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Smoothies are more than the current fad: they are also delicious, nutritious snacks that are easy to throw together and compromise an amazing range of wonderful confections. There's no need to confine yourself to a recipe, however: smoothies almost always lend themselves beautifully to whatever you find in your fridge.

First, the basic fruit smoothie. The main ingredients in this type of smoothie are fruit, a liquid, a thickener, and a sweetener, such as sugar or honey. First, prepare the fruit. Frozen or fresh berries are always excellent in smoothies, as are pit fruits like nectarines, peaches, and apricots. Bananas are a smoothie mainstay because of the texture they impart: in fact, smoothies are a great way to use up overripe bananas that are no longer appealing to eat plain. Apples are not recommended for smoothies.

After the fruit, add yogurt, milk, or orange, cranberry, or pineapple juice – just enough so that your blender is able to puree the fruit. Blend.

Now, you are ready for your first taste test. Your smoothie will probably not be sweet enough, so blend in sugar or honey. If you want a thicker smoothie, try adding ice cream – or add ice cream in place of some of the milk or yogurt. Frozen fruits or frozen bananas also contribute to thickness. Or, you can add plain ice to your blender to thicken your smoothie. If you find your smoothie is too tart, add more sugar, of course. But what if it is too bland? Add yogurt or lemon juice to add zest to an otherwise limp smoothie.

Of course, there is another type of smoothie: an ice cream one. Ice cream smoothies can be made with just fruit and somewhat-soft ice-cream, or for a chocolate smoothie you can toss milk, ice cream, and chocolate syrup or chocolate powder into a blender and blend for a refreshing dessert or hot-day treat.

Add whipped cream or a fresh-fruit garnish to any smoothie and then sit back and enjoy.