Berry Banana Smoothies

When it’s too hot to cook, a thick, smooth, cold, creamy beverage can fill me up and chill me down – all at the same time!

I’ve always got the basic ingredients to make smoothies (frozen fruit and ice cream, yogurt or sherbet) in my freezer. Fresh fruit can also be used to make these creamy smooth beverages, but for a really frosty, thick drink, I prefer frozen fruit. You can freeze fruits like berries and peaches during the summer and fall when they’re in season so you have them on hand year round. Or, you can purchase bags of prepared frozen fruits.

Since I always seem to buy too many bananas and their yellow skins darken and flesh softens before we get around to eating the bunch, those that have ripened beyond my preference automatically go into the freezer. To make it easier and less messy to use them later in smoothies (or baking), and to keep them from turning brown, before they get added to the large resealable bag of frozen bananas in my freezer, I peel them and wrap each one individually in a small piece of plastic wrap.

Frozen yogurt, sherbet or ice cream will also help add thickness to a smoothie. If you don’t have any of these options on hand, but you have some yogurt in your fridge, place the required amount in a plastic container and put it in the freezer until it’s firm (about 4 hours), stirring occasionally.

You almost can’t go wrong blending ingredients to make a smoothie. And experimenting is half the fun!

Here’s the recipe for a smoothie I enjoyed last week while sitting on our deck – book in one hand, beverage in the other! (I used the last few blueberries from last season to make the smoothies.)

Berry Banana Smoothie
(Makes 2 servings)

2 cups (500 mL) milk
1 cup (250 mL) orange sherbet
1 cup (250 mL) fresh or frozen blueberries, raspberries or strawberries
1 frozen banana, cut into pieces

In a blender, combine milk, sherbet, berries and banana. Process until smooth. Pour into two tall glasses. Serve with a straw.

Variation: Instead of orange sherbet, try another fruit-flavoured sherbet or vanilla or fruit-flavoured frozen yogurt. Vanilla ice cream can be substituted too.)

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