One important difference between a blender and a smoothie maker is that a smoothie maker generally crushes ice better than a blender does. In addition, a smoothie maker is capable of liquefying fruit to create a smooth smoothie. Most smoothie makers also include a dispensing spigot and a stirring stick.
When choosing an appliance to make smoothies, focus on the appliance's features. It's best to buy a blender or smoothie maker with a wide metal base for stability and support. A high-powered motor of 500 watts or more is recommended, which allows the appliance to crush ice easily and puree or liquefy frozen fruit and berries. A blender or smoothie maker with a glass pitcher is advised because it is durable, resists scratches and is easy to clean. Touch pad controls allow spills to be easily wiped away.
Whether it's prepared in a smoothie maker or blender, a good smoothie starts with two cups of a liquid base, such as yogurt, juice or coconut milk. Then add 3/4 of a cup of fruit, such as bananas, berries, mango or peaches, along with a few ice cubes and a small amount of sweetener, if needed. Add more liquid or fruit to achieve the desired texture.