My Smoothie Technique is Unstoppable

I have a smoothie for breakfast every morning. I've been making them for years, and I've had a chance to hone the recipe to perfection over that time. I don't measure anything anymore, I just dump stuff into the blender. But I thought I should share my recipe titled My Smoothie Technique is Unstoppable. Here are the basics with approximate measurements:
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 6 oz. vanilla yogurt
  • 1 banana
Throw into a blender and blend. Of course the quality of the smoothie is completely dependent on the quality of the ingredients. Here are my choices for ingredients:

Stahlbush Island Farms Frozen Strawberries, a local Corvallis company, great strawberries. They're not certified organic, but they have a lot of text on the package about no pesticide residue. Frozen strawberries are expensive—especially in the winter—but you can't skimp on these if you want your smoothie to be unstoppable. If I'm having a strawberry emergency and I can't get to the Corvallis Co-op, I'll pick up Safeway Organics strawberries. (But I don't feel as good about it.)

Columbia Gorge Orange Juice, from another local company (Hood River, OR). I used Odwalla Orange Juice for several years until I tried this brighter, happier orange juice. Like Odwalla, this isn't cheap OJ. I buy the 1/2 gallon size at the co-op and it's even a bit more expensive than Odwalla. But remember the goal: unstoppable.

Tillamook Vanilla Bean Yogurt from Tillamook, OR. Yogurt is the real x-factor in this smoothie, and I've tried a bunch. This yogurt has sugar and corn syrup, so it's definitely not "pure" in the healthy, unrefined sugar sense. But it does have live cultures, so I get the beneficial bacteria. This isn't a creamy, European style yogurt—it has some heft to it. So if you don't have Tillamook where you are, you might look for a heftier yogurt to bulk things up. This yogurt also makes the smoothie insanely sweet, and I'm all for that.

Finally, organic bananas. I don't sweat the brand too much, I just pick up what I can find.

My blending technique is probably stoppable, but there is a knack to it. I have a Braun blender, I dump in everything in the order I've listed, and I start at 1. Once the strawberries are chopped up I crank up the speed. It's key that you don't stop the blending process until you're at the consistency you want. Stopping and starting will throw smoothie all over the sides of the blender, wasting precious expensive ingredients.

The quantities I've mentioned here fill up one of my glasses perfectly, sometimes with a little extra. But no bit of smoothie is wasted in my house. I stopped drinking all caffeinated beverages last February, and I find if I don't have this sugar jolt every morning I'll be dragging by ten o'clock, barely able to function. I also try to eat a piece of toast with peanut butter with my smoothie—the protein helps slow the absorption of this massive sugar hit into my blood. Anyway, this smoothie gives me pretty sustained energy in the morning.

In the end I get a smoothie that is the sum of its parts, no one ingredient overpowering the others. Probably more than you wanted to know about my breakfast habits, but I take my smoothies very seriously.

Comments

I make a similar smoothie most mornings, but without the yogurt. Just oj, berries, and banana. I mix everything at once, and leave it blending for at least a minute so it's all incorporated. Sometimes I mix up the berries, like using blueberries instead (and then I add yogurt) and I made a peanut butter and banana one with yogurt which was good, but not very cold.

Adding some protein really helps I find (if not to the smoothie, then to breakfast). Just the carbs won't hold me for more than an hour or so, so peanut butter on toast, or some eggs makes a nice compliment.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Glad you posted about your routine.
My wife came up with this same formula, though she usually makes hers sans orange juice. Super great treat. But we use mass market ingredients. I'll have to try it out with some organic ingredients.

My typical breakfast, though, is an Atkins Advantage Shake. I'm not on Atkins, but it's low-cal, high-protein, and vitamin fortified: a good kick-start for the day.
I skip the banana, and toss in protein powder, and Green+. (goes after the juice but before the yogurt)
I'm a fan of strawberries, blueberries, bananas and soy milk. I'm lactose intolerant so I use the soy milk instead.
Hey Eric, I've heard that yogurt is actually ok for people who are lactose intolerant because the fermenting process creates an enzyme that helps break down lactose. But I'm not a doctor, YMMV, etc.

Thanks for the variants, everyone. I'm a fan of throwing in some fresh blueberries when they're in season, and a few raspberries to kick it up a notch now and then. I feel like I've reached smoothie nirvana with this recipe, but it doesn't hurt to mix it up once in a while.
Hi Paul,
You're correct that the enzymes in yogurt can help with lactose digestion. However, yogurt contains quite a bit of lactose so it's sort of a win-lose situation.

"Smoothie nirvana" = a great concept for a new Threadless t-shirt ;-)
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