Delicious and Healthy Fruit Smoothies - A Yummy Snack That's Perfect For Hot Summer Days
When it's hot outside, there's no better snack (or even breakfast) than a healthy fruit smoothie. Those yummy drinks are full of fruit and thus vitamins and they are a great way to cool down. Get out your blender and create your own favorite version. Smoothies can be made with just about any fruit. Try a few until you find some favorites that will become your summer snack of choice.
Kids will slurpo down these smoothies without even realizing that they are getting plenty of fresh fruit and milk. What's not to like about a "milkshake" to cool you down after playing outside.
The Basic Ingredients Of A Good Fruit Smoothie
A good basic fruit smoothie includes fruit, juice or milk and optionally some yogurt and ice. That's about it. Just put everything into a blender and blend until smooth. You can add more or less liquid (that's the juice or milk) to get the consistency you like best.
To Freeze Or Not To Freeze
I like my smoothies frozen and make them with frozen fruit most of the time. Frozen fruit can be found in your grocer's freezer aisle year around and you can also freeze your own when you find yourself with more fresh fruit than you can eat. Berries are usually best frozen whole, while bananas can be peeled and sliced before freezing. If you are using fresh fruit, you can add some ice to turn your smoothie into a frozen treat.
Using a combination of fresh and frozen fruit, or adding plenty of ice cold milk or juice will result in a cold instead of frozen smoothie. Just give both methods a try and see which one you like the best.
By the way, just about any smoothie made with fresh fruit can also be made with frozen fruit. You may just want to add a little more liquid if the smoothie is getting too thick for your blender to process.
Milk Or Juice? And What About Some Yogurt
We already established that we need plenty of fruit for a good smoothie. The other main ingredient is usually yogurt, juice or milk. Personally I like non-fat yogurt a lot in my smoothies. I use either vanilla or Greek yogurt along with a splash of any juice sitting in my fridge. If you are not a big yogurt fan, try using some milk instead or use your favorite fruit juice. Even if you are using yogurt you will need a splash of milk or juice to get the smoothie to a drinkable consistency.
Of course you don't have to have dairy in your smoothies. You can blend just about any fresh or frozen fruit with your favorite juice. For that creamy smoothie consistency try adding some frozen banana slices to any smoothie.
Other great options are soy, rice or almond milk. Just blend your favorite fruit with one of those dairy free "milk" products. If you are trying to up the protein content of your smoothie and make it a little more filling, add some soft tofu to your smoothie. Just be sure to add a little splash of soy milk or juice to think it out to a drinkable consistency.
To Sweeten Or Not To Sweeten
Last but not least, let's talk about sweeteners. They are of course completely optional and whether or not you need them depends on how sweet the fruit you are using is. I also find that if I add vanilla yogurt or orange juice I don't usually need any added sweetener.
When I do add a sweetener it is usually stevia, a natural no-calorie sweetener. Other options are sugar, simple syrup or honey. Taste your smoothie before you add anything to sweeten it. If you feel it does need that little extra sweetness, add a little and blend it in for a few seconds.
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