Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Boring Treatise on Fruit Shakes

Sometimes, BS & I like to drink our breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner. Hic.

Just kidding, not that kind of liquid. Our kind is cold, smooth, sweet and fruity - a fruit shake. I guess most people call them a smoothie, but I am rebellious, so I ain't gonna. Besides, we have called them fruit shakes in my family 593 years.

These evolved from the ones my mother used to make for my brother when he was a little boy - OJ, frozen strawberries and a banana. Easy and good all on their own, but over the years, I have experimented.

Uh oh, here I go again, about to launch on a soapbox about what people eat, but really, when I make these, they are a meal, so I want them to be good for us while still being lip-smacking good.

Basically, you need 3 things - fruit (some of it frozen), some liquid, and a blender. Why frozen fruit? Because we don't like our fruit shakes watered down with ice. Never have (not that there's anything wrong with that). Frozen fruit provides the thickness you need without using ice like most people do. And frozen fruit is available all year long. We have experimented with frozen strawberries, blueberries, peaches & raspberries (I'm having fun with colored fonts - they are not links).

Frozen Fruit: The strawberries are our hands-down favorite, and I almost never make a fruit shake without them. Blueberries are a close 2nd, and they go in more often than not. They also pack a big nutritional punch. I love raspberries, but sometimes I am not in the mood to chew my shake - the seeds are annoying. The peaches pretty much underwhelmed us. They just didn't lend much flavor, so I don't get them anymore.

Fresh Fruit: Bananas are our staple. They are delicious, and also make the end product very creamy. You can also freeze your bananas for the thick factor if you wand to use fresh berries, but if I have fresh berries, I tend to like them straight-up, with the juice running down my chin. Just make sure to use a combination of fresh & frozen fruit, and make sure a banana is one of them or your life will suffer for it.

Liquid: OJ was the original liquid, but I don't always have that around. Because of my reflux, orange juice can bother me, so I don't usually buy it. BS's favorite juice is purple grape juice, and I have used that with some tasty results. White grape juice is good, and mixing your juices can be quite tasty. Usually, though, I use low-fat or skim milk. I have even mixed the milk with the juice on occasion. Whatever makes you kick your heels up.

  • Fat: I typed that on purpose, really I did. Some people seem to be so fat-phobic that they forget that fat is a necessary nutrient. Warning - impending anatomy lesson (I used to teach this stuff). Most of the nerves in your body are covered by a myelin sheath, composed primarily of fatty tissue. Without it, the nerves cannot conduct their signals quickly or efficiently, and you would start to stumble & move in slow motion. Eventually, you would cease to function, as is the case in multiple sclerosis, a demyelinating disease (this isn't going to happen to you if you don't eat fat, it just shows you that fat is important). So, YOU HAVE TO EAT SOME FAT. Sorry, that's the way it is. Deal with it. Many of the vitamins are fat soluble, meaning that if there is no fat to accompany them through their happy path through your intestines, they will not be absorbed. These are vitamins A, D, E, and K. The issue is in choosing what type of fat you consume. No meal should be completely devoid of fat (healthy fat), so when I make a fruit shake out of skim milk or fruit juice, I add a dash of the flax seed oil that I keep stashed in the fridge. You can use whatever vegetable-based oil with a mild flavor you want. Just try to avoid whole milk or cream.
  • Yogurt: I like, no, lllove to put in some yogurt. Makes it extra creamy & extra good, and since I am older than dirt, the extra calcium is a bonus. Vanilla (go figure) and strawberry low or non-fat yogurt are our favorites.
  • Flavorings: It is no secret that I love vanilla (could you tell), so a generous splash is my friend. I guess if you make your shake with milk, you could even add some coffee, but since I detest coffee, I cannot vouch for the disgusting results. Ooh ooh, strawberry/banana shake made with milk and add some chocolate. Yummmmm.
  • Protein powder: Sometimes I'll put a bit of this in just for an extra boost, especially if I have made the shake with juice, since juice & fruit aren't famous for their protein content. Guess what? It's usually vanilla protein powder (go figure).
  • Sweeteners: Generally, I find that the fruit is sweet enough, but if you want it sweeter, you can add honey or whatever sweetie thing you want. I'm not going to quibble over a spoonful of sugar. Hey, it was okay with Mary Poppins.
After I finished cutting the grass tonight, I was not in the mood for a heavy meal, so tonight's dinner was a fruit shake. The players in tonight's blender are a banana, frozen strawberries, frozen blueberries, a couple big spoonfuls of vanilla yogurt, a small scoop of protein powder, a dash of flax seed oil, and skim milk.

Oh no, I forgot all about the vanilla, but I figure there was enough in there with the yogurt & protein powder.

Look at this - smooth, creamy, so good for you it's not funny, and no ice. Heck, this is so tasty, surely it must be bad for me & I'm gonna keel over any minute.

Wait a minute . . . there's something missing . . . ah, there it is.

We love straws.


Donna-FFW said...

That sure looks delicious. Strawberry smoothies are my favorite.. OK sometimes I spike them, but still. Peach ones are tasty too.

Hairball said...

A hot day, and a nice fruit drink is a winning

Rosie Hawthorne said...

I think Imonna fix me a strawberry shake right now.

Sista G said...

OK, peach-hater! Try this (no recipe, just wing it) - some frozen peaches, vanilla yogurt, a little honey and some canned peaches in juice. I haven't reid it, but it sounds good to me!

Your fruit shakes are yummy!!!

Busty Boomer (aka Kathy) said...

Maybe I got a bad bag of frozen peaches, but they had no flavor whatsoever. I'll stick with strawberries & blueberries. But I have used canned peaches - tastes like peach sauce!

Anonymous said...


Busty Boomer (aka Kathy) said...

I have no idea. Feedjit isn't much help either.