Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I have been working on this little project over the last few weeks. Remembering to get a picture is half the battle! My boys have always loved fruit smoothies (and so do I, who are we kidding. Strawberry banana is the best!). This is something we typically do during the summer months, when fresh fruit, esp berries, and cold drinks are the rule. I can't believe I never thought to add veggies before! I have a book of recipes that uses vegetable purees that I cooked almost exclusively for about a year and a half when #1 was 2, but then got a little burned out on it. The breakfast and dessert-y things are pretty good, but the "dinners" weren't. I have recently started it up again, with the mindset that I will just add it to whatever I'm making, not just using the recipes in the book. I still try to offer the boys veggies alot, and sometimes they will eat them. I know "hiding" veggies for kids can be somewhat controversial, but, sometimes you do what you just gotta do. They will like them someday! (and, for the record, my ultra-skeptical 5 1/2 year old is fully aware of what is in these smoothies, and he still sometimes will raise an eyebrow, but after he tastes them he completely forgives me)

It's much easier this year to do these...last year they both were still using sippy cups primarily, and especially these were given to them as a snack during playtime, not in the kitchen. To serve in a sippy cup you have to pour the smoothie through a fine mesh sieve to catch all the little bits of seeds (like from strawberries) and skins (blueberries are the worst). I didn't really like doing this, the skins are the best part, but it was a necessary evil. This year, I've been doing it with their lunch, and they have it in a little kid-sized glass with a straw. No straining. yay!

I've been going for colors of the rainbow. These are referred to as such in our house. Such as, "red smoothie day" or "blue smoothie" etc. Here's a brief rundown of what's in these.

I start with a smoothie "base". This consists of:

1 banana ripe or overripe is best,

1 cup of vanilla yogurt (I try to find one that is low sugar but if you get plain instead of vanilla, you will be lacking in some necessary sweetness to hide some of the taste of the veggies. Better than adding extra sugar in my book. The extra sweetness of overripe bananas helps with that too)

8 (or 1/2 tray) of frozen juice cubes. This serves several purposes....regular ice cubes can dilute your smoothie; the extra sweetness in the juice helps taste, a small amt of juice a day for kids can be a good thing, keeps things moving, if you know what I mean; and the color of the darker juices helps achieve the color you want.

All of these contain this. Then you add the rest of the ingredients.


put about 2 cups of any of the following fruit or combinations of fruit: strawberries, cherries, raspberries. 1/4 cup beet puree (gives it this distinctive color) (this is also smaller amt than other veggies..anymore and beet taste would be too strong in my opinion). I used cranberry juice cubes in this one. This is the only one where I think you can definitely taste the beet, but the boys didn't seem to notice. And beets have tons of stuff that's really good for you, so glad they liked it.


watermelon (frozen cubes), strawberries, apple juice cubes (this one doesn't have any veggies in it....yet)

carrot puree, OJ cubes.


pineapple, yellow squash puree, pineapple juice or OJ cubes


green apple (with skin), spinach, apple juice cubes


blueberries, spinach, blueberry juice or cranberry juice cubes

ALL of these were huge hits with my entire family. We have been having them almost every day, and #1 helps me put the stuff in the blender. All these make pretty much a full blender full. It would be enough for several kids, or 2 kids and 2 adults probably.

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