I was at a health food store recently and noted how marvelously expensive the smoothie-drinks were: $4.95-$6.95 for a smoothie? The cost for one of their smoothies could fuel a week's worth of morning breakfast smoothies. If you have a good blender the household smoothie idea should be revisited. I mix yogurt with soymilk, and toss in about a cup of mixed fruits, and some cinnamon. Fruit juice could be added, but it really oversweetens things and is unnecessary if using real fruits. I opt out of adding protein powders because there is plenty of protein from the soymilk and yogurt. You can add peanut butter to increase the protein if you are in to that kind of thing, a banana-peanut butter chocolate smoothie is a divine breakfast food. Best of all homemade smoothies let you control what goes in them so you can experiment to come up with something you love. This is one of my favorite breakfasts. It is simply perfect. Plenty of fruit, some protein and calcium, and enough to carry you into mid-morning without feeling hungry.
One note about blenders. I truly believe they can make all the difference in the world. I have found the carafe style, 2-3 speed setting, counter-top blender to be excellent. Screw-off bottoms can make a mess if turned the other way. I've found that you don't need multiple speed settings. You need the appropriate liquid ratios in a blender to keep things moving around. When done using your blender, rinse with water, add a little dish soap and put back on the blender on the lowest setting. Rinse the carafe and cap off and set aside to dry. Never keep the blades immersed in water or extra smoothie to store because it will dull the blades. I have a Waring Pro throwback-style blender. My sister, Chokri, swears by them and has had hers for over 8 years and loves it.
I usually have yogurt, peanut butter, and soymilk in my house at all times so purchasing a few frozen fruit bags along with any other fruits should give you some fairly easy mixins without adding too much on your grocery bill. In late summer there are so many good fruits available you can buy in bulk and freeze for later use.
Serves 2 huge smoothies, or 4 for more moderate smoothies
1/2 c plain yogurt or more. Sweetened flavored yogurts make it too sweet.
1/4 c peanut butter or more
1 cup soy milk or regular milk
1 cup any fresh or frozen mixed variety. Choose plain frozen fruits instead of sweetened frozen fruits (avoid in syrup, in lite syrup). Frozen fruits keep the smoothie cold. A few mixed frozen fruit bags will run you the cost of one smoothie.
Essentially mix in 1/2 cup of the base with 1 cup liquid and place frozen fruits on top. If adding cinnamon or cocoa powders place on top and set on low-speed. Adjust liquid as needed.
Here are my favorites, just add these to the yogurt/milk base:
1/4 cup mixed berries
Peach-blueberry banana smoothie
1/4 cup blueberries
Strawberry, pineapple, mango smoothie
1 cup mixed tropical fruit blend
sprinkle of shredded coconut
Banana-Peanut Butter Chocolate
1 T cocoa powder (or more)
(I've also mixed in frozen pineapple, yum!)