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Spring Smoothies

By Alex Conde

In our hectic lives, we rarely get the chance to slow down and relax, and our diets are often one of the first casualties of this rush. Well, spring is here, and weíll fix both of those problems quite quickly. Spring is a lovely time to be grocery shopping, because itís in spring that the grocery stores start to have sales on delicious fresh berries.

Smoothies are the perfect drink for the man on the run. You can make them the night before for a quick, easy, and healthy breakfast (a huge timesaver and a great start to your day). During the day they make a refreshing treat that keeps your energy up, and they can also help satisfy your sweet tooth without resorting to chocolate or candy. At night they can also be mixed with light or dark rum for a delicious nightcap. And you can get all of this with a healthy drink!

 
Personally, nothing says spring to me like a strawberry smoothie. Itís a taste that I always love, and I can sit in the sunshine with my drink dreaming of the summer to come. So, weíll look at strawberry smoothies in this recipe, though you can always substitute other berries if you want a different taste. Fresh or frozen berries can be used, but my preference is for fresh. I think they taste better!

What you will need (per 8 ounce glass):

1/2 Banana (peeled)
1/2 cup Apple Juice
Approximately 3/4 cup Strawberries
6-8 tablespoons Yogurt (strawberry or some other berry flavor)

Note: Yes, this has about 3 servings of fruit for every 8 ounces or so of smoothie, so itís a perfect, healthy drink for people of all ages (in case you have kids). Add more juice if the smoothie is too thick.

Now, if you have a large sized blender, hereís the double recipe using more convenient measurements.

1 Banana (peeled)
1 cup Apple Juice
1 1/2 cups of Strawberries
1/3 to 1/2 cups of Yogurt

Instructions (trust me, these are simple)

  1. Add all of the ingredients into the blender. (This can be a challenge if the blender is small. I recommend the apple juice last as it fits between the berries).
  2. Blend it on a setting of puree or higher until all fruit chunks are broken down and the mixture is an even pinkish color (this might differ if you used colored yoghurt)
  3. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Variations:

  • If you happen to have company over, this smoothie mixes well with a shot of rum.
  • If youíre making a breakfast smoothie and need a bit of a caffeine kick in the morning, try substituting green tea for the apple juice in the recipe. The resulting mixture is a touch more bitter, but still tasty.
  • For a light dessert, use chocolate yogurt and add milk or water instead of the apple juice.

As you can see, a smoothie is a delicious drink thatís easy to make. Now that youíve dealt with the healthy eating issue, the relaxation comes from the extra time youíll have in the mornings with your smoothie breakfast, and the time well spent in the evening as you enjoy the tastes of a beautiful spring.