Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Thrifty Tasty Tuesday: Smoothies for Breakfast...

...and Dessert!

            I started this feature to share ways of feeding my family well while sticking to a budget. We probably all know by now that one of the best ways to eat better is to fill our plates with fruits and veggies. But let’s face it, fresh fruit can get really expensive this time of year—and often the quality doesn’t match the price tag. Fruit that is harvested for shipment over long distances is picked before it’s ripe, whereas frozen fruit stays on the vine longer and often has more flavor and vitamins than “fresh” fruit. There is a great variety out there and the cost is very reasonable.
Of course, you lose a lot in the way of texture when you freeze fruit, so you probably aren’t going to want to chow down on a bowlful of defrosted strawberries. But frozen fruit make fantastic smoothies. We have smoothies a couple of times a week for breakfast. The first few times I made them I had to tinker with the amounts of fruit and yogurt to get just the right balance. I’d add a little more of this and a little more of that, until finally I had more smoothie in my blender than we could drink at one breakfast. We don’t like to waste stuff in this house, so we poured the remaining mixture into popsicle molds and had them for dessert the next day. They were a hit—sweet enough for dessert and full of vitamins, protein, calcium, and probiotics.

Mango-Berry Smoothies & Pops
2 Cups low-fat vanilla yogurt (I use Stonyfield Farms)
1/2 banana, cut into pieces (frozen or not)
1 1/2 cups frozen mixed berries
1 1/2 cups frozen mango chunks
Optional: milk or orange juice to thin smoothie

Put first four ingredients in a blender and mix on the highest setting until smooth. You may need to stop blending and push the fruit towards the bottom a couple of times.

If the smoothie is too thick to pour, add a little milk or orange juice.

Pour smoothies into glasses and enjoy for breakfast.

Pour remaining smoothie mixture into popsicle molds and freeze overnight for a healthy and delicious dessert.