Smoothies are one of the best things ever to enter the home kitchen. Their preparation is simplicity itself, the only equipment required is a blender, they can be made in minutes, and they can be served for (or take the place of) breakfast, snacks and desserts.
The homemade smoothie is far more healthful than a bottled store-bought product or even most of the smoothies produced at smoothie (even health food) outlets. You know exactly what goes into your smoothie and what doesn’t (all those chemicals and preservatives).
Smoothies are also more nutritious than milkshakes or plain fruit juice. They lack the added sugar of milkshakes and they have all the fiber that fruit juice lacks.
So especially for Sarah, I created a breakfast smoothie and a dessert smoothie.
The breakfast smoothie is banana-apple, and because bananas have a tendency to discolor, the recipe serves one and is meant to be mixed and drunk. Because a good breakfast needs protein, I have added dried powdered egg whites: 2 tablespoons supply 6 grams of protein with no fat and no cholesterol. (One whole egg supplies the same amount of protein but with added fat and cholesterol because of the yolk.)
If you are open to leaving the apple unpeeled, then you will get a breakfast smoothie with even higher fiber. And I have experimented with several varieties of applies and found the two best to be Gala or Golden Delicious. (Granny Smith are too tart; Fuji too mild.) But peeled or unpeeled, the smoothie makes for a yummy breakfast. A word about the optional sweetener: I strongly suggest that you try to enjoy the smoothie without it. If, however, the 1 tablespoon of sweetener is going to make the difference between blah and delicious, go for it. If you are using honey or agave, first spray the inside of the measuring spoon with nonstick cooking spray and the honey will slide right off.
The dessert smoothie is not designed to be nutritious, just delicious; however, it has a better nutritional profile than a milkshake or a bowl of ice cream. Sarah is lactose intolerant, so instead of ice cream I use a soy-based frozen non-dairy dessert. If dairy is not a dietary problem, by all means use the ice cream of your choice.
The dessert smoothie makes four servings, and it can be frozen. To make it ready for drinking, defrost in its container in the refrigerator overnight. Or, how about this: just eat it frozen with a spoon!
- 1 ripe banana, any size, peeled, coarsely chopped
- 1 Gala or Golden Delicious apple, any size, stemmed, cored, seeded, peeled or unpeeled, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons dried egg whites
- 1 tablespoon honey, agave nectar, sugar or brown sugar, optional
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 to 4 ice cubes
- Place all ingredients in the blender and blend on low, scraping down sides as needed. Increase speed to high and blend until ingredients are pureed. Add ice cubes as needed, blend on high until completely smooth.
- Serve immediately.
Strawberry Dessert Smoothie
Yield: 1 quart or 4 (1-cup) servings
1 pound ripe strawberries, washed, hulled, halved
2 cups (1 pint or ½ quart) vanilla frozen non-dairy dessert, preferably Trader Joe’s Soy Cream
1. Puree strawberries in blender, scraping down sides as needed. Add frozen dessert and blend until completely smooth.
2. Serve 1 cup per person. Or freeze smoothie in 1-cup containers. To defrost, transfer to the refrigerator overnight. Also may be eaten frozen.
Variations: Substitute strawberry ice cream for frozen non-dairy dessert.
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