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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Red, White, and Blue Smoothie

I really wanted to post this for Independence Day, but things got so busy that I never did get my camera into the kitchen while making one.  This is kind of a go-to breakfast here.  I've been getting lots of fresh fruits at the store since they're in season, but we can never finish all of the fruit.  I'll buy two pints of blueberries, but only use one before they start to go bad.  I work fruit into the menu whenever possible.  Still, sometimes the fruit goes bad and I feel so lousy throwing it away.

In an effort to save some of the fruit from going bad I've been freezing it, which makes it perfect to use for smoothies because since the fruit is frozen you don't have to add so much ice.  I slice the tops off of strawberries and cut them in half then freeze them on a sheet pan and transfer them to a freezer bag when they're solid.  I freeze blueberries on a sheet pan and transfer them to a freezer bag once solid, and I cut cherries in half and pit them, freeze them on a sheet pan, and transfer them to a freezer bag when solid.  I also freeze bananas when they start to turn brown.  I peel them and cut them in half, freeze them on a plastic plate, and transfer them to a freezer bag when solid.  I have a freezer stocked full of fruit right now.

I love to use the frozen fruit in smoothies, but most of it is good to eat on ice cream, in oatmeal, in pies or pastries, or mixed into cupcake batter as well.  I like to make a puree of berries and mix it into white cake batter and/or buttercream in place of some of the liquid.  It brings a burst of flavor and pop of color to the cakes.

You could certainly buy packaged bags of frozen fruit at the store for this, but they lack some of the flavor that fresh fruit has.  Next time you pick out a pack of strawberries, grab a second one and pop them in the freezer.  You'll be glad you have them when you try these smoothies.

Red, White, and Blue Smoothies

1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen strawberry halves
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt (you could use Greek yogurt or regular)
1-2 Tbsp honey
1/4-1/2 cup milk

Combine the fruit, yogurt, and honey in a blender.  My strawberries had a little frost on them but that's okay.  Add about 1/4 cup of the milk.

Put the lid on the blender and blend until smooth, adding the additional 1/4 cup of milk as needed to loosen it up.

Once the mixture is relatively smooth pour into two glasses and enjoy your smoothie!

These are not particularly sweet, unless the fruit you got is especially ripe.  You could add a couple of Tbsp of sugar if it isn't sweet enough for you, or you could use vanilla yogurt in place of the plain yogurt.  This is also good with cherries in place of the strawberries, or you could drop the blueberries and double the strawberries.  Actually, as long as you don't add cantaloupe (don't ask me why I thought that would taste good) I don't see how you could go wrong.

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