When it comes to breakfast, I’m a pretty picky eater. It’s not that I don’t like breakfast foods, it’s just that prior to about 8 a.m. my stomach can’t really handle cereal, oatmeal, or the like. It’s always been this way….when I was a kid I would eat things like cheese toast (American cheese, white bread, burnt corners on the cheese….mmmm) for breakfast because it was about all I could stomach. These days, I don’t buy white bread or American cheese, and while I do like a good piece of slightly burnt cheese toast every now and again, smoothies are my go-to weekday morning meal. I mean, how else can you heap two to three servings of whole fruit into one meal with such ease? They are quick, delicious, and healthy, and there are so many ways to make them that I never get bored. Here’s an old standard.
Start by pouring 4 ounces of orange juice into a blender. Yes, I weigh the juice. If you don’t have a scale, just measure 1/2 cup of juice into your blender. I always start out with the liquid on the bottom because I feel like it blends better if the frozen stuff is not on the bottom.
Next is 4 ounces of yogurt. I make my own yogurt, so this is plain. If you prefer to use a flavored yogurt, I’d probably stick with vanilla. Individual cartons of yogurt are usually 6 ounces unless you buy the multi-packs, so if you want to use the whole carton, feel free. You may need to add a little more juice later, but you can wait to see how thick your smoothie turns out.
Now, add about a cup of frozen pineapple chunks. I rarely bother with buying frozen fruit (besides strawberries in the winter, when you’d do just as well painting some styrofoam balls red and call them strawberries as buying “fresh”). I buy whole fruit, cut it up, freeze it on a cookie sheet, and bag it so that I always have frozen fruit on hand. It’s less expensive than buying prebagged fruit and I have more control over the “product.” If you know me you know I’m a bit of a control freak….
Next is half of a frozen banana. I buy bunches of bananas, peel them, cut each banana into six chunks, and freeze them. Obviously, three chunks=1/2 of a banana. This size of chunk is manageable and blendable. I use bananas in lots of my smoothies. They give lots of body to the smoothie, but as long as you keep the other flavors strong, not a lot of banana-y flavor. If you don’t like banana, mango is a good substitute. Both are very dense in texture with flavors that can be covered by other flavors. If you want to taste the banana, use a whole one.
One thing that you may have noticed is that there is no ice in this smoothie. That’s why we use frozen fruit, silly! If you use frozen fruit, the ice crystals in the fruit substitute for ice cubes, but there is no water to melt down and dilute the flavor of your drink. Plus, my freezer doesn’t have an ice maker, so ice cubes are always in short supply around here….
Okay, turn the blender on. Start with the lowest setting. If you immediately start on high, your blender is going to get stuck and you aren’t going to get anywhere. I always start at the bottom setting and gradually work my way up, one setting at time. If the smoothie gets full of air or otherwise stops blending, turn the blender off and stir the smoothie with a long-handled spoon (I use a wooden spoon). You may need to add a splash more of liquid to keep it running smoothly. This one was perfect, though, and didn’t need any more juice. I like my smoothies to be a little on the thick side because as the fruit melts it will release its juice and the drink will thin out a little.
Now, pour your smoothie into a cup, add a straw, and drink your breakfast! When I am working, I take my smoothie to work with me in a plastic reusable cup with a straw (similar to a fast-food drink cup, but made out of hard plastic) but since I was at home on this day, I used a glass.
It’s the perfect breakfast for a weak morning stomach!