Smoothies have been kind of a passion of mine for a couple of months. During the summer months I pretty much made them every day and the wife and I would drink them for breakfast. A fruit smoothie and a cup of coffee is a great way to kick start the day, and with a little preparation they're really pretty easy to make. But through trial and error I've come to learn there are a couple of rules to making an amazing smoothie. And as long as you stick to these rules you can't screw up:
Rule #1. Banana. Banana goes in every smoothie. Without it, your smoothie will taste flat, boring, and uninteresting. I can't explain why, but I've never made a good fruit smoothie without a banana.
Rule #2. Honey. Get local honey if you can. Honey is fantastic for allergies as long as its local. The bees go around and collect all the local pollen and concentrate it into their honey. So when you ingest it your body creates antibodies for the allergens in the air. But if you're eating honey made in St. Louis it's not going to do you a whole lot of good unless you live in St. Louis. I've tried a lot of different sweeteners in my smoothies from agave to powdered sugar, and nothing lends itself to fruit better than honey. It adds richness and depth.
Rule #3. Yogurt. Yogurt is what brings it all together. You don't really need a whole lot. Just a few tablespoons worth. It mellows out the tartness of the other ingredients and brings all the flavors together. Now, I tend to stay away from anything but plain yogurt. I've used vanilla in a pinch, but the vanilla muddles things up. But as far as low fat vs. nonfat, I can't really tell a difference. I do like to use Greek style when I can, but it tends to get expensive. Most of the time I just use plain Dannon yogurt.
Rule #4. Salt. Just trust me on this rule... and it's an important rule. When I started adding salt to my smoothies they went from good to wow. Salt brightens everything up and really allows you to taste all the flavors.
With those four basic rules, you can pretty much put any kind of fruit into a blender and it'll turn out amazing. I promise. So without further ado, this is the smoothie I made tonight:
1/4 pineapple, roughly chopped
1 blood orange
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen blackberries
a splash of orange juice
2 tablespoons yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
Throw in a blender. Puree on the highest setting for a few minutes.
Holy crap. Look at this smoothie:
Just look at the color. It's almost a wine color. I promise. Try this once and you'll never spend another dime on a Naked Juice or Odwala every again.