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Tuesday, September 27th, 2016
Volume ∞ Issue ∞

Fri, Jun 24th, 2011
Posted in Columnists

I think if a person has a food column or a food blog, there is a law that you must write about smoothies in the summer. I know that on every food or recipe web site I frequent (and there are many), smoothies are the big thing when the weather gets hot.

I drink smoothies all year long. I can barely go a couple of days without one, and then I develop cravings. Although I like variety in my life, when it comes to smoothies, I hardly ever deviate from my usual mixed berry-banana. And why would I? It's awesomeness in a glass. The sweetest, most refreshing thing I ever sucked up through a straw. And besides that, it's this really pretty purple color that makes me smile. It's the little things in life that really count.

I have a banana addiction, as well. I can't go a day without eating one. When I don't have one, it feels strange, and my whole day is thrown off. I buy a lot of them, and I don't worry about them going bad. If I have a lot of extra, and they are not going to get eaten before they are black and rotting and attracting flies, I cut them up, place them in freezer bags, and put them in the freezer. They are now perfect for smoothie making. The bananas sweeten the smoothie so there is no need to add sugar. Also, using frozen fruit means you do not need to add ice cubes. It will be nice and cold and slushy without them.

I have seen recipes out there for smoothies that boggle my mind. One of them used yogurt as a base, which already has sugar in it, but then later called for more sugar. Seriously? It shouldn't be a candy bar in a glass. It doesn't need to be. In my opinion, fruit is sweet enough, and nature shouldn't be messed with.

Any Google search for smoothies will give you millions of results, with millions of recipes. I have seen recipes for avocado smoothies, peanut butter and jelly smoothies, pineapple beet lime smoothies (???), and other creative concoctions. You can be as simple or as complex as you want. You can do whatever makes you happy. Use the fruits that you like. Just get that blender out. I don't care if it's a pain to clean. It's worth it, I promise.

I use soy milk or soy kefir for a base in most of my creations, but fruit juice, cow's milk, almond milk, or any kind of yogurt will also work. There are also many things you can add to the smoothie to boost nutrition. I almost always put ground flax seeds in mine, as it's an easy way to get my omega-3 fatty acids. The kids don't know, and you can't taste it. Other things to add are spirulina, maca powder, hemp protein, and greens. I made my first green smoothie recently, and it was delicious. I used fresh spinach, and I couldn't even taste it over the sweetness of the fruit. Very nutritious, and also a lovely shade of green.

When I saw this recipe, I knew I needed to try it. As a child, my favorite treat was chocolate covered cherries. My dad and I shared in this obsession, but it was something we only had on occasion. On Valentine's Day, a heart-shaped box of chocolate-covered cherries from my dad was better than any gift I ever received from a boyfriend. These days, I try to avoid sugary junk like that, so this is a perfect solution.

Cherries are insanely full of good stuff, like antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. This recipe may be more expensive than a box of chocolate-covered cherries, but it will not leave you with a stomach ache, or put you into a sugar coma, either. Your body will thank you.

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