If you do not already have a stash of bananas in your freezer, ready for creamy smoothies, then what are you waiting for? Yes, OK, you can make smoothies with unfrozen bananas as well but the mixture will not be as thick and rich tasting. 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 United States. They're a quick, easy and healthy breakfast option, filled with both fruits and vegetables for a protein and vitamin packed start to the day. Blitz it all in the blender, pour it into a portable cup and you have a nutritious breakfast to go.
But let's not neglect the smoothie as a great option for an afternoon pick-me-up. They can be a healthy option to fight off the afternoon energy slump and that urge to get away from our desks and just go take a nap. Alas, when napping is not an option, the smoothie does a much better job of keeping you refreshed than reaching for a candy bar. Plus, being less rushed in the afternoon means more time to consider the various layers of flavor options.
The banana is usually a staple as well as the protein hit from adding yogurt. The choice of yogurt is up to you but a plain Greek style yogurt is always a good choice. A little honey gives it just a touch of sweetness without tasting like an ice cream milkshake and a touch of cinnamon never hurts.
At this point in the smoothie making process, it's pretty common for many Americans to reach for a tablespoon or two of delicious creamy peanut butter. But tahini is a wonderful flavor substitute. Made from ground up sesame seeds, the sesame paste is also very smooth and creamy, like peanut butter, and adds a sharp, nutty flavor as well as a big boost of protein to your smoothies. Just add a straw and you have an afternoon treat.
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|