April 4, 2014

Smoothies

According to the calendar Spring is officially here which means summer is just around the corner.

This is the perfect time to start thinking about delicious smoothie recipes for those hot summer days.

Smoothies can also be healthy if they are made with the right ingredients.  Following are some ideas to get started.












Healthy Berry Smoothie

1 cup frozen berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
2 Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1/4 banana (frozen)
water

Place all of the ingredients into the blender.  Add about 1/2 cup water.  Blend until smooth.  (I use a small Ninja blender.  It is fast and makes a smooth consistency).  Add additional water if desired.

As you are probably aware, this is a sour smoothie since there are no additional sweeteners.  There are a few options available if you would like a sweeter-tasting smoothie.  Try one of the following:

1.  Replace the water with apple juice, or
2.  Use sweetened Greek yogurt (strawberry or berry flavor) or
3.  Add a bit of honey or
4.  Add one small packet of sweetener (I like Stevia in the Raw single serve envelopes.  They come in a box of 50)

(Makes one large serving)

Experiment to find your perfect flavor combination.

It is easy to experiment with different flavors by making substitutions to the original base for smoothies:

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Base for smoothies
Strawberry, Pineapple, Banana Smoothie

1.  1 cup frozen fruit/vegetables
2.  Liquid
3.  Greek Yogurt (1 to 2 Tablespoons)
4.  optional - Sweetener (honey or low calorie sweetener)
5.  optional - chia seeds, or flaxseed


This is one of my favorite smoothies:

Strawberry, Pineapple, Banana Smoothie

1.  Fruit - frozen strawberries, pineapple, banana (1 cup)
2.  cold water (about 1/2 cup)
3.  Strawberry Greek yogurt - 1 Tablespoon
4.  1 small packet Stevia

Blend until smooth.


Here are some following combinations to try
(add water, milk, or some type of juice to the frozen fruit/vegetables before blending)

Banana, carrot, mango, orange juice, yogurt and chia seeds

Banana, chocolate milk, instant oats, peanut butter, ice cubes

Passionfruit, mango, kale, yogurt, chia seeds

Strawberry, raspberry, banana

Blueberries, raspberries, orange juice

Kale, pineapple, banana

Kale, pineapple, parsley, mango and fresh ginger

Use your imagination

There are so many more things you could add to a smoothie like spinach, kiwi, cranberry juice, peaches, coconut water, lime juice . . .

Remember


It is important for the fruit to be frozen in order to create an icy smoothie.  If the ingredients are not frozen, then add a few ice cubes to the blender.  Also make sure the liquid you add is cold.

I usually slice bananas into fourths and keep them in bags in the freezer.  It is easy to take out a piece for each smoothie.  You can also freeze yogurt in ice cube trays for easy access.

There are so many different varieties of quality frozen fruit available in stores.  I usually get bags of the 3-berry mix, strawberries and frozen pineapple from Costco.

Have fun experimenting in the kitchen and coming up with your favorite combinations.