News from the Tennessee Valley Food

Celebrate International Smoothie Week with
a slice of smoothie heaven

By Patrice Stewart · 340-2446

It's easy to beat the heat and enjoy your favorite flavors for breakfast, lunch and dessert during International Smoothie Week.

Grab your blender, stock up on fruits and other ingredients, and decide on your flavor of the day.

Berry? Lemon? Orange? Banana-peanut butter? Mocha? What about something new, like pomegranate?

Shakes, smoothies and fruit blends can cost up to $6 when purchased at ice cream and specialty shops. With a bit of planning, you can keep bags of fruit and ice cream in your freezer and yogurt, milk and juices on hand to make your own.

Name your favorite flavor or blend — or state your health concern — and you can come up with a mixture to match it.

Pomegranate juice is one hot new beverage with antioxidants that reportedly improves your health (perhaps a glass a day keeps the heart doctor away). Add yogurt and a banana for a breakfast shake that will make you even healthier.

Blueberries are good for you, too. Add some to a blender with yogurt for a blueberry smoothie. And if you don't like straight cranberry juice, add strawberries and white grape juice to create your own Cran-Strawberry Cooler.

Worried that your children aren't getting all the vitamins, calcium and other nutrients they need over the summer? Chose your ingredients and hand them smoothies — or have the ingredients in the refrigerator so they can blend their own when they finally arise on lazy summer days.

You can add peanut butter and banana for a breakfast shake, or get in a dose of vitamin C and Florida sunshine with a Sunshine Shake.

Need a cool coffee wake-up call? Mix up a Frosty Mocha Drink.

Try some of these cool drink and smoothie recipes from Taste of Home cookbooks, American Dairy Association, Florida Citrus and other groups.

Frosty Pineapple-Orange Smoothie 12 ounces orange juice 1/2 cup pineapple chunks, drained 11/4 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend on high speed for 2-3 minutes, or until frothy. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.

Morning Orange Drink 1 6-ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate 1 cup cold water 1 cup milk 1/3 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 10 ice cubes Combine the first five ingredients in a blender; process at high speed. Add ice cubes, a few at a time, blending until smooth. Serve immediately. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Florida Sunshine Shake 1 cup orange juice 1/2 cup grapefruit juice 1 ripe banana 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth. Pour into glass, and serve immediately. Makes two 8-ounce servings.

Pomegranate Smoothie 1 banana 2 cups (16 ounces) fat-free vanilla yogurt 1 cup pomegranate juice 1 tablespoon coarse sugar (optional) Pomegranate seeds (optional) Wrap peeled banana in plastic wrap and freeze 3 hours or until frozen. Unwrap banana, break into chunks and place in a blender with the yogurt and juice. Cover and blend until smooth; pour into 4 glasses to serve. Makes 4 servings (1 cup per serving). Before serving, wet edge of glass and dip into coarse sugar for decorative edge. Top with pomegranate seeds if desired.

Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie with Honey & Orange

1 can (12 fluid ounces) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Fat Free or Lowfat 2% Milk

2 cups frozen or fresh blueberries

1 cup pomegranate juice

1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate

2 tablespoons honey or more to taste

1/2 cup ice cubes

Place evaporated milk, blueberries, juice, concentrate, honey and ice in blender; cover. Blend until smooth. Pour into tall glasses and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Lemon Smoothie 2 cups skim milk 2 cups low-fat lemon yogurt 1/2 cup ice 3 tablespoons powdered lemonade mix In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Serve in a tall glass and garnish with lemon wedge or zest if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Sunny Citrus Cooler 1 46-ounce can pineapple juice 2 12-ounce cans frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed 3/4 cup lemonade concentrate 6 cups chilled ginger ale or white soda Orange slices, optional In a 1-gallon pitcher, combine pineapple juice, orange juice concentrate and lemonade concentrate. Add ginger ale and mix well. Serve over ice. Garnish with orange slices if desired. Refrigerate leftovers. Makes 1 gallon. Note: You can make ice cubes with another batch of this Citrus Cooler so your beverage won’t be watered down by melting ice.

Strawberry Yogurt Smoothie 11/2 cups cold fat free milk 11/2 teaspoons strawberry, low calorie soft drink mix 1 8-ounce container vanilla low-fat yogurt 1 cup frozen strawberries Place all ingredients in blender in order listed; cover. Blend on high speed until smooth. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Berry Blast Smoothie 1 cup frozen raspberries 2 (6-ounce) containers fat-free blueberry yogurt 1/2 cup fat-free milk 1 tablespoon unsalted, natural almond butter 1 tablespoon honey In a blender, add frozen raspberries, yogurt, milk, almond butter and honey. Cover and puree until smooth. Pour into two tall glasses and serve. Makes 2 servings.

Caribbean Milk Cooler 2 cups fat-free or low-fat milk 2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon coconut extract 2 tablespoons sugar Ice cubes Mint sprigs (optional) In a blender container, combine all ingredients except ice cubes and mint and blend on high speed until frothy. Pour into four tall glasses filled with ice cubes. Garnish with mint sprigs if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Frosty Mocha Drink 1 cup milk 3 tablespoons instant chocolate drink mix 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules 2 tablespoons honey 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 14 to 16 ice cubes In a blender, combine all ingredients; cover and process until smooth. Pour into chilled glasses; serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Peach-Amaretto Frappe 1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk 1 large ripe peach, peeled, pitted and cut into eighths, or 2 canned peach halves, drained 5 or 6 ice cubes 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon almond extract Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend at high speed until very smooth and foamy, about one minute. Pour into a chilled glass and serve. Makes 1 serving.

Florida Spritzer 11/2 cups grapefruit juice 1/4 cup sugar 2 inches stick cinnamon Ice cubes 2 12-ounce cans ginger ale, chilled For syrup, in a saucepan combine grapefruit juice, sugar, and cinnamon. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Discard cinnamon; cool syrup. Cover and chill syrup. To serve, fill four 8-ounce glasses with ice. Add about 1/3 cup grapefruit syrup to each glass. Fill glasses with ginger ale. Stir gently. Serves 4.

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