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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Make a Doosie of a Smoothie

Smoothies are a very convenient way to sneak in plenty of nutrition for the picky eater, the person too busy to take the time to sit down to a decent meal, or even the elderly who often have poor appetites and it is a challenge to get enough calories into them.

All you need is your blender and ingredients you most likely already have in your freezer, refrigerator or pantry.

Buying bagged frozen fruit is always an option, but if you buy fruit or product in bulk during their growing season, freeze the surplus and have it available any time of the year.
Pictured here are peaches, but you can use strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon, whatever you prefer.
 Wash if necessary, (berries such as raspberries and strawberries lose flavor when washed). Dab the fruit dry with paper towels. Fruits like pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon and peaches need to be cut up into pieces. Berries are simply spread out onto the baking sheet or plate. What you use depends on if you have a deep freezer which would hold a large baking sheet, or are limited to your kitchen size freezer. Spread out the fruit on the sheet or plate and put into the freezer. Don't just dump the cut up fruit into your zip-lock bag or container or you'll end up with a frozen lump of fruit. Optional to prevent peaches from browning is to stir a bit of lemon juice into the cut-up fruit. If you get them into the freezer quickly, browning shouldn't be a problem. 

Once frozen, put the fruit pieces into a freezer zip-lock baggie or container and store in the freezer. When ready to take some out for your smoothie, take what you need and return the rest to the freezer. Be sure to label your bags so that you can easily identify the fruit and so the old gets used before the new. This bag of peaches was taken from the freezer a year after originally frozen. Try to use them up within a year so they don't lose value from ice crystals building up.

Bananas have a very limited shelf life before they get spotty, soft and overripe. Don't throw them away! Peel them and then individually roll each one up in wax paper. Put the wrapped bananas into a freezer ziploc baggie and pop into the freezer. Then when you make your smoothie, a banana is always available. Bananas are often part of a smoothie recipe. This is because once frozen they are great to thicken up your blender concoction and adds a natural sweetness.

When ready to make your smoothie, simply take out of the bags the amount of fruit you need and put the bag back into the freezer. The fruit should break apart fairly easily. If it is a solid lump, just bang a bit and the pieces will separate apart again.

The recipes below are for fruit based smoothie drinks. Use your imagination and create your own recipes to include vegetables as well. Avocados and fresh spinach leaves are very nutritious and their mild flavor would not be overpowering.

Should your drink be too runny and you want to thicken it up, just add ice cubes and reblend.

An optional addition to any of these smoothies would be a raw egg. We use raw eggs in our smoothies but they come from my own chickens. Do not use raw eggs purchased at the supermarket if you even suspect they came from factory farmed chickens. Only consume raw eggs if you know their origins and are confident they are not possible carriers of the bacteria, salmonella.

PINEAPPLE SMOOTHIE

About 1/2 cup frozen or fresh pineapple chunks
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
Dash vanilla extract
Choice of either orange juice or almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, or dairy milk
1 heaping tbsp coconut powder or coconut oil (optional)
1 tbsp flax seed oil (optional)

Gradually add either the orange juice OR one of milk types while blending.
Add only enough until you reach your preferred consistency.
Blend about 30 seconds or until smooth and creamy.
 Serves 1

BERRY BERRY BLEND SMOOTHIE

About 1/2 cup frozen or fresh berries or combination of types of berries
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
Dash vanilla extract
Almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, or dairy milk
1 heaping tbsp coconut powder or coconut oil (optional)
1 tbsp flax seed oil (optional)

Gradually add one of the milk types while blending.
Add only enough until you reach your preferred consistency.
Blend about 30 seconds or until smooth and creamy.
Serves 1

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER SMOOTHIE 

1 frozen banana
1 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, or dairy milk
1 heaping tbsp coconut powder or 1 - 3 tsp. coconut oil (optional)
1 tbsp flax seed oil (optional)
Dash vanilla extract
2 - 4 tbsp. chocolate chips, carob chips or raw cacao ribs 
Handful of ice cubes
 
Blend about 30 seconds or until smooth and creamy.
Serves 1


Enjoy!