After all of the cheese and wine I consumed last week in Buenos Aires, I need to get it together. Quite frankly, I’m tired of chicken, have no desire for salads, and can’t eat any more eggs. When I get into an eating rut like this, where I want to eat healthy but can’t stand to eat the same old, same old, I like to replace a meal with a smoothie a few times a week. It’s the middle of October so it feels completely appropriate to break out the pumpkin. This Banana Pumpkin Smoothie is the perfect fall meal that tastes more like a treat and keeps my pants fitting.
Vanilla yogurt, canned pumpkin, orange juice, and frozen banana are the basis of this smoothie which is jazzed up with warm spices and a hint of brown sugar. Right around now, you can find all kinds of recipes for pumpkin pie smoothies but what makes this one unique and different is the addition of the banana and fresh orange juice. I always have slices of frozen banana in my freezer just for smoothies like this but if you don’t, a fresh banana will work fine, you just may want to add extra ice. I never thought to combine orange and pumpkin together but the flavors marry perfectly, giving this drink a light freshness you don’t typically get with fall pumpkin flavors. I’m sold.
Combine yogurt, pumpkin, ice, orange juice, brown sugar, spices, and banana in a blender, and process until smooth.
Garnish with dash of ground cinnamon, if desired. Serve immediately.
Overall Rating: Love It
Source: Cooking Light magazine
I had dinner with a friend last night and as I was driving home, under an almost-blue moon (which is tonight, by the way), with the windows down and the sunroof open, I felt a change in the air. It was the change that comes in the summer when evenings get slightly cooler and temperatures dip into the 60s for the first time. And even though it’s supposed to get a little warmer here for the weekend than it’s been the last couple of beautiful days, I’m eagerly waiting for those nights when I can turn off the air conditioning and sleep with the windows open. Which should be any day now. I hope. As I wait, I’ll just savor these remaining warm summer days and keep sipping on something cold and refreshing like this Strawberry-Mango Smoothie.
Fresh strawberries, frozen mangoes, yogurt and mango nectar are blended until creamy, smooth, sweet and tangy. I prefer to use frozen fruit in my smoothies as opposed to ice because I like the texture of the frozen fruit but obviously you can use fresh fruit and ice instead. Also, if you can’t find mango nectar (which I find in the international foods section of my grocery store), simply substitute orange juice or apple juice. Really, just throw in whatever you want. Smoothies are a sweet ending or a good accompaniment to a weekend brunch, as a way to get a couple servings of fruit in you, or just to cool off on a hot day. Whatever your day brings you, I hope you have fun today or tonight and do something you wouldn’t normally do, something off the cuff and unexpected. That way when you tell your kids/friends your story, you can officially say, “I did it once in a blue moon.”
Have a great weekend everyone!
Strawberry-Mango Smoothies (makes 2 smoothies)
- 1 cup strawberries, quartered
- 1 cup frozen mangoes
- 1/2 cup mango nectar or fruit juice
- 1 6-ounce carton fat-free strawberry yogurt
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for one minute until smooth. Garnish with fresh strawberries or mango slices.
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for one minute until smooth.
Garnish with fresh strawberries or mangoes.
Have you ever had one of those weekends where you just had too much? Too much food? Too much drink? Too much fun? That was the weekend I had last weekend. When my friend in Florida came home to spend Father’s Day with her pop, we decided to take the opportunity to get the girls together and have some fun. From Friday afternoon until the wee hours of Sunday, we partied. And hard. I decided it was probably necessary to get something healthy in my body and pronto!
The Pineapple-Mango Yogurt Smoothie I made was both tasty and filling. Frozen pineapple and mango chunks are blended with non-fat vanilla yogurt, non-fat milk, and a little sugar. As I spent Sunday resting and relaxing, I sipped on this and felt refreshed. I liked it so much, I made another one for breakfast on Monday. What is it about smoothies that somehow just make you feel better?
Pineapple-Mango Yogurt Smoothie (makes 1 smoothie)
- 1 cup frozen pineapple
- 1 cup frozen mango
- 6-ounces non-fat vanilla yogurt
- 2 tablespoons sugar or Splenda
- 1/2 cup non-fat milk
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Add more milk if necessary to reach desired consistency. If you prefer to use fresh fruit, simply add 1 cup of crushed ice.
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
Add more milk if necessary to reach desired consistency.
When I was in Clearwater, Florida two weeks ago, I went to the beach one day with my friend Lori while my other two friends went golfing. The beach had a little tiki bar which we ponied up to while we contemplated lunch. After seeing the bartender hand a piña colada to the guy next to us, sinfully rimmed in honey and shredded coconut, we decided to forget our diets and forgo lunch for one of those decadent drinks. As we slowly enjoyed the high-caloried rum cocktail and licked the honey off our fingers, we talked about how a low-caloried Piña Colada Smoothie could easily be made at home, even as a cocktail with a shot of rum. With today being Lori’s birthday, it seemed only fitting that I post this in honor of her and our memories of the tiki bar that sunny day.
I’m weird about my smoothies and prefer them made with frozen fruit instead of ice. Frozen fruit tends to blend easier whereas with ice, I can never get it as smooth as I like. I already had frozen pineapple in my freezer and also had leftover coconut milk from the mahi mahi dish I made last week so all I had to add was a banana. The coconut milk adds the slightest coconut flavor without adding sweetness but if you like more coconut, consider adding in a little shredded coconut (but keep in mind, it will add more calories). A shot of white or coconut rum will make this a low-fat piña colada that you don’t have to feel guilty about.
Piña Colada Smoothie (makes 1 smoothie):
- 1/2 cup frozen chunk pineapple
- 1/2 small banana, sliced
- 1/2 cup light coconut milk
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry. To get even more decadent, rim your glass with honey and dip in shredded coconut for a fun presentation (like they did at the tiki hut – it was worth the sticky fingers!).
Blend all of the ingredients in a blender.
Garnish with a pineapple wedge and maraschino cherry (or honey and shredded coconut).
Source: Me! :)
I hate to sound cliché but I really, really, want to start eating better. I know, I know, me and half of the country, right? It isn’t that I really eat that bad, I mean I do get the majority of my recipes from Cooking Light magazine after all, but my problem is two-fold: I don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables and I have no concept of portion control! Smoothies are a great way to get those much needed servings of fruit and vegetables that most of us don’t get and also make for a filling, delicious breakfast.
This Green Monster Spinach Smoothie may not look appetizing to some of you but don’t be intimidated by it’s bright green color. Yes, it’s a spinach smoothie but if it weren’t for the color, you would never know by the taste. This smoothie has milk, vanilla yogurt, banana, and peanut butter and tastes like a peanut butter-banana milkshake. Since spinach is nutritious and so, so, so good for us, consider putting spinach in any smoothie you make. Your body will thank you.
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour into your favorite glass or to-go cup and enjoy!
Overall Rating: Love It
Source: Iowa Girl Eats blog