Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Seasonal Blending

All of a sudden it seems like the perfect time for a smoothie. I probably feel that way because smoothies remind me of summer. (Warm nights on the patio, everybody's carefree attitude, vacation ~ what's not to miss?) And today is certainly a day to daydream of summer. Currently there's a storm sitting over Northern California. The wind is outrageous, roaring outside and whistling as it rushes through the rafters of my house. At times it looks like the two redwoods looming over my backward may come plummeting down. Eek!

But back to the smoothies. . . One final reason to make a smoothie is that they're an easy way to detox from November and December eating. And they taste great!

The basics of smoothie-making are straightforward enough. The most important rule is to use enough liquid so that your blender can handle the frozen fruit. (I broke many blenders before I knew this, so take heed!) Use at least a cup of liquid, and add more if it seems too thick or if your blender is having trouble processing. Start with a few quick pulses to break up the frozen fruit, stirring with a spoon once or twice in between pulses. Finish by letting the blender run for ten seconds or so.

My basic recipe includes:
  • a cup or more of orange juice (this adds sweetness)
  • about 1/3 cup of yogurt, plain or vanilla (more if you want a creamier smoothie)
  • 1 banana, preferably cold
  • several handfuls of frozen strawberries (approximately 2 cups)

I sometimes substitute other frozen fruit for some of the strawberries, such as frozen blueberries or peaches. But since the strawberries add a lot of sweetness, I usually don't eliminate them altogether. Happy Blending!

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