Smoothies

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After the cold Labor Day weekend, I was considering writing about some kind of a hearty fall dish, but after checking out the forecast and seeing the temperatures are supposed to go back up, I thought I would write something simple and good for those days. After all, summer is not over yet and I haven’t written a drink recipe.

Smoothies are so delicious, as well as healthy, it’s no wonder they have become such a popular, year-round drink. The best thing about a smoothie is that you can have it anytime of the day and you can add any ingredients you want to fit your needs. I already wrote about the breakfast smoothie with kale and chia (the recipe is available at TheTahoeWeekly.com). You can add your protein powders and wheat grass to them for added health benefits or just go with the fruits. You can also add a little alcohol and an umbrella and make sure someone else is driving home. The point is, just like in cooking, there are no rules as to what ingredients you use as long as you like the end results.

There are a few things you want to use in your smoothie, but they are easy to change. For example, you want some liquid so the smoothie is smooth and thin enough to get through a straw. What liquids you use, however, is up to you. Fruit juice is probably the most common, but I also saw a recipe that was the inspiration for this article, in a magazine that used some coconut milk. I love coconut milk.

Also, a smoothie wants to be a little on the thick side meaning that depending on what your fruits are, you need to add something to tighten and bind the ingredients together so your smoothie isn’t just a glass of juice. Bananas will thicken a drink, but yogurt is probably the most common additive.

One thing you do want to do is to freeze your fruit before blending. Frozen fruit will give you that smooth texture you’re looking for, as well as double as the ice for cooling the smoothie down. Using blueberries and other fruits with skin that are not frozen will leave big clumps of those skins unblended and then your smoothie ends up, well, not smooth.

At any rate, here are the two smoothies I saw in that article. One uses yogurt and one does not. Just remember, use these as a guide and if you want yogurt in the other recipe, by all means add it. Also, change up the fruits or just add more varieties of fruit. I did like the pineapple, mango banana combo the best, and I also added raspberries to the other recipe, but I’ll give them to you as I found them. Enjoy.

Berry Smoothie – For 2 servings
1¾ C low-fat blueberry yogurt
¼ C grape juice
1½ C frozen blueberries
1 C frozen blackberries

Blend the yogurt and juice, and then add the fruit and blend until smooth.

Pineapple Mango Smoothie – For 2 servings
1 very ripe banana
1diced very ripe mango
1 C diced pineapple
1 C pineapple juice
½ C unsweetened coconut milk
1 t lime juice

Blend all the liquids first, and then add the fruit and blend until thick and smooth.