Tag Archives: smoothie recipes

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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Coming up next: Weekly Menus, Remote Edition

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Filed under Recipes, Snacks

Saving the Papaya Smoothie

Sometimes the Practical Cook gets a little ambitious in the grocery store. Tropical fruit was on sale last week, and a lot of it was purchased, including a papaya. Team Practical Cook has been down this road before—cool-sounding word, beautiful fruit, no one eats it. Time passes, memories fade, another papaya is purchased.

Papaya Smoothie

Papaya Smoothie

Let it be noted here that the Practical Cooks Junior eat papaya readily in fruit cups. Let the record further show that they’ve never managed to finish a smoothie made for them. So what is a Practical Cook to do with a whole untouched papaya? Turn it into a smoothie and hope two dislikes make a right. Punt!

Saving the Papaya Smoothie

Though most recipes for papaya drinks call for inordinate amounts of sugar, avoid the urge. A ripe papaya is plenty sweet.

1 to 2 cups papaya chunks with any collected juice
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/3 to 1/2 cup orange juice
1 or 2 generous Tablespoons of honey
3 or 4 ice cubes

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend. Serve in a clear glass (so you can admire the color), preferably with a straw for slurping. (Per the Practical Cooks Junior)

The smoothie was a huge success. It turned out to be such a beautiful color, it was sweet and interesting, and irresistible.

Coming up tomorrow, when life gives you leftover ham, make meatballs.

Questions, comments, and compliments, email to practical cook at gmail dot com

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Filed under Punt!, Recipes, Snacks