Everyday Cooking

Fruit and Spice Lassis

August 15, 2013

Each Thursday, Emily Vikre (a.k.a fiveandspice) will be sharing a new way to love breakfast -- because breakfast isn't just the most important meal of the day. It's also the most awesome.

Today: A summer-y, yogurt-y take on a smoothie.

Lassis from Food52

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As a general rule I like to eat my food, not drink it. I think this is why I’ve never been able to fully embrace the smoothie-for-breakfast mania. Entirely incongruously though, I do, on occasion, like a lassi for breakfast. This makes absolutely no sense, given that a lassi is essentially a smoothie, but I’ve never cared for making too much sense.

The difference (for me, at least, because this distinction may have no actual basis in reality) between a lassi and a smoothie is that a lassi gives you more unbridled yogurty goodness.  A smoothie is more about frozen fruit; a lassi is more about dairy. Also, a lassi is a smoothie with a reputation untarnished by an overproliferation of mediocre versions in chain coffee shops. And as yet, lassis have been unsullied by the addition of kale. (Don’t get me wrong. I love kale. I just don’t like it blended up, and especially not with berries. Sorry if I’ve offended you.)

There’s no real reason to try to improve on the classic mango lassi. It’s already an ideal type. At the same time, there’s also no real reason not to off-road with your lassi ingredients -- and so I do, blending up a wide variety of fruit (whatever’s looking appealing) with spices and sometimes nuts. These two, a peach-pistachio-cardamom version and a cantaloupe-lime-cayenne one, are my two current favorites. They’re lightly sweet, chilly, frothy, and perfect for a sunny summer morning, particularly if you feel like sipping breakfast rather than chewing.   

Peach Pistachio Lassi 

Serves 2

2 small, or one very large, peaches, pitted and cut into chunks (no need for peeling)
2 tablespoons pistachios
1 ½ cup Greek-style yogurt, preferably full-fat
2 pinches ground cardamom
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey (optional - if your peaches are nice and ripe you probably won't need it)
1/4 to 1/2 cup cold milk

See the rest of the recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by Emily Vikre


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    Kenzi Wilbur
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.


boulangere August 15, 2013
There are myriad lassi formulas here, several of which are among my very favorites from Sagegreen: http://food52.com/recipes/search?q=lassi
boulangere August 15, 2013
Gosh, speaking of smoothies, I've never made one with frozen fruit. Always fresh. I kind of thought that was the definition of a smoothie. Silly me.
fiveandspice August 16, 2013
Yes, there are lots of great lassi ideas on the site. I love Sagegreen's lingonberry lassi, and there's also that awesome heirloom tomato lassi. You can never have too many different ideas for inspiration!
Fairmount_market August 15, 2013
I entirely agree with your distinction between lassi and smoothie. And I love the idea of adding nuts.
fiveandspice August 16, 2013
Thanks FM!
Amanda H. August 15, 2013
Can't wait to give this a try!
fiveandspice August 15, 2013
Thanks Amanda!
Claire August 15, 2013
would it keep if you made the night before?
fiveandspice August 15, 2013
You know, I can't say I've ever tried. But, I imagine you could make it the night before and you'd just have to give it a good stirring before drinking it the next morning, because the dairy and fruit juice elements will probably have separated. But, I think it would keep fine flavor-wise.
Kenzi W. August 15, 2013
I feel exactly the same way about drinking my meals.
fiveandspice August 15, 2013
Right? It's just so much less satisfying than chewing...most of the time.
Marian B. August 15, 2013
Same -- and I drink things so fast and then my breakfast is gone!
fiveandspice August 15, 2013
You've hit the nail on the head! I'm such a gulper. Maybe if I were a slow sipper it would go better.
Sarah J. August 15, 2013
I wish I could be sipping this right now!
fiveandspice August 15, 2013
Estee P. August 15, 2013
Cardamom yogurt was my favorite culinary takeaway from Sweden! So silly it hasn't made its way to this shore.
fiveandspice August 15, 2013
Mmm, yes. Cardamom yogurt makes my heart sing!
Yates M. August 15, 2013
This looks so good but can I replace it with non dairy substitutions?? And still be good??
fiveandspice August 15, 2013
Well, you could try it with a coconut or soy yogurt and milk. It would have a different flavor (especially with coconut), but I bet it would still taste good.