Tag Archives: quick snack ideas

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.)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

Coming up next: Weekly Menus, Remote Edition

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Recipes, Snacks

Weekly Menus: Week of 2/5/2012

Gentle Readers, it is that time of year again when thoughts turn to snacks and beer. A few thoughts about what to serve that will be both practical and delicious:

1. Nachos. They are always a hit.

Veggie Nachos Perfected! With pickled jalepeno on top, for good measure.

Veggie Nachos Perfected! With pickled jalepeno on top, for good measure.

2. Chili and baked potatoes. Had this recently, and was struck with how tasty the combo is. Go crazy, and you can do Twice-Baked Potatoes in advance, and make some Veggie Chili to go beside or on top of.

Thankful for Twice-Baked Potatoes

Thankful for Twice-Baked Potatoes

3. Pigs in a Blanket. Another classic, and so easy it is truly obnoxious.

Pigs in a Blanket, for the Win!

Pigs in a Blanket, for the Win!

So here is my gameplan for the week, Weekly Menus (in other breaking news, I have new notepaper, I know, an exciting life I lead):

Weekly Menus: 2/5/2012

Weekly Menus: 2/5/2012

Four-Square Shopping List:

Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 2/5/2012

Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 2/5/2012

Which translates to:

Sunday: Indian
Probably dal, rice, and green veg.

Monday: Tortellini and Salad
This will be the butternut squash variety, I may do it as a soup.

Tuesday: Tuna Melts
Can’t beat the classic.

Wednesday: Tacos
Always a crowd pleaser!

Thursday: Leftover Delight
Assuming I’ll have leftover Indian, otherwise, I’ll repurpose the leftover taco stuff.

Friday: Supper Salad!
As above, I’ll combine leftovers. Perhaps Tuna salad on greens, maybe taco salad.

Saturday: Dine Out

Email your questions, suggestions, and deep thoughts to 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!)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

Tomorrow, Dining in London: A Tourist’s Review.

Leave a comment

Filed under Snacks, Weekly Menus