Smoothie Central: Wake Up Call

here’s the thing. i used to think smoothies were reserved for two kinds of people: health freaks and celebrities. though i guess celebrities pretty much always fall into the health freaks category, don’t they? i’m thinking of gwyneth paltrow, whose long, lithe frame is the envy of every big hipped woman in america. gywnnie is a BIG fan of smoothies, and often sends out recipes for them in her GOOP newsletter. in true skinny girl form, paltrow drinks smoothies not in addition to meals, not as an extra boost of fruit or veggies, but IN LIEU OF MEALS. i’m sorry, but i thought slimfast was a fad that departed around the same time justin timberlake ditched the canadian tuxedos and cornrows.

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anywho, obviously, i’m not in the camp of “drink in lieu of eating” – i’d almost always rather chew my food that simply swallow it. drinking is all well and good, and i love me some ice cold water (and some ice cold wine), but let’s face it, i’d always rather eat my calories than drink them. give me a brownie over a milkshake any day. this all being said, i’ve been really into smoothies lately, to the point where i did this CRAZY thing and went into Vitamin World and looked at protein powders (who am i? i don’t recognize myself). speaking of which, apparently, protein powders have a whole lot of CALORIES and SUGAR in them. and since my smoothies consist of really healthy things like fruit and apple cider, i don’t see the need to go upping my caloric intake on behalf of some weird-tasting powder. like i said, i like to eat my calories, not drink them. so scratch the protein powder, but give me the frozen fruit, stat.

lately, i’ve been mixing frozen fruit with fresh apple cider and a little bit of froyo for a whole lot of delicious that i call the “wake up call.”

The Recipe

1/4 cup frozen yogurt (or just use vanilla yogurt if you don’t have froyo)

1 banana, sliced

1/2 cup frozen raspberries

1/2 cup frozen mangos

apple cider or fruity tea, to cover

to make, dump the fruit and the froyo into your blender. pour in enough apple cider to cover the ingredients, and pulse into smooth. if you don’t have apple cider on hand, substitute a fruity tea. i’ve had a lot of success with tazo’s passion tea. it adds a slightly different flavor (a bit less tart than the cider) but it’s still fruity and delicious.

note: the frozen fruit eliminates the need for any ice. i buy mine in bags at trader joe’s, but you could also get fresh fruit and freeze it yourself. if you do so, make sure you spread the fruit out before you freeze it – otherwise, you’ll end up with a huge, unbreakable mass of fruit. to freeze at home, chop fruit into bite size pieces and spread out on a baking tray. stick the baking tray in the freezer (alternatively, freeze small pieces of fruit in ice trays) and let sit until the fruit is frozen. then stick it in a freezer safe ziploc and put it back in the freezer until you’re ready to use it. once you’ve got your frozen fruit, you could also pre-make “smoothie bags” by divvying up your ingredients and baking them ahead of time, ie, making sandwich sized bags filled with chopped bananas, some berries, some mangoes, etc. when it comes time to blend, all you have to do is dump the bag in.

so, what are you waiting for? gwyneth called and told me your blender could use some love. get crackin’!

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