History credits the hippies of the 60’s with a lot of things, but naming drinks isn’t usually one of them. The fact is, along with peace, love, flowers and freedom hippies also gave the smoothie its name.
By 1970 a lactose intolerant teenager named Steven Kuhnau began to make smoothies in order to be able to enjoy something similar to the milkshakes most of his peers loved. Unable to digest milkshakes because of his lactose intolerance, he created frozen blends of fresh fruit, ice, and nutrients and fruit juice instead. He was excited to discover that not only did they taste good; they helped control his allergies and blood sugar levels as well. Kuhnau was so excited by his invention he opened a health food store called “The Smoothie King”, and began selling vitamins alongside his healthy drinks.
Kuhnau didn’t invent the name. He just branded it, saying the first time he heard the word was in reference to fruit and fruit juice based drinks made by “hippies” in the late 60’s. Prior to Kuhnau’s “Smoothie King”, the name “smoothie was used to describe everything from women’s bras and girdles, to ball point pens, car paint and machinery. There was even a band named “The Smoothies”! It wasn’t until Kuhnau opened his health food store and called his drinks “smoothies”, to appeal to the already health conscious hippies who knew what the term meant, that the name took off.
To be continued……