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Wednesday 20 August 2014

Taste of Summer fruit smoothies - pineapple and mango!

I refuse to acknowledge the days are getting shorter and cooler.  And to continue my weather obstinacy, here's a bright smoothie recipe with thanks to the global market, we can have a taste of summer fruits year round!  I've used pineapple and mango combo here, but I'll cover a bunch more fruit-fruit, fruit-vegetable combos in a bit.
I'm not a huge fan of putting honey or sugar into my smoothies, but since I do have a sweet tooth, I rely on using sweeter frozen fruits and I toss the liquid from canned packed in water only in to boot.  Always load up your blender with the liquid on the bottom and the frozen items on top... when I tried the opposite way round, it super challenged my mixer and I had to add in a bit of water to get things from moving beyond a block of frozeness to a nice smoothie texture.  Add liquids first, then use frozen fruits/veges to thicken.

Always put liquids on BOTTOM first!!
Not like this picture!
If you're a stickler for freshly frozen fruit and have a lot of freezer space - toss washed and cut up fruit onto cookie trays, freeze solid overnight, then toss into ziplock bags.  This method only works for up to 2 months in the freezer as the enzymes in fresh fruit work slower in the freezer, while commercially frozen fruit deactivate the fruit enzymes so they don't develop a "wine-y" flavor over time.  Also, make sure your blender can mix ice well so you don't end up with a lumpy smoothie.  My mom bought me a Breville blender that has a super brainless smoothie button.. just press and it does all the work! :D

Feel free to experiment and add in vegetables on top of or instead of the usual fruit, berries, melons:
-Celery - bright zippy flavor with good water content
-Spinach - sweet flavor with medium water content
-Baby carrots - sweet flavor with medium water content
-Sweet bell peppers - sweet flavor with good water content
-Baby Kale - green and slightly sweet flavor with medium water content
-sweet peas - sweet and slighly green flavor - low water content
-Cucumber - light crisp flavor with good water content

Or you can add in fresh herbs like mint or grated fresh ginger to add some zip to the usual fruit, berries, melons:
-melons: watermelon, honeydew, cantelope
-berries: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries
-mango, apples, oranges, grapefruit
(I'm not a huge fan of bananas since I like them in milkshakes but its up to you!)

And if you need a bit of liquid to loosen up a super thick smoothie or want a bit of creaminess, try:
-coconut milk
-soy/almond milk
-not from concentrated fruit juices or water
-yogurt (flavored or plain depending on your preference)

Finally, if its too tart and you're puckering like you liked a lemon, instead of sugar try sweetening with:
-agave syrup

Taste of Summer Fruits Smoothie Recipe - makes 4 large servings or 6-8 small brunch sized cups
-1 large can of pineapple in water (or any other type of canned fruit, or you can sub out with 1 cup extra fruit and 1 cup of juice/water)
-3 cups frozen fruit (can use 1/2 fruit, 1/2 vegetables)
-optional herbs: 1/2 teaspoon mint, basil or grated ginger

How to
1) In a blender, place liquids, any fresh fruit in.  Then top it off with frozen fruit. Place blender cover on tightly
2) Pulse until the mixture is smooth.  Feel free to add in a bit more water/juice to thin or more frozen fruit/vegetables to thicken
3) Enjoy!

Flavor combinations
-mango pineapple awesome: mango and pineapple
-orange creamsicle: oranges, coconut milk, avocado
-tropical green: pineapple, banana, kale
-morning zinger: cucumber apple and ginger root
-tropical sweetheart: mango, pineapple, spinach
-strawberry mango cream: strawberries, mango, coconut milk
-happy rabbit: orange, carrot juice, ginger
-pink magic: strawberries and pineapple
-berry punch: strawberries, blueberries, black or raspberries
-peaches and cream: peaches, coconut milk or yogurt

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