A frozen fruit smoothie is a beverage made with a base of frozen rather than fresh fruit. These drinks are known for their nutritional and economic value, although they can be high in sugar and create some issues for those with lactose intolerance. In addition to frozen fruit, the beverages may contain high-protein or other powders, artificial or natural sweeteners, ice, ice cream, milk or milk substitutes or juices. People make frozen smoothies in food processors or blenders.
Recipes for a frozen fruit smoothie vary, but the goal is always a thick and creamy texture. Thus, people choose frozen fruits based not only on the way the flavors blend, but also on their water content. Ice thickens the mixture and cools it, and milks and other liquids make the mixture viscous enough to drink. Powders and sweeteners add to the nutritional content of the frozen fruit smoothie, making it a more balanced dietary option, or modify the taste of the drink to the individual's preferences.
One reason people advocate using frozen fruit instead of fresh fruit in a smoothie is that it can be economically advantageous. With fresh fruit, individuals must use what they have in smoothies or other dishes and drinks in a few days. Otherwise, spoilage and produce loss occurs. Frozen fruit can be kept in the freezer for months by comparison, which means the risk of waste is less.
People also make claims that a frozen fruit smoothie is superior to fresh fruit versions in nutrition and taste. The idea is that farmers and other fruit growers have to pick the fruit slightly before it is truly ripe to prevent spoilage while the fruit is in transport or on store shelves. This keeps the fruit from getting to the point of having all the vitamins and minerals it could. It also prevents enzymes from breaking down starch in the fruit, causing the fruit to be less sweet.
A problem with any smoothie, frozen or fresh, is that they are so high in sugar. Even though the drinks are high in nutrition and provide lots of energy, people who are diabetic are not always able to have high-sugar foods without first taking a dose of insulin. In the same way, if a person is lactose intolerant and therefore cannot digest milk sugar properly, they have to use juice or milk substitutes such as soy milk in a frozen fruit smoothie.
To get frozen fruit into a drinkable form and mixed with other ingredients, people rely on food processors or blenders. Ice and frozen fruit are dense and difficult to cut through, so whatever food processor or blender a person uses has to have blades and motors that are sharp and strong. It also is possible to make a frozen smoothie in a smoothie maker, which is designed especially for smoothie mixing, but a separate machine may not be necessary depending on the quality of a person's processor or blender.