Balsamic Strawberry & Basil Smoothie
Do you love strawberries and basil? Then you have to give this balsamic strawberry and basil smoothie a try!
Strawberries are back in season! And fresh basil is too! I’ve been looking forward to this summer so much. The farmer’s market is open and the produce vendors are slowly returning with crates of beautiful fruits and vegetables. Which also means that I’m making smoothies regularly again. And I’m completely stoked to share my newest smoothie creation with you.
This strawberry and basil smoothie just tastes like summer in a glass. It is tangy, sweet, herbaceous, vegan, and low waste. Like with all my smoothies it is made using whole foods, frozen fruits, and fresh sustainable ingredients. There is no cane sugar, or added sweeteners outside of dates. It has a balance of protein, good fats, and carbohydrates so it really fills you up. Since this smoothie uses frozen fruits it gets this wonderfully creamy texture just like a milkshake. And best of all it is easy and very quick to make!
So if you are looking for a way to use up some slightly wilted basil or overripe ugly strawberries, this smoothie just might do the trick!
Intrigued? Read on!
The Fresh Basil Conundrum
This smoothie like many of my ideas came to me while I was prepping some veggies after a visit to the farmer’s market. I bought four bunches of basil to make a ton of my basil pesto. In my excitement, I didn’t realize just how big those bunches were! And even after doubling up my recipe, I still had some left over.
The problem with basil in particular is I have never figured out a solid method for storing it. My fresh basil no matter what I do always wilts within one or two days. The only way I’ve found around that is to grow my own basil plants and only harvest what I need at the moment. However, since moving back into an apartment our space is severely limited so that just isn’t quite as viable an option anymore. So if you have found a great way to store fresh basil so that it keeps longer, please let me know!
So while I was prepping some strawberries to freeze, I was trying to decide what I was going to do with the last bunch of basil before it wilted. I’ve never been one to be ok with food waste. It would drive me crazy when I was working food service to see so much food go in the trash. It makes my heart hurt. Truly.
Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t perfect. I would inevitably always find that one container that got shoved to the back of the fridge or pantry and forgotten about for months. It isn’t a judgement. We all do it. But with the planet being where it is, I’ve redoubled my efforts to make sure we waste as little food as possible and appreciate what we have more. It is not only better for the environment but it is also going to save you more money than you think. These nickles and dimes do built up over the years.
Ok enough of my spiel. Thank you for staying with me! Back to my story…
So while I was prepping those strawberries and thinking about what smoothie to make with them, I saw the basil and the results are what you see before you.
Tips for Making a Balsamic Strawberry and Basil Smoothie
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Like any good recipe, my smoothies (or shakes) are easily customizable to make this the best tasting drink for you. So here are some suggestions to keep in mind when making this recipe.
- Like all my smoothie recipes, this one calls for using frozen fruits. As it is better for the environment and minimizes packaging waste, I’d highly recommend freezing your own strawberries (or any fruit really). It’s really easy to do and takes very little time. Just wash, cut off any stems, hull (if desired), and store in the freezer a day or two before you need them. Any freezer safe container will do but I have found reusable silicone bags like these Stashers (affiliate link) bags work the best for us. But this isn’t the only reason to freeze your own fruits.
- Overripe strawberries work the best for smoothies. And I’m talking about those ugly ones too. Those squishy, dark red ones that are one day away from being bad. They are usually much sweeter and they just blend up more smoothly.
- And like strawberries, overripe bananas are also best for smoothies and for the exact same reasons. To freeze bananas, peel and break the banana into thirds. Store them loosely in the freezer (trust me, you do not want to try to break apart a frozen banana block) and they will be ready to use within a day.
- In my humble opinion, frozen fruit smoothies are much better than fresh fruit. However, they do require a high-performance blender to make. These appliances are more expensive than conventional machines but completely worth it. I have a Vitamix 5200 (affiliate link) blender and I use it for all my recipes. I have been hearing really good things about the Blendtec Total Classic (affiliate link) blender as well and the price is comparable to the Vitamix. However, there are many good choices on the market right now so I suggest you do your research first before buying.
- For this smoothie you will want to use fresh basil. When you are measuring it out, loosely pack it. Just keep in mind basil leaves vary in size but I found a cup of fresh basil to be roughly about 10 – 15 big leaves. And just a heads up. My recipe really brings out the basil flavor. If you would want it a little more subtle I would recommend that you lower the amount down to 1/2 cup.
- In order to make sure that your drink is smooth and creamy, I would highly recommend that you put the basil, dates, and hemp seeds in the blender before you add the frozen fruit. This will ensure that it comes out without any chunks.
- And like all my smoothies, this one is easily customizable. If you don’t want the balasamic vinegar, you can replace it with another tablespoon of lime juice. Or you can leave it out all together for a less tangy flavor. Like mentioned earlier, you can lower the amount of basil for a more subtle note. Or you can add a teaspoon of hemp, flax, or coconut oil for a an extra dose of healthy fats.
- I like to make my smoothies very thick. To do this you need to pour in just enough water that it sits a little over the basil but not the frozen fruits. Be conservative about this and try 1/2 cup of water first. You can always add more. Start the blender up on a very low setting and see how it does. If your blender is laboring to turn, just add more water slowly until the blades turn. But be careful that you don’t crank the setting up too high before doing this or you’ll likely burn out your engine. I have found 3/4 a cup of water seems to be enough on average.
- Lastly, if you are unfamiliar with how to make smoothies using frozen fruit, I’ve got a very in-depth post that might help.
Ok, I think that does it. On to the recipe!
Like frozen fruit smoothies and shakes? You might want to check out my peanut butter and jelly smoothie (v), chai lattee smoothie (v), matcha and pistachio smoothie (v), pumpkin-less pumpkin pie smoothie (v), the ultimate veggie smoothie (v), and strawberry and goat cheese smoothie.
v – vegan
If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to see your awesome creation! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to hashtag a photo on Instagram #sustainablesauceresses!
Or if you have any questions or feedback, you are always welcome to leave me a comment below. I’d really love to hear from you!
Balsamic Strawberry and Basil Smoothie
- Measuring Cup and Spoons
- 1 med banana, frozen (about 3/4 cup)
- 3-5 large strawberries, frozen (about 1 cup)
- 3/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil
- 1 whole medjool date
- 3 tbsp. hemp seeds
- 1 tbsp. lime juice (about half a lime)
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 – 1 cup filtered water
- Place the basil, date, hemp seeds, lime, and balsamic vinegar in the blender first.
- Add the strawberries and banana.
- Pour in 1/2 cup of water and set the rest aside.
- Turn on blender at the lowest setting and let it run until everything is starting to blend together. Add more liquid if needed to reach desired thickness.
- Slowly turn the setting to high. After everything is blended and there are no more obvious chunks, use the variable setting (if availible). Once you get the vortex, turn the blender off.
- Serve immediately.
Did you give this recipe a try?