A Short History of the Smoothie

The smoothie, a healthy blended drink made of fruits and vegetables, has been gaining popularity for quite some time now. You see people toting these drinks literally everywhere they go, and for all kinds of purposes. People started using them to replace some meals in an attempt to be healthy.

And that’s no surprise. Smoothies are indeed healthy, what with its components of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other supplements. These provide the smoothie chock-full of essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients important and beneficial to the human body.

But where did this popular health drink come from?

For hundreds of years, Mediterranean and Eastern cultures were already enjoying pureed fruit drinks. South America and Latin America were also already enjoying fruit-based drinks, which were a staple in their daily diets.

In the United States, the smoothie was basically unknown until the 1930s, when the blender was invented by Steve Poplawski. That’s when the smoothies were quietly introduced in the United States. The history of the smoothie is closely associated with the invention of the blender, as smoothies would not have come to existence if it weren’t for the blender.

Initially, the first smoothies were primarily made of fruits, fruit juice, and ice. The drink first targeted beach goers who wanted something refreshing to quench their thirst.

During the 1960s and 1970s in the United States, there was a rebirth in macrobiotic vegetarianism. This was when Flower Power and Hippies were on the rise. People were starting to go back to their roots, starting to be at one with nature. They started going vegan, turning to organic and natural products. People also started paying more attention to eating right and getting healthy.

During these two decades, health food stores started popping up all over the country. These stores then started selling blended fruit drinks. They were catering to what their customers were demanding.

During this era, Jack Lalanne was one of the first juicing and smoothie advocates. Jack Lalanne was an American fitness, exercise, and nutrition expert. He was very vocal about the benefits of juices and smoothies to one’s health. He was the first person in the US to open a gym/health food store and the first to come up with a weight loss breakfast meal replacement drink. Some of his smoothie recipes are still quite popular today.

The Evolution of Smoothies

In 1973, lactose intolerant Steve Kuhnau founded the first Smoothie King branch. He had been experimenting with smoothie recipes for years, looking for the perfect blend that he could enjoy. Because of this, the health drink eventually evolved and later included other ingredients, like vegetables, milk, vitamins, and supplements. These additional ingredients eventually gave the smoothie a makeover, making it a healthier alternative to milk shakes.

Within the next three years, the Smoothie King franchise boomed, and this made the term "smoothie" a household name. Everyone became familiar with this drink, and people started experimenting with their own smoothies.

Since the early 2000s, there has been an increase in the interest in diets and exercise. With this, the smoothie has grown in popularity as well. It has also been upgraded and is now considered as either a power drink, a dessert, a meal replacement, or a meal supplement. It now has thousands of followers who are religious in their smoothie intake day by day.

That said, we can conclude that the smoothie is definitely taking over the world, one healthy sip at a time.

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