Tag Archives: smoothie

Post-Tropical Papaya Smoothie

After spending a month traveling in the Philippines and gorging on delicious tropical holiday fare — then taking another couple of weeks recovering from the exotic-sounding tropical dengue fever I picked up along the way — I’d had a belly full of tropical goodness for a while.

Now it’s March and Ohio’s early-spring promises of sunshine and breezy afternoons (along with three months endured of winter’s bitter winds and endless snow) have me longing for palm trees and beaches again.  A nice-looking papaya has been ripening on the counter next to the bananas since the weekend, and I was ready for another taste of the tropics. I made this smoothie a bit simpler than my usual multi-fruit fare, all the better to bring out the papaya’s flavor…

Papaya-Banana Smoothie

Post-Tropical Papaya (and Banana) Smoothie

1½ cups papaya chunks This was about half of a medium-sized papaya.
1 banana It’s just not a smoothie without a banana, I sometimes say. And it’s a nice tropical complement to the papaya flavor.
1–1½ cups almond milk Use less for a thicker, creamier texture.
½ cup plain, nonfat yogurt More creaminess and a bit more protein.
¼ cup raw walnuts Just a few, to balance the tropical fruit sweetness and add some good-for-you nuttiness.
1 tbsp whole flax seeds Need some of those delicious Omega-3s!
dash chia seeds (optional) Add these if you like a little texture (and chia  nutritiousness) in your smoothie like I do.

Good for about two 8-ounce servings.

Place all of the ingredients except the chia seeds into the Vitamix or other blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and stir in the chia seeds. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes to give the chia seeds time to settle in, then kick back and imagine the sunrise coming up over an endless blue sea…

Neapolitan Banana Split Smoothie

When I was a kid, my mom was fond of neapolitan ice cream. My memories are colored with recollections of cracking open the freezer after school, digging out the half-gallon box and dishing out scoops of milky-brown chocolate, white vanilla and neon-pink strawberry ice cream into a Corelle bowl lined with sliced bananas.

This Sunday morning, I thought I’d do a grown-up-me version of that old favorite!

Neapolitan Banana Split SmoothieNeapolitan Banana Split Smoothie

1 banana Unlike banana splits, a ripe and mushy one would be great.
½ cup strawberries We had some early-season fresh ones, but frozen would work, too. No neon pinks here, but they add a beautiful strawberry color.
2 tbsp raw cacao nibs Can’t have neapolitan without chocolate!
1–1½ cups vanilla almond milk Use less for a thicker, creamier texture that you can eat with a spoon.
2 tbsp plain, nonfat yogurt More creaminess and a bit more spunky tartness.
¼ cup raw almonds Let’s make that almond milk a bit more almond-y.
¼ cup blueberries The strawberries were a little too early to be sweet, so I added a few of these.
2 dried apricots Just because.
dash whole flax seeds Need some of those delicious Omega-3s!

Place all of the ingredients into the Vitamix or other blender. Be sure to reserve a strawberry or two and a few cacao nibs if you want to use some to garnish your creation. Blend until smooth. This should be good for about two 8-ounce servings.

Neapolitan Banana Split Smoothie

Banana Bread Smoothie: Comfort Food in a Glass

I’m a pastry guy. But when faced with a multitude of choices in the baker’s case, banana bread almost always makes the cut as a finalist. While visiting Press (my favorite coffee shop here in Dayton) a couple of days back, I had to make a choice between banana bread and a homemade, soft-dough chocolate chip cookie… and I chose banana bread. That’s how much I like banana bread.

I decided to try my hand at making a smoothie version. I think this recipe captures some of that comfort-food goodness…

Banana Bread Smooth with WalnutsBanana-walnut bread, in a smoothie!

2 bananas Riper is better, just like with banana bread!
½ small avocado Didn’t expect this in the recipe, did you? Adds a nice creaminess to the naturally smooth banana texture. Try it, you’ll like it.
handful raw walnuts We’ll be adding these and letting them stay a bit chunky in the smoothie, to give it that extra bit of banana bread-ness.
handful dried goji berries Adds a little nutty complexity to the flavor, some nice color and a whole bunch of great nutrients and antioxidants.
big dash flax seeds A little more nutty flavor, along with some Omega-3s.
dash chia seeds (optional) These remind me of tiny boba or berry seeds, and they adds protein and other goodness. If you don’t care for that texture, blend it until smooth or leave out the chia altogether.
dash ground cinnamon The recipe works without it, but I like banana bread with the extra zest added by cinnamon.
1 large ice cube We have a giant, cocktail-sized cube tray, so you might need a couple of regular-sized cubes.
1-2 cups unsweetened almond milk Some nice grass-fed, natural skim milk would work here, too! 1 cup resulted in a fairly thick drink, the way I like it. Use a bit more if you prefer yours thinner.

Place the bananas, avocado, goji berries, flax seeds, ice and milk into the Vitamix and blend until smooth. Reserving one or two for a garnish, add the walnuts to the previously blended ingredients. Blend on low to medium until the nuts are chopped into smallish pieces. Pour into a glass and stir in some chia seeds until evenly mixed. Top with a dash of cinnamon and garnish with walnuts.

Can you almost smell that fresh-baked banana bread? Enjoy!

Smoothie Improvisation: Apples, Cherries, Walnuts, Cranberries and More

The late afternoon sun is pouring through our windows, flooding my work perch and reminding me of how long it’s been since lunch. Now that we’re on the tail-end of our week’s worth of produce, making a smoothie snack calls for a bit of improvisational scrounging (though admittedly, improvisation is always part of my cooking style).

I gathered a few items likely to match with each other, resulting in this:

Apple Cherry  Walnut Smoothie in the VitamixSmoothie ingredients in the Vitamix, ready for blending.

2 medium apples I used organic Fuji apples this time.
1 handful strawberries These were getting a bit overripe in the fridge, but they were great for smoothies.
2 handfuls cranberries Pulled from the stash of fresh cranberries we just froze.
1 handful dried cherries Grabbed a bunch from the muesli reserve — handy to have dried fruits for a low-produce day like today!
1 handful dried goji berries
1 handful raw walnuts
dash whole flax seeds
dash chia seeds This reminds me of tiny boba or berry seeds. If you don’t care for that texture, leave out the chia.
1 tablespoon mango sorbet Scraping the bottom of the barrel of that leftover sorbet I used in my last smoothie recipe!
1–2 cups almond milk 1 cup resulted in a fairly thick drink, the way I like it. Use a bit more if you prefer yours thinner.

I dumped all of the ingredients except the chia seeds into the Vitamix and blended on high until smooth. I added the chia seeds last and blended on low just to stir them in.

Apple Cherry Walnut Smoothie

Apple, cherry, walnut, cranberry smoothie: a quick and tasty pick-me-up.

Autumn Berry Smoothie

A chill was in the air on this November Sunday in Ohio, and I craved a quick boost… something light and easy — both easy to make and easy to eat. Fortunately, our fruit bowls, cupboards and fridge were well stocked after an end-of-week grocery spree. I gathered together a few organic, fresh or dried fruits, nuts and seeds, threw them in the Vitamix, and this was the result:

autumn berry smoothieThe Autumn Berry Smoothie

The ingredient list is simple and the portions are only roughly measured, so if it tastes a little off just keep adding stuff until it tastes right to you. It would also be totally okay to substitute, given that the whole thing was improvisation — I’ll make a few suggestions along the way to give you ideas.

1 banana The riper, the better!
1 apple I used a Winesap heirloom variety because it’s in season locally, but any would do… best to keep it organic, though.
2 handfuls of strawberries These are pretty much end-of-season — hope you froze some berries! We didn’t, so it’ll be a long, cold, berry-less winter for us. But frozen organic blueberries would be a good alternative.
1/2 handful cranberries This puts the “autumn” in an Autumn Berry Smoothie.
dash dried goji berries I thought about using dried cherries instead — I think that will be my next variation.
dash flax seeds I don’t have anything clever to add about flax seeds. Just throw them in, they’re good for you.
dash chia seeds I wanted a bit more protein in there, and I sort of like the texture. It reminds me of tiny bubble tea bobas.
1/2 handful raw walnuts A big tablespoon of peanut butter would work, too, if you don’t have any walnuts.
small scoop mango sherbet We didn’t have any fresh mango, but just a bit of the half-forgotten mango sherbet in the freezer added that needed mango edge.
1 large ice cube We have a giant, cocktail-sized cube tray, so you might need a couple of regular-sized cubes.
~2 cups unsweetened almond milk Some nice grass-fed, natural skim milk would work here, too!

Wash, core, de-stem or peel the fresh fruits, as needed. Put everything except the chia seeds in the Vitamix or blender and blend until smooth. Add more almond milk or another ice cube or two if you want a lighter texture. Add the chia seeds last and blend on low just to mix them thoroughly into the smoothie. Pour into a glass, garnish with something handsome and drink up!