Weeknight Cooking

Blueberry Smoothie

August 13, 2012

Jenny is in perpetual search for easy, weeknight recipes to attempt to feed her family. When they balk, she just eats more.

Blueberry Smoothie

Among the many indignities of adolescence, right near the tippy top has got to be braces. 

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Yes, the whole process has improved since the early 1980s, when Dr. S., wearer of white bucks and driver of a car that was far too expensive for my part of town, entrapped my teeth for a good four years behind metal. It all ended with a standoff in his office, and I can’t remember the details but my father looked at the floor a lot and I made some comments about the consumer bureau, and then, the braces were magically removed. 

Tooth improvement starts earlier and tends to end more quickly these days, and you can have pink braces now. Still. It’s bad stuff.

So when my 13-year-old was set to get her choppers improved, I set out to find her foods to get through the first few days with new braces, when the pain level is high and chewing next to impossible. 

Already a smoothie lover, I figured she might cotton to Blueberry Smoothie, which has a lot more going for it, nutritionally, than many versions I make her before school. (Side note to the smoothie obsessives: follow Chef Gwen for her frequent smoothie postings.) 

You will note that nbert gives you some options for this drink, so I will walk you through what I used, as I tried to maximize the meal-ness of it all and keep an appealing flavor profile for my intended sipper. 

Frozen blueberries are fine, but while fresh in the market, it seems silly not to use them. (To make up for the lack of ice-cold-ness, I threw a few cubes of ice in with the cup of water.)

I tossed in two medium bananas, because I wanted them to shine. I used almond milk, which I think is the key to the final nutty, sort of almost roasted quality to the flavor. Rather than plain Greek yogurt (which I am starting to rebel against. Hello there is a place in America for regular yogurt thank you!) I threw in two generous tablespoons of plain, full fat vanilla yogurt to give it some sweetness. Yes to flaxseed. Yes to a few almonds. Yes to cinnamon. No thanks, oatmeal, Matcha. 

So, here is the sipping dialogue. 

“Hm. It tastes like a muffin.”

“Really?  A muffin?”

“Wait is it blueberry. There’s like, another berry. I don’t know. Tastes like a blueberry muffin."

“Yes blueberries. The other fruit is banana.”

“Oh yeah.  It’s really good. Have you seen my Teen Vogue?”

Ten minutes later. Gone. Yum.

Blueberry Smoothie by nbert

Serves 2

1 cup wild frozen blueberries
1 small banana or 1/2 large banana
1 cup Chocolate or Vanilla Soymilk or Almondmilk
1 tablespoon Ground Flaxseed
1 handful Walnuts or Almonds
1 tablespoon Greek Yogurt 2% (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup Water
1/2 cup Cooked Organic Oatmeal (optional)
1 teaspoon Matcha green tea (optional)

See the full recipe (and save it and print it) here.




Photo by Karen Mordechai

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Written by: Jestei

The ratio of people to cake is too big.


jamcook August 21, 2012
like BlissfulBaker I loved raw eggs , but when they are not allowed, pasteurized are the next best thing, and safe for young children and oldish codgers .
Blissful B. August 21, 2012
I'm in the Smoothie for Breakfast Camp, and with braces far behind me, don't have that as the excuse. Instead, I just think it's an easy way to pack a lot of nutrition into one delicious shake. My liquid base is homemade goat milk kefir. I add whatever fruit's in season or in the freezer. Yes to flax seed for the omegas. I do the opposite of jamcook & add a raw egg yolk for the protein (so much easier to digest than whites, and you can't taste it at all). Top that off with a spoonful of unrefined coconut oil (yay for the growing awareness that fats are good for us!) and add just a little bit of juice for added sweetness. Seriously, I never get sick of these. However, I just googled Chef Gwen per your recommendation and I'm inspired. I love the idea of adding spices - curried smoothies? Who knew?
jamcook August 20, 2012
I drank a lot of smoothies for several months after stomach surgery..my favorite ; Frozen mango chunks ,peaches and strawberries, big glob (maybe 1/3 cup regular vanilla yogurt,(YES!) about a cup of orange/mango/peach juice or strawberry/ apple juice, and for added protein some pasteurized egg whites, .(a third of a cup of these gives you the protein of two eggs...without any taste or nasty gritty texture) adjust proportions to taste.
Foodiewithalife August 20, 2012
I had braces for years and would have loved to get down on this smoothie!

Jennanjack August 20, 2012
Will someone post the link to the Paul Ryan article please? I have looked for it and I haven't been able to find it. Thanks!
drbabs August 20, 2012
nanaB August 19, 2012
I peel, then cut my ripe bananas into chunks before I freeze them. When I'm ready to use them, I take out as many chunks as I need to make a banana. This works great for smoothies, muffins and breads. This recipe has given me a good way to begin using almond milk. Thanks.
Jestei August 20, 2012
super idea
nanaB August 19, 2012
I peel, then cute my ripe bananas into chunks before I freeze them. When I'm ready to use them, I take out as many chunks as I need to make a banana. This works great for smoothies, muffins and breads. This recipe has given me a good way to begin using almond milk. Thanks.
Chef G. August 14, 2012
Jenny, thank you so much for the smoothie love. I feel for your braced child. I wore them twice, once as a 5th & 6th grader (too young, clearly) and once as an adult (not good for dating). And you've inspired me to try almond milk... like the idea of a roasted undertone.
Jestei August 14, 2012
i will share your story with H and she will be inspired
Chef G. August 14, 2012
Ha! But tell her the story did have a happy ending. J was able to look past the brace face ;)
mcs3000 August 13, 2012
Thanks to Chef Gwen's morning tweets, I am one of those smoothie obsessives. Love the idea of using almond milk.

Excellent Ryan piece.

Jestei August 14, 2012
thanks so much. and don't you love her smoothies?
EmilyC August 13, 2012
Couldn't agree more about Greek yogurt...read the other day that sales are expected to grow by 120% in next 5 years and that you'll see it everywhere, in smoothies, frozen yogurt, etc. Poor regular yogurt!
Jestei August 14, 2012
I like greek yogurt, been eatin it for years! But there is a definitely a place for reg no?
Lizthechef August 13, 2012
Love seeing you in the Times and screaming out to my husband, "That's my food52 friend, Jennie!" ps Nice smoothie, but why didn't you enter the haiku contest too?
Amanda H. August 13, 2012
I think you and Jenny went to the same college, btw. Or did you two already know this?
Jestei August 14, 2012
I forgot about poetry. and no we didnt know this!
Lizthechef August 14, 2012
Kalamazoo College - you too ??
Jestei August 15, 2012
ah no. but i am from kalamazoo!
mrslarkin August 13, 2012
Yes, awesome Ryan article, Jenny.

We had smoothies for lunch today, thanks to you. I just used what we had on hand; milk, yogurt, really ripe bananas, smooth peanut butter, cardamom, ice for sconegirl. milk, berries, yogurt, agave, ice for sconeboy. both yum. I used fresh fruit, but I'm convinced frozen fruit gives you a much more thick milk shake-y result. For the banana one, I'd totally think about turning that into a grown-up smoothie with a shot of bourbon.
TXExpatInBKK August 14, 2012
Oh my lord, your bourbon idea has me itching to get home from work and make that smoothie!
Jestei August 14, 2012
I agree on the frozen fruit thing. Definitely make this with almond milk sometime, it is an usual twist.
Chef G. August 14, 2012
Wow, I just did a banana + peanut butter + cardamom smoothie. That is a combo I can stand by. It's terrific. But no ice for me... I think it waters down the taste. Instead, I freeze the banana.
mrslarkin August 15, 2012
Isn't it yummy? Yeah, I threw in a couple pieces of ice because my 'nanas were not frozen. Couldn't figure out how to peel my gazillion frozen bananas i have in the freezer. Is there an easy way?
Jestei August 15, 2012
i nuke them just a little.
drbabs August 13, 2012
Jenny, if your daughter likes cucumber, try linzarella's cucumber blueberry mint smoothie. http://food52.com/recipes/4920_cucumber_blueberry_mint_smoothie
I tested it and it's really good. (Your vanilla yogurt would work well here.)

Nice article about Paul Ryan in today's NYTimes, btw. xo
Jestei August 13, 2012
thanks a million drbabs!