I try to always keep bananas in my freezer for creamy smoothies. Yes, you can make smoothies with unfrozen bananas as well but the mixture will not be as thick. And, as a side benefit, you can throw a couple of frozen bananas in the blender or food processor and make a very tasty and healthy fake-out ice cream soft serve. But back to the smoothies.
Beverages made with yogurt are common in Middle Eastern cuisine and smoothies of all kinds are popular here in the states. I think most people prefer to have their smoothies for breakfast and they fill them with both fruits and vegetables for a healthy start to the day. Blitz it all in the blender, pour it into a portable cup and you have a nutritious breakfast to go.
Personally, though, I like to make smoothies as an afternoon pick-me-up. Something healthy to fight off the afternoon slump and my desire to get away from my desk and just go take a nap. Alas, no time for napping but the smoothie can help keep me refreshed. Plus, I'm less rushed in the afternoon so I can take my time to consider the layers of flavor I want in my smoothie.
The banana is usually a staple and I love the protein hit I get from adding yogurt as well. The choice of yogurt is up to you but I always go with a plain Greek yogurt. A little honey gives it just a touch of sweetness without tasting like an ice cream milkshake and cinnamon is almost always a good idea.
At this point I think it's pretty common for Americans to reach for a tablespoon or two of peanut butter and I admit I'm no exception. I absolutely adore the stuff. It's not, however, a food that's popular in Middle Eastern cuisine or, for that matter, in most cuisines around the world. Tahini, however, is an awesome substitute. The sesame paste adds a delicious nutty flavor as well as some great protein and the same kind of creaminess you'd get from peanut butter.
- 1 Frozen banana
- 1 Cup plain Greek style yogurt
- 1/2 Cup milk
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 2 Tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
- 1/4 Teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 4 Large ice cubes
Note: to freeze bananas, wait until they are fully ripe, remove the peel, cut in half or quarters and place in an air tight bag in the freezer.
To make the smoothie, add the banana, Greek style yogurt, milk, honey, sesame paste, cinnamon, salt and ice cubes to a blender. Puree until completely smooth and no ice chips remain. Serve cold.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||15 g|
|Saturated Fat||5 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||5 g|
|Dietary Fiber||4 g|