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Summertime Smoothies
By Susan Howard - 07/08/2014

A nutrition packed snack to beat the heat!

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The warmth of summer craves a light, cool treat. With these quick and easy tips, you’ll be in and out of the kitchen with a cup of cool nutrition in no time!

I have some favorite recipes for smoothies, but a smoothie can be made from most anything you have on hand. Don’t go without just because you are missing an ingredient for a certain smoothie recipe. My family loves to invent them.

Prep:

Keep an assortment of frozen fruit on hand. There is no end to the variety available. Keep bags of them in the freezer. 

*Helpful Tip: As you find fresh fruit getting too ripe or soft, clean it and cut it into chunks. Remove inedible peelings (bananas, citrus, pineapple). Put the prepared fruit on a cookie sheet and place it in the freezer. After the fruit is frozen you can transfer it to a resealable bag for convenience.

Process:

Fill your blender about 1/2 full with 100% fruit juice, soy milk, kefir, water, or your liquid of choice. Add some green leafy veggies here for extra nutrition. Add frozen fruit of any kind to the top. Secure the lid good and tight, blend on high until smooth.

Now you know the general process, here are a few of my family’s go to favorites to get you started.

Banana Rama

4-5 C Soy Milk (Raw Milk, Almond Milk, or other milk substitutes work too)

1-3 Frozen Bananas

2-3 T Peanut Butter (optional)

2 T Cocoa Powder, or to taste (optional)

1 scoop soy protein powder (optional)


As you can see, the base of this smoothie is milk and frozen bananas. Add peanut butter, cocoa, and other things as you like. It’s like a vanilla shake, it takes to most anything you add to it. Put the milk in your blender, add bananas, peanut butter, protein, and cocoa as desired. Blend until smooth. To add thickness, add an extra frozen banana or ice to desired consistency.

My daughter feeds these to her kids instead of shakes. They love them!


Peachy Orange

2 T Whole Flax Seeds

1 Whole Orange, peelings scantly removed

2 handfuls Frozen Peaches

3 C Soy Milk

3 oz Tofu

1-2 C Orange Juice

1-2 T  Raw Honey


Place whole flax seed in blender, blend on high until seeds turn to powder. Add oranges and blend thoroughly. Add peaches, soy milk and tofu. Blend thoroughly. Add orange juice and honey to taste. Be sure to add honey while blending.


Helpful Hints


  • Pear-adise! Shock your friends. They’ll never believe you didn’t use ice cream! Pears make a smoothie very creamy. They won’t overpower other flavors and add a delicate sweetness. Use them with any fruit. I have never seen frozen pears in a store. I freeze my own. Pick them up from a farmers market in the fall, quarter them for easy handling, but do not peel. Freeze at least a bushel for use in smoothies throughout the year.
  • Go Bananas! I use bananas to make the smoothie sweeter. Don’t be afraid to freeze bananas for smoothies that are very dark and soft. No banana goes to waste at my house. When it comes to making smoothies, the dark, soft bananas are ideal.  In fact, all kinds of over-ripe fruit are wonderful for smoothies. Freeze any fruit that over ripens in your fruit bowl.
  • Don’t be bitter about it! Frozen citrus fruits can cause a smoothie to have a bitter taste. This is only because of the white stuff. When you freeze citrus fruits, peel them completely and thoroughly. Fresh citrus doesn’t have this problem. Grapefruit is better used as fresh juice.
  • Lush Slush! To make a slushy, use frozen melon. Melon has such a high water content that other liquids are unnecessary. Fill your blender and flip the switch. It can also be added for flavor to any smoothie.
  • Berry Rich, Berry Young! Berries are full of age-fighting phytonutrients and give a rich flavor and beautiful color to any smoothie. They are useful and easy to freeze.
  • Soy Delicious! I use soy milk for a creamy, dairy kind of taste. To make your smoothie into a protein drink you can use soy milk instead of fruit juice and add a tablespoon of good quality soy protein powder.
  • Sweeten the Pot! Do not fall into the sugar trap. Use fruit to sweeten, not sugar. Honey is also an option.
  • Tofu for YOU! Silken Tofu can be added for a special creamy texture and added protein.
  • Fight Fat with Fiber! I always add a few tablespoons of good quality fiber at the end. Pulse a few times to stir in—careful not to break the fiber. Milled flax and whole psyllium husk are nice options.
  • Mean Greens! Throw in some spinach, kale, or chard. Smoothies are the perfect place to sneak in extra servings of green vegetables. You don’t notice them in most smoothies. Call it something fun, like “Hulk Juice” and the kids will think the green drink is awesome.
  • If you’re a milk drinker, you can use it instead of soy milk, but try to get your hands on some raw milk. It’s much better for you!
  • Do not use smoothie mixes! They are full of unhealthy sweeteners, additives, and chemicals your body does not need.

Enjoy!

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