Tag Archives: yogurt

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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Mango and Blackberry Parfait

Gentle Readers, in good faith, The Practical Cook can’t call the following a recipe. But The Practical Cooks Junior were enamored enough of the combination that it warranted a mention. The Eldest said I needed to let you know about it.

Denuded Lime, Blackberries, Trader Joe's Blackberry Juice

Denuded Lime, Blackberries, Trader Joe's Blackberry Juice

And as we eat our weight in apples and citrus in these winter months, it is nice to have a change of pace, a treat from a different climate. So this was our snack the other day, a Mango and Blackberry Parfait. Mango and blackberry pair beautifully, they are gorgeous to look at, and they go with almonds, pecans, or walnuts.

Mango and Blackberry Parfait (not quite a recipe, but lovely nonetheless)

Mango and Blackberry Parfait (not quite a recipe, but lovely nonetheless)

A scoop of granola (Trader Joe’s Mango Passionfruit is an obvious choice) and a dash of maple syrup over the top, plain lowfat yogurt underneath. Done. Winter gloom is banished for a little summer paradise.

What are your favorite fruit combinations? Post a comment below!

Send your fruit combos, questions, and Practical Challenges 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!)

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Up next, Weekly Menus, or Wow, It Is Cold Outside.

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Filed under Recipes, Snacks