2016-07-21 / From The Garden

Summer’s Non-fat Milkshakes

By Cynthia Gibson

A cold garden smoothie is a great way to start your day as breakfast, or to drink as an afternoon pick-me-up. They’re easy to make and if you do not add sugar, they’re nutritious and taste good too!

The best ingredient for a sweet, creamy smoothie is frozen or fresh bananas; they’re a smoothie staple. If you do not like them, substitute low-fat yogurt then add blueberries, fresh or frozen, strawberries, mango, blackberries, raspberries, peaches or apricots. Any fruit will work, but fresh fruit is the best way to go.

The natural creamy avocado is an excellent base for a savory non-sweet smoothie.

Other ingredients excellent for a healthy, savory smoothie are pureed: kale leaves, baby spinach, lettuce, steamed broccoli, celery, fresh carrots, or fresh basil leaves.

The true secret to an excellent smoothie, besides the ingredients, is the blender. Make sure you have a good blender with at least 800 watts. Breville, Ninja, Oster, and Vitamix are excellent, to name just a few. There is a good blender available within any price range.

Any of the above greens make an excellent smoothie. Add one cup of low-fat milk and one cup of each ingredient and you can make a garden green smoothie with no sugar. You can also use low-fat yogurt instead of the milk. Avoid juices from cans or bottles because of the high sugar content.

Seeds and nuts are also common and tasty additions. They also give your smoothie a crunchy texture. But don’t overdo it. Seeds and nuts are not only high in fiber–they are high in calories. The point of the smoothie is to give you a small meal in a glass, without dessert.

If making gazpacho, use fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, green peppers, and garlic. Place the ingredients in the blender, but leave it on a bit longer. Lace the top with extra virgin olive oil for a special Mediterranean flavor.

Regardless of whether you choose to make a sweet or savory smoothie, the choices are boundless. And, once again your garden is a good friend to you and your health.

The Ultimate

Banana-Strawberry Smoothie

One cup plain nonfat yogurt
One banana, sliced (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup fresh squeezed
orange juice
Six frozen strawberries

Toss all ingredients into the blender, puree, pour into a glass and enjoy the morning.

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