Smoothie

Smoothie

Don’t you hate returning from a weekend vacation or a week-long work trip only to find NOTHING in your refrigerator and pantry? You look at your planner, but it is in vain; you cannot get to the grocery store until like 4 days later.

I will be posting a series of meals, dishes, and snacks that I am tagging as “In-Stock.” In-Stocks are “go-to” recipes where the ingredients are easy to keep “in stock.” Hence the name. The primary benefit is that you can always have a healthy, nutritious (usually) option – without having to leave your home. If you really get in the groove with these recipes, you will be able to pre-stock your kitchen so that upon your return, you are good to go. It feels like such a treat to have ingredients on hand for such an occasion – and if it is healthy and tastes fresh, all the better!

I am always thrilled to find an “In-Stock” recipe – but in the past they generally suffered a fate of promptly being misplaced in a bin or shoved in a thick file folder. Until now.

Say “Good Morning” to a refreshing breakfast smoothie! Also delicious for snacks. Smoothie ingredients are limited only by your imagination, but this version I think is the easiest I have made yet.

Ingredients:

– 1/2 or 1 banana (fresh or frozen)
– 1 c  fruit (fresh or frozen)
– 3/4 c – 1 c Kefir, any flavor
– 1 T ground blueberry flaxseed

How do I make it?

Just pour the ingredients in to a small blender – I use my Cuisinart Mini-Prep (it’s the perfect size for a single serving) – and blend until smooth.

Serving Tips:

This recipe makes one large smoothie.

More info please?

The banana will give the smoothie some thickness. I often buy bananas in quantity, and when they get too ripe to eat alone, I peel and freeze them in plastic buckets or bags, separated by saran wrap. Then I always have them when I am ready for  smoothie, or baking.

Other frozen fruits are also good items to keep in stock. In the winter when fresh fruit is expensive and kind of sad-looking, or any time when getting to the grocery store poses a challenge, it is nice to have a few bags of frozen fruit in the freezer. Like this morning! I usually try to have one bag each of organic blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries. And if you want to add another fruit (pineapple? mango?), you can always prep and freeze it in smoothie-sized quantities.

You may ask: “Um, Kefir?” I will answer: “Yes, Kefir!” (and I will pronounce it kuh-FEAR) The easiest way to describe Kefir is that it tastes like a tangy thin yogurt; another way to describe it is “delicious.” It is sold in every grocery store I have been in recently, near the milk, for about $3 – 4 per liter (4 cups). It comes in many flavors – I used strawberry-banana today! Some stores also carry a certified organic variety. With a serving size of one cup, I sometimes skip the fruit and blending and just have a cup of kefir on my way out in the morning (but when I add a serving or two of fruit, it will sustain me for longer, and I feel healthier). A bottle of Kefir keeps for a few weeks, so I usually buy a few bottles at a time.

I prefer to not use all frozen fruit, as that makes the smoothie too cold, and less drinkable, for me. Not the end of the world – stashing the fruit for a few hours in the fridge or hitting it for a few seconds in the microwave provide the balance I like if all of my ingredients are all icy.

I find that adding ground blueberry flaxseed provides a little nutty flavor, along with blueberry flavor and nutrients. I have seen this product at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.


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