_2 Introduction

Serves: 5



Smoothies are the "in" drink. Whether you drink them for the sheer pleasure of indulging in a refreshing taste sensation or enjoy them as meals in a glass, smoothies have become the ultimate way to quickly satisfy a craving for something delicious and filling.

One of the core reasons for the smoothie craze is that these refreshing creations are composed of the simplest ingredients. The most basic smoothie is made with a combination of fruit, fruit juice, and ice. Beyond the basics, a dairy product, such as milk or yogurt, can be substituted for the juice or included as an additional ingredient. And with such a wide variety of seasonal fruits and juices available year-round, smoothies can be blended into an infinite number of delectable combinations.

People adore smoothies not only because these drinks are inherently delicious but also because they provide certain health benefits. Depending on their ingredients, smoothies are chock-full of vitamins from the fruit, and calcium from the dairy ingredients. Many smoothies are low in fat and calories but still capable of easily appeasing a food craving. Another kudo for smoothies is that these delightful drinks can be supplemented with a wide variety of healthful additives that quickly transform them into an even more nutritionally balanced and wholesome meal.

ULTIMATE SMOOTHIES is a collection of over 125 entertaining recipes that were created to excite your taste buds and put a smile on your face. In this book, I hope to convince you that preparing smoothies is a fun and exciting experience. ULTIMATE SMOOTHIES begins by providing you with all the information necessary to make your smoothie experience successful. In the Smoothie Basics chapter, you will learn what essential equipment is needed to make your kitchen qualify as smoothie central, as well as detailed information on how to select, prepare, and store the best fruits for making a smoothie. Finally, you will be delighted with the host of helpful techniques provided that will enable every smoothie you prepare to become a signature masterpiece. The chapter, "Back to Basics: Classic Smoothie Favorites," will appeal to all smoothie lovers. These smoothies are quick and easy to prepare but are exceptionally tasty because of their richly flavored fruit and fruit juice ingredients. All you need to do to make a basic smoothie is add a complement of your favorite fruit juice, fruit, and ice to a blender and rev it up. For starters, try Blueberry Chill made with a blend of blueberries, bananas, and apple cider. For a real winner, spin the wheel and solve the puzzle of Vanna Banana, made with orange juice, bananas, and strawberries.

The chapter, "Smoooothies! Dairy Can Be Merry," will introduce you to a host of delectable smoothies that are made with dairy products, such as milk and yogurt. Dairy ingredients give smoothies a creamier consistency and richer flavor. In most of the recipes, I suggest using lowfat or fat-free dairy products to keep the fat content to a minimum. However, depending on your diet, whole dairy products with fat can be substituted, or ones that are fat-free can be replaced with lowfat ingredients, and vice versa. Any of these substitutions will not appreciably change the taste or consistency of the smoothie. So treat yourself to a glass of Caramel Apple on a Stick, which is a luscious blend of apples, apple juice, vanilla fat-free frozen yogurt, and caramel topping-this is a real old-fashioned treat.

The chapter, "Rx Smoothies: Drink to Your Health," contains many recipes made with soy products, as well as several others that feature the addition of health supplements. Although smoothies usually provide a healthy dose of vitamins and calcium derived from their fruit and dairy ingredients, they do not necessarily qualify as a nutritionally complete meal replacement. You will find how easy it is to remedy this by adding health-enhancing powders and supplements, all without substantially changing the drink's taste or texture. For example, you will learn that to enhance protein and iron content, many of the recipes made with ingredients such as lowfat milk or yogurt can be readily substituted with your favorite soy ingredient. You might notice a slight change in the taste, especially if you don't use these ingredients regularly, but the end result will be a tantalizing nutritious smoothie that you can enjoy any time of the day. If you are looking for a boost of energy, try a refreshing glass of Bee Healthy Raspberry Smoothie. It is a delectable mixture of soy milk, raspberries, bananas, vanilla fat-free frozen yogurt, and bee pollen-a combination that will definitely have you buzzing.

If you want an excuse to break your diet, look no further than the chapter entitled "Outrageously Decadent: Indulgence in a Glass." Smoothies can be made with a host of rich ingredients, such as ice cream, chocolate fudge sauce, and many other sinful additions that we usually do not associate with these drinks. Although these smoothies are meant to be an occasional indulgence, keep in mind that you can substitute fat-free or lowfat yogurts for ice cream, and many other suggested lowfat substitutes can be considered as well. If you like halvah, you will be dancing over the recipe for Halvah-Nagila Smoothie. It is a luscious combination of halvah, milk, banana, and cashew crunch ice cream.

The chapter, "Black Tie Only: Smoothies Go Uptown," includes recipes for smoothies that were designed to be served on those occasions when a special treat is in order. Dressed up with alcohol and a suggested garnish, these smoothies can grace an elegant dessert plate or be enjoyed on the patio after a candlelight dinner. Although ideal fare to be served up by the butler, these creations are so delicious that I hope you will not limit them only to special occasions. If you are looking for a unique smoothie that is certain to impress your friends, offer them a cocktail glass filled with a Won't You Come Home Banana Bailey smoothie, a creamy blend of banana, Baileys Original Irish Cream, milk, and vanilla frozen yogurt. Don't forget to garnish it with a Pirouette cookie or Espresso Brittle Shard, which you'll find with the other delicious garnishes in the chapter, "Garnishes with a Flourish."

Whether you prefer your smoothies with fruit and fruit juices alone or like to add dairy ingredients, fudge sauce, or wheat germ, this book is certain to please you. If you can slice a banana and press the "on" button of your blender, you can become a smoothiemeister.

From ULTIMATE SMOOTHIES: delicious recipes for over 125 of the best smoothies, freezes, and blasts. Copyright © 2000 Donna Pliner Rodnitzky. All Rights Reserved.

This _2 Introduction recipe is from the Cook'n Ultimate Smoothies Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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