Coast to coast, L.A. to Chicago, western males and females represent a subculture of smoothie drinkers/eaters who fill volumes of books and websites with recipes ranging from the “normal” to the ridiculous. I’ve had a smoothie or two in my day. Right after my wisdom teeth were removed I was delighted to slurp down a pomegranate and multi-fruited smoothie from Smoothie King to ease my pain as I belted out a rousing rendition of Elvis Costello’s “Angels Want to Wear My Red Shoes” along with the radio, still under the waning influence of anesthesia. I was later told there was no Elvis Costello of any sorts on the airwaves, let alone the pertinent lyric I was convinced was bringing me back to life. Say no to drugs, kids.
I am a huge fan of Slushies, Icees, Slush Puppies, malts, snowballs, sno cones and fruit. I know those are not the same as traditional smoothies, but throw in a bit of ice and fruit, pulverize it with some juice and we are at least in the ball park. You would think I of all people would be a large part of that smoothie crowd. Well, I am here to tell you I’m getting there.
The smoothie fad has begun easing its way into my home since the recent addition of a three-speed, 29.5 horsepower (to the wheels) Osterizer blender. I received the slightly used monster as a gift. It has the metal cup you would find in any malt shop or ice cream parlor as well as the standard glass vessel complete with measurement markings and a trap door lid.
It has been a few years since I owned a proper blender other than my beloved immersion blender (which Chef Emeril Lagasse refers to as a boat motor). The last one I owned was a handsome Sunbeam that served my pesto sauces and hummus productions well until the familiar electric burn scent filled my kitchen as I somehow fried the motor. I’ll not forget the roughly blended chickpeas and the mangled designer Calphalon spatula bits I proudly ate (but dared not serve) as my recipe was less-than-flawlessly executed.
So there I was with a new blender in my possession. It was a new blender for a new school year. I knew exactly what to do.
“Boys, how would you like to try a smoothie for breakfast tomorrow?” You should have heard the shouts of joy, as breakfast is a big deal around this house. It’s a time for us to discuss our day, plan our dinner for the evening and psych ourselves up for the school day as the bright-eyed and bushy tailed Lucas (age 10) does his comedic best to breathe life into the grumpy Graham, half his age and much less of a morning person.
The idea played to my favor. As the morning alarm rang I ran to their rooms to remind them breakfast would be different today. They jumped up and ran to the kitchen to watch me slice bananas and strawberries, squeeze some grapefruit juice, top off with milk and a bit of Donald Duck brand orange juice. A bit of ice completed the mix and on went the lid.
They stared at my hand as I gripped the switch. I could feel the energy in the room as the sleep was wiped from their tiny eyes. Three … two … one … contact. The grinding of the ice with the whirring of the electric motor sent Graham running to the far end of the house in the same fashion as the first time he watched our hibachi chef light an onion volcano. Lucas squeaked and put his fingers in his ears. As it wound down I summoned their return and poured us each a hefty glass.
They loved it!
I cannot believe I am about to say this, but I was the one who would have preferred it sweeter. There were no complaints from these two, and I was one proud daddy. This week we are adding pineapple to the mix and may try our luck with apples and avocado.
There is the juicing phenomenon for those who don’t like pulp, but many say you lose nutrients by extracting the juice. I am no scientist and I certainly don’t believe everything I read. That does at least seem logical to me. Plus, I love the pulp even in orange juice and lemonade.
I see smoothies as a healthy choice for meal replacement and in the few days since that Osterizer found its way to my countertop, I have felt a good spring in my step on days that began with a smoothie. Some may say it’s the amount of sugar inherently found in the fruit, but I don’t care. If I feel better, I feel better.
One thing missing from the delicious breakfast is protein. “You need to add a protein shake along with your smoothie,” says nutrition expert Carey Coxwell. “Not sure if you know it, but that smoothie is loaded with sugar.”
There are great-tasting shakes as well as powders to add to smoothies. But don’t be discouraged if your first one tastes horrible. There are as many bad-tasting versions as good. Find them at GNC stores and certain aisles of pharmacies.
My current plan is to carry on with the smoothie making until the boys are screaming for the grits, bacon and eggs or cereal they were used to. But if any of you have an old operational blender you want to sacrifice, I have an idea that involves a hand full of pennies, nuts and bolts for those days when my two just don’t want to get out of bed.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.
It looks like you are opening this page from the Facebook App. This article needs to be opened in the browser.
iOS: Tap the three dots in the top right, then tap on "Open in Safari".
Android: Tap the Settings icon (it looks like three horizontal lines), then tap App Settings, then toggle the "Open links externally" setting to On (it should turn from gray to blue).