Whirl up smoothies for after-school snacks

#Middlebury #DonnasDay #Smoothies

Smoothie. It feels good just to say the word, doesn’t it? I used to think of the concoction of naturally sweet, fresh fruit flavors with crushed ice and yogurt as a magical summer thirst quencher, but with so many healthy and sometimes surprising add-ins nowadays – from kale to beets and chia seeds – I recently dusted off my blender to give some new combos a whirl.

While my preference is still a traditional blend of vitamin-rich fruits and berries (even when they come out of a package from the freezer), my family likes a variety of updated twists, too – including adding coconut milk to the goodness for a refreshing, light taste.

But first, some smoothie basics using a standard blender.

  1. Start with liquids such as juice, milk, kefir, yogurt, sparkling water and crushed ice.
  2. Add fresh fruit (a half or whole banana is a standard ingredient for flavor and for thickening the mixture of any smoothie) and/or vegetables. To cut prep time, your school-age kids can pre-package and freeze fruit-and-veggie combinations in small plastic-bag packets. When it’s time to make a smoothie, toss in the contents of a packet with other ingredients.
  3. Whirl it all together. I pulse a few times, then blend for 15 seconds or until smooth.

Now for my go-to recipe that is quick to make at breakfast time before sending kids out the door to the bus stop, or as a satisfying afternoon snack to refuel. Older school-age kids can make it themselves with attention to tastes and health needs. Be flexible, too, and experiment with the addition of other ingredients you have on hand, such as a few chunks of pineapple, slices of kiwi or a ripe mango. You really can’t go wrong.

Fruit Smoothie with Coconut Milk

4 ice cubes, crushed
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 banana
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened yogurt
1 cup fresh or frozen berries, such as a combination of blueberries, strawberries and raspberries
Dash of cinnamon (optional)

Place ingredients in blender starting with liquids, and process until smooth. Pour into glasses. Makes about 2 1/2 cups

TIP: If smoothie is too thin, add more fruit or yogurt. Too thick? Just add milk or fruit juice.

Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit www.donnasday.com and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.”

(c) 2018 Donna Erickson
Distributed by King Features Synd.


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