Summer Chillers

By Diane Ruyack

What’s more refreshing than a frozen drink? If you’re looking for a delicious, healthy snack your kids will love, then a smoothie is a great choice. Or if you want to serve cooling refreshments to your summer guests, then a frozen specialty is just the ticket.  It takes only 5 minutes to add another fruit to your kids’ day with this deliciously smooth and refreshing orange smoothie. Your kids will enjoy helping you prepare this quick and easy drink that doubles as a sweet, zesty and filling healthy dessert or snack that you can feel good about.   But there’s more to it than just tossing ingredients into a blender. Follow these secrets to making the perfect fruit smoothie or frozen drink and you’ll become an expert:

1. Freeze the fruit ahead of time. It doesn’t matter whether your smoothie recipe tells you to do this or not, this little trick will make for a thicker smoothie. Wash your fruit, cut in bite size pieces (slice bananas), spread out on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze. When your fruit is frozen, you can pack it together in a storage bag or container in the freezer. For best results, use within 2 weeks.

2. Use fresh ripe fruit for the best flavor.

3. When the recipe calls for ice, crushed ice is best. If you don’t have crushed ice, you can always place ice cubes in a sealable plastic bag on a cutting board and “crush” the cubes with a hammer, rolling pin, frying pan, etc.

4. The blending order is important. First add the cold liquid, then the fruit, and last add the frozen yogurt (or ice cream) or the ice.

5. Considering using a Smoothie Maker. They really work Unless you have a powerful blender, it will labor when pulverizing ice.

How to Fix a Less Than Perfect Recipe

Making smoothies and frozen drinks is not an exact science. You can start with a recipe and always change and improve it. Here are some basic tips to adapt any smoothie recipe to your own tastes and requirements.

To make it thicker: Add more ice, frozen fruit (especially a banana), frozen yogurt, ice cream or sherbet

If it’s too thick: Add milk, water, or juice and blend again. Be careful when adding a lot of juice, because it will change the flavor of the frozen drink.

To make it creamier: Use ice cream, frozen yogurt or vanilla yogurt instead of the ice.

To reduce calories: Replace whole milk with skim milk. Use frozen yogurt or sorbet instead of ice cream. Add fresh fruit instead of sweetened frozen fruit. Use a sugar substitute. Choose nonfat yogurt over regular yogurt.

To make it sweeter: Add honey, maple syrup, a little sugar (superfine or confectioner’s sugar blends best) or Splenda.

If it’s too sweet: add a little lemon juice or even lemonade.

To add fiber: Add ground flax seed, wheat bran, wheat germ, and leave the skin on the fruit.

To add extra flavor: Use very ripe, quality fresh fruit. A little cocoa powder gives it a chocolatey flavor. Try a few drops of almond extract or some of the other fruit extracts sold in the baking section of the supermarket. Add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg.

To make it lactose free:  Use lactose free milk and yogurt.

 

Frosty Orange Smoothie

Yield 1 serving

Ingredients

1/2 cup fat-free vanilla ice cream

1/2 cup orange juice

1 orange, peeled and frozen

1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)

Directions

1.Place all ingredients in a blender and combine.

2.Enjoy!

 

 

Yogurt Fruit  Shake, Your Way

Ingredients

Two 8-ounce containers any flavor yogurt

1/3 cup cold milk

3 tbsp. honey

2 tbsp. frozen orange juice concentrate

 

Instructions

Place all ingredients in blender and blend, covered, until smooth and frothy. Serve immediately in three tall, chilled glasses.

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