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Get the blender out for smoothies

Samat Jain, Wikimedia Commons

Thick, fruity and delicious, treat yourself and family to some homemade smoothies.


Smoothies can be so delicious, but I have to say that I have tasted a few that I could barely get down without grimacing. We’ll just forget about those that challenge our endurance and concentrate on some really good ones.

My favorites are the ones that feature fruit, especially berries or tropical fruit such as pineapple, banana and mango. Melons are a good choice for smoothies, too, if they are ripe and sweet.

If you have an expensive super blender that could probably puree rocks, you can whip up smoothies in no time at all. If you are like me, and have an ordinary blender, sometimes it takes just a tiny bit longer to puree chunks of fruit that are frozen, and ice cubes. The results will be worth it.

Let’s get on with the smoothies recipes.

Tropical smoothies

1 cup frozen mango chunks

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 cup ice

1 frozen banana, sliced

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon (or to taste) honey

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until the mixture is smooth. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.

Mixed berry smoothies

1 1/2 cups apple juice

1 banana, sliced

1 1/2 cups frozen mixed berries

3/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon honey

Fresh berries and mint sprigs, for garnish, optional

1. Place the apple juice, banana, berries and yogurt in a blender; blend until smooth. If the smoothie seems too thick, add a little more liquid (about 1/4 cup).

2. Taste and add honey, starting with a small amount and then add more if you prefer. Pour into two glasses and garnish with fresh berries and mint sprigs if desired.

Cran-raspberry strawberry smoothies

If using fresh strawberries, add some ice to the blender.

2 cups frozen unsweetened strawberries, preferably sliced

1/2 cup cranberry-raspberry juice

1/4 cup orange juice

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (or strawberry flavor)

2 fresh strawberries, for garnish

1. Place the strawberries in the bottom of a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the juices and top with yogurt.

2. Puree until smooth, then pour into two glasses and garnish each with a fresh strawberry.

Green smoothies

You can use regular milk in place of the soy or almond milk.

1 3/4 cup soy or almond milk

1 cup chopped kiwi (about 2 kiwi fruits), frozen

1 cup fresh baby spinach

1 chopped pear, frozen

1/2 chopped green apple, frozen

1 banana, frozen

3 tablespoons honey

1. Blend all ingredients together, gradually increasing speed from low to high. Blend for 1 1/2 minutes at high speed. Makes 2 servings.

Pineapple mango banana smoothies

1 cup pineapple chunks, frozen

1 cup ripe mango, cubed (soft, not crunchy)

1 banana, sliced

2 cups milk

1. In a plastic food storage bag, place all of the fruits.

2. Seal bag and place in freezer until the fruits become frozen.

3. When ready to make the smoothies, mix milk and fruit in a blender until consistency is smooth. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.

Pina colada smoothies

Be sure to check the cans of liquid coconut products, as there are several.

1/2 pineapple

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 cup coconut water

1. Cut the pineapple into small chunks, and put in the freezer.

2. When the pineapple chunks are frozen, pour the coconut milk and coconut water into the blender. Remove the frozen pineapple from the freezer, and drop them into the blender. Blend until you get a smooth, thick consistency.

3. Add a spoonful of sugar if you want to make your pina colada smoothie a bit sweeter. Serve right away. Makes 2 servings.

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