Mmm Mmm Smoothies!

20 Oct

There’s no ice in this here smoothie.

Surprised?

I don’t know why people put ice in their fruit smoothies. I like mine thick and creamy and milkshake-y, and ice just waters things down and adds crunch to the mix. There’s no crunch in smoothie, at least in my house.

Getting thick without ice requires one simple thing. Frozen fruit. If you start with frozen fruit, you don’t need ice, see? And you get that wonderful milkshake thickness in a meal or snack that’s chock full of vitamins and nutrition.

I always start with nonfat vanilla yogurt and half a sliced, frozen banana. That’ll guarantee creamy–bananas are nothing if not the perfect thickener for fruit-based drinks. The vanilla yogurt adds sweetness and a hint of extra deliciousness. And beyond that, the sky’s the limit. Strawberry-banana. Blueberry-banana. Chocolate banana (MMMMMMM!! Use a whole banana, a spoon of cocoa powder, and a little extra sugar). Nutella-banana. Peanut butter-banana. I could go on for hours.

The smoothie you see above was made with a scoop of Dole Tropical Fruit Mix that I found in the freezer of my third-world supermarket. Assuming your market is the least bit civilized, you’ll find this along with the bags of frozen strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and other fruits. Pick your favorite and you’ll be in business. I like the tropical because it’s sweet and my kids think it’s akin to soft ice cream when it’s whirled together. But anything you like is just fine.

Don’t be afraid to give your blender time to really destroy the fruit. Remember–no ice. No water. You can let ‘er rip until the job’s done and you’ll still get creamy and thick. If you hear bits of fruit whacking against the blades, let it go until the machine reaches a steady, even hum. And feel free to add powdered fiber, flax, or other supplements to these. You won’t notice.

I had mine for breakfast today, but it’s a perfect mid-day pick-me-up or after school snack. Even a dessert, depending how sweet yours is. Hope you like it!

You’ll need:

6 oz or about 3/4 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt (try Greek style if you want extra, extra thick)

1/2 a banana, sliced and frozen

A heaping 1/2 cup of another fruit or fruit blend, also frozen.

1/2 tsp sugar or Splenda, to taste

1/4 cup milk (I use skim)

Pour the yogurt into your blender. Add sweetener, frozen fruit, and milk. Blend on the highest setting until you don’t hear any chunks smacking into the works. Pour and enjoy. Makes 1 meal-sized (the glass in the photo holds 20 oz) or 2 snack-sized smoothies.

(For chocolate, use a whole sliced banana, a teaspoon or so of cocoa powder, and a teaspoon or so of sugar, to taste, adding chocolate syrup at your whim. For peanut butter, use a whole banana, a tablespoon of peanut butter, and omit the sugar.)

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6 Responses to “Mmm Mmm Smoothies!”

  1. Kelly R October 20, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    Thanks Kim!!! Can’t wait to try this today.
    I think I’ll use it for my afternoon pick-up.

  2. Lisa October 20, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    I love smoothies, but hated the ice. Thanks so much.

  3. mary m October 20, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    I need to make more smoothies. The kids love them, and we always have all of the ingredients, except the frozen bananas.

    Do you peel and slice them, then freeze them? Like berries freeze straight then put in a bag?

    Sorry for all my questions, I’m cooking for dummies slow 😉

    • Michele October 20, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

      I don’t peel my bananas. I just throw them in the freezer whenever they get too ripe to eat. They’re great in smoothies or for making banana bread.

  4. Michele October 20, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    I often put honey in my smoothies and some cinnamon.

  5. Kim October 20, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

    Honey and cinnamon sound wonderful!

    I peel mine and slice them only because I only use half a banana in most of my smoothies and my blender has an easier time if they’re sliced. But freezing them whole/unpeeled is great!

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