Friday, April 30, 2010

Smooth (ie) operator

As the weather warms up, I pull my blender from its winter home and give it a prominent place on the kitchen counter. Summer fruits are on the way--beginning with spring strawberries--and many of them will find their way into a refreshingly cold fruit smoothie.

Smoothies are a clever way to incorporate healthful foods into the diets of even the pickiest eaters. If your husband or kids don't like the taste of soy, put silken tofu or soy milk into a fruit-laden smoothie to mask the unusual taste and texture of this healthful plant.

Tofu is a great source of high quality protein and good fat, as well as phytoestrogens, which may help reduce the risk of some cancers.

The range of ingredients you can slip into a smoothie is impressive, and include ground flaxseed, sunflower seeds, avocados, berries, fruit and veggie juices, yogurt, milk or soy milk and wheat germ....and of course just about any fruit under the sun.

Try one of these easy recipes, and improvise your own blends all summer long!

Pina Colada Smoothie (2 servings)

½ cup lowfat silken (soft) tofu

¾ cup frozen pineapple chunks

½ cup coconut or pina colada yogurt

1 tablespoon flaxseed oil

¼ teaspoon coconut extract

1/3 cup water

Blend tofu and pineapple on high speed for 20 seconds, mixing well. Add yogurt, oil, extract, and water. Blend on high for 15 seconds and serve immediately.

Avocado Energizer (2 servings)

¼ cup mashed avocado

½ cup lowfat or nonfat milk

1 teaspoon honey

1 frozen banana broken into 3 pieces

½ cup frozen mango pieces

1/3 cup peach nectar or orange juice

In blender, whip avocado and milk. Add honey, banana, and mango. Blend on high speed for 10 seconds until smooth. Add peach nectar or juice and blend for 5 seconds. Serve immediately.

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