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'Mix-and-match' smoothies for summer

July 8, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Rather than an overpriced, oversized commercial smoothie, we've got a tutorial on how to make blenders full this summer for fewer calories and lower price. There are five main categories of ingredients so you pick what you want. We've got mix-and-match smoothies. Every smoothie should start with about six ice cubes, and then pick your base. Of course regular or nonfat milk can be used, but why not try something new like one of these?

Base

  • 1 cup soymilk or 1 cup cooled coffee with 1/2-cup Greek yogurt like Fage
  • 1/4-cup light coconut milk and 1/2-cup sparkling water
  • 1/2-cup part skim ricotta

Fruit
The next step is to add a fruit combo. The following are some good duos:

  • 1 cup diced mango and 1 cup pineapple
  • 1 and 1/2 cup raspberries with 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup pear and 1 small banana
  • 1 and 1/2 cups peaches and 1 cup grapes

Flavors
To add more flavor to the mix, add any of the following:

  • 1/4-cup fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon rum
  • 2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Sweeteners
    Use any of the following to sweeten your smoothie:

  • 2 tablespoons agave
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon jam
  • Texture
    Some choices to add texture and flavor:

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or almonds
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed (don't use whole flax seed)
  • Some ideas
    Tropical:
    Sparkling water, coconut, mango, pineapple, mint, agave, orange zest
    "Berry-berry" good:
    Soymilk, berries, vanilla, maple syrup, and flaxseed
    Morning wake-up call:
    Coffee, Greek yogurt, banana, pear, rum, honey, rum extract, walnuts
    Peachy:
    Ricotta, peaches, grapes, almond extract, jam, almonds

    These are just examples, but feel free to mix and match on your own. Use what you have in your cupboard. Each recipe yields two servings of 8 to 12 ounces.

    These are a variety of flavors and textures that you may not have thought of and can certainly be swapped to your liking, all for less than 300 calories and will cost you nowhere near the $4 to $5 you'll spend at the juice bar.

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