The scorching-hot weather is to blame: for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been a smoothie junkie. My obsession began with a quest to find the best smoothie in town. Inta-Juice is good. Tropical Smoothie Café is damn good. McDonald’s is (gulp, dare I say it) pretty tasty, too. I hear Clubhaus Fitness has a smoothie bar, but I’ve yet to try it. I also hear Arsaga’s has smoothies – and what’s not good at Arsaga’s? Granted, I’m no expert here, and I’m certainly not picky. If it’s cold and fruity, I’m all over it.
My smoothie trend recently morphed into making my own at home, with frozen fruit, yogurt and honey. That way, I know exactly what’s going into my glass, and I can experiment with ingredients and flavor combinations. (And not paying five bucks for a smoothie is a bonus, too.) I break out our blender, which we’ve dubbed The Beast. It’s an appliance that’s older than either one of us – a hand-me-down from my mother-in-law that boasts actions like, “whip”, “grate” and “liquefy”. (How you ever grate anything in a blender is beyond me.) The dang thing keeps on truckin’, even though it emits the faint, distressed smell of burning electric motor with every use.
Just last night I came home from my walk to find a pitcher full of peach and coconut smoothie in the freezer, complete with orange bitters and lemon zest – the result of one of many of Hubs’ wild hairs. “Is this a… special smoothie?”, I inquired. I got nothing but a sly smile in response. Fifteen minutes later, I was on the couch guffawing at the Ambiguously Gay Duo with a good buzz blanketing my overworked brain. Yeah, that’s yet another perk of homemade smoothies.
But back to the healthy element: I love the idea of getting all that fruit in one glass, and if you add other goodies to the mix, you can make it even more nutritionally dense. I was all excited to use the word “Superfood”, until I learned from a friend who works in advertising that “Superfood” is just a term coined by the industry to make you think you’re being all healthy and superior. An advertising gimmick?! Well, shoot! I thought I was going to grow a cape and be able to bench press a small car! What the hell, I’m using it anyway. Superfood smoothies are a quick, simple treat to make at home, superhuman qualities or not.
So far, my favorite smoothie recipe combines an assortment of frozen berries with frozen peaches. Most berries work perfectly, but Hubs and I avoid blackberries because of their large seeds. I like to throw a grapefruit into the mix for extra tang and vitamin C (be sure to peel and skin the grapefruit to avoid weird chunks of bitter pith), and pour in a dash of coconut milk to soften the zing of the yogurt. The whole thing whips (grates and liquefies) into a wonderful, smooth texture, perfect for slurping with one of those jumbo-straws like they have at Pho-Quyen. Have you had their bubble tea? With the crazy tapioca balls? They’re all chewy, like gummy bears! It’s wild! OK, I am getting way off topic here.
All you need for smoothies at home is a blender, five minutes, and some imagination. As I always say, tweak the recipe to your taste buds and your liking. You can amp up the nutrition by adding things like oats, cottage cheese, wheat germ, flax or nuts – or get all freaky by adding things like chocolate chips, caramel sauce, cookie dough or brownie chunks. Or gummy bears! Eww. On second thought, don’t do that. Enjoy!
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1 c. frozen blueberries
1 c. frozen peaches
1 c. frozen raspberries
1/2 grapefruit, peeled and pithed
1/2 c. plain or Greek yogurt
1/4 c. honey
1/3 c. coconut milk
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.
* If the above slideshow doesn’t load, you can view all the photos from this recipe on Flickr.
Laura is a regular contributor for the Fayetteville Flyer. She was born and raised in Fayetteville. She is a self-proclaimed foodie and avid cook. For more of Laura’s contributions, see her Flyer Foodie author page. For more cooking, recipes, and other food-related inspiration, visit Flyer Foodie on Facebook.