The Fruit Smoothie

Fruit SmoothieThe basic ingredients of a fruit smoothie are fresh fruit, frozen fruit, or vegetables; a liquid base of milk, water, soy milk, or even coffee; and an emulsifier such as honey, ice, or yogurt.  Additional items can be added to change the texture, taste, or nutritional value of the fruit smoothie.

Fruit smoothies first became popular in the 1930s in the health-conscious Western United States.  These early smoothies were mainly sold in specialty shops such as soda shops and health food stores.

As health awareness grew again in the 1960s, vegetarianism became more commonplace, and the fruit smoothie became a staple for health-conscious Americans.  In the 1790s, a Paramus, NJ company opened a West Coast sounding company, called the California Smoothie Company.  Early generation fruit smoothie drinks were mainly made of fruit, fruit juice and ice.

During the 1980s and 1990s the fruit smoothie became intertwined with the fitness and health fields.  Fruit smoothies continued their path to becoming “the health drink”.  Smoothie bars started popping up around the country to serve health and fitness enthusiasts.

In the 2000s, the Fruit Smoothie has moved to the grocer’s shelves.  Pre-bottled fruit smoothie drinks such as Naked Juice have become commonplace in many stores.  Due to the fresh ingredients, these drinks have a short shelf life.  Make sure you check the freshness date when buying a pre-bottled fruit smoothie.

How to Make a Fruit Smoothie

It’s pretty easy to make a Fruit Smoothie, assuming you have a blender or smoothie maker. The most important part, of course, is the fruit. It isn’t important to start with fresh fruit — frozen works just as well.

There are three components to any fruit smoothie:

  1. Fruit — fresh or frozen
  2. Liquid — water, juice, milk, soy milk, alcohol
  3. Emulsifier — ice or frozen fruits

To make a fruit smoothie, start by adding the liquid to the blender. Adding the liquid first helps to float the fruit and emulsifier, which otherwise might form a bridge over the blender blades. I find it best to start the blender on low speed after the liquid is poured into it.

Next, add the fruit to the blender. A cup or more per serving is about right for a fruit smoothie. Turn the speed to high and blend for about 30 seconds.

Finally, add about 6 ice cubes through the opening in the top of the blender, one at a time. With the blender on high speed, the smoothie may launch itself around the inside of the container, so keep the top on the blender when doing this.

Blend for about 30 seconds on high, then pour into a glass and enjoy.

Banana Fruit Smoothie

1 banana
1 c. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-2 ice cubes

Pour milk into blender. Peel banana, break it in half, start blender on low, and add to milk in blender. Add vanilla and ice cubes. Increase blender speed to high and blend for 30 seconds. Pour into glass. Serve and enjoy.

Strawberry Fruit Smoothie

1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 c. vanilla ice cream
1 1/2 c. fresh strawberries
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 c. crushed ice
Additional fresh strawberries

Pour milk into blender and blend at low speed. Add sugar and lemon juice, then 1 1/2 cups strawberries. Turn blender off and add ice cream to liquefied base. Cover the blender with the top and increase speed to high, then feed the ice through the hole in the cover. Process until smooth. Pour into individual glasses and garnish with additional strawberries. Makes 4 cups.

Green Smoothie

Although a Green Smoothie is a special sub-section of the Fruit Smoothie, not a specific shake in itself. Green Smoothies combine the flavor of fruits with the phytonutrients found in green leafy vegetables. Here is a sample recipe for a Green Smoothie:

1/2 bunch romaine lettuce
1 cup strawberries
2 bananas
1/2 cup water
6 ice cubes

Pour the water to a blender and start it at low speed. Add the strawberries and blend for 5 seconds. Add bananas and blend 10 seconds. Add romaine leaves and blend 5 seconds. Place cover on blender, then increase speed to high and add ice through hole in cover. Blend for 30 seconds, then pour into glasses and enjoy!

Mango Fruit Smoothie

Mango is a seasonal fruit, so you can only find them at certain times of the year. To prepare them, peal ripe mango around the seeds in the center and dice the fruit.

1 large mango diced and chilled
1 banana
1/2 cup of yogurt
1 cup of orange juice
6 ice cubes

Pour orange juice and yogurt into a blender and blend on slow speed. Add mango and banana, blending for 10 seconds. Cover the blender and increase spreed to high. Feed ice cubes through the hole in the top. Blend for 30 seconds, pour into glass, and drink it down.

Blueberry Fruit Smoothie

A Blueberry Smoothie is one of my favorite fruit smoothies! The rich color is appealing, the taste is refreshing, and the nutritional value is high.

7 oz vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup ice

Place all the ingredients except the blueberries and ice into a blender. Turn the blender on to low speed, and add the blueberries slowly, allowing them to blend for about 10 seconds. Add the cover, increase the speed and feed the ice through the hole in the top. Blend on high for 30 seconds, then pour and enjoy.

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