It’s no secret that I’m terrible at mornings. Most weekdays I’m running out the door, clothes still damp with Downy Wrinkle Reducer (I’m not good with ironing either), coffee in one hand, yogurt in the other.
little lot better about getting up without hitting snooze eighty-five times & usually has time to fire up the blender for breakfast, but when it comes to experimentation, a little variety & new combinations, the weekends have it…which is why we are introducing The Saturday Smoothie.
Now, I have a little experience in the smoothie biz, having worked summers at Planet Smoothie throughout college. In fact, I could probably still make anything on that menu board with my eyes closed & one hand tied behind my back…& I managed to learn some things along the way.
First, & most importantly, a powerful blender is essential. Crucial, really. At Planet Smoothie, we used Blendtec blenders. After trying to kill the KitchenAid we received as a wedding gift, we finally invested in a Vitamix. The price tag hurt. It hurt a lot, but we haven’t looked back (especially since it can blend soups into an amazingly velvety consistency & even make ice cream). Basically, to crush ice & blend fruit into a consistency that you can sip, not chew, you need horsepower.
Second, avoid watery fruits. Watermelon, cantaloupe & the like…delicious? Yes. Good for smoothies? Not really.
Third, go bananas. They are key. Even if you don’t want the flavor of the banana, tossing in about 1/2 a banana per serving does a lot to balance the flavor of most fruit combinations. So when the bananas on your counter brown a little bit, peel them, break them in half & toss them in the freezer so you’ll have a good stash.
Protein fluffs up. Yes, protein keeps you full longer, probably because it takes up more space. When you add a protein powder to a smoothie, count on it multiplying the typical volume by 50-100%.
Best of all, smoothies are open to interpretation. Want something with a hint of vanilla? Try vanilla soy milk. Or regular milk with vanilla protein powder. Or plain yogurt with a splash of vanilla extract. Just use these recipes as a general guideline, blend up what you have on hand & follow your tastebuds.
CREAMY BLUEBERRY, STRAWBERRY, BANANA SMOOTHIE
makes about 2 1/2 cups
1 cup soymilk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 banana, fresh or frozen
8-10 strawberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
ice, as needed, for thickening & chilling
Add soy milk, protein powder, banana, strawberries, & blueberries to a blender jar. Blend on high until smooth, adding ice as necessary. Pour into a glass with a straw & enjoy.