Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-12-2019, 10:41 AM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 27,778

Talk to Me About Basic Smoothies


I recently tried a berry smoothie at my local coffee bar near work. It was "berry puree" (and a long list of berries) and ice. One of the reasons I opted for it was because it did NOT contain yogurt or a dozen other ingredients. (I confess I opted for the dollop of whipped cream on top).

It was yummy. As opposed to a lot of smoothies I've which look/smell like blenderized lawn clippings (or worse). So... I guess it is possible for me to like smoothies. Yay! New thing to try!

Unfortunately, I can't afford a coffee shop smoothie every day. And I don't really want/need a lot of extra sugar (or whipped cream).

What do you folks think about, say, a 1/4-1/2 cup of frozen berries and a 1/4 cup of milk run through a blender? In addition to being healthy stuff, if I use the whole berries I'll get all the fiber and stuff of real fruit with the addition of milk making for something less sludgy than, well, sludge. I have a Black and Decker blender my husband bought and used to make dips like hummus with 12 (12!) different speeds/actions and an additional "ice crush" feature I'm assuming can handle frozen berries (or other fruit). I'm not planning to make great quantities of stuff, single-servings are fine (and probably best).

What other stuff (other than yoghurt and sweeteners, which I'm trying to avoid) can I add? Whey protein? Unflavored gelatin? Nut milks? (Almond, soy, whatever) Nut butters? Cottage cheese? Mashed potato flakes? What and how?

I'm not looking for a cure-all health food here, but more like something like a halfway healthy dessert/snack type thing a couple times a week.
  #2  
Old 03-12-2019, 10:52 AM
Typo Negative's Avatar
Typo Negative is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: 7th Level of Hell, Ca
Posts: 17,315
To me, all smoothies must have a base. I like bananas or papaya as a base. Without it, it will not have the right texture. Also, I use mocha mix and usually peanut butter powder. Its available in most 'bulk' aisles.
__________________
"God hates Facts"

- seen on a bumper sticker in Sacramento Ca
  #3  
Old 03-12-2019, 10:56 AM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 27,778
Eh, see, that's one of the reason I have avoided smoothies - I have food allergies and common additions like "peanut butter powder" make them off limits. (Seriously - even though the coffee shop offered me the first berry smoothie free I waited a week to collect because I have to contact the mix maker to double check it wouldn't kill me. Or at least put me in the hospital). Another reason making them at home appeals to me.

Wondering what I can safely use as a "texturizer" Do they sell almond powder or cashew powder? Although bananas are definitely workable - cheap, I usually have them on hand, go well with a lot of other stuff....

Wondering if frozen melon would work well.
  #4  
Old 03-12-2019, 10:58 AM
Periwinkle is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 516
Add half a frozen banana. A few drops of vanilla and/or a sprinkle of cinnamon are nice additions.
  #5  
Old 03-12-2019, 11:11 AM
Inigo Montoya's Avatar
Inigo Montoya is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: On the level, if inclined
Posts: 15,327
Yep, frozen bananamas are a staple at our place. Also, you can just grab bags of mixed fruit at the grocery freezer--it's nearly impossible to get a bad combo, but I would advise against apples because they don't really emulsify well. Once you get the hang of it (after, like 3 smoothies) you just keep your eyes open at the grocery store and buy stacks of whatever fruit is on sale and toss it in the freezer. Today was a mix of pineapple, mango, banana, and strawberry. Yesterday it was banana & strawberry. But I've also got in the freezer tangerines, cherries, grapes, raspberries, and blackberries. The berries are a little seedy but I don't mind. The missus prefers liquefying the fruit in apple juice, but I think that gets a bit too tart and overpowers the fruit. I prefer milk. Also toss in a scoop of protein powder and/or instant breakfast for sweetness and extra smoothiness. Or a packet or two of stevia.

You gotta trust me on this, but you can chuck a fistful of raw spinach in there as well. The fruit sweetness totally overpowers the spinach, you'll never know it's there. And I use a Ninja. Because I like saying I have a Ninja in my kitchen.

Last edited by Inigo Montoya; 03-12-2019 at 11:12 AM.
  #6  
Old 03-12-2019, 11:40 AM
MoonMoon's Avatar
MoonMoon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,107
It was berries and ice? That sounds more like frozen juice.

I call them protein shakes, because it sounds more legit (and because getting protein is tough for me, and that's their purpose). For me, it must have a base, to avoid the 'icy fruit' juice label. I use unsweetened whey powder and plain or vanilla kefir, a banana, frozen fruit, a handful of spinach if I have it, and ice.

I also have food allergies, but have found several plain, unsweetened whey powders that fit the bill. That's the only ingredient for me that has potential cross-contamination issues. Your mileage may vary.
  #7  
Old 03-12-2019, 11:42 AM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 27,778
You know, I think I just figured out why we sell so damn many bananas at the store where I work. All the packed lunches for school and work, all the juicers, and all the smoothies...!
  #8  
Old 03-12-2019, 11:45 AM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 27,778
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonMoon View Post
It was berries and ice? That sounds more like frozen juice.
There also some thickeners/gums/etc. in the mix. Anyhow - nothing wrong with iced juice in my book. I've made ice cubes out of juice to plunk in water in the summer, and I have also frozen chunks of melon in the freezer and sucked on them like ice cubes in the summer to help cool off. So for me, at least, that's not a problem. No doubt this is an area where YMMV. As you noted.
  #9  
Old 03-12-2019, 12:54 PM
ZipperJJ's Avatar
ZipperJJ is offline
Just Lovely and Delicious
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 25,067
IMHO you can do a smoothie however you want. If you put in whatever you want and it's not sweet enough, put in some sweetener (sugar, splenda, honey, juice). If it's not thick enough, put in some thickener (nut butter, powder, banana, avocado, nut milk). It doesn't have to be exactly X ounces or have any particular ratios of stuff.

All of the stuff you mentioned are great additives!

I just got a green tea smoothie from my local smoothie place. It was almond milk and green tea powder and whatever else they add. Pretty basic. But tea powder is another idea.
  #10  
Old 03-12-2019, 01:03 PM
BeeGee is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,267
You've got to have a blender with at least 1000 watts or you'll have a chunky instead of a smoothie. Especially if you add anything green. My standard smoothie is 1 c spinach, 1 banana, 1 small orange or tangelo, and 1 c unsweetened almond milk. No added sweetener at all. I freeze my bananas and fresh spinach weekly and peel the orange the night before.
  #11  
Old 03-12-2019, 04:25 PM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 27,778
My husband used to use this blender to whack a pound of garbanzo beans into hummus. I think it can handle frozen fruit in smaller quantities. Just sayin'....

But yeah, this is a case where more power is better than less.
  #12  
Old 03-12-2019, 04:56 PM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 27,778
Tried my first home made smoothie.

First, I neglected to consider, or simply did not realize, that a certain amount of the mix was going to stay on the sides of the blender. I was aiming for about 9 ounces of smoothie and wound up with about 6 or 7 in my glass. Noted for future reference.

I guessimated about a half cup to 3/4 cup mixed frozen berries (they're all lumpy and stuff!) and a half cup of whole milk. No further additives (largely because I didn't have any to hand) Hit "chop" first then "liquefy".

There was a teeny bit of chunkiness/seeds but nothing I minded. The milk was whipped to a bit of a froth, which I sort of liked and complimented the slight "grittiness". The natural sweetness of the berries was enough - I actually find a lot of prepared food either too salty or too sweet these days, I don't feel a need to add sugar to fruit, it's already full of various sugars.

It was pretty good, actually, even if not exactly what I was aiming for (I expect that will come with time and experimentation). Got some fruit, got some dairy, and it was pleasantly cool as well. It was the right amount, instead of feeling like I have a quart of stuff I now have to somehow store until I'm ready for more, or that I should suck down more food than I really want to on the spot.

I'm thinking frozen peaches and milk might be a good combo, too.
  #13  
Old 03-12-2019, 05:05 PM
Inigo Montoya's Avatar
Inigo Montoya is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: On the level, if inclined
Posts: 15,327
Peach is good, but it develops more of a citrusy bite than you might be ready for. Banana or vanilla-flavored protein powder will help with that.
  #14  
Old 03-12-2019, 05:48 PM
araminty is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Posts: 2,761
My main smoothie advice is, buy frozen fruit (it's usually cheaper and better quality than fresh, especially stuff like stone fruit, mango, berries, which are soft and hard/expensive to transport) and to whizz it in the blender for longer than you think necessary. I like adding Greek yoghurt.
  #15  
Old 03-12-2019, 07:07 PM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 27,778
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inigo Montoya View Post
Peach is good, but it develops more of a citrusy bite than you might be ready for. Banana or vanilla-flavored protein powder will help with that.
Yeah, I'm sort of trying to avoid paying an arm and a leg for powders... maybe next time they go on sale. Or maybe I'll just throw in an actual banana. That, and a lot of those protein powders have added sugar, which I'm trying to avoid.

Although, as someone who has been known to peel and eat a lemon like most people do oranges I'm not sure a "citrus bite" is really a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by araminty View Post
My main smoothie advice is, buy frozen fruit (it's usually cheaper and better quality than fresh, especially stuff like stone fruit, mango, berries, which are soft and hard/expensive to transport) and to whizz it in the blender for longer than you think necessary. I like adding Greek yoghurt.
That's great if you like yogurt, although frankly it was the ubiquity of people adding yoghurt to smoothies that put me off trying them for so long. I really do not like yogurt. Or keffir. Or sour cream. I get that a lot of people like that "tangy" note or whatever but to me it's really off-putting. I like the dairy+fruit combo, but only with fresh dairy.

I dunno, maybe I'm just weird and like gritty fruit juice/puree?

But definitely there are advantages to using frozen fruit for this.
  #16  
Old 03-12-2019, 07:43 PM
Shoeless's Avatar
Shoeless is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: The Sunflower State
Posts: 6,413
My home smoothie recipe is pretty simple. Approximately one cup each of juice (usually some OJ blend like orange-pineapple), vanilla ice cream, and frozen fruit (bananas, blueberries, strawberries, whatever). Just the right combination of frozen, fruity, and creamy. The grandkids love 'em.
  #17  
Old 03-12-2019, 08:06 PM
Inigo Montoya's Avatar
Inigo Montoya is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: On the level, if inclined
Posts: 15,327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Although, as someone who has been known to peel and eat a lemon like most people do oranges I'm not sure a "citrus bite" is really a problem.
I always knew you were hard like woodpecker lips. Carry on.
__________________
Y'all are just too damned serious. Lighten up.
  #18  
Old 03-13-2019, 03:27 AM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 27,778
Hey, sour, bitter, and salty are flavors just like sweet.
  #19  
Old 03-13-2019, 07:39 AM
Dinsdale is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 17,828
Just curious - why no yogurt? When I used to make smoothies, I always included some. Made it creamy - something other than just smashed fruit. And I thought it had some dietary benefit.

And I almost always used a banana. I like bananas - but only if they are JUST RIGHT. If too hard or too ripe, they hairtrigger my gag reflex. But a smoothie can take the greenest or brownest nanner.

I stopped making smoothies after someone convinced me that the blending broke down much of the desirable fiber. Also, I got tired of cleaning the blender. But I had a friend who swore blenders cleaned themselves by simply adding some water and dish soap and turning it on.
__________________
I used to be disgusted.
Now I try to be amused.
  #20  
Old 03-13-2019, 08:27 AM
Quartz's Avatar
Quartz is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Home of the haggis
Posts: 30,630
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
What do you folks think about, say, a 1/4-1/2 cup of frozen berries and a 1/4 cup of milk run through a blender?

As I understand it - fight my ignorance here - smoothies are actually bad for you because digestion occurs at the wrong part of your intestine as the sugars are released too early. In particular this means that they are bad for your teeth.
  #21  
Old 03-13-2019, 11:31 AM
Dinsdale is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 17,828
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
As I understand it - fight my ignorance here - smoothies are actually bad for you because digestion occurs at the wrong part of your intestine as the sugars are released too early. In particular this means that they are bad for your teeth.
That might be related to what I had heard. I had thought I was doing something good, by finding a way to eat more fruit (I'm generally not a huge fan of many fruits), and someone w/ some knowledge of nutrition suggested otherwise. Similar to how I used to think fruit juice was good for you.
__________________
I used to be disgusted.
Now I try to be amused.
  #22  
Old 03-13-2019, 04:46 PM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 27,778
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
Just curious - why no yogurt?
Because I really, really, really hate the taste of yogurt.

Back in 2005, after a week of not being allowed to eat or drink for medical reasons - in other words, I was starving - a lot of stuff I normally didn't like to eat or drink tasted FANTASTIC! for the two or three days they were reintroducing me to food. Except yogurt. I got about one and half spoonfuls down and it tasted VILE to me. Nauseating. Like eating rotting stuff.

That's how much I dislike yogurt.

So, please, have my share of my the world's yogurt. Please, take it.

Quote:
When I used to make smoothies, I always included some. Made it creamy - something other than just smashed fruit. And I thought it had some dietary benefit.
I'm trying to figure out what I can use as a thickener other than yogurt. Or ice cream. Because, while I could justify an ice-cream smoothie every couple of months as a Very Special Treat it's not at all something I want to eat on a regular basis.

I'm going to try a banana next time.

Also wondering if unflavored gelatin would work...?
  #23  
Old 03-13-2019, 04:59 PM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 27,778
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
As I understand it - fight my ignorance here - smoothies are actually bad for you because digestion occurs at the wrong part of your intestine as the sugars are released too early. In particular this means that they are bad for your teeth.
There is this thing called "brushing" that is good for your teeth...

The whole "digestion occurs at the wrong part of your intestine" sounds like woo to me.

A big problem with a lot (though not all) smoothies is ADDED sugars. Stuff like typical yogurt, ice cream, a lot of the commercial protein powders, all have added sugar that just adds, well, sugar and calories. They turn it into essentially a liquid candy bar.

Another problem is juicing/juice - that's basically water and sugar (maybe some color and bits of other stuff). If, however, you include pulp - which is what you get when you blend/chop/etc. whole fruits/vegetables - then you get some of the fiber.

Another problem is this thing called "moderation". The small smoothies at my local coffee shop are 12 ounces. I was making one about 6-8 ounces which, even if it was the same formula (it wasn't) is still about half the calories.

What I'm sort of looking for is a sort of dessert/snack that isn't wholly garbage. I mean, there's really nothing stopping me (other than my naked will) from going into my pantry and consuming fistfuls of pure white sugar (or brown sugar, or honey, or molasses - I have all of those). I don't usually eat dessert, but when I do a piece of fruit is often it. A piece of fruit, not the whole damn produce section at the grocery store.

So... a half cup of fruit and a half cup of milk and nothing else is a naturally sweet thing that yes, does have sugar in it but also fiber and protein and some fats and calcium and a bit of vitamins. That's a serving of fruit and a serving of dairy. Which is reasonable. Add a banana and you have two servings of fruit. I could just eat the berries and banana and down a half a cup of milk instead... and some days I do. It's just another way to get the same thing.

A giant smoothie made with four cups of fruit, with sugar-laden typical yogurt, sugar-laden protein powder, and bunch of other stuff... not so healthy because that's a LOT of sugar.

It's like people who down 16 ounces of orange juice. Um.. that's a lot of calories. When I was a kid a serving of orange juice was 4-6 ounces. Which is more of an actual serving and a reasonable amount in regards to benefits vs. liabilities.
  #24  
Old 03-13-2019, 05:01 PM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 27,778
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
That might be related to what I had heard. I had thought I was doing something good, by finding a way to eat more fruit (I'm generally not a huge fan of many fruits), and someone w/ some knowledge of nutrition suggested otherwise. Similar to how I used to think fruit juice was good for you.
Fruit juice is good for you. In small amounts. If you squeeze the juice out of a singe orange that's about right. Pouring a pint of orange juice out of a bottle... not so much.

Eating fruit is good, but you need to balance it with everything else you should/need to eat. Like vegetables, protein, etc.

That's one reason I want to use frozen fruit - I'm just one person, there is no way I could eat, say, a pound of fresh berries, a half dozen bananas, a couple peaches, and so on before they go bad. But if I have them frozen I can just take enough for a small portion while the rest remain tucked in the freezer NOT going bad until I get around to them.

Overeating fruit is as bad as overeating any other type of food.

Last edited by Broomstick; 03-13-2019 at 05:03 PM.
  #25  
Old 03-13-2019, 05:08 PM
Dinsdale is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 17,828
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Fruit juice is good for you. In small amounts. If you squeeze the juice out of a singe orange that's about right. ...
Yeah - but eating the orange is MUCH better!

I'm not a big fan of yogurt. Not aware of even being able to taste it in smoothies.

Good luck finding what works for you.
__________________
I used to be disgusted.
Now I try to be amused.
  #26  
Old 03-13-2019, 06:51 PM
Dr. Strangelove's Avatar
Dr. Strangelove is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 7,540
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
I'm trying to figure out what I can use as a thickener other than yogurt.
I use a pinch of xanthan gum. Other than that, my smoothie recipe is the same: frozen berries+milk. Or banana+strawberries+milk. The xanthan gum isn't really necessary, but it reduces separation in the end product. I bought a BlendTec and it works well.
  #27  
Old 03-13-2019, 08:33 PM
MichaelEmouse's Avatar
MichaelEmouse is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 6,867
Is the absence of a base the most common reason for smoothies being underwhelming? What other mistakes could a novice be making?

What are the best ways to clean the blender? Anything to keep the noise down?
  #28  
Old 03-13-2019, 10:04 PM
Inigo Montoya's Avatar
Inigo Montoya is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: On the level, if inclined
Posts: 15,327
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse View Post
What are the best ways to clean the blender?
Immediately rinse it in hot water. Like, right after you pour out. What I like about the Ninja is you don't have to struggle to unscrew a base. The blades just come out for an easy rinse. 20 seconds and it's clean and drying on the rack and you can slurp with an easy conscience. I also like the cylindrical vessel being full of blades as opposed to the conical blender with blades on the bottom. Moves the stuff around better, which is nice if you like a thick drink.
__________________
Y'all are just too damned serious. Lighten up.
  #29  
Old 03-13-2019, 11:06 PM
Dr. Strangelove's Avatar
Dr. Strangelove is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 7,540
One problem that I ran into:
When I started making banana smoothies, I decided to buy a few bunches, slice all of them, and then freeze. Sounded like a good idea at the time, but what happened is that the slices froze together into a single huge blob (actually two, since I put them in two bags).

Anyone know of ways to avoid this problem? It seems like the issue that bananas are so moist that they "wept" at first, and then the excess water froze. They're also so soft that the slices have a large point of contact between them (instead of a small point like you might have with a firm berry). So they ended up glued together pretty solidly.

They're still good and I can basically pry off slices with a butter knife, but it's annoying. I was thinking of pre-freezing the slices on waxed paper, but that sounds like a lot of work.
  #30  
Old 03-14-2019, 03:23 AM
purplehorseshoe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 9,724
I doubt there's a better way.

Lay a sheet of waxed paper onto a cookie sheet, slice banana onto it in a single layer, then gently set in freezer. You can "accordion" the waxed paper between the slices once they're frozen, if that makes sense. (I freeze bacon sometimes, and similarly have to keep the pieces separated.)
__________________
I can haz sig line?
  #31  
Old 03-14-2019, 04:08 AM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 27,778
I was looking into smoothie thickeners (other than ice cream and yogurt) and came up with:

1) Bananas - already mentioned here

2) Xantham gum - already mentioned here. No calories!

3) Chia seeds - I think I might have an issue with those, unfortunately.

4) Oatmeal - hey, I like oatmeal! And I have some in my pantry....

5) Silken tofu - hey, I like tofu! And it's protein!

6) Unflavored gelatin - not sure how that's going to work out, it can be tricky to use in some applications. But hey, no sugar and it's also protein. And I have some in my pantry...

7) Nut butters - hey, I've got cashew butter on hand...

8) Avocado - er... not a fan, but may someone else would like them

9) Flax seed

10) Protein powder - although a lot of them have tons of sugar and stuff, and the unflavored stuff tends to be pricey

11) Cottage cheese - hey, I like cottage cheese...

I foresee some experimenting in my near future.

Have also considered that an occasional shot of vodka might be a pleasing variant (only to be consumed in moderation, of course), then I thought, isn't that sort of the margarita/daiquiri territory?
  #32  
Old 03-14-2019, 04:22 AM
guizot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: An East Hollywood dingbat
Posts: 8,370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
A big problem with a lot (though not all) smoothies is ADDED sugars. Stuff like typical yogurt, ice cream, a lot of the commercial protein powders, all have added sugar that just adds, well, sugar and calories. They turn it into essentially a liquid candy bar.
Well, okay, but blending anything with sugar is essentially liquefying a candy bar, because sugar is sugar is sugar. And that's what's in fruit--sugar. I mean, that's why we like it.

I believe the point Quartz was getting at is the destruction of the natural fibrous delivery system of the fruit's flesh in the blending process. So it's kind of like pounding up your time-release opioid medication into a powder and snorting it to get the sudden high which you otherwise wouldn't get.
  #33  
Old 03-14-2019, 04:34 AM
Heffalump and Roo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
4) Oatmeal - hey, I like oatmeal! And I have some in my pantry....

5) Silken tofu - hey, I like tofu! And it's protein!
I came into the thread to post this.

You can grind the oatmeal into powder before you add the other ingredients. It's still the slightest bit gritty, but I can hardly taste it.

I like the tofu option if it's silken tofu. It makes it more custardy. I've never tried firmer tofu. I wonder if that would work too.
  #34  
Old 03-14-2019, 05:31 AM
Shalmanese is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Shenzhen, China
Posts: 7,257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Tried my first home made smoothie.

First, I neglected to consider, or simply did not realize, that a certain amount of the mix was going to stay on the sides of the blender. I was aiming for about 9 ounces of smoothie and wound up with about 6 or 7 in my glass. Noted for future reference.
You can reserve 1/2 cup - cup of your liquid and make a second smoothie by blending the leftovers in the carafe into something thinner and easier to pour out. If you have a habit of making thick smoothies, between what's left over in the carafe and what's left over in your cup, you can often make a second smoothie that's maybe half the thickness of the first just from what's left behind.
  #35  
Old 03-14-2019, 06:56 AM
Quartz's Avatar
Quartz is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Home of the haggis
Posts: 30,630
Quote:
Originally Posted by guizot View Post
I believe the point Quartz was getting at is the destruction of the natural fibrous delivery system of the fruit's flesh in the blending process.

Ah right, so that's why it gets digested at the wrong part of the intestine.
  #36  
Old 03-14-2019, 07:28 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness's Avatar
Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: at the right hand of cool
Posts: 40,278
Cottage cheese is okay, but yogurt isn't? Weird. (Not doubting you, but weird.)

For folks who don't mind yogurt, I have a tip. No, not yogurt: whey.

I recently started making yogurt in our instant pot--my wife eats nearly a pint a day of yogurt, and it's cheaper and less wasteful to make it ourselves. But she likes it strained, like Greek yogurt, which means a gallon of milk makes two quarts of yogurt and two quarts of whey.

We used to put yogurt in our smoothies, but it turns out that whey in smoothies is delicious. It doesn't thicken the smoothie, but it imparts that delicious yogurty tang, and it's pretty healthy, and it uses the whey up.
  #37  
Old 03-14-2019, 07:36 AM
kayaker's Avatar
kayaker is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 30,971
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Wondering what I can safely use as a "texturizer"
Raw egg. My gf made me a smoothie years ago and it was amazing. When she told me the texture was due to a raw egg I nearly puked and was a little pissed off she'd snuck it by me. Then I had another.

We have hens, so I don't worry about eating eggs raw, but you could try pasteurized raw egg.
  #38  
Old 03-14-2019, 09:57 AM
running coach's Avatar
running coach is offline
Arms of Steel, Leg of Jello
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Riding my handcycle
Posts: 36,331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Cottage cheese is okay, but yogurt isn't? Weird. (Not doubting you, but weird.)

For folks who don't mind yogurt, I have a tip. No, not yogurt: whey.

I recently started making yogurt in our instant pot--my wife eats nearly a pint a day of yogurt, and it's cheaper and less wasteful to make it ourselves. But she likes it strained, like Greek yogurt, which means a gallon of milk makes two quarts of yogurt and two quarts of whey.

We used to put yogurt in our smoothies, but it turns out that whey in smoothies is delicious. It doesn't thicken the smoothie, but it imparts that delicious yogurty tang, and it's pretty healthy, and it uses the whey up.
You might want to check the expiration date on your cottage cheese.
  #39  
Old 03-14-2019, 11:20 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness's Avatar
Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: at the right hand of cool
Posts: 40,278
Quote:
Originally Posted by running coach View Post
You might want to check the expiration date on your cottage cheese.
Every bite of cottage cheese I've tried expired before I tasted it, despite the lies on the listed expiration date.
  #40  
Old 03-14-2019, 01:27 PM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 27,778
Quote:
Originally Posted by guizot View Post
Well, okay, but blending anything with sugar is essentially liquefying a candy bar, because sugar is sugar is sugar. And that's what's in fruit--sugar. I mean, that's why we like it.
OK, sure, fruit has sugar. But I'm talking about adding sugar to what's already in the fruit. It's sugar on top of sugar.

It seems sugar is now being demonized in the way fact used to be. Sugar in and of itself isn't bad. Too much sugar is bad. The sugar you get from eating one orange (or drinking the juice of one orange) is not bad. The sugar from a dozen oranges all at once probably is, especially if it's crowding out other nutrient.

Quote:
I believe the point Quartz was getting at is the destruction of the natural fibrous delivery system of the fruit's flesh in the blending process. So it's kind of like pounding up your time-release opioid medication into a powder and snorting it to get the sudden high which you otherwise wouldn't get.
Wow.

That's just... what, you put the stuff in a blender for three hours or something? Or maybe you normally swallow fruit whole instead of chewing it, which also reduces it to mush? I don't get this. Chopped/miniced/chewed/smoothie fruit fiber is still fiber, it's not being reduced to the molecular level. That sounds like it's edging into woo territory to me.

Reminds me of a guy I once heard of who wouldn't eat raw, unadorned carrots because they had "too much sugar". WTF? Really? Just plain carrots? How many are you eating at once?
  #41  
Old 03-14-2019, 01:32 PM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 27,778
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shalmanese View Post
You can reserve 1/2 cup - cup of your liquid and make a second smoothie by blending the leftovers in the carafe into something thinner and easier to pour out. If you have a habit of making thick smoothies, between what's left over in the carafe and what's left over in your cup, you can often make a second smoothie that's maybe half the thickness of the first just from what's left behind.
That is WAY too much smoothie. I'm looking for a cup o' smoothie, not a quart. And I'm not storing it in the fridge because I'm not doing these every day.
  #42  
Old 03-14-2019, 01:50 PM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 27,778
Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Cottage cheese is okay, but yogurt isn't? Weird. (Not doubting you, but weird.)
Yeah, well, I grew up eating cottage cheese so I acquired a taste for it. But not yogurt. Reality is weird and so am I.
  #43  
Old 03-14-2019, 01:56 PM
Inigo Montoya's Avatar
Inigo Montoya is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: On the level, if inclined
Posts: 15,327
Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehorseshoe View Post
Lay a sheet of waxed paper onto a cookie sheet, slice banana onto it in a single layer, then gently set in freezer. You can "accordion" the waxed paper between the slices once they're frozen, if that makes sense. (I freeze bacon sometimes, and similarly have to keep the pieces separated.)
Alternatively, we stick entire bananas together in a gallon freezer bag and chuck 'em into the freezer. Half a dozen bananmas skinned and in the freezer in under 2 minutes, never to be thought about again until it's time to make muffins or smoothies. They do stick together a little, but not so bad you can't disarticulate the desired portion.
  #44  
Old 03-14-2019, 06:32 PM
Helena330's Avatar
Helena330 is offline
Mere Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Near Seattle, WA, USA
Posts: 3,633
I wonder how almond flour would be as a thickener? I may have to try it.

Broomstick, I don't know what you consider expensive, but as far as protein powders go this is pretty reasonable. I swear by the stuff.

Jarrow Unflavored Protein Powder
  #45  
Old 03-14-2019, 07:05 PM
Grestarian is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Garage & Lab
Posts: 1,471
The basic recipe I learned while I was working in the health-food store on campus was

1 cup Milk or Juice
1/2 a banana
Fruit and/or berries and/or certain leafy greens.

I always thought that was a rather thin drink.
I always thought the green versions tasted bitter.
This was when Wheat grass started becoming a fad, too.
I think wheat grass juice tastes like a swamp looks.


----------------

When a new bistro/cafe opened in the building where I worked in the 1990's I tried their berry smoothies.
I liked them better and stole the recipe by watching them make it and asking the owner why he used what he used

1 cup* ice, preferably crushed
1 banana
Fruit and/or berries
a spoonful of yogurt -- usually something that matches the fruit.
a splash of juice+
protein powder optional

The portions and proportions are highly negotiable. If you like a lot of berries, feel free to use a lot of berries.
The ice provides the bulk* and the chill.
The whole banana provides the smoothness and traps air, making this kind of smoothie creamy like a shake (rather than thin like the other one).
The yogurt 'softens' the ice but most people can't taste$ it. Without it, the drink tends to feel gritty on the tongue, despite the smooth texture of the pulverized banana.
The juice+ lubricates the ingredients in the blender. Less is required if you're using crushed ice rather than cubes.

As with a good milkshake or malt, the key is letting everything blend well while it takes on air.

Start with the pulse button to loosen up the ice, then crank it up to the highest speed.

Let it whirl until a dimple forms in the center and sucks itself down to a vortex. Let that vortex spin for a couple seconds, then lower the speed one notch.

Let it whirl until a dimple forms in the center and sucks itself down to a vortex. Let that vortex spin for a couple seconds, then lower the speed one notch.

Did I accidentally paste that twice? No. Repeat the step, letting a vortex form and lowering the speed, until you can't lower the speed any more. The 'hole' in the center is sucking air down into your smoothie. It's also pushing air out around the edges, but as you lower the speed more and more microscopic air bubbles will become trapped in the creamy solution (more or less depending on how thick your smoothie is).

When you can't lower the speed any more, well, the only thing left to do is turn the machine off.

Pour your smoothie into a tall glass, rinse% the pitcher, and throw in a straw. Smoothies are best consumed through a straw to avoid a colorful 'milk mustache' effect.

Bon Apetit!



--G!

* Be forewarned that it will eventually need to come back out of you. You can certainly make thicker smoothies with a larger proportion of ice, but sooner or later that ice will have to melt and then it will be absorbed by the intestines and redirected to the bladder.
$ The restaurant owner would use 2oz of vanilla yogurt. The vanilla could be tasted in some of the milder smoothies, but not the tanginess of yogurt. I tend to use more yogurt (up to about 4oz) but it's blueberry with my blueberries, strawberry with my strawberries, peach with my peach halves, et cetera.
+ The restaurant owner used apple because it's relatively indistinct yet sweet. I use pink lemonade because I tend to have it around often. I've used ginger-ale, cran-grape, cran-raspberry, cran-apple, apple, and other juices -- even water -- just to help the ice be a bit less sticky when I start the blender.
% Once in a while a blender pitcher should be dismantled and thoroughly washed. This keeps things sanitary and ensures parts will move smoothly -- sugar can act like a strong glue on a blender blade! How often you do this depends on how often you use it for smoothies and/or other things.
  #46  
Old 03-14-2019, 07:18 PM
Dr. Strangelove's Avatar
Dr. Strangelove is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 7,540
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grestarian View Post
No. Repeat the step, letting a vortex form and lowering the speed, until you can't lower the speed any more. The 'hole' in the center is sucking air down into your smoothie.
I do the opposite--it won't blend otherwise.

At high speed, the blender immediately creates a cavity in which the blades spin freely. I have to take the pitcher off and bang it on the counter to pop the bubble. At the lowest speed, though, the blades have enough bite to create the vortex. Once this has been going for a bit, I can increase the speed by a notch. Each time I step up the speed, the vortex becomes less well-defined, but as it chops (and warms the smoothie, most likely), the circulating action improves and I can increase the speed more.

The aeration effect is nice, but I always end up underestimating its effect. What looks like a small amount of fruit+milk ends up producing like 32 oz worth of smoothie.
  #47  
Old 03-14-2019, 08:25 PM
running coach's Avatar
running coach is offline
Arms of Steel, Leg of Jello
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Riding my handcycle
Posts: 36,331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helena330 View Post
I wonder how almond flour would be as a thickener? I may have to try it.

Broomstick, I don't know what you consider expensive, but as far as protein powders go this is pretty reasonable. I swear by the stuff.

Jarrow Unflavored Protein Powder
That's' only 2 lbs for $23.
If she has a Costco in reach, they have 5-6 lb bags of whey protein for $30-35 (on sale), about 75-80 servings.

Last edited by running coach; 03-14-2019 at 08:25 PM.
  #48  
Old 03-15-2019, 12:52 AM
guizot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: An East Hollywood dingbat
Posts: 8,370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Wow.

That's just... what, you put the stuff in a blender for three hours or something? Or maybe you normally swallow fruit whole instead of chewing it, which also reduces it to mush? I don't get this. Chopped/miniced/chewed/smoothie fruit fiber is still fiber, it's not being reduced to the molecular level. That sounds like it's edging into woo territory to me.
It's not "woo," but on the other hand, we need more research to really know for sure what the long-term effects are, and smoothies are definitely better than juice, or soda.
  #49  
Old 03-15-2019, 01:25 AM
Dr. Strangelove's Avatar
Dr. Strangelove is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 7,540
Quote:
Originally Posted by guizot View Post
It's not "woo," but on the other hand, we need more research to really know for sure what the long-term effects are, and smoothies are definitely better than juice, or soda.
Your link contains this in the third paragraph (bolding mine):
Quote:
I love juices and smoothies as much as the next person — but when embarking on my sugar detox journey, I wanted to get a better handle as to what ingredients I should be consuming and how.
"Detox" is a great word, because anyone that uses it can be immediately ignored as a woo-peddler.

On the other hand, we have this:
Quote:
'For all practical purposes, neither soluble nor insoluble fiber is affected by puréeing in your kitchen,'' said Christina Stark, a nutritionist with the division of nutritional sciences at Cornell University. Only after several days of grinding in a steel ball mill or stone polisher would you get some degradation, she said.
Your linked article does at least cite its source--Robert Lustig in his book Fat Chance. The central thesis (that sugar is particularly bad) is controversial enough, but this particular statement (that blending destroys insoluble fiber) doesn't seem to have any scientific support at all.

There does seem to be an enormous amount of confusion between juicing and blending. Juicing is the extraction of flavored sugar water from the fruit. Blending just chops the fruit into little pieces (actually huge pieces on a molecular scale). The two processes shouldn't be conflated at all.
  #50  
Old 03-15-2019, 05:41 AM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 27,778
Quote:
Originally Posted by running coach View Post
That's' only 2 lbs for $23.
If she has a Costco in reach, they have 5-6 lb bags of whey protein for $30-35 (on sale), about 75-80 servings.
It's not the cost per unit, it's having to shell out $20-40 for a big tub of something I don't even know if I'll like. If I try it and don't like it what do I do with the rest of that crap? It would be great to be able to find single-serve samples of this stuff to try out.

I should probably try to find someone who already uses the stuff and ask them for a scoop or two to try.

Same problem with fresh fruit and vegetables - it's very hard to buy small enough quantities for just one person. Have you tried to buy half a cabbage lately? If I wind up throwing out half (or more!) of the food I buy that's very poor economy, even if the individual items aren't that expensive it adds up over time. Frozen fruit is one solution, except that thawing it out typically leaves you with mush that is quite unappetizing. Putting it into smoothies gets around that, but again, I'm not looking to make quarts of this stuff at a time. I'm trying to avoid overeating which is difficult in a society where everything is geared towards purchasing in massive quantities.

Last edited by Broomstick; 03-15-2019 at 05:44 AM.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:35 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017