Do It Yourself Tuesdays: It’s Smoothie Time

strawberry-smoothie

Even though summer is dwindling to an end (seriously—where did it go?!), there are still a few scorcher days left, and there’s no better time to take advantage of the refreshing coolness of smoothies than now. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or just picking up a spatula for the first time, smoothies are basically the perfect meal or snack because they can be made and customized with so little effort.

All you need is a blender (and sometimes you don’t even need that—I have only a food processor, and I can make smoothies just fine) and a little creativity and you’re on your way to an at-home Jamba Juice. Seriously, why spend $6 on something that you can make at home for $1?

To illustrate just how simple it is, here’s a little mix ‘n match guide for you.

Start with:
– 1 cup of milk (any kind works, even soy milk or rice milk) OR
–  1 cup of yogurt (again, any kind works, but plain or vanilla make especially good bases) OR
– 1 cup of juice (use this if you want your smoothie to be more fruity than creamy)

Then add ¾ cup of fruit. Some good combinations:
– 1 large frozen banana and a couple of strawberries
– ¼ cup blueberries, ¼ cup raspberries, and ¼ cup blackberries
– equal parts pineapple and mango

Finally, throw in two ice cubes (crush them if possible or they might do a number on your blender/processor) and puree or pulse until your smoothie is the consistency you like. For thicker smoothies, use yogurt or a higher ratio of fruit to liquid. For something a little thinner, use more liquid. Simple as that.

If you want a little extra something to make your smoothie above-and-beyond delicious, try one of these:
– 1 tablespoon heavy cream (mmm milkshakey)
– 2 teaspoons sugar
– 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (great for a much-needed choco fix)
– 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
– 2 teaspoons agave nectar
– 1½ teaspoons fresh mint (so refreshing!)

Experiment, blend and enjoy! And please use the comments to add your own smoothie suggestions. Yum!

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