Thursday, June 11, 2009

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Strawberries have come into season here in I love them so! I will be planning a "pick-your-own" trip very very soon to the local farm. I always pick and buy too many and eat so much that my stomach protests. But I just can't help myself. I LOVE STRAWBERRIES! Those extra berries that can't be eaten fast enough, get made into jam or pie or muffins and then even more go into the freezer for a rainy day.

Many of you know that I love to cook. Cook and bake. In fact my "day job" is as a baker for a gourmet brownie company. Baking and Soap Making, both are a great way for me to express my creative side. Rest assured, I never mix the two up!

So I got a new blender and one of my most favorite things is milkshakes. While I am watching my figure this time of year and trying to lose a few L B's, I will not be making a milkshake anytime soon. But I did make the best smoothie I have ever had!

Whenever I have overripe bananas or ones that I'm sure Captain and I won't get around to eating, I pop them in the freezer, skin and all. No need to peel and mash them, just freeze them whole. So I grabbed a banana out of the freezer and microwaved it for about 30 secs to defrost it. Gently squeeze the skin and you will see that it is soft inside. I put 8 oz. of skim milk in the blender, tore the top off the banana and squeezed the whole thing into the blender. I added 1/2 C. vanilla LF yogurt. Then I found 2 frozen strawberries in the freezer and put them in the microwave for 20 secs, just so I could cut the tops off (I didn't need any green in the smoothie!). I added the berries to the blender. I put it on the blender stand and whirled away. One taste and I added a t. of Splenda. Delicious! Love it! Now that this is my base for a great smoothie, I am dreaming of other great combinations. Never add ice, I think that is the trick. You want a smooth creamy smoothie and ice chunks will just get in the way. Using frozen fruit helps thicken and cool down the smoothie.

I know that this may not seem like anything new, recipe wise, there are lots of strawberry banana smoothies out there. I will be experimenting all summer long and will post more unique recipes. I am imagining a kiwi-berry concoction, pineapple-orange, blueberry-lemonade and more. I will also try added some local honey as a sweetener (although that adds calories, I might stick to Splenda right now, but wait! I just remembered that I purchased a Stevia plant at the Farmers Market! A natural herb, it is 200x sweeter than sugar and no calories. I can use that!) and I am looking into protein powders or all the other fancy stuff the health food stores have.

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