Category Archives: Smoothies

Sweet Potato Smoothie

The season’s fascination with pumpkin spice everything has me switching out sweet potatoes for pumpkin at every opportunity.  Fact is, sweet potatoes are simply better. There’s not a recipe that calls for pumpkin that isn’t vastly improved with a sweet potato substitution.

Case in point: a sweet potato smoothie. A vigorous blending of  cooked sweet potatoes, frozen bananas, almond milk, almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg and a little sweetener — and the nectar of the gods emerges. A rather elegant transformation for this humble little spud.

A sweet potato becomes a smoothie

Among the silkiest smoothies I’ve ever tasted, a sweet potato smoothie is  a rich, eggnog-like experience with far more flavor, nutrition and fun.

A game-changing holiday beverage if there ever was one. I can’t recommend this highly enough.


  •  1 1/2 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup cooked sweet potatoes (either roasted or steamed and then cooled)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 12 – 15  raw almonds
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 2 tsp. raw sugar (optional)


  • Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until completely pureed.
  • Serve immediately


Beet Roundup

From pancakes to muffins, smoothies to salads — steamed roasted and raw — beets and beet greens been the subject of lots of posts this year. I didn’t start 2013 with the intention exploring this deeply pigmented root from every possible angle. In fact, on a few occasions, I made a small determination to rein in my new-found fervor, and then I’d end up asking myself, “why stop now.”

The bottom line, I’ve barely just begun. Next on the docket: beet chips, assorted borscht recipes, pickled beets, and a beet cake. In the meantime, here’s a brief recap of the fun that we’ve had with beets for the first 8 months of 2013.

Beet Pancakes with Fresh Blueberry Syrup

Beet Apple Walnut Muffins

Beet Green and Kale Frittata

Yogurt, Blueberry and Beet Green Smoothie

Beet Green and Strawberry Smoothie

Hummus with Roasted Beets

Beet Carrot and Apple Slaw

Beet Pecan and Feta Salad

Beet and Garbanzo Bean Salad

Spinach and Beet Salad

Beet and Blueberry Salad

Moroccan Beet and Carrot Salad

Borscht Lite

Root Vegetable Hash

Roasted Roots

Quinoa with Roasted Beets

Beet Greens and Portobellos over Pasta

Beet Green Quiche in a Brown Rice Crust


Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie

Sometimes, the fact that something sounds crazy is enough of an incentive to give it a try.

A Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie was a hard sell, but this is how it was positioned to me: First of all, there isn’t actually any jelly in it. Secondly, I’m a longtime  fan of the Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie, and this is basically that with some berries blended in. And finally, considering the vast expansion of smoothie combinations that we’ve come to know and love over the past few years, PB&J isn’t much of a stretch.

Nevertheless … as I blended together frozen blueberries, strawberries, a frozen banana and 1/2 of a cup of apple juice, and got a  purplish-red frozen treat still solid enough to eat with a spoon, it was painful to bring myself to monkey with perfection and by blending in a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter. But I did. Low and behold the result was even better than I had hoped — tasted just like peanut butter and jelly, but it worked. It was more substantial and protein-packed than a fruit smoothie, and still very refreshing. Next time, I might throw in a tablespoon of ground flax.


  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. organic peanut butter


Combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth, adding additional liquid if necessary.

Red White and Blue Smoothie

I happened upon this idea a few weeks ago when pouring a second round of a kale smoothie into half full glass. The two shades of green remained distinct, and it occurred to me that the smoothie world — which has been so thoroughly explored of late — is ripe for a little layering.

Red White and Blue SmoothieAnd what better time to roll out this concept than the Fourth of July? Here’s a refreshing red, white and blue treat for a holiday that is screaming for something new and free of fat, artificial dyes and high fructose corn syrup.


  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 4 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup frozen green grapes
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup cold water


The key to the success of a three-tiered, layered smoothie is a good, solid frozen combination. We started out with a mix that was a little too on the liquidy side, and the layers quickly ran together. The solution was keep the liquid to a minimum, use all frozen fruit, and store each layer in the freezer — even if just for a few minutes — before assembling.

Chill four clear glasses.

Blue layer:

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/3 cup green grapes
  • 1 frozen banana, broken into 3-4 pieces
  • 1/3 cup cold water

White layer:

  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1/3 cup green grapes
  • 1/3 cold water

Red layer

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/3 cup frozen green grapes
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/3 cup water
  1. Starting with the blue: combine frozen blueberries, grapes, banana and water into a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a large mug or  container with a lid and place in the freezer until the two other layers are completed.
  2. For the white layer: thoroughly rinse blender and combine yogurt, 2 frozen bananas, 1/3 cup frozen grapes and 1/3 cup water. Blend until smooth.  Pour into a large mug or container with a lid and place in the freezer.
  3. For the red layer: thoroughly rinse blender. Combine strawberries, banana, grapes and water. Blend until smooth.
  4. Remove  blueberry smoothie from the freezer. Using a tablespoon, evenly distribute among four chilled glasses, followed by the yogurt/banana smoothie in the middle and the strawberry/banana smoothie on top.
  5. Chill until ready to serve.





Orange Avocado Ginger Spinach Smoothie

So I was thinking recently that there’s possibly no need for smoothie recipes. Having discovered that the likes of avocado, spinach, kale, beet greens, almonds, flax, peanut butter or cucumbers can factor into some incredible drinks — and that it’s actually hard to go wrong — and that most of the world seems to be on a similar mission of discovery —  I said to myself, “what wouldn’t make for a good smoothie. Why not just toss anything into a blender and see what happens?” And correct me if I’m wrong, but my guess is that anyone born before the Ford Administration conjures up an image of Dan Aykroyd at his finest in answer to that question.

Back to smoothies. So just when I thought I had tried out every reasonable combination, I happened upon a a recipe in Beyond the Peel — one of my favorite food blogs — for a Grapefruit Avocado Ginger Smoothie, and I said to myself, “Well now there’s a new twist.” Citrus. Seeing as oranges are on my 100 ingredient list and grapefruit isn’t. And flax seeds are,  but hemp seeds and chia seeds aren’t, I switched it up a bit. The result was everything a modern-day smoothie is meant to be: wickedly nutrient dense; an unlikely combination of fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and other stuff; shockingly delicious. My list of 10 Healthy Smoothie Recipes now has an 11th.


  • 1 orange, peeled, seeded and as much of the pith removed as possible.
  • 2 tsp. grated orange zest
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 3 1-inch chunks of seeded cucumber (preferably frozen)
  • 1/2 inch cube of ginger root, cut into a few pieces
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. whole or ground flax seeds


Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.