Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Only Smoothie

For years I couldn't make a good smoothie. I have no idea what I was doing wrong. How can you go wrong with fruit, juice and yogurt?

Over the years I've developed a standard smoothie that rarely disappoints. The key is to use good, ripe fruit. Frozen fruit is often flavorless. Taste a frozen strawberry sometime - if it doesn't taste like anything it's just the same as adding ice to your smoothie, an item I'm shocked (SHOCKED!) to see in so many smoothie recipes (runners up: added sugar or honey, and milk - blechk).

I like frosty smoothies, so I use ripe fruit I've frozen myself. Next time you buy bananas, peel two or 3, break them into chunks and pop them in a ziploc. Bananas will continue to ripen in the freezer, so don't freeze more than you'll use in a month.

I do the same with pineapple and strawberries. When perfect fruit is available, buy extra and freeze some for your smoothie supply. For strawberries, rinse and remove the stems (hull them if you've got time to kill). Trim pineapple into chunks. Both can be placed on a baking sheet first, spread out so they're not touching each other, and frozen. Once frozen, put them into Ziploc bags for longer storage. This process prevents the fruit from freezing into a solid mass. Grocers call it IQF (Individual Quality Frozen). Lazy people call it Anal.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Print recipe only here

Makes four 8-ounce smoothies

1 cup orange juice
1-2 cups frozen strawberries
1 banana
3/4 cup pineapple
1/2 cup lowfat yogurt (vanilla, strawberry or banana flavored)

Starting with the OJ, measure all the ingredients - except the yogurt - into a blender. A chef in Telluride once advised me to always add the yogurt last so that the heat generated by blending didn't detroy the yogurt cultures. I'm not certain of the validity of the claim, but am willing to put my yogurt in at the end of the blending process just the same.

Anyway, start blending on low speed. You might need to stop and stir things up with a spoon if the fruit jams the blender up. Increase to high speed for a few seconds. Stop the blender, add the yogurt and blend until just mixed it. Serve and enjoy.


Unknown said...

Hi Katie! I am a smoothie maker 365 dyas a year - it's a great way to sneak healthy stuff into the bodies of my "yuk - I hate that" child and otherwise not too healthy husband. Here's waht generally goes into mine. 1/2 banana, 1 cup frozen cascadian farms YUMMY frozen cherries or bluberries or combination, ( I use frsh organic peaches in the summer though, organic cherry juice for gout prevention or almond milk, almond butter or pumpkin seed butter or 1/2 avocado, flax seed meal, Supergreens, bee pollen, flax oil, dried acai berry powder. Keeps them healthy all year long!!! Cheers!

Katie Fairbank said...

i gotta try the CF cherries - never have. thanks for the tip. i want to try your Super Smoothie! Do you drink them, too, or only serve them?

Unknown said...

I drink them in the summer - otherwise it is too cold in the mountains to start my day with

Unknown said...

I remember making nice smoothies at home there's just nothing like a good smoothies. I like to add grapes or me it's even better. Great tips though! Thank you for sharing.

Katie Fairbank said...

Grapes! That's a new one for me. Cherries sound great - am happy to see them seconded by you. Thanks for visiting. :)