Note* this post does not involve local, homegrown food. Instead, it somewhat revolves around my favorite non-local indulgence: the banana! Sinful? maybe. Delicious? yes.
It just so happens that my very first job, in the summer of 1995, was at Jamba Juice. That job was SO MUCH FUN. Every day that summer I would blast disco tunes, and make fruit smoothies. While I learned how to make loads of smoothies (don't ask for the recipes, I'm sworn to secrecy for life), I also learned that most juice bar smoothies are absolutely loaded with sugar and fat, and easily pack in more than 400 calories per order. Unless it's the fruity flavor you love, you might as well get a milk shake.
In the 15 years since that summer at Jamba, I have developed my own smoothie recipes. The trick I learned from Jamba Juice? Frozen bananas. Yep, frozen bananas are the key to a good beverage, both for texture and sweetness.
While I find it easy to find all kinds of frozen berries at the grocery store, for some reason no one seems to carry frozen bananas. No worry, they are easy to freeze at home. Just wait for them to get very ripe (starchy banana is no bueno), then slice and freeze in a single layer, before storing in a freezer bag. By freezing them in a single layer, it will prevent the slices from sticking together later.
Here is a recipe for my favorite smoothie: strawberry banana with almond milk. I use almond milk because I like the flavor best, and because it is low in sugar. If you like, you can easily use regular cow's milk, orange juice, apple juice -- whatever you like. Also, I use frozen strawberries because I like them, but you can substitute the frozen fruit for whatever you like (mixed berries, mangoes, peaches, etc...).
Strawberry banana smoothie with almond milk
makes one serving
1 cup almond milk (or liquid of your choice)
1/4 cup greek yogurt (I use Stoneyfield farm Oikos organic -- vanilla flavor)
1/4 cup frozen banana
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 scoop vanilla flavored protein powder
Blend all ingredients until smooth. If you like a sweeter drink add a tablespoon of sweetener like honey or agave nectar (not needed if using fruit juice).
Also, some people, like my mom, really like crushed ice. Experiment to see if you like that or not. I tend to like crushed ice when I'm using fruit juice, but not when I'm using milk.
|I like the immersion blender both because it's a new gadget, |
and because the cleanup is less than that of my regular blender
22g carbohydrate (13g sugars, 4g fiber)
I like to drink smoothies as a post workout snack (hence the mega amounts of protein). I pop a couple of ice cubes in a blender bottle along with the smoothie, and it stays nice and cold while I'm wrecking myself in the gym. The blender bottle has a little whisk in it, so it is easy to shake up if anything has settled or separated while sitting in my locker.