Before we go any further, do you have frozen bananas in your freezer? What do you mean no? Go, freeze some immediately! It's like the starter kit for smoothies, cocktails and ice cream shakes. Just peel them, break in half and toss them into a plastic bag. It'll take you just a few seconds to do. Go. I'll wait.
All done? The bananas are freezing now I trust. So let's talk about smoothies. As popular as they are here now, yogurt based beverages have been a Middle Eastern staple for centuries. There are so many flavor combinations that you could probably go a long time without repeating a smoothie. And yes, they can be a good way to bury hidden vegetables which is why so many of them are green. Nothing wrong with tossing a little spinach or kale in there but I, personally, like to eat my vegetables and I like to taste all the ingredients in my smoothies.
So let's build a delicious and healthy smoothie that's as easy to make as just dumping ingredients in a blender and hitting the on switch. That's for those of us who aren't quite fully awake at breakfast and need an easy option that doesn't involve a stop at the doughnut store.
First off, the all important frozen banana. Next, the Greek yogurt. It doesn't actually have to be Greek style but that's pretty much the only one I keep around my house. Thick and unsweetened and I tend to choose the medium fat version but any one will work fine in a smoothie. Next, we need a little sweetness. Honey is a great natural sweetener and common in the Middle Eastern kitchen. But so are dates and I prefer them here. They add flavor as well as sweetness and they help to keep the smoothie thick.
Finally, we need the flavorings and I went with ginger and cardamom. It doesn't take much fresh ginger to get both the taste and the little kick of heat and the cardamom perfumes the smoothie so beautifully. A quick blitz in the blender and you have a healthy breakfast that's also portable. Just pour it into a bottle, grab a straw and head out to start your day.
- 1 banana (frozen)
- 8 oz strained yogurt (Greek style)
- 2 dates (pitted)
- 1 inch piece ginger (fresh, peeled)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1 pinch salt
Add the frozen banana, Greek style yogurt, dates, ginger, milk, cardamom and salt to a blender. Puree on high until completely smooth, pour into a chilled glass and serve.