I used to think I needed a fancy juicer and special ingredients to make a smoothie. Not so. I pulled out my old blender that I hadn't used since my margarita days a decade ago. Then, I poked around in the fridge to see what kind of fruit was on hand. I clipped some lettuce from the garden, added water and cinnamon and — voila — a terrific smoothie, easier than pie.
Here's what I used for the easy smoothie recipe below, but experiment with your favorite fruits and veggies for different flavor profiles. Use spinach or kale instead of lettuce. Oodles of options!
• 1 small apple, peeled and cut in chunks
• 1/2 cup cubed watermelon
• 1 clementine, peeled and broken in sections
• 8 ounces water (or apple juice or pineapple juice or your favorite)
• generous handful of leafy greens: lettuce, kale, spinach or a mix
• 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1. Put the apple, clementine, watermelon and water in a blender. Cover tightly and blend on liquefy for about one minute, depending on how chunky or smooth you like it.
2. Add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and the greens. Cover tightly and blend another minute or more if you want it extra smooth.
3. Pour into a glass and enjoy. The color of the drink becomes much darker green with spinach or kale.
It's fun to experiment with your favorite flavors: banana or blueberry or pear or strawberry. I found kale to be somewhat bitter, so instead of water, I used 8 ounces of apple juice as the liquid.
Easy smoothies also make a conversational and simple first course for a dinner party. Just pour smoothie "shots" into 1-ounce or 2-ounce glasses and pass around to your guests. You may get them hooked on a terrific and healthful new drink. Add a dash of vodka or rum if you want something with a little more kick.
Dede Ryan began professional life as a journalist on Capitol Hill. She held reporting and editorial positions at U.S. News & World Report and Business Publishers, Inc., for more than a decade and has published hundreds of feature stores, restaurant reviews, essays and one novel. She also has been canning pickles and jams for decades and believes the process is soothing and offers a sense of connection t the earth. Read all of Dede's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.