McMan’s Yummietudinous Yogurt Smoothies

John McManamy Health Guide
  • This is the time of year California strawberries start arriving in the produce aisles at prices we can afford. In the months ahead I can look forward to raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, peaches and grapes. And of course the ever-reliable oranges and bananas. The fine points of mangoes and guavas and such elude me for the present, but no doubt many of you can fill me in.

    The point is I’ve got fresh cheap fruit arriving by the truckload and that means one thing: Smoothies. The USDA recommends a minimum of five fruits and vegetables a day in your diet. Drop two or three of your favorite fruits into a blender with some yogurt sometime during the day, and you are going into dinner way ahead of the game. The yogurt manufacturers all produce their various brands of fruit smoothies, but you can whip up something far tastier and more satisfactory in the time it takes to put together a sandwich. So heavenly are these concoctions that I have invented a new word to describe them – yummietudinous.
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    From now until well into October, you can be assured that smoothies will be my lunchtime staple.

    McMan’s Yummietudinous Yogurt Smoothies

    What soup is to hot ingredients, smoothies are to cold ones. There is no right or wrong. Anything short of salt water taffy goes.

    There are two approaches to yogurt in smoothies. The easy way is dumping eight ounces of nonfat vanilla yogurt straight out of the fridge into the blender. Add two ice cubes for some chill factor, toss in the rest of your ingredients, and hit the ON button.

    Since I prefer my smoothies icy-cold with either a milkshake or slurpie consistency, I tend to freeze my yogurt in an ice-cube tray before-hand. But this means employing a special blender technique. If I want a creamy-tasting milkshake-like smoothie, I’ll break up four or five yogurt cubes with short blender pulses. For a more slurpie-like smoothie, I’ll use the same technique, this time on a yogurt cube-juice cube combo. You may need a bit of liquid for lubrication, skim milk or juice depending on circumstances.

    Next comes the fruit. Right now I’m going with four big strawberries and an orange pulled apart into about four segments. Sometimes I add a banana. A banana is loaded with all kinds of good things (especially potassium), but there is a major sugar issue, especially if fully-ripened.

    Eight ounces of nonfat yogurt contains 11-13 grams of protein, the equivalent of half a small steak in a glass, which is unbelievable bang for your buck. But the beauty of a smoothie is you can go for nutritional broke by adding soy powder, wheatgrass, flax, whatever floats your boat. Body builders tend to overdo it on the soy, which raises all sorts of controversies. I’m content with about a tablespoon of the stuff. If I’m feeling brave this summer I’ll experiment with wheatgrass.

    Now it’s time to set the blades spinning. Thirty seconds to a minute at high speed should do it. If drinking through a straw, you may need to strain out any orange pulp. Pour into a large glass and find a nice deck chair with a view. If you don’t have a deck chair or a view, close you eyes and pretend. Your first swallow should make it easy.

  • Who said a healthy diet had to be painful?
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Published On: April 18, 2006