Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dinner during Dora: Smoothies

It has been awhile since I did a Dinner during Dora post, so for anyone new to this series: these are recipes I use to make dinner during the time it takes for Pumpkin (and sometimes Petunia) to watch a Dora episode from the DVR- which is 22 minutes.

Today's recipe is one I use with a lot of other things to make a dinner- smoothies. I serve these with baked potatoes (did you know you can "bake" potatoes in about 10 minutes in the microwave?), carrot cake pancakes, egg and bacon burritos, and quesadillas. Just this week, I added these to frozen tacquitos (which Pumpkin told us she would like, but then didn't) and sweet potato fries (the most vegetable-like substance that Pumpkin will eat). In short, anytime I think a meal needs a little more, I add these.

This recipe is a little less precise than the others in this series. That's because it is very forgiving- you can throw almost any fruit in. The key things to include (in my opinion) are (1) strawberries- for color. They'll ensure the smoothie is an appetizing pink, and not a less appetizing beige color and (2) pineapple- for the nice tart taste. The other key thing that makes this an easy recipe is using a decent blender. I used a piece of junk for years, and the smoothies took ages to blend. I finally upgraded to a not expensive but nice blender (I think I have this model: Oster 6811 Core 12-Speed Blender with Glass Jar) this year, and now the smoothies take just a few minutes to blend.

Cloud's Easy Smoothies


1/2 frozen banana (I store these in plastic sandwich bags in the freezer. We always have some. Hubby has a half banana on his cereal every morning and sometimes I don't want the other half. Pumpkin asks for a banana and then eats three bites....)
Some frozen strawberries (maybe 1 cup?)
Some frozen pineapple (again, probably about a cup)
Other frozen fruit (usually a little less than the strawberries. I've used mango, peaches, cantaloupe, kiwifruit, and apples)
Any fresh fruit I have hanging around that is about to go bad (grapes and citrus don't work so well)
Juice - I use a mix of orange-tangerine and V8 Splash if I have it, because it adds some veggie-like substance to Pumpkin's diet (Berry Blend is my current favorite, but I've used the other flavors, too). The citrus juice is good for making the smoothie tart, not just sweet.
Water, as needed to make the right consistency.

If you like a creamier smoothie, you can freeze a tub of yogurt, and add that. We used to do this, but stopped back when Pumpkin was a baby and I couldn't have dairy. I found that the Horizon brand yogurt worked well for this.

Dump everything in the blender and blend!

You can definitely make a pretty good smoothie with just the banana, strawberries, and pineapple. This is what my basic mix of frozen fruit looks like:

And this is what it looks like with juice and water added. This time around, I only had orange-tangerine juice to add.

This is what the final smoothie looks like.

And here it is, ready to serve:

Source: I think I just made this one up after getting annoyed with the cost of Jamba Juice. I've been making it for so long that I can't really remember.

Who eats it: Everyone! As you can see from the last picture above, we serve this to both Pumpkin and Petunia. They both really like smoothies. Petunia likes them so much that she screams at us if we stop holding the cup up for her to drink. So basically, we have to hide her smoothie until she's had some of her other food for dinner.

Unrelated update: my work week is going better, but I still have some thinking to do about the work situation. Pumpkin has made it through three days now with no accidents at day care- so maybe the threat of being busted down a room was all she needed. And I finally went and answered your questions on the Better Living through Chemistry post. Sorry for the delay. Petunia's been sick. Again. She's better now!


  1. LOVE the photos! Tate just had a banana, peach, orange juice smoothie for breakfast. We had fresh strawberries and I totally forgot to add them I guess since I'm used to looking in the freezer for smoothie fruit. Anyway, smoothies are still a big hit here and an easy way to get a healthy "meal" in.

    Last night's dinner was a Morningstar black bean burger patty, baked sweet potato fries pre-cut from the freezer section and sliced apple. It all seemed to go down better with the honey for dipping sauce.

  2. We love smoothies, too. I've discovered that you can sneak in quite a few almonds and some baby spinach in without anyone (including hubby) noticing. I also throw in protein powder and/or the super greens powder when we need it. And we LOVE sweet potato fries.


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