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tips and tricks 
for making a perfect 
fruit smoothie |
1 2 3

In Tucson in July, itís 85 toasty degrees at 7 am in the morning. By noontime, the mercuryís inched all the way up past the 100įF mark Ė and I donít care if itís a dry heat, itís still just too damn hot for my taste. So when it comes time to step away from my computer and shuffle on over to my kitchen, Iím too cranky-sweaty to want to make myself a bean burrito, a bowl of chili, even grilled cheese, my winter lunchtime staples. And most days, Iím just too lazy to go to the bother of washing lettuce, chopping peppers, crumbling feta or whipping up a vinaigrette, in order to make myself a proper summer salad to satisfy those lunch cravings. Besides, the scorching heat has a tendency to leave me more thirsty than hungry anyway, so what Iím really yearning for is something cold and liquid and refreshing. At times like these, thereís nothing that suits my mood better than a frosty, fruity, homemade smoothie, served up in a big glass with a fat straw.

Smoothies taste like dessert, but are chock full of good-for-you vitamins and minerals. Sure, it might seem easier to rush down to your nearest Jamba Juice and have someone else make one for you, but the advantages of blending one up yourself far outweigh the laziness factor. Not only do you have more control over the caloric and nutrient-content when you make your smoothies yourself, but your wallet will thank you as well. And, with a little bit of foresight and planning, smoothies donít even have to involve all that much work.

The right tool
First things first: before you can even begin to entertain the notion of making a smoothie, you need a good blender. If it takes 15 minutes for your blender to hack away at your ingredients, or if your blender emits the vile odor of burning rubber or plastic each time you use it, itís high time to chuck that sucker into the trash and run over to your favorite housewares store to pick yourself up a new one. Suppress your inner cheapskate when it comes time to make your selection Ö you want a blender with plenty of power, sharp blades, and, ideally, all-metal parts that will stand up to frequent use -- all of which will contribute to a higher price tag. Suck it up and consider your blender a good investment.


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