So what exactly is a smoothie?

So what exactly is a smoothie? A hot guy (or girl in this politically correct column) with a great “what’s your horoscope sign” pick up line or a tasty and healthy beverage made of your favorite fresh fruits, juices and/or vegetables.

Ok, that wasn’t really a trick question because everyone knows that a smoothie is the alias given to a delicious fruit drink that’s been created by combining fruit, fruit juice and a milk or yogurt. Not to be confused with a slushie which is basically fruit, fruit juice, and ice a smoothie usually contains a milk or soy (non dairy) for a creamy finishing taste. Smoothies not only taste great, unless you add a ton of sugar or high calorie ice cream like ingredients, they’re usually packed with vitamins, fiber and antioxidants and are really very good for you.       

All you really need to get started is a blender, a food processor or a hand held immersion blender. Next thing, fresh (or fresh frozen) fruit. Canned is ok but fresh is best. Water, juice, ice or yogurt or milk and voila, the flip of a switch and you got yourself a smoothie. For those with sugar or dairy restrictions use sugar free substitutes use a lactose free liquid like soy or rice milk or yogurt.

 The best thing about smoothies is that there’s no right or wrong way. You make them to suit your taste, using your favorite seasonal fruits. Packed with all the vitamins and nutrients you get from fresh fruit, they make the perfect drink, day or night and add just the right touch to any meal or as a stand alone snack.

 SOUTH SEA SMOOTHIE

Don’t leave out the coconut cream, it really changes the flavor.

 1/2 can pineapple in its own juice, including juice

1 cup of papaya, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 mango, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 ripe banana, peeled and broken into chunks

2-3 tablespoons coconut cream (not milk)

2-3 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 to 1 1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 to 1 1/2 cup crushed ice

Place all the ingredients EXCEPT the ice into a blender of food processor. Process and when smooth continue blending while pouring in 1 to 1½ cups crushed ice. Process until there aren’t any large chunks of ice. Serves 4 to 6. You can substitute 1/2 cup of rum for 1/2 cup of ice if you want a smoothie with a kick.

 MELON BERRY SMOOTHIE

3 cups of watermelon

1 cup cantaloupe

1/2 cup strawberries

1 cup plain yogurt

2 cups of ice

Place everything in the blender and process until smooth. Serves 4.

STRAWBERRY LEMONADE SMOOTHIE

2 cups of lemonade

2 cups of fresh or frozen strawberries

1 cup of fruit yogurt, strawberry or raspberry flavored

1/2 lime, juiced

Place everything in the blender and process until smooth. Serves 4.

You can add 1/4 cup of vodka to this smoothie to make a nice alternative to wine with dinner.

MOCHA ME SMOOTHIE
1 banana, frozen
10 oz coffee, cold
1/2 cup of yogurt
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar, sugar substitute or honey
Blend all the ingredients except the sugar. Taste the smoothie and add the sugar to make the banana smoothie as sweet as you would like.  Serves 1. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

CHOCONANA SMOOTHIE

1 1/2 banana cut into chunks and frozen
2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup or your favorite melted chocolate

1/3 cup chocolate chips
1 cup of yogurt
1 cup of milk
Combine all ingredients in a blend until bananas and chocolate are really mixed. Serves 1. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

TRIPLE THREAT SMOOTHIE

1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1 banana
1/2 cup yogurt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup ice cubes

Place everything in the blender and process until smooth. Serves 2. This recipe can be doubled or tripled

BERRY BERRY CHERRY SOY SMOOTHIE

1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup cherries, pitted
1 banana
1/2 cup soy yogurt
1 cup of soy milk
1/2 cup ice cubes
Directions:

Blend the soy milk, soy yogurt, banana and ice cube until a slushy liquid forms. Add the berries and cherries and blend till smooth. Serves 2.
BANANA SPLIT SMOOTHIE 

1/3 cup of chopped pineapple
1/3 cup of sliced strawberries
1/4 of blueberries
1/4 of chopped bananas
2 scoops of lime sherbet or sorbet
5 ice cubes
1/4 cup of orange juice

Place everything in the blender and process until smooth. Serves 2. This recipe can be doubled or tripled

PEACHES AND BERRY SMOOTHIE

1 cup ripe medium peaches, diced
1cup raspberries
1 1/2 cup peach nectar
2 cup low fat peach yogurt

Combine the yogurt and nectar in a blender.  Process until smooth. Add the raspberries and peaches. Blend until smooth. Serves 3 to 4.

KIWI AND PEAR SMOOTHIE

2 peeled and chopped up kiwis
2 bananas
1 pear
2 kiwi or vanilla yogurt

Place everything in the blender and process until smooth. Serves 2

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