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super smoothies
tips and tricks for making a perfect fruit smoothie | 
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continued from page 1

What to put in a smoothie
At its most basic, a smoothie consists of nothing more than fruit, ice and some sort of liquid to make the final product more, well, drinkable. Add some yogurt and you get a creamier smoothie. Add some milk or soymilk and you have a fruit shake. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination (and your tolerance for potentially strange flavor combinations). You can add sorbet or ice cream for a sweeter, dessert-like smoothie, or toss in some soybeans or tofu if you need a protein boost. And if fresh-fruit goodness and calcium-rich milk/yogurt just donít provide enough healthiness for you, thereís a wide array of herbal supplements and nutrient boost powders that you can find at you local health store. Try bee pollen for essential amino acids, echinacea to ward off a cold, oat bran to get some fiber, wheat germ for a boost of vitamin E.

You can use just about any fruit you like as the base for your smoothie Ė whatís most important is that you use the freshest, ripest, ingredients you can get your hands on. Buy fresh fruit when itís in season and at its cheapest, then peel it, de-seed it, and cut it up into ready-to-blend pieces. Seal it up in a ziplock baggie and throw it in the freezer, and youíll be able to whip up smoothies in no time, whenever the mood happens to strike. This is also a great way to use up fruit thatís ripened to the point where the texture is somewhat revolting, but the flavor is still perfectly good Ė bananas, for instance, are only worth eating when they still have a hint of green, as far as Iím concerned, so whenever my bananas have passed that point of perfect not-quite-ripeness, I just peel the remainder, chop them up, and freeze them for smoothie use.

. Strawberry Banana Smoothie

2 bananas
12 strawberries
ĺ cup orange juice
handful of ice
water (optional: use to thin if necessary)

Berry Cherry Shake

1 cup mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.)
6 pitted cherries
1 banana
1 cup milk
handful of ice

Prepping your ingredients
Make things a little easier for your poor blender -- cut up your fruit into small, even-sized chunks and make sure to remove any seeds that might be present. Itís also a great idea to freeze all your fruit Ė not only will that ensure an icy-cold smoothie, but the frozen fruit bits will result in a thicker texture Ö meaning you can use less ice, and your smoothie will end up less watered-down in flavor.

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