders are sometimes called mixers .
There are a few things to think about when you are choosing a blender, for example how powerful the motor is, how many speeds it has, how much it can hold, and whether it can crush ice. I recommend a blender with a glass jug as they are more robust, easier to keep clean, and not as easily scratched or discolored as the plastic ones. Nowadays there are jugs made of high quality plastic that do not get scratched or discolored, but they are usually considerably more expensive. A blender does not have to be able to crush ice but it is definitely an advantage if it does.
If you are choosing between different machines, think about how often you want to make smoothies and how many. If you only make smoothies two or three times a month maybe the hand-held blender you already have in the kitchen drawer will be good enough, but if you want to become a smoothie freak, as I am, it is worth investing in a high quality machine that costs more, lasts longer, has a long guarantee, and can basically blend anything. A good blender pulverizes the ingredients thoroughly, which makes it easier for the body to absorb the nourishment. I use a Vitamix that can blend anything from seeds, nuts, ice, frozen fruit, and small berries to hard vegetables such as carrots, beets, and all kinds of leaves.
JUICER. To make smoothies with hard vegetables and fruit you need a juicer that first releases the juice. There are two kinds of juicer: a juice extractor and a juice press. When you are choosing your model, remember that performances differ and they produce different quantities of juice. If it is going to be used frequently it is probably better to invest in a proper press rather than in a juice extractor.
PRESS. Chops the fruit and vegetables into small pieces. These are then pressed through a fine metal sieve. Juice presses are slightly more expensive than juice extractors but can cope with bigger volumes and are more efficient. Also the juice is more nourishing since more enzymes are preserved in the process. Juice made with a press should be drunk within 48 hours, preferably immediately. The press should be washed up immediately after use to avoid the fruit residues getting dried and stuck on.
WHOLE FRUIT JUICER. Tears up the fruit and vegetables and whizzes the fruit flesh through a fine mesh. Whole fruit juicers are usually cheaper than presses but extract less juice. Also they destroy some of the enzymes as the rotating blades can get very hot. That also means that the juice oxidizes and has a somewhat shorter shelf-life. Juice made in a whole fruit juicer should be drunk within 24 hours, preferably immediately. It is important that the machine is washed up immediately after use, otherwise the fruit can get dried and stuck on.
CITRUS PRESS. You can go a long way with a simple manual citrus press. There are a lot of different variants, both electric and manual, and it is the quantity of juice that determines which model you need. If you are going to make one or two glasses of juice at a time it is easiest to use an ordinary manual citrus press; they are easy to clean, don't take up much room, and are relatively cheap. If you want to make bigger quantities of citrus juice it may be worth investing in