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Smoothing Your Way Into Summer
My husband loves small kitchen appliances and gadgets. I’m not as enamored of them — they take up room on counters and in cupboards, they have a multitude of parts to wash and dry and store and try not to lose — you get the picture. But oddly enough, until this week we did not have a standing blender. Yes, we had a workhorse food processor and both dairy and meaty hand blenders, but never the real thing.
Since the blender came in the door, it has been practically non-stop smoothie time in the Tal household. I admit that I was slow to buy into this liquefied lifestyle — maybe I was put-off by the word “smoothie,” which, like the word “veggies,” makes me cringe. But after having partaken of the bounty from our blender, I now know better than to let etymological prejudices blind me to the joys of anything so delicious.
Smoothies can be healthy or not, dairy or parve (substitute almond, soy, rice milks for dairy). They are great as quick breakfasts, snacks or desserts. Add protein powder, wheat germ, more vegetables and season to taste with sugar or sugar substitutes if needed.
Banana-Peanut Butter Smoothie
(Dairy or Parve)
1 cup milk (regular or non-dairy)
1⁄2 large ripe banana
2 Tbsps. (rounded) smooth peanut butter
11⁄2 Tbsps. vanilla extract
1 cup ice
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and puree.
Minty Chocolate Smoothie
2 cups milk, divided
1⁄4 cup instant cocoa mix
1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
1⁄8 tsp. peppermint extract
1 pint vanilla ice cream
Heat 1⁄2 cup milk just until hot. Combine the hot milk and cocoa mix in the blender container. Process until smooth.
Add remaining 11⁄2 cups milk, vanilla and peppermint extracts and blend until smooth. Add ice cream and blend until uniform.
1 cup apple juice
2 medium apples, cored and sliced
1⁄4 cup apple sauce
1⁄2 cup sliced carrots
1⁄2 cup peeled and sliced cucumber
2 cups of ice dash of cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Pour into chilled glasses and serve immediately.
This recipe, which is courtesy of Blendtec, is a variation on the traditional Mexican agua fresca, or "fresh water," and is best when made with seedless watermelon.
Agua Fresca de Sandia
Agua Fresca is to Central America what lemonade is to the United States on a warm summer day.
4 cups watermelon, seeded and cubed
2 Tbsps agave nectar
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 cup ice cubes
Add ingredients to blender in order listed. Secure lid and select puree.
Pour into glasses, and garnish with lime slices and ice.
The following two green smoothies are courtesy of the website simplegreensmoothies.com.
Cilantro-Mango Detox Green Smoothie
Enjoy this cilantro-based green smoothie which is a great way to help cleanse your body of icky toxins.
11⁄2 cups fresh spinach
1⁄2 cup fresh cilantro
11⁄2 cups mango
2 cups water
1 cup pineapple
Blend spinach, cilantro and water until smooth. Next add the remaining fruits and blend again.
Peach Coconut Dream Green Smoothie
Enjoy this mildly sweet Peach Coconut Dream green smoothie — perfect for those watching their sugar intake. If you want it sweeter — feel free to add a banana, which also adds more potassium.
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup coconut water
2 cups grapes
Blend spinach and coconut water until smooth. Next, add the remaining fruits and blend again.
Rivka Tal has lived in Jerusalem since 1966. She is a translator and food writer. Email her at: [email protected].