Smoothies

I love making my own smoothies as an afternoon and/or pre-workout snack. They are easy to make, healthy, filling and you can make up endless variations and mix and match with the ingredients you have available. And of course they are delicious!

Because I often use frozen fruit, you need a sturdy blender or immersion blender, otherwise the smoothies will not get thick and creamy. The frozen fruit also is an economic way to eat fruit, for example berries, fresh they are terribly expensive but frozen they are quite affordable. And overripe banana’s work perfectly well in a smoothie (when you have too many of the overripe banana’s you can easily freeze them; just peel, cut (or break) into chunks and freeze).

Milk and banana are the base ingredients of my smoothies. I generally use semi-skim cow milk, but you can also use other milks like soy and almond, according to your preference; yoghurt also works very well. The banana is a base ingredient to make them deliciously thick, creamy and smooth. Using frozen fruit also makes the smoothie thick, creamy and smooth; if banana is the only fruit in the smoothie I freeze it, but when I also use frozen fruits I don’t bother with freezing the banana. I never add sugar, honey or other sweeteners because the fruit is sweet enough on its own.

Berry Smoothie

The two favorites I have right now are banana-berry (in lots of variations) and banana-chocolate.

Banana-berry smoothie
1 banana
150 ml milk
a handful of frozen berries (I like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or blueberries, or a mixture of berries)
optional: linseed (to bulk it up and add valuable healthy fats), vanilla or cinnamon (to amp up the flavour)

Blend everything together. Serve immediately, in a large glass with a straw.

Banana-chocolate smoothie
1 banana
150 ml milk
1 tbsp almond-hazelnut butter (can be any nut butter you like)
1 tbsp cocoa powder
optional: dessicated coconut, or coconut flour, or bran (to add fibers)

Blend everything together. Serve immediately, in a large glass with a straw.

Variations
– banana-vanilla: frozen banana, milk and vanilla extract (or use a vanilla flavoured milk; cinnamon, ginger or cardamom are also delicious spices to add
– banana-mango: banana, milk and frozen mango (also nice with a grating of lime zest)
– banana-tropical: frozen banana, coconut milk and a can of pinapple or tropical fruit mix (use fruit on juice, not fruit in syrup which contains lots of extra sugar)
– banana-coffee: frozen banana and coffee flavoured soy milk, optional add some nut butter
– citrus-berry: yoghurt, orange (or grapefruit) and frozenberries (because the yoghurt is thick you can add a liquidy fruit like orange without thinning the smoothie too much)
– pear-oat: milk, frozen peeled pear, oats and cinnamon
– winter: milk, frozen peeled apple, soaked prunes (dried plums) and pumpkin/speculaas spice-mix
– ….: any combination of milk, fruit, flavourings and add-ons

I know that there are a lot of people out there who like to add vegetables (spinach, kale, cucumber, celery, avocado, etc) to their smoothies, stating that you really cannot taste it. Well, I can, and I don’t like it. For recipes search on pinterest or google for (green) smoothie, and you will find tons of them. Another popular thing is to add powerfood like chia seeds to your smoothies. I don’t, because they are poorly available and very expensive over here. Also, I’m not so sure that they actually are as beneficiary as claimed.

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