Cookin’ Up Summertime Favorites: Homemade BBQ Sauce & Foil Potatoes!

If your dad is anything like mine he loves his BBQ! In fact all the men in my life love meat, and BBQ has to be one of their most favorite preparations. So since my hubby is such a huge … Continue reading

Cookin’ Up Summertime Party Recipes: Chewy Zebra Brownies

Have I got the perfect dish for you to take to your next BBQ, family gathering, friend get together, or just for a good chocolate craving: Chewy Zebra Brownies! A cheesecake like layer with chocolate chips is sandwiched in between … Continue reading

Cookin’ Up Summertime Favorites: The Go-To Smoothie and Smoothie Secrets!

Smoothies are a wonderful way to get your servings of fruit or veggies for the day, and they’re packed with vitamins. I often find myself sneaking some supplements of fiber or protein into my smoothies as well, to further their health benefits. All of my friends and family know I can make some killer smoothies. So I wanted to share with all of you my secrets -and the best part is they are super easy to follow. I also added my ‘Go-To Smoothie’ recipe, this smoothie pleases everyone as its flavors are both sweet and tart.

Smoothie Tips

1. If you’re planning on making a lot of smoothies this summer invest in a good blender. So many cheaper blenders will work for a little while, but you may only get one season out of them. A lower powered blender will also need to blend longer to fully blend up the fruit, this will produce more heat, and essentially melt your smoothie making it runny. When it comes to blenders you really do get what you pay for. I love my Kenmore 900 watt blender that I picked up at Sears. As a rule of thumb, you don’t have to get top of the line, but something around 1 horsepower or about 800 watts will be a great blender that will last years. You can also use your blender for so many things besides drinks, like blending soups, salsas, sauces, or a substitute food processor. For me, a good blender is a staple in the kitchen.

2. Freeze your fruit. Frozen fruit will make a thicker smoothie, and may keep you from watering down the flavor with tons of ice. In fact, I rarely use ice in my smoothies. So I will go buy fresh fruit, rinse, and then freeze it in good ziploc freezer bags. For strawberries, cut the leafy green heads off and if they are huge you may want to cut the strawberries in half before freezing them. Mangoes, peaches, and bananas (you may or may not freeze your bananas) should all be diced into about 1 inch size cubes/slices for freezing. having smaller pieces helps the blender and also helps your measurements when you make your smoothies.

3. Use fresh juice. I know a lot of places use concentrate, and if you want to save some $ you can too. But if you want healthier smoothies, use the good stuff. If you do use concentrate, I suggest not adding as much water as it calls for, you want a richer flavor to your juice for smoothies. And if you really want to invest in your health, and knowing exactly what you’re putting in your mouth, juice your own fruit. Nothing beats fresh squeezed O.J.

4a. If you like creamy smoothies use about 1 cup of frozen yogurt, and try using 4oz of soy milk and 6oz of juice to start your smoothies. I use plain, non-fat frozen yogurt. You can also use plain refrigerated yogurt, but your smoothie will be more runny because it is not frozen.

4b. If you like tart smoothies use more sorbet/sherbet, approx 3/4 cup raspberry, or lime, or lemon sorbet and only 1/4 cup yogurt. Also use all juice for your smoothies. Orange juice, pomegranate juice, and lemonade will make a very tart smoothie with lemonade being the most powerful.

5. Use these ratios for a general medium-thick smoothie. 10 oz of juice (or juice and soy). 4-5 servings of fruit, where a serving is about 1/3 of a cup (use your 1/3 measuring cup as a scoop to measure your fruit). 1 – 1 1/2 cups of one or a combination or frozen yogurt, sorbet, or sherbet (that’s about 4-5 scoops using a small ice cream scoop).

And with that let’s get to an awesome smoothie recipe!

Very Berry Smoothie

The perfect balance of tart, sweet, creamy, and fresh. This is sure to please everyone!

Ingredients

10 oz Orange Juice

2/3 Cup Frozen Strawberries

2/3 Cup Frozen Mixed Berries (whatever you like, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)

1/3 Cup Frozen Banana (or 1/2 fresh banana)

3/4 Cup Plain Non-Fat Frozen Yogurt (if you’re using regular yogurt use 1/2 cup and then 1/2 of sherbet)

1/4 Cup Raspberry Sherbet

Blend all of the ingredients well until the smoothie will spin in the blender for a few seconds with out hitting any chunks of fruit. If the smoothie is too loose for you add some more fruit, if it is too thick and won’t blend, add some more juice. Enjoy!

Tip: to trick your kids into thinking this is a milkshake or if you’re doing some small taster smoothies at a backyard party, put a little light whipped cream on the top of the smoothie. That only adds 1 gram of fat!

Makes about 32oz, perfect for 2 large glasses, or 4 small 8 oz smoothies for kids, or parties.

This post is partying over at:Savvy Southern Style