When I was a kid, we never had smoothies in our house. I don’t know why exactly. I’m sure it never would have occurred to my dad to make them for us. Anyway, this lack of smoothies meant that when I did finally get to have one, I thought it was like, the most special treat in the whole world. Surely they were complicated to make and really bad for me – after all, they tasted so good. I remember once going to a friend’s house to play after school and her mom made us smoothies as an after school snack. I couldn’t believe it. To me, it was equivalent to getting huge bowl of ice cream for a snack – before dinner, no less! I thought her mom was way cool.
Once I moved into my own house with my own blender I decided I should start making smoothies. After all, adults get to do what we want, right? (This means I also drink chocolate milk almost daily, because I can :)) You can imagine my surprise when I discovered that smoothies are actually a very healthy indulgence. I’m sure there are plenty of smoothies out there full of all kinds of refined sugars, artificial flavors and such, but not the kind I make. And it’s amazing – just some frozen fruit, yogurt and a splash of milk make my perfect smoothie with no sugar added. My kids will definitely grow up knowing the joys of smoothies. In fact, Andrew and I have smoothie dates on weekend mornings where we split a big smoothie with two straws. I’m thrilled that he loves them as much as I do.
I know a lot of people don’t use recipes to make smoothies and I really don’t either. I never measure when I make mine. But, I have given a basic recipe here which you can obviously tweak to your liking and based on what you have available. A few tricks I have learned along the way include using frozen fruit so that you can skip adding ice, giving a more concentrated flavor. The pineapple I use is nearly always from a whole pineapple that I cut up myself, and I keep it in the freezer so it is ready whenever smoothie time strikes. I always add a banana no matter what flavor of smoothie I’m making because it helps with the texture. I never add any sugar because the fruit and yogurt are sweet enough on their own, but you can add a tablespoon or two of honey if you need some extra sweetness (especially if you use plain or greek yogurt). Finally, I add ground flax seed to the mix for a little extra fiber. You can’t taste it at all but it is a nice nutritional bonus.