Healthy Summer Smoothies

Given that I spent a chunk of my summer in India and was too busy eating just mangoes (let alone transforming them), being back in the States has at least shifted my attention to other fruits. Even though summer is officially gone, the last of the summer produce is still around (especially for those who had the sense to preserve their berries!). These two are super-healthy smoothies and are perfect for a nutritious breakfast that can successfully tide me over until lunch

Strawberry Basil Smoothie – Serves 1

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, frozen and sliced
  • 4-5 basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, plain or strawberry flavored (I used Chobani Strawberry Flavored Greek Yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • Pinch of ground black pepper (optional)

Mix all the ingredients in a blender. Add some honey or sugar if you like your smoothie to be sweet. I personally enjoy the lack of sugar and I like the tart kick that the basil provides. For those who are looking for more of a kick, try adding some black pepper! I know it sounds weird, but it turns out great, especially if you’re not looking for something particularly sweet.

Strawberry Basil Smoothie

Pineapple Banana Smoothie – Serves 2

  • 1 1/4 cup pineapple, cored and sliced
  • 1 1/2 bananas, chopped
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • ice cubes
  • 5-6 almonds

Mix all the ingredients in a blender. I used the almonds because they have a lot of nutritional value, but I imagine oats would also work great in a smoothie like this.

So what kind of smoothies do you like?

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Strawberry Muffins

While I often lament the non-existence of good mangoes in the States, I’m also really appreciative of the delicious berries that flood the ¬†market during the summer. I’ve baked with blueberries often in the past, so this time I decided to change things up a bit and bake something with strawberries.

Recipe adapted from Obsessed with Baking

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp butter, melted (I used unsalted butter)

3 tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 cup strawberry yogurt (I used greek yogurt)

1/2 cup milk (I used organic fat-free milk)

1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 F

2. Grease muffin pan

3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl.

4. Whisk sugar and eggs together. Slowly whisk in butter, vanilla and oil until combined. Add the yogurt and the milk. Mix all together for about a minute.

Getting the batter ready

5. Using a rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and flour mixture until just moistened (Batter will be very lumpy with few spots of dry flour; do not overmix). Fold in sliced strawberries

Folding in the strawberries

6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin pan, filling up 3/4th of the muffin cups.

7. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17-19 minutes, rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time. To check if the muffins are done, put a fork inside the muffins, and if it comes out dry, it means the muffins are ready.

8. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.

 

Strawberry Muffins – ready to be eaten with a refreshing smoothie or just some plain, simple berries!

 

So how do you like to eat summer berries?

Making Ice-Cream without an Ice-Cream Maker

I’ve always wanted to find a way to make ice cream on my own, just because it’s a part of my daily intake and therefore, I’d like something healthier than the 250 calories for half a cup kind of stuff. So I decided to give the following a shot – I was half-scared it would turn out like frozen yogurt, but fortunately, it developed an ice-creamish consistency once in the freezer for an hour. The addition of actual fruits (instead of artificial flavors) probably helped it. Go ahead and give it a try.

Just a word of caution: I eye-balled these ingredients and with some fruits you might need slightly more or less milk depending on how big or small their slices are. (This is because slices can get stuck in the blender if there isn’t enough liquid in there) Also, feel free to increase the amount of sugar if that’s what your palette wants, I just prefer slightly less sugar in my ice-creams.¬†

Ingredients

10 ounces/280 grams of frozen sliced strawberries (you can also use frozen blueberries or peaches)

1 cup non-fat vanilla yogurt

1/2 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons sugar

Directions

1. Combine the yogurt , milk and the strawberries in a mixer or a blender. Process until the strawberries are mostly chopped.

2. Put in the vanilla and sugar into the mixture. Process again. (At this point, it would be a good idea to taste the mixture. Put in more sugar if you feel it is not sweet enough. Also, if your mixture seems too liquidy, you might want to use more strawberries to get in into a mildly concentrated condition)

3. Put the mixture in the freezer for a few hours. Serve with fruit or any other toppings!

Can’t wait for summer so that I can use more summery fruits as flavors!

Home-made Strawberry Ice Cream!