Strawberry plum smoothie

The darker variety of plums have been especially sweet this year, and I’ve been eating them as fast as I can get my hands on them.  I found a dozen, in a clamshell container, at Costco this week, for an excellent price, and they were ripe when I bought them.  It made perfect sense to add one of them to my smoothie this morning, and it was delicious!

A few days ago, I bought an ice tray — the first one I had owned in years! — for the purpose of freezing cubes of curry paste and, sometimes, fresh fruit to add to my cups of water during the day.  I had some large strawberry halves in four ice cubes this morning when I went to the freezer to take out some ice for my smoothie, so I added these as well.

plumsmoothie2Here is the list of ingredients:

1 large, ripe purple plum, sectioned with pit removed
2 large strawberries
1/2 cup of butternut squash chunks (see this post.)
1/2 cup of frozen mango chunks
1 handful of bean sprouts (I used my mung sprouts that were fresh and ready to be harvested.)
1 tbsp of ground nut blend
unsweetened coconut milk as needed for blending

The best season for plums is nearing an end for this year, so I’ll have a few more of these before this scorching hot summer in Texas is over.  You can take that to the bank!

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Nutri Ninja 1000w blender

My old blender went kaput last night, so I was in the market for a new one, quickly.  I’d been researching for awhile, because the old blender was showing early warning signs of a terminal condition (smelling funky, weird grinding noises in the motor), and last night, oil spots were left on my counter top after I used it.

I didn’t want to go into the high-price range of several hundred dollars, because: one, I can’t possibly afford it, and, two, it’s overkill for what I need it to do.  A food processor is in my near future, so I really just needed this new blender to, well…blend all the fibrous stuff I put in it without bleeding on my counter top.

Nutri NinjaSo, I went mid-range on price, at around $140 at Costco, and got this Nutri Ninja 1000 watt blender with a couple of 24 oz cups, a pitcher, and a stainless steel cup that keeps drinks cold for up to 4 hrs.  It has four smart settings, featuring the Ninja “Auto-IQ” technology, mixing in blend/pulse modes for up to 70 seconds.

By pronouncing two of my old blenders dead, I got rid of them and made room for the new one, and it takes up a lot less space than either of the previous ones did.

To try it out, I made my wife a blueberry-peach smoothie for her afternoon snack, and it worked great with the four ices cubes I put in with the fruit.  Now that she’s convinced it’s a great thing to have, I’m just glad they included two cups in the package!

A sweet veggie addition to smoothies

butternut2I stumbled upon a perfect raw veggie to add to my breakfast smoothies, the butternut squash.

This winter squash has a tough, thick skin, and a mild sweet taste.  I was in the peeling and chopping mode last night, so I decided to peel a butternut squash that I had bought a couple of weeks ago that had been taking up much-needed space on my counter top.  I thought I would use it, most likely, in a purée, later in the week.  After peeling it, I diced it, and put half of it in the fridge and half in the freezer to be used later.

This morning, when I was putting my smoothie together, I noticed I didn’t have any leafy greens or other veggies that hadn’t already been turned into my salad mix or jarred with garlic, onions, or spices to be incorporated into other dishes later in the week.  But, I DID have the chunks of butternut squash available.  What the heck, throw them in, and try it.

Here it is:

1 cup frozen mango chunks
1 cup butternut squash chunks (frozen or fresh)
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 banana, broken or sliced into chunks
1/4 cup raw cashews
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or other non-diary type)

Put all ingredients into a blender, and then serve yourself about a 20 oz smoothie to get you off to a great start for the day!

Banana Avocado Breakfast Smoothie

In order to get out the door and to work on time, I put all these items in an airtight container the night before so that I can simply put it all in a blender for my breakfast the next morning.  I can even drink it on the way to work, so it’s a time-saver.  And, it’s very healthful and delicious.  Here is the basic smoothie, and I change it up with new things occasionally.

1.5 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 banana, sliced
1 avocado, skin and seed removed
1 cup fresh blueberries (frozen okay during off-season)
1/4 cup flax or chia seeds, freshly ground (I use a dedicated coffee grinder)
4 sprigs of fresh mint, chopped with long stems removed
1 large handful of fresh greens (spinach and baby kale are ideal!)
Ice cubes as desired

Place all items in blender, and blend to desired consistency.  I use the puree setting on my blender, and it’s very smooth and delicious.  It makes about 16 oz.

Substitutes: Any berries, walnuts instead of listed seeds, nut milks (low or no sodium important)