A word on smoothies and one great recipe.
I have become known is some (small) circles as the dessert lady. To one particular family friend, I am the queen of dips. But I think of myself as the expert on smoothies and chilies. I LOVE smoothies and chilies, so that helps. But then there are the other advantages: they are both easy, healthy (a meal-in-one) and extremely versatile. You could probably maintain a healthy lifestyle with a steady diet of smoothies for breakfast and chilies for dinner. I have made many, many, many different smoothies and chilies over the years.
Since it is not the season for chilies (unless you live in Russia or in the mountains of Chile 😉 ), I thought I would concentrate on the Smoothie.
For years, I have used the Ultimate Smoothie Book as a reference point for making smoothies. It has gotten me far, and I would recommend it with minimal reservations. The Smoothies Bible, 2nd ed., Smoothies for Life and More Smoothies for Life are rated higher on Amazon, but since my library does not have copies of any of them, I can’t give you any feedback on them. Perhaps your library does? My smoothie experimentation has not stopped here, however, and besides perfecting two original recipes (which I will share soon enough), I regularly rotate the following smoothie, modified from Raising Vegetarian Children, where it was called “Sneaky Dad’s Smoothie.” I love the name, since kids do gobble it down, unaware of the snuck-in protein and healthful fats. Be sure you don’t go overboard with the flaxseed, since too much ground flax makes a liquid into a gel (which I suppose is why it can be used as an egg substitute in baking).
This makes enough for four, so cut ingredients in half or quarters, if needed. It really fills a normal blender, so be careful. Also, you can’t go using the worst blender ever made and still get it to smooth up frozen fruit and make ice into snow. You also don’t need the best and most expensive blender. I make sure that the reviews say the blender can easily snow ice before I purchase a new one. A couple of these ingredients are rather expensive, but since I use only a couple tablespoons of flaxseed or cashew/almond butter at a time, they seem to last forever (in the fridge!). Raw nuts and seeds are always best, but cheaper peanut butter would also do. Grounding flaxseed on the spot is ideal, and I manage mine with a counter-top Bullet-like appliance, even at 7:30 am with 10 minutes until departure. And as for the avocado, I’m sure we will will talk all about them later.
- Put in a large-enough blender in the following order: 2-3 frozen bananas (remember those bananas I told you to third and freeze when you came home from the grocery store?), 2 generous cups frozen strawberries, 2 tablespoon cashew or almond butter, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed, 1/2-1 avocado, 2 cups orange juice, and 2 cups unsweetened brown rice, almond, or while grain milk. (Cow milk would also do as a substitution, although higher in fat, of course, and also lower in protein, usually.)
- Blend until completely smooth. You want to look at the top of the smoothie, where it will form a constant whirlpool when blended properly. If nothing is happening, add more liquid or make sure your fruit has not jammed in the blades. Serve with a bubble tea straw and a smile.