Monday, January 09, 2006

Feelin' Fruity: Part I Berry-Banana Smoothie

Why, for the past week, has D been spoiling me with a smoothie upon waking? I think we are in need of some warmth...

I love where I live because there are countless 24-hour fruit and vegetable stands on my walk home from the train. The best time to shop at them, I have found, is after 11pm on Sundays. I have produced two reasons for this: 1) Shipments arrive Mondays and they want to clear out the merchandise before it arrives. 2) Prices are raised on the weekends before they are drastically slashed Sunday night for reason #1 (possibly making them seem lower than they really are). Regardless, it is at this time that I stock up on strawberries, blackberries, bananas, blueberries, mangoes, and other tasty looking fruits miraculously in-season in the middle of January (oh sweet Industrialization).

A recent conversation at work had X complimenting my grapefruits. X is prone to attempting to steal my grapefruits. X is also prone to stealing (or ogling) my oranges, clementines and/ or kumquats-- maybe X has scruvy? I “always have such great big grapefruits,” X says, “they look so juicy.” We got into a conversation about how expensive these large grapefruits are, “$1 each, so expensive!" But that was a guesstimate and upon further investigation this Sunday I have come to realize grapefruits in my neighborhood—big hulking, face-sized fruits—are 3 for $2. Making all this goodness all the easier to acquire and keep the body healthy in the midst of the chill.

I love smoothies because they are filling. I make thick, yogurt-based smoothies that never become runny like those cheap, imitation ice-based ones (cough Jamba cough). I also do not add sugar (cough Jamba cough) allowing the fruits natural flavors to sweeten the drink. They are a meal in themselves. Best of all, they can cover your daily fruit intake, no matter what the government suggests your personal food pyramid is.

Mix and match your favorite fruits for countless variations. You can use vanilla yogurt for an extra sweet flavor or plain (I use plain because I use a little yogurt in my hummus and baba ganoush so one container is multi-purposeful). I also buy fruit whenever I see it on the cheap. I freeze it and use it for smoothies, or syrups when the urge hits.

The smoothie pictured above is Berry-Banana. My bananas are not very ripe just yet so I only used one and bulked it up with more berry flavor. The results were excellent. Also, please notice how the thick smoothie consistency acts as a pillow for the added blackberry.

Makes 2 smoothies. Prep time= 5 minutes. Use a hand-held or stationary blender.
1 ripe banana (for more banana flavor use 2)
10 ripe strawberries
15 ripe blackberries
½ cup plain yogurt (vanilla, low-fat, no-fat, regular or soy options work too)
1 cup orange juice

1) Place all ingredients in blender. Blend and serve.

More smoothie variations and pictures to come…
Feelin' Fruity: Part II. Mango-Apricot

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