Monday, May 16, 2011

Maddy's Morning Smoothie

Weekday mornings around here are a blur of activity and quick transitions in yellowy-lit rooms amid the darkened house. Maddy's bus pulls up a few houses down the street at precisely 6:35 a.m., so all is based on her getting down the hill on time.

Breakfast is from 6:18 until 6:25 for her, so we make it light, quick and healthy. Often, in warmer weather, I make her a smoothie so that she has a good hit of protein to start her day. These can be made a number of different ways, but this is our fall back, basic recipe. The first step is keeping a supply of frozen bananas. Whenever a banana is a little overripe and I don't have enough for banana bread, I peel and freeze it broken up into halves or thirds, depending on size. I keep a plastic zip top bag in the freezer with these bits, ready to use at 6:15 in the morning.

For the rest of the fruit, you can either freeze your own fruit or buy frozen fruit. We particularly like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and mango. You can also omit the banana and double up on the other fruit. Using frozen fruit gives the smoothie its thick, satisfying consistency, while the yogurt and milk add protein. I like to use agave nectar as the liquid is easy to work with here.

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

(serves 1 -2)

1 cup skim milk
1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
approximately half a frozen banana
about 1/2 cup frozen strawberries (or you can use raspberries or blueberries)
1 - 2 tablespoons agave nectar (add one and then taste - fruit varies in sweetness. One tablespoon is often plenty)

Put all of the above ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. This makes a little more than 2 cups of smoothie, which can either serve one in a really large glass, or two smaller glasses. Serve with a straw and a spoon.

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