Yummy, Fruity, and Healthy!

Dieting sucks. But you can have simple things that taste good and are very healthy. Take a strawberry banana smoothie, for example.

You have strawberries, which are packed with Vitamin C, good flavonoids, and antioxidants. Oh, they’re super low-cal too.

I bought a pint of strawberries, rinsed them off, and put them into the freezer in order to save them since I wasn’t using them right away. This is a good tactic for smoothie making, because freezing actually damages cell walls, which makes them mushy. Since we are beating them up in the blender, these will work better than using fresh.


(Like the bowls? My mom made them [she used to be a potter], I find them precious!)

You also have bananas, which are packed with healthy potassium, low fat, good carbs, and fiber!

We all need fiber…

But let’s not discuss this now.

So, we need some sort of dairy to top this all off. While the banana is creamy, its not creamy enough for a good base of a smoothie. I would normally use about 1/2 cup of soy, skim, or 2% milk. But since we had these in the refrigerator (they’re my dad’s…don’t tell him…) I opted to use them anyway. So, in turn, I get the health benefits of yogurt as well. Oh, this is light yogurt, essential, because its only 70 calories. My FAVORITE brand, Yoplait, though, its light yo-plus is 50 calories, and I think it tastes better.

Let’s make smoothies.

First, load up your blender with about 1/2 cup of (what I prefer, but don’t have here) nugget ice.

Chop the crowns off of the strawberries and cut them up. Be careful while doing this, I let my strawberries sit out for about 15 minutes to thaw gently.

Load the yogurt, bananas, then strawberries into the blender. PUT ON THE LID. But you probably knew that, but if you forgot to while reading this tidbit…well you know now, don’t you?

Start with the blender on low, this is to chop up the ingredients. If you have a problem with getting everything into the blades, remove the removable portion of the cap, and with a metal spoon, gently push them TOWARD the bottom. But don’t go too far down, there is a moving blade! It will take a little bit, but soon, everything will get encorporated. Boost the speed to high and blend for around 30 seconds, the smoothie mixture will get a little ‘whirlpool’ in the top with a hole in the middle. This is a GOOD thing, if there isn’t one, that means that there is a bubble over the blades, and nothing is blended. When the smoothie is…well…smooth. Move to a mug, or a cute little tumbler with a lid and spoon that you saw at Bed Bath and Beyond that you are TOTALLY going to go buy now that you can make a smoothie.

Last step! Enjoy.

Strawberry-Banana Super Smooth Smoothie
Ingredients
4 oz. Frozen Strawberries, cut up
1 Medium Banana, cut into slices
4 oz. (1/2 cup) light yogurt, soy, skim, or 2% milk
1/2 c. Nugget Ice
Method
1. Combine ingredients into a speed-adjustable blender. With the blender on the LOWEST speed, blend until all the ingredients are incorporated. If this is hard, turn off the blender, or while the blender is gently running with the removable portion of the cap out, gently stir the mixture toward the blade with a metal spoon or spatula, avoiding the blades as much as possible.
2. When all the ingredients are mostly incorporated, boost the speed to MEDIUM for 10 seconds, until a small whirlpool forms in the mixture.
3. Boost the speed to HIGH and blend for 30 more seconds. Transfer to a mug or tumbler of your choice. Enjoy!

Happy Baking!
Clara

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