Friday, October 05, 2007

Raspberry Lover's Smoothie + Peanut Butter Delight

Alright, I'll admit it - I'm that little girl who used to carry a peanut butter sandwich to school in her Strawberry Shortcake lunch box (which eventually gave way to a Ghostbusters lunch box) every single day of the week. And by "every single day of the week," I, of course, mean "5 days a week for almost 6 years." Furthermore, a "peanut butter sandwich" sadly refers to two pieces of white bread (with the crusts, please) filled solely with creamy peanut butter (no jelly!).

If my mom felt like being creative while making my lunch, she'd use crunchy or extra crunchy peanut butter, or alternate between Jiff and Skippy brands, which added a bit of interest to my self-inflicted sandwich regimen. She'd also occassionally press large sandwich stamps onto the bread so that my beloved PB would be graced with pictures of Halloween pumpkins and witches, or the phrase "I love you." (Truthfully, I think my mom was more bored with making the same thing everyday than I should really have been with eating it.)

So, with that small confession out of the way (and the surprising revelation that limiting my food options in grade school may have lead to my current cooking obsession), it's time to share a couple of new smoothies.

These two drinks make an interesting pair: one is fresh, juicy, and slightly tangy; while the other is rich, creamy, and almost dessert-like. Additionally, the Raspberry Lover's Smoothie is perfect as a morning drink or as a midday pick-me-up, and tastes great when you're craving something healthy. On the other hand, the Peanut Butter Delight is delicious as an afternoon treat, or as a sweet, high-protein snack after a long day at work. It also does the trick when that little bit of nostalgia creeps in, because we both know that I wasn't the only kid who brought peanut butter sandwiches to school every day...

Recipe: Raspberry Lover's Smoothie
(printer-friendly version)
(pictured on left)

1 fresh, ripe banana
3/4 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup frozen black cherries
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1 (6 oz) container raspberry soy yogurt
1/4 cup vanilla (or plain) soy milk
1 Tbsp. ground flax seeds (optional; adds Omega 3s - essential fatty acids)
1 tsp. psyllium husks (optional; adds fiber)

1.) Place all of the ingredients into a blender, adding the flax seeds & psyllium husks last.
2.) Blend until smooth, stopping to push ingredients down the sides, if necessary.

Recipe: Peanut Butter Delight Smoothie
(printer-friendly version)
(pictured on right)

1 fresh, ripe banana
1/3 cup smooth, natural peanut butter
1/4 cup vanilla (or plain) soy milk
1 Tbsp. agave nectar
7 ice cubes, crushed*
1 Tbsp. flax seeds (optional; adds Omega 3s - essential fatty acids)

1.) Place all of the ingredients into a blender, adding the flax seeds last.
2.) Blend until smooth; serve immediately.

*Tip: Crushing the ice before adding it will help the smoothie to blend more quickly, & will also extend the life of your blender. First, place the ice cubes inside a large zip-lock bag, squeeze the excess air out, & seal the bag. Then, place the bag on a flat, solid surface (kitchen counters work great), & use a rolling pin or heavy pan to crush the ice into smaller pieces.

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