Thanks to my new diet, I've developed an addiction to smoothies.
They satisfy my sweet tooth, give me a boost of fluids + veggies + fruit and, if I drink one out of a fun glass, I can almost pretend it's summer.
(Yeah, that's right, Minnesota. I'm looking at you and your 60-degrees and clouds. We shouldn't be grayer, colder and wetter than frigging Seattle. Yet we are. This is unacceptable.)
It's taken me a while, but I've finally figured out a basic, adaptable smoothie recipe. I call it the Fruit Punch Smoothie, because then I can throw in whatever I have handy that day, and my kids won't blink.
And despite the name, it's really more than fruit. I tend to start with a base of veggies - spinach, mostly - because it's easily disguised if you add frozen berries. I'm always looking for ways to up the veggie quotient.
The basic formula is as follows:
2 cups of liquid (juice, almond milk, etc.)
2 cups of frozen fruit (berries, peaches, pineapple, mango, etc.)
1 frozen banana
+ another cup or two of whatever you want
I often add in some yogurt for added creaminess, and as mentioned, spinach. And if the finished smoothie isn't sweet enough for you, add in a couple tablespoons of honey, agave or maple syrup.
Bada bing. Summer in a glass. Pay attention Minnesota. It's not that hard.
Fruit Punch Smoothie
1 cup orange juice
1 cup carrot juice
2 cups raw spinach
2 cups frozen mixed berries
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup yogurt
1. Combine ingredients in blender and combine until thick. Makes about 4 smoothies.
1. If you blender has a hard time grabbing the ingredients, try adding more liquid. Or stir the mixture and watch for an air bubble to pop. If the mixture is really thick, an air pocket can develop around the blender blades; you'll know you've got one if only the bottom part of the mixture is moving even though the engine is whining like a three-year-old at bedtime. The Master has more great tips here.
2. Obviously, the ingredients are customizable. Just know that if you don't use berries of some kind, the spinach will tint the whole concoction. I'm out of berries right now, so the smoothie I made this afternoon included spinach, pineapple, mango and banana. It tasted great, but it's color was - how shall I say - less than appetizing.
3. If you have leftover smoothie, throw it in a popsicle mold for a sunny day.