Smoothie Recipes and Tips: Drinking Your Lunch

Gentle Readers, it’s confession time. I like to chew my food. Having grown up in an era of diet plans that included SlimFast, I have never understood how people lose weight like that. If I drink calories, I’m still hungry. So I can not in good faith recommend a drinkable only diet.

My preferred means of cold yogurt consumption! (And current addiction--I love toppings.)

My preferred means of cold yogurt consumption! (And current addiction–I love toppings.)

However, when it comes to feeding growing kids who have loose teeth and/or braces something nutritious in a short time, I’m willing to go outside my own personal set of rules. Smoothies are very calorie dense, and when that’s important, they are a great option for portable snacks, breakfast on the go, and infinitely variable lunch additions.

Here are some of my findings.

The Practical Cook’s Smoothie Recipes and Tips:

1. Use frozen fruit instead of ice to achieve good smoothie texture. No one likes a watered down smoothie. My favorite trick, throw that last banana that’s almost too ripe in the freezer, in its own wrapper.

2. However, let the frozen fruit come up to temperature a bit, or pop in the microwave to speed the blending process. Remember that banana? Thirty seconds in the microwave and you can peel it and blend.

Start with the liquids before adding the fruit to avoid the dreaded blender jam.

Start with the liquids before adding the fruit to avoid the dreaded blender jam.

3. Put the liquids and yogurt in first. This will absolutely aid the blending process. I’ve blended a lot of food in my time, in commercial and home settings. Trust me on this. No matter how much you paid for your Blend-O-Matic, this rule holds true.

4. Try orange juice or another whole fruit juice as your liquid/sweetener. If that’s not enough, add a dash of honey!

Mango Raspberry Smoothies--Pretty Snacks!

Mango Raspberry Smoothies–Pretty Snacks!

5. Mix your fruits. This goes without saying, the blends usually work better. The house favorite right now is plain low-fat yogurt, OJ, mango, raspberries, and a dash of honey. My personal favorite? The Elvis: plain low-fat yogurt, peanut butter, a frozen banana, a little milk, and honey.

The best way to transport? We’re saving the drinkable yogurt bottles for re-use with homemade concoctions. It’s a great hit of protein and calcium that can be consumed very quickly while talking during a short school lunch period.

So drink up, and share your favorite combinations! Post a comment or tweet in my direction. I can hear you out there.

Send your frozen fruit, lucrative ideas, and travel cups practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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1 Comment

Filed under Recipes, Snacks

One response to “Smoothie Recipes and Tips: Drinking Your Lunch

  1. Patty

    I am a banana-hater, but besides that I agree with all your points, especially adding the liquids first. I will add:
    1. A single-serve blender is worth the price if you are making smoothies for one. My big blender never wanted to blend the small amount I was asking it to blend; I’m no physicist but it seemed to have something to do with the amount of air above the ingredients. I love my Hamilton Beach, $15 or so at most retailers. But be kind to its small motor or you will burn it out. “Pulse” is your friend.
    2. Maple syrup is my sweetening agent of choice. Anything tastes better with a little maple syrup in it. Well, maybe not ANYTHING.
    3. Throw a little kale or spinach in there. Adds a lot of nutrition, and you can hardly taste it.
    4. I also add protein powder if I’m really after a protein-rich meal, and a tablespoon of flaxseed meal for some good fiber.
    5. My current favorite fall smoothie: Almond milk, yogurt, diced apple, applesauce, cinnamon, maple syrup. Mmmmmm.

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