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Mixed Berry and Banana Smoothies

photo of mixed berry and banana smoothiesI’m giving you another cool option here. This can actually stand in for a meal. In fact, though there is some fruit juice in these, I have to think that if one made these on a regular basis, it could do nothing but good. I have made them for years under the name of “pink drink” because they sort of look like the pink ink that the Yink drinks in One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss. This has been, at times and phases in the lives of my children, the only thing of redeemable nutritional quality that they have consumed. I have dumped a head of broccoli in it and have been busted. I don’t try that anymore. I have left the greens on the strawberries and I don’t do that anymore either. They look for green bits. It isn’t that they do not trust me, they just know I lie sometimes when I think it is in their best interest. Don’t judge me. I’m sure there are several of you smugly thinking how nice it is that your kids have always taken “thank you” bites or have loved spinach since day one. However, those are not my precious and strong-willed people. Hence, Pink Drinks.

Ingredients for Berry SmoothiesThis comes up now because, 1) I’m hot, and 2) berries are on sale at the grocery store. I can’t pass up 2 for 1 strawberries even though they invariable begin to rot before we eat them. So, I buy them and freeze them. Of course you can buy frozen berries and sometimes that is the most cost-effective thing to do. But I am always more likely to make these when I buy and freeze a big batch of fresh fruit. Yesterday, I bought two pounds of strawberries, two pints of blueberries, and two white peaches. Today I found some blackberries on sale and I have now thrown them into the freezer with the others. So, my first instruction to you is that you need to acquire berries and fruit that you like and wash them and cut them up. Place them in a resealable freezer bag and toss them into the freezer. I recommend strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and any kind of peaches. Cherries are superb, too. If your kids are the sort who really like these, you can also try pineapple, a few oranges, a mango, or plums. I worked with the berries and peaches this time. You will also buy bananas. But I keep these fresh, not frozen. The beauty of freezing the berries is that you do not then have to add ice to the smoothie. It is its own ice. I cut up the berries into manageable sizes because unless you have a contractor grade blender, it will resent you for using too large a chunks of frozen fruit. I don’t care what the box says about the matter…your blender will hate you. Mine makes dreadful noises at this point. But since I will be doing the same thing to the next blender, I’m going to keep going ’til this one starts emitting smoke and sparks.

Photos of how to make a berry smoothieAs for liquids, I have chosen to use white grape juice and orange juice. Why? That is what I had on hand. It is probably the best combination I have had with the berries and bananas. But let me add, a scoop of orange sherbet and a little milk is amazing, too. And, if you don’t like the juice option, I have also used sugar free drink mixes like Crystal Light Raspberry drink before and it is pretty great. You can also mix in berry flavored yogurt and a bit of milk if you like a creamier option. Some are better than others, but all of them are tasty.

photo of smoothies in the blenderRecipe for Mixed Berry and Banana Smoothies: (2 servings)

Ingredients:

1 banana, fresh
2 cups of frozen mixed berries and peaches
½ cup white grape juice
½ cup orange juice

Optional: yogurt, pineapples, plums, apples, etc.

Instructions:

1. In a blender, combine all of the listed ingredients and any others that might make you happy.

2. With the lid firmly in place, activate the blender. If the frozen bits are intractably stuck, add up to ½ cup more juice or water through the feeder hole of the blender. If it remains stuck, stop the blender and stir the ingredients a bit. Put the lid back on and blend the contents until they are smooth.

Notes:

The nice thing about freezing the berries is that you will always get a slightly different drink depending on just which berries make it into the blender.

Enjoy. Stay cool.

photos of frozen berries

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