A smoothie (alternatively spelled Smoothi, smoothee or smoothy, the name comes from the smooth property of the emulsion) is a blended and sometimes sweetened beverage made from fresh fruit (fruit smoothie), vegetables and in special cases can contain chocolate or peanut butter. In addition to fruit, many smoothies include crushed ice, frozen fruit, honey or contain syrup and ice ingredients. They have a milkshake-like consistency that is thicker than slushdrinks. They can also contain milk, yogurt or ice cream. Smoothies are often marketed to health-conscious people, and some restaurants offer add-ins such as soy milk, whey powder, green tea, herbal supplements, or nutritional supplement mixes.
The electric blender gave birth to the smoothie in the United States. The word "smoothie" was first coined by Mabel Stegner on June 23, 1940 in an article titled "Let the blender do it for you!" published in the New York Herald Tribune (p. 14-15). Concerning ingredients she wrote: "For instance, place a few ounces of milk, fruit juice, tomato juice or any desired liquid in the food container [of the blender]. Add a banana, or strawberries, or pitted cherries, or diced vegetables, Place the container on the base, switch on the electricity and in less than a minute out comes a banana milk 'smoothie,' a fruit nectar, or a raw vegetable cocktail.
The earliest known use of the word "smoothee" also appeared in 1940 and also in connection with the newly commercialized electric blender. That year the Waring Corporation, founded by the popular bandleader Fred Waring, published its first little booklet of recipes titled "Recipes to Make Your Waring-Go-Round," which contained 12 early recipes for "milk smoothees." Waring had hired Mabel Stegner, B.S., a Home Economics Consultant from the University of Wisconsin, to develop the recipes.
Smoothies were first made in the homes of those who owned an electric blender: power blender, immersion blender, hand blender. They became widely available in the United States in the late 1960s when ice cream vendors and health food stores began selling them. By the 1990s and 2000s, smoothies became available at mainstream cafés and coffee shops and in pre-bottled versions at supermarkets all over the world.