The Unexpected Pantry Staple To Sweeten Up Your Smoothie

Smoothies are go-to options for people looking for an easy-to-make breakfast or a quick snack on the go. And depending on what you put in them, smoothies boast a variety of health benefits — according to BBC Good Food, they're generally an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber. And whether you're a fan of indulgent chocolate protein drinks or a light and energizing choice, there's a smoothie for everyone.

With green smoothies, though, you might be wary of having to suck down a drink with a not-so-pleasant taste. While the ingredients of this emerald-hued beverage vary, you can count on them being chock-full of vegetables — spinach, kale, cucumber, you name it — along with fruit for taste. And while the drink may be good for you because of these additions, it's not always going to be the best-tasting of the bunch. 

Fortunately, there's one pantry staple that can help you get the most out of your fruit smoothie — and maybe even enjoy drinking those greens, too. 

A dash of salt goes a long way

Sometimes, the difference between an otherwise mundane smoothie and a sweet-tasting marvel is a bit of sea salt, according to Self. While it may seem counterintuitive, adding some salt into your blender will bring out the sweeter flavors of the smoothie. 

According to BBC Science Focus, salt brings out sweet flavors because of the complex science behind how we taste. When different flavors come together, like salt and sweet, some are brought out, while others are suppressed. When you add a small amount of salt to a sweet dish, it will increase those sweeter flavors. Per Science, one receptor in the mouth, the SGLT1 receptor, is the cause. These cells on the tastebuds can guide sugars into the body more easily when sodium is present. 

Still, one important distinction to make is in the type of salt you use. As dietitian Jillian Tuchman, MS, RD, told Self, you should "never use table salt, which is overly processed and bleached." With just a little sea salt on hand, you could be on your way to a perfectly balanced smoothie.

How to make your smoothie the best it can be

When it comes to making smoothies, the recipes are usually pretty simple — just add the necessary ingredients and blend. But despite these straightforward instructions, sometimes a smoothie just doesn't taste as good at home as it does at your local juice joint. If you find yourself with that problem, there are a few ways to fix it.

Per NBC News, the first issue you could be facing with your less-than-perfect smoothie is that you're adding too many ingredients. Incorporating numerous nut butters, proteins, and seeds can affect the taste of your drink. Sometimes, keeping things simple is best.

According to Prevention, another common issue is making your smoothies too sweet. Adding a dash of acid, such as lemon juice or apple cider, could be the cure. Per Minor's Food Service, acids are important in cooking because they bring symmetry to otherwise off-kilter flavors.