Saturday, October 22, 2005


New blender means new opportunities. Judging from the prevalence of beverage bars with whipped drinks, smoothies are the most popular game in town.

The rules of the game are simple:
1. Make sure your blender can handle ice. The smell of burning machinery is very unappetizing.
2. Always, always, always put the liquid in first. This also helps to keep the machinery death away. (Though perhaps a $400 blender from Blendtech wouldn't do that, it's still a good idea. Yes, that price would be worth it. That's a VERY good company.)
3. A quick rule of thumb— which may need a little tweaking— is to have enough liquid (and binders) to fill your glass halfway, and then enough loose ice cubes to fill your glass completely. Obviously, this breaks down when you don't have pre-mixed concentrates to work with, but it's a good fudge factor.

Then all you need is a little imagination. I've been experimenting, and here are a couple of recipes I've been playing with.

Berry Smoothie
You will need:
1/2 cup orange juice
1 single serving berry or cherry yogurt
Frozen strawberries or raspberries (frozen cranberries are optional)
1 tsp wheat germ (optional; good for helping to lower cholesterol)

Dump the ingredients in the blender in the order given; pulse blend on high until smooth. (The frozen berries are in lieu of ice, and work very well.)

Black and Blue Smoothie
for those days when you've banged your elbow and stubbed your toe
You will need:
1/2 cup lemonade, or water and lemon juice
1 single serving of blueberry yogurt
Frozen blackberries (frozen nectarines or skinned peaches optional)
1 tsp wheat germ (optional)

Again, blend in the order given. Add frozen berries if it seems too thin. It is best to always go from thin to thick; most blenders won't blend in new liquid very well.

Mocha Smoothie (approximate; I don't drink coffee)
You will need:
1/2 cup strong coffee or two shots fresh espresso
4 oz. milk (about one glug, or if using an espresso machine, top off the shot)
1/2 single serving plain or vanilla yogurt (if you have yogurt powder, substitute 1/4 cup and add it last)
16 or 20 oz. glass of ice
Chocolate syrup
Ground cinnamon (optional)

The amount of chocolate necessary is dependent upon you. The cinnamon is good for drawing the bitterness from coffee. (The things you learn as a barista.)

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