Today is a beautiful, sunny day in the Pacific Northwest. I think this might be summer’s last hurrah! The forecast calls for cooler, wetter weather over the next week. Plus school starts next week so summer break is ending, too.
So today I want to share a simple recipe that is something that would have been tasty during the warm summer weather, though we seldom took the time to make it. But now school is starting, and so I will be making one every morning: the Berry Smoothie. This easy recipe is how I make sure my son starts his day with a healthy breakfast. I know at 15 he is perfectly capable of making this himself, but he will be off to college before I know it and so I love taking the time each morning to make it for him while I still have the chance.
1/4 cup juice (we use Orange Peach Mango by Dole)
1/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 cup frozen berries
1 small banana
1 tsp fiber powder (optional)
Place all ingredients in the order listed into a blender, breaking the banana into 2 or 3 pieces. Blend. Pour into a glass and enjoy with a bendy straw. (See, I told you it was easy!) Oh, and be sure to rinse the blender right away. This stuff sticks terribly if you let it dry.
A note about the juice: You can use any juice, even apple juice if that is what you have on hand. We like the Orange Peach Mango or Orange Pineapple by Dole best, and I think not-from-concentrate juice is best.
A note about the yogurt: I have made this with nonfat vanilla or other flavored yogurt, but my son says it makes the smoothie too sweet. Go figure – I didn’t think “too sweet” was possible for a smoothie.
A note about the berries: I usually use a mix of frozen raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries from Costco. If I am feeling very ambitious, I will freeze my own berries that I get from the farmers’ market in the summer. Then we might have strawberries or marion berries in the mix. It’s best if you have more than one berry. The key is that they have to be frozen. That’s what makes the smoothie thick and cold.
Freezing berries: If you want to freeze your own berries, it’s pretty easy. I don’t wash them because I figure the cold freezer kills anything, but I could be wrong about that. To freeze the, cover a large jelly roll pan with plastic wrap and place a single layer of berries on the wrap. Then cover that layer with more plastic wrap and another layer of berries. Depending on the size of the berries I can get 2 or 3 layers on a jelly roll pan. Top it off with more plastic wrap and place in the freezer overnight. Once frozen, the berries can be placed in a large zip-lock back for storage in the freezer and easy smoothie making.