Monday, June 20, 2011


Summer is smoothie time. Michigan fruit is great in smoothies and can easily be to preserved for winter smoothies too. I had often used a banana as the thickener in my smoothies. But, they are not native to Michigan. So, last year I began experimenting. I came up with several recipes and tried some banana replacements.

My basic smoothie recipe included fruit (usually strawberries) and fruit juice along with the banana. Sometime I added Japanese style tofu to make it thicker and add protein. I tried to replace the banana with a Michigan apple – that did not work out. The texture was way off - pulpy. I did have luck replacing the banana with a fresh pear. They are difficult to keep for very long however. Then, I tried baked apples/applesauce and that made all the difference. Below are the recipes that I experimented with over the past year. All recipes are original and made in a blender.

Baked Applesauce for use in Smoothies
Put a bit of water in the bottom of a casserole and place chopped, cored apples inside. Be sure to cut into ½ inch or so chunks. Big pieces could explode. You can peel them if you want to, but it is not necessary. Then, drizzle MI maple syrup over top to taste. Bake at 300 degrees for 60 minutes – stirring every 20 minutes. Then, mash with a potato masher and bake uncovered to cook down the liquids for another 20 minutes. This freezes well for future use.

Banana-Free Smoothie
Blend together
¾ c (baked) applesauce
¾ c partially thawed strawberries
½ cup Welch’s grape juice
1 heaping Tablespoon of soy protein.

Basic Fruit - Yogurt Smoothie
Blend together
1/3 – ½ cup Thomas Yogurt (made in Michigan)
1 cup almost thawed fruit or spiced peaches.

Pear and Strawberry Smoothie
Blend together
1 fresh pear, chopped
9 partially thawed strawberries
½ cup Welches grape juice
1 – 2 T soy protein powder, optional to thicken

Zucchini Smoothie
Blend together
1 medium zucchini, chopped (good use of all of that extra zucchini)
1 cup baked apple sweetened with MI maple syrup or lightly sweetened applesauce
½ cup frozen tart cherries, partially thawed.

Tomato Smoothie – serve chilled or pre-chill the tomatoes
12 oz of home canned tomatoes
¼ cup Garden Fresh hummus
Several frozen crushed basil leaves (or a sprinkle of dried basil)

I served this with deviled eggs and the flat crackers from The Great Bread Company.

PB&J Breakfast Smoothie
This smoothie was inspired by a one that I saw listed on the breakfast menu of Sable Restaurant in Chicago. I did not order it; I inquired. It included yogurt which I replaced with the vanilla soy milk.
1. Cook (I did it in the microwave) 1/3 cup of quick oats in one cup of water. It will be runny.
2. Stir in 1/3 cup of Koeze Sweet Ella’s smooth organic peanut butter while the oats are warm.
3. Cool the oat – peanut butter mixture in the refrigerator.
4. Blend the oat-peanut butter mixture with one cup of Edensoy vanilla soy milk and 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup until smooth.
5. Add about 10 MI strawberries and blend again.

This is even better if you chill the whole mixture again before drinking.

Apple – Cardamom Smoothie
You may want to start with less spices than directed and add more after you taste this smoothie. Blend together the following.
2 small baked apples
½ cup plain, non-fat yogurt
1 Tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon ground Cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground Cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Cherry - Almond Smoothie (I had to have one with a banana.)
Blend together
1 frozen banana
1/3 cup Naturally Nutty Organic Almond Butter with flax and hemp seeds
1 cup Vanilla Almond Milk
When smooth, add 1 cup of fresh or frozen pitted cherries (sweet or tart) and blend again.

Three Berry Smoothie
Blend together
1 cup strawberries
1/3 cup blueberries
½ cup fresh raspberry juice (strain to remove seeds)
½ cup yogurt (plain or vanilla)
Adjust the sweetness with honey or sugar if the fruit is tart.

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