Wow! I'm glad everyone is enjoying the Summer Veg Out posts -- the feedback has been great!
Smoothies are another way to make fruits (and, to a lesser extent, vegetables) fun and easy in the summertime. We make smoothies every day for breakfast or a healthy snack.
Now that my son is almost 10 he likes to show his independence and make his own. However, we started having problems with his idea of how much frozen fruit to use; it was not uncommon to find that he had thrown over 3 cups of frozen blueberries in the blender to make one breakfast smoothie. Talk about expensive!!
This spring when I started working at the smoothie bar I was struck by how easy and attractive it was to make smoothies when the frozen fruit was put into bins instead of bags, and a scoop was kept in the freezer next to them. So that's what I did: I purchased square bins at the wholesale grocery store, just like they use in restaurants, and a 3 oz. ice cream scoop. Here's a picture of my freezer with bins of raspberries, blueberries, pineapple, and mango.
Then I posted a smoothie recipe template on the refrigerator for shmoo's reference. It's practically impossible to go wrong with it. Note that one scoop equals about 3 ounces or 1/3 cup, so that's one cup of fruit altogether. You can peel and slice bananas and freeze and scoop them alongside the rest of the fruit, but we've tried it and prefer the taste of fresh bananas (is it me or do frozen bananas just taste...different?)
Here he is making one this morning: he started with 1 cup of orange-passionfruit juice, then added his favorite lime yogurt...
...a scoop of ice, a scoop of frozen pineapple, and two scoops of frozen blueberries.
Viola -- yummy smoothie! Of course, you can also add nutritious extras to any smoothie: handfuls of cooked or raw greens or other vegetables, slices of avocado, calcium/ multivitamin/ probiotic powder, a tablespoon of ground flax, etc.
Let's hear from all the other summer smoothie addicts out there: what are your favorite combos?
P.S. I think this smoothie recipe will work in a regular blender, but I can't guarantee it. I swear by the Magical Super Power of the Vita-Mix to blend absolutely anything. I know it's expensive, but compared to the other blenders I've had it makes a world of difference.