I know, we are coming to the end of "cool and creamy" season. However, when I read that sales of smoothies have escalated in recent years, I couldn't pass up this newsworthy opportunity to share some fruit smoothie tidbits and recipes. Frankly, I will sit at my desk, wrapped up in a blanket (quite literally) spooning an ice cold beverage or dessert in the dead of winter. For some reason those cravings never seem to subside, even when my hands are colder than the food itself! So crank up the heat and enjoy …
First for the interesting news tidbits. Smoothie sales have risen to $2 billion (yes I said billion) per year, up 80% from 2002. There are now more than 4000 retail outlets pouring smoothies across America. It seems that the smoothie expansion has been fueled by their healthy image.
However, as I can vouch, those antioxidant boosted, ginseng punched beverages aren't always as healthy as they might sound. Many smoothie operators sneak sugar into the mix. One smoothie chain in my neck of the woods produces drinks that are so sickeningly sweet that both my husband and I felt ill for the entire day following. Don't let the healthy sounding pomegranate title fool you.
Of course, from a dairy-free perspective, milk, yogurt, ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sherbet are common bases in store bought smoothies. But trust me, they are not required!
The best smoothies are definitely homemade, at least in my opinion. Naturally sweetened with ripe fruit, there is no end to the possibilities. Also, since smoothies are ideal with frozen fruit, there is no worry about what fruit can be found in your local produce department. Just head to the frozen food aisle, or stock up in-season and flash freeze your favorite fruits for convenient smoothie creations anytime.
Today (unknowingly in honor of this news) I concocted a new favorite, the Mango Colada. It seems my tropical island cravings are already setting in. Would you like to know what was in it? Well let me tell you…
- 1/2 cup plain rice milk (unsweetened almond milk works well too)
- 1 small ripe banana, fresh or sliced and frozen
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
- 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
- 1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened coconut (I ground mine up in a spice grinder before adding for more of an infused taste)
Blend the rice milk, banana, and pineapple until smooth. With the motor running, add the mango chunks through the shoot. Watch out for splattering. Add the coconut and give it one final blend until smooth. If it is too thick, just add some more rice milk. If you like it frostier, blend in some ice.
Here are some other fantastic vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, and otherwise-free smoothie recipes:
Awesome Almond Chocolate Shake – A Personal Addiction
Watermelon Strawberry Cooler – Light & Refreshing
Berry Delicious Smoothie – The Sneaky Smoothie
The Gold Standard – Antioxidant Indulgence
News Source: Newstarget
Photo Source: Wikimedia