Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Smooth--Real Smooth

A friend of mine, whose counter space measures in the acres, recently bought one of those high-end, fancy-dancy blenders that can purée into baby-food-worthy smoothness everything from kale to the living room sofa. And she puts it to good use, whipping up daily concoctions to dose her family.

Now, I love a good smoothie as much as the next person, and having spent a few months working in a juice bar, I got to indulge myself with new flavors and combinations of ingredients which I sadly cannot reproduce at home. Not because I couldn't reconstruct them, but because I don't have the apparatus to deconstruct some of the tougher, more fibrous ingredients.

Here's my trusty blender, circa 1950, I'm sure. Part of Oster's If-It-Ain't-Broke-Don't-Fix-It line.

Somehow "Osterize" never caught on as a synonym for "blend"
If you don't throw in celery, kale, or gummy items, this sort of home appliance does the trick.

Witness this morning's smoothie offering. I had one over-ripe banana, a leftover half-avocado, some yogurt, and some frozen berries:

I know I've told you about making my own yogurt before, but I haven't had the time lately. So sue me.

Throw all that into the Osterizer, along with enough milk periodically to smooth it out.

Another one of my award-winning photos. But the one without the flash looked like mysterious figures in a dark nightclub.
Blend, stop, stir and smash. Blend, stop, stir and smash. And voilà!

Okay, so it was still too thick. One daughter even added homemade granola to the top and ate it as a parfait. But it was tasty tasty!

If you're part of the low-end blender crowd, here are some tips I've learned from experience:

  • Boost protein with avocado (can't taste it, really), yogurt, peanut butter, or almond butter;
  • Pomegranate "seeds" are awful! They don't add flavor--just seeds big enough that you can spit them out like we used to do with watermelon;
  • Frozen berries are awesome, but there's a fair amount of seed chewing;
  • Frozen berries do mask green color, however, like when you've added avocado and spinach and don't want your consumers to know;
  • For a little sweetness, try honey or maple syrup or even almond extract;
  • The all-fruit smoothie days are over--even my vegetable-averse son will tolerate the avocado, a little cucumber, and even some fresh herbs. If you happened to have cooked carrot or a wee bit of cooked butternut squash, I bet that could be snuck in, no prob.
I'll keep the meantime, cheers!

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