Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer Smoothie

I suppose that this recipe isn't that much different than the guidelines already published in my first Smoothie post. However, there is some new information I'd like to share.

In my original post, I'd speculated that avocado might be a good addition to a smoothie, but I hadn't yet tried it. Since then, I can confirm that avocado works beautifully, so if you're wanting to get some quality fat and calories into yourself or your loved one, I recommend using them. Thanks to a Trader Joe's Frequent Flyer, I got the idea of freezing avocados. This had never occurred to me before, but it's brilliant. The days of Elspeth eating 1/4 to 1/2 an avocado per day are over now that she's eating all the foods we do, so it's hard for us to use up an avocado without it getting nasty. Freezing comes to the rescue--there is no discoloration or anything. My guess is that a previously-frozen avocado is best used in mashed or blended form, but that's how we're most likely to want to use it anyway. My plan is to quarter and peel a ripe avocado, tray freeze it, and then store in a freezer bag for easy use in smoothies.

The other thing about avocados is that, while we can't get locally grown ones, they do at least grow in California. Bananas, our other common smoothie 'smoother' do not. So if I want to decrease the amount of tropical fruit we consume, avocado is a great substitution. (Not to mention the fact that I'm rather squeamish about overripe bananas).

There is no real need to use frozen ingredients in the smoothie; I simply think that the texture is really nice when using frozen items (the avocado or the berries, etc). What I did in this case was pit and quarter my apricots and my cherries and then stick them in the freezer for an hour or so until I was ready to make the smoothie. So nice to use the bounty from the farmers' market.

I use the nut-soaking shortcut almost exclusively now because Elspeth doesn't decide a day in advance what she's going to want for breakfast the next day.

INGREDIENTS (for 2 servings of smoothie)
1/2 c. raw almonds plus water to cover
3/4 to 1 c. water
1/4 to 1/2 avocado
2 apricots, pitted, quartered and lightly frozen
1 large handful cherries, pitted and lightly frozen
2-4 TBSP multi-grain cereal (optional)
1 TBSP ground flaxseed (optional)
1-2 TBSP agave nectar (optional)

DIRECTIONS
  1. Place the nuts in a medium bowl and cover them with water. Microwave them at 50% power for 5 minutes and then let them sit for another 5
  2. Place the nuts, the 3/4 to 1 c. water and the avocado in a blender and process until very smooth. You should scrape down the mixture once; you may need to add a bit more water
  3. Add remaining ingredients and process until the mixture has no lumps
  4. Adjust texture and sweetness as needed and serve

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