Super Summer Smoothies
What is a Smoothie
A smoothie (or smoothy) is simply a drink made from fruits blended together with liquid. The brilliant thing about smoothies is that you can be as creative as you like, using your favourite ingredients or experimenting a bit with some new ideas.
The general recipe for a smoothie is some liquid for the base, this can be fruit juice, milk or yogurt, some fruit which is pureed and if you want a refreshingly cold drink try adding ice or even using frozen fruit. Some un-pureed fruit can be used to garnish the drink or simply pour into glass and enjoy. Some smoothies can also include ice cream or added sugar but often these would be referred to as shakes.
Pureed vegetables can also be used to make smoothies - often green in colour because green vegetables like spinach are used as a base. Smooothies can be used to replace a meal and some smoothies may contain ingredients like fax seeds, to help with feeling fuller and sometimes ingredients thought to speed up metabolism.
Here I will be concentrating on delicious fruit smoothies - ideal for hot summer days.
Juice Based Smoothies
To make smoothies you do really need a blender or liquidiser. Simply decide on the particular juice you will use as your base then pick a fruit that will go with it. I like apple juice (natural unsweetened variety) because it doesn't have an overpowering flavour but I use lots of different juices depending on the flavour I want to achieve. Try a few of the following combinations.
- Apple juice with raspberries, strawberries, blueberries or any red fruit.
- Cranberry juice with any red fruit.
- Orange juice with peaches or mango (I do peel the peaches and mango)
- Pineapple juice with soft ripe pears.
- Grape juice with nectarines.
- Adding half a banana to any of the combos will make the smoothie much thicker.
Simply put the fruit ( whole if small like raspberries and chopped if larger like peaches) and juice into the blender and whizz to the desired consistency. In terms of the amounts I use about a cup of fruit to 2 cups of juice but it really does depend on your personal preference. I also like to add a little of the chopped or whole fruit as a garnish. Adding a few ice cubes will make it super cool but if the juice and fruit has been in the fridge then I tend not to bother.
Delicious Fresh Fruits
Milk and Yoghurt Smoothies
Another really lovely ingredient to add to smoothies is milk, this must be cold but can be skimmed, semi skimmed or full fat depending on how rich you want the smoothie to be. Yogurt works well too and this can be natural yoghurt or even a flavoured yoghurt.
The key to a really super smoothie is a good combination of flavours.
Try I cup apple juice 1 tbs natural yoghurt and a cup of strawberries for a really delicious smoothie. A banana (half for the quantities listed) also works well in this.
I am a big fan of red fruits so I tend to use lots of those particularly with cranberry or pomegranate juice but I do enjoy adding either some yogurt or half a cup of milk.
It's worth whizzing the fruit and juice first then adding the rest to adjust the consistency as desired.
I am happy if my smoothie is not completely smooth but that is the beauty of home made smoothies you can have them just the way you enjoy them most.
The photo at the beginning is simply some strawberries whizzed with a strawberry 'drinking' yogurt and is delicious.
the video below shows just how easy it is to rustle up a delicious smoothie.
Super Special Smoothies
In lots of things in life there is a spectrum and maybe smoothies are no exception.
They can be simply a puree of fruits and juice, nutrious and delicious. Or you can add yoghurt or milk to make them creamy and more filling.
Alternatively, if you feeling decadent add a scoop of your favourite ice cream - maybe then it is a smoothie on the way to a shake A smoothakie perhaps or a shoothie or shakoothie??
Or, if you are feeling really decadent, try adding swig of something alcoholic - maybe a dash of rum to a pineapple and coconut milk smoothie or some red wine to a cranberry juice and raspberry smoothie. what is then ...a smooktail or a cockoothie???
For more ideas for alcoholic fruit smoothies try the link below.
On hot summer days try a tropical twist by using mango or pineapple and using some coconut milk.
A pinch of ginger or cinnamon can also add a great flavour to orange and peach based smoothies, but also try some fresh mint leaves in a smoothie with elderflower or pomegranate juice, or with a red based cranberry or blueberry smoothie.
Cooled green tea or any other tea can be used instead of juice for new twist on the smoothie.
Smoothies can be great to drink on the go. Take a breakfast smoothie with you if you have an early start or take on for lunch if you now you will be busy. But remember they need to be cold so store them in a fridge or take them in an insulated cup or in a container in a cool bag.