September 19, 2006

Fruit Smoothies!

Since moving back to the States I’ve struggled with eating a balanced diet while enjoying some of the foods I’ve missed most. We’ve been eating out a lot, which has made me feel rather overloaded and craving simple, good homemade food.

Mostly, it’s been strange to adjust to finding so many packaged foods stocking my family’s shelves. It’s something I’m trying not to be too difficult about, but I am bothered by the amount of “easy” yet illogical shortcuts that so many of us seem to go for when it comes to cooking. Just to see each new and improved something-or-other is enough to numb the mind. I’m just surprised at the amount of advertising there is on every surface that we Americans look at. I see it as amazingly insulting for companies to think that all these eye candy claims of “less fat, more flavor” yada-yada will make us buy their products.

The other night we had some frozen peas that were so proud of themselves because they could be microwaved in their own packaging. I’m so happy to have saved those 10 seconds of opening the bag and putting them in a dish. Damn. Is anybody else thinking about how stupid we all must be if we’ve been conditioned to see this as some huge advantage?

Harrumph! Anyway, other than little spurts of self-righteous mumbling, I’ve been trying to make smart eating choices. And I don’t mean I’m trying to eat only extremely healthy foods, I’m just trying to eat natural foods - foods that haven’t been heavily salted or processed, like raw nuts, breads that don’t contain a ton of preservatives, fresh fruit and veggies, and plenty of protein. And despite that fact that I'm a driver again, I try to walk places occassionally, too!

These fruit smoothies are my new favorite breakfast and I’m on a mission to convert you into a smoothie-maker if you aren’t one already. My in-laws have one every morning and turned me onto the idea. With drinking a large smoothie every morning for breakfast, I get all of my servings of fruit for the day out of the way, plus with the added protein powder and soy yogurt, I’m not starving by the time lunch rolls around. It’s just the best way to start the day! I can’t tell you how good it feels. (If you are hesitant about using protein powder, don't worry about it - it's not just for body building! Protein with each meal is a good idea!)

Maybe you’ve made smoothies before…maybe you’re not that excited by the idea, but let me tell you that this is different. This is the ultimate creamy milkshake. You must try it!
Fresh Fruit Smoothies

1 banana, peeled (or 2 short ones)
½ cup blueberries
½ cup strawberries
2 apples, peaches or pears
¼ cup pomegranate juice
1 to 1 1/2 cups vanilla soy yogurt (I like a lot in mine!)
1 scoop (about 2 Tbsp) soy (or whey) protein powder
about 1 1/2 cups ice cubes

Smoothies are, by nature, variable things, so you may want to play around with the amounts to suit your liking. I can tell you that I like mine light on the ice, which makes the milkshakey texture that I like. The combination of pomegranate juice, blueberries and soy protein is amazingly good for you, too. Play around with your own favorite combos.

Rinse all of the fruit in cold water. Peel the bananas and slice or roughly break apart the larger pieces of fruit. Puree all of the fruit in a blender until smooth, adding the pomegranate juice as needed. Once the fruit is smooth, with the blender running, add in the yogurt, protein powder, and finally, the ice. Blend until smooth and frothy. Makes 2 large, all-you-need for breakfast servings.

Enjoy – with a straw!

P.S. I enjoyed this beautifully colored smoothie this morning and the proportions went like this:

1 cup of my mom's homegrown blueberries, frozen
1/4 cup organic apple juice
1 cup vanilla soy yogurt
2 small peaches
2 short bananas
1 heaping Tbsp soy protein powder
1 cup ice cubes

Having frozen blueberries let me decrease the amount of ice, and I find that I enjoy a lot of yogurt in my smoothie for a really creamy texture and sweet taste - so I could've used more than one cup. Experiment as you see fit!


Lisa said...

This reminds me of when I lived in the Caribbean; we had smoothies every day for breakfast. We'd freeze the bananas and that would make the smoothies cold and creamy-like. Then we'd add mango or another fresh fruit and some kind of juice and blend it up. Refreshing, especially in that heat.

LPC said...

The smoothies look good! I can't wait to get some pomegranate juice... they're in season now, aren't they?