Thursday, June 5, 2014

An inspired improvisation

In the summer, I often have a smoothie for lunch. I usually try to get some exercise in right before lunch, so it's nice to have something light and cool afterwards. My approach to smoothies is usually "kitchen sink": throw in whatever fruit I have around, yogurt I have on hand, maybe some herbs, maybe some juice, often a handful of spinach, and some ice cubes. Nothing fancy, and although often good, rarely something to write home about. Yesterday's smoothie was one of those happy accidents that was so good, I recreated it today and decided to share it with you.

This smoothie is just yogurt, mango, blackberries, blueberries, and spinach. I promise, you won't taste the spinach (for anyone out there saying, "Spinach in a smoothie?! Yuck!", as my husband did). It has a nice, prominent berry flavor with some of the acidity from the mango, which just really hits the right note as the weather is heating up down here.

Ready... set... go!

 Place six ounces or so of vanilla yogurt in your blender along with half of a ripe mango, chopped (or just pealed and pitted).

Add three ounces of fresh blackberries...
...a quarter cup of frozen blueberries... cup of baby spinach...

...and 3-4 ice cubes.

Whirr in your blender until smooth. I like to start on low and slowly move my way up to the higher settings, but you know your blender best.

Viola! A light, summery smoothie full of all kinds of good stuff. Again, this is usually something I just throw together, so there's no need to follow the directions exactly as the flavors are just provided here for inspiration. You can always exchange fresh for frozen fruit (and vice versa), although you'll want to adjust the ice such that you use more ice when you have more fresh fruit. If your smoothie seems a little thick, it's probably a bit too icy. This can be remedied with a little juice or milk, or even some extra fresh fruit. Some people thin smoothies with water, but I find this makes them taste, well, watery.

One note about spinach in a smoothie: if you're particular about smoothie color, pair fruits with spinach cautiously. I have found that if I stick to yellow (peach, mango, pineapple, etc.) and green (kiwi) fruits, the smoothie has a very pretty green color. If you use a fair amount of purple fruits (blueberries, blackberries, etc.), the smoothie is a nice purple as the berry pigment seems to largely mask the color of the spinach. The danger zone for color and spinach smoothies is red. As we know from the color wheel, red and green are complimentary colors, which means they really set each other off when paired in design. However, when the pigments are mixed, complimentary colors produce muddy, brown/gray tones. For this reason, if you want a smoothie that looks as good as it tastes, use red fruit (strawberries, raspberries, etc.) sparingly when making a smoothie with spinach.

No comments:

Post a Comment