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Posts tagged ‘smoothie’

Daily smoothies again…

It’s summer here in Japan, and it is HOT! I have made my way to Costco and purchased frozen strawberries and mango in bulk. While my Freezer is TINY, these are necessary for having a daily smoothie at a reasonable cost. Recently my favorite is strawberry/Mango with a couple blueberries thrown in there to make it a nice purple. I use milk and yogurt as my base and sweeten it with honey. I add the fruit first. Then milk, and put yogurt on top. Then I dribble the honey on top of the yogurt. Why… well the honey, if it touches the frozen fruit, doesn’t blend well. It gets hard, and sticks to the side and you add more honey and waste what sticks to the side. I paid 3,000yen for that honey. I’m going to be stingy and smart about how I use it. (If you look closely you can see a glob of honey in the photo.)

**Oops forgot! I see a lot of recipes that add ice cubes. I am personally not a fan. I think it waters down the flavor and the frozen fruit works just fine to make that perfect smoothie consistency for me! But, that’s the beauty of it! You can add whatever you want!

Stay cool and hydrated everybody. The summers just keep getting hotter!Β 

Tarty Triple Berry Smoothie

The other I day I had the fortune to go to Costco! I know those of you in the states its like so what, but here its a big deal. I try to never go on the weekend because it’s as packed as Disney World on the 4th of July! I work in public schools so my weekdays are busy. I’m on summer vacation now so I’m free for 6 weeks. so getting back to Costco….

I was really excited because I was looking to get my hands on some blueberries! I think you remember from my previous post, blueberries, even frozen ones, are freaking expensive! So I get to Costco and i get really excited because i found a triple berry mix! I was so excited I bought 2 bags only to realize that when i got home i would have to shove them in my tiny freezer. (side note: i did manage it don’t ask me how, i still don’t know πŸ˜‰

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Due to space demands I decided to mix up a berry smoothie… Here’s how it turned out.

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Tarty Triple Berry Smoothie

1/4c milk

1/4c plain yogurt

1tbs honey (to taste)

about 1 cup of mixed berries

blend together with liquids at the bottom and berries on top.

*I added a lot of berries because I wanted a thicker smoothie. Feel free to tweak!

 

 

Almond smoothies by way of festivals and earthquakes

I get up this morning, not in the best mood. There was an earthquake at 4am… My phone alarm was going crazy and then it hit. Unfortunately, I took a sleeping pill last night and didn’t get up to open my door. They say for earthquake safety to open the door because you don’t want to be trapped. If the building shifts you may not longer be able to open the door or windows. At 4am this morning, i really didn’t care.

When I woke up for good, it was already 11:30a. Talk about a wasted morning. I have to be at the station at 3pm today because I’m going to the ι‡‘ι­šζŽ¬γ„ (kingyo sukui) festival! Kingyo means goldfish and sukui means to scoop. It is a festival held in August every year. At this festival you scoop goldfish with a paper scoop. The goal is to get as many as you can without breaking the paper. This is my favorite festival activity. As I child I often visited my Aunts and Uncles and I always look forward to doing kingyo sukui.

Anyhoo, in Fujisawa they have the largest kingyo sukui in the world! It is even recorded in the guinness book! I’ll post pictures later. (too busy having fun… maybe next year… sorry guys!) side note – asahi dark draft=awesomeness!

Wow did I get off topic… I was going to talk about putting almonds in my smoothies! So i made my usual smoothie. I decided if I wanted to try variations, I would do it to a taste I was familiar with because then I could see if it was that particular thing i didn’t like or the entire mix. You know what I’m saying? So… yeah almonds not my favorite. At first it had an almondy aftertaste, and after I got used to that it was a texture thing. I only added 6 almonds but it was enough for me to notice. I think I mentioned before that I can’t stand weird textures. If I were drinking smoothies just for the health benefits then yeah this is a keeper but I want to make delicious healthy smoothies that have all the benefits but none of the cardboard weird texture of many healthy foods. IDK maybe if i roasted them first, or crushed them into powder in a plastic bag. If anyone has had any luck adding almonds please post and share!

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Matcha powder for smoothies

So a couple of my friends have been asking me what kind of green tea powder I’m using in my smoothies. I used sweetened matcha powder, which is Really easy to come by in Japan. They sell it in your local conbini (convenience store). In the states, or other countries if you go to your local asian food market they should have it. Here are a couple photos of the kind of powder I use.

20110801-124314.jpg20110801-124321.jpgfront and back. You can see on the back you can mix it with water or milk.

20110801-124328.jpg20110801-124335.jpgThis one says η”˜γ•γ€‚γ€‚γ€‚which means sweet. On the back of this package it also says to mix with milk or water. You can also make a topping for shaved ice which is a popular summer treat over here.

Smoothie Don’t

Yesterday I wanted a strawberry pina colada type smoothie so I opened up my can of pineapples and added it into my usual base. You know the milk, yogurt base (the recipe is written under Smoothie kick post.) I made it twice once with regular milk once with coconut milk. Anyway, I’ve had Β a bad headache all day and wasn’t even thinking about the possibility or curdling my milk. Guess, what happened. As I was drinking it, I thought… “ok this isn’t too bad in the flavor department, not one of my best though.” Β Then as I got to the bottom of it, it got slightly foamy and a little grainy in the texture department. Still totally drinkable, and if I hadn’t known the ingredients I wouldn’t have noticed, but I was so worried while I was drinking it, so any slight change I was aware of. I guess it just mentally weirded me out.

Lesson of the day is no milk and pineapple. If I were to make this again, I would probably only use the juice from the pineapple can or only yogurt. Im a texture freak and I cant stand grainy food. Let me know if you’ve had better luck mixing pineapple and milk.

 

Side note: I used canned pineapple. I recommend cutting these into bits and freezing them because it releases a lot of liquid into your smoothie if its not frozen.

Smoothie Kick!

I have been wanting a blender for the longest time. Last summer was the hottest recorded summer in Japan and I was dying. I couldn’t help but think smoothies would be the perfect cure to a hot day. Unfortunately, I was going through financial issues last year. I was only working part time and looking for another job but jobs in Japan like schools over here start in April! I was looking in July… So anyway I couldn’t afford a blender last year 😦

Back to the good stuff! I bought a blender a couple days ago. Now, they only sell blenders with glass pitchers over here. I was irritated because I was going to have to carry it. After using this blender though… I have to say glass pitchers are awesome and I’m glad I dragged the thing home. ( I found out the reason for the glass, apparently years ago there was a scare with plastic. It was leaking some kind of toxic something, so that is why blenders are primarily glass in Japan now).

So, now that I had my blender I went to the grocery store that sells bulk foods designed for restaurants. I figured I’d get more bang for my buck when buying frozen food. I picked up frozen strawberries and mango, fresh spinach, milk, and yogurt. I also bought various canned fruits to experiment with. I did not go anywhere near the blueberries!! 600円 ($7.66) for one small frozen pack of blueberries?!? i don’t think so! So with my heavy glass blender in hand and my heavy grocery bag full of goodies I headed home. Side note: I lost some weight recently and all my protective fat in my shoulder area is gone. I was really feeling the weight of my grocery bag… ouch!

I get home and the first smoothie I whip up was for me and a friend. I added coconut milk, strawberries and mango. It was delish!

The next day I decided to do something a bit healthier. I decided to make a matcha strawberry honey and spinach smoothie. This mix may sound weird but man oh man is it delicious! I promise you, you can’t taste the spinach but it adds a really healthy element to your smoothie! I have a low iron count so this is a good way to get my dark leafy greens into my diet. Also matcha is green tea so it’s a good way to intigrate those anti-oxidents we keep hearing about!

Day three of my smoothie making and I made my matcha strawberry smoothie but i added some frozen mango. BINGO! This is the final product! Keep in mind I just eyeballed everything but here is the recipe if I had to add measurements. These are not exact, so tweak it yourself!

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MATCHA STRAWBERRY-MANGO SPINACH SMOOTHIE

1/4 cup of milk

3 spoonfuls of plain yogurt

1/2 cup of frozen strawberries

1/4 cup of frozen mangos

2 tablespoons of sweetened matcha powder

1 tablespoon of honey (to taste)

1/4-1/2 cup of spinach leaves/ no stems! ( i just did a handful)

In a blender, add in order of ingredients! Start with liquids, milk, yogurt, strawberries, mangos, matcha, honey and spinach at the top. Always add fresh ingredients at the top. Always add liquids at the bottom, this will help your blender process everything!

Make sure you don’t over-blend, this can affect the quality of your smoothie!

** If you want something to hold you over better like from breakfast to lunch, use a banana that has been sliced and frozen. You can also add 10 almonds!!**

Let me know what you think! The good, the bad, ugly! I want to know!

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