February 11, 2013

Vanilla Peach Smoothie

After my sad smoothie semi-fail a couple of months ago, I decided that it was time to return to the world of smoothies. They are too delicious to completely abandon, and I was determined to get things right. Unfortunately, our blender has decided that it no longer wishes to blend things. Rather, it will slice things up for a bit and then just swirl liquid around for a while. But the actual mixing and puréeing that is necessary for a smoothie to be smooth? Not so much.

Then the hubs' parents sent us a gift. It was an immersion blender. And a New York Times article about how immersion blenders can be deadly that quoted people whose fingers can be severely cut up by accidentally touching the blades.


That's the thing about my in-laws. They don't just send gifts with a bow and a sweet card. That's too simple. No, they send gifts, sometimes slightly odd ones, and usually accompanying them are alarming notes, cryptic poems, and, this time, newspaper clippings warning us how the present we have received has the potential to make us lose our fingers.


Feeling a bit frightened but also intrigued, I decided that this was the perfect instrument to test out my next smoothie. I found a recipe for a vanilla peach smoothie in one of our cookbooks, Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything: The Basics." There are a lot of good, simple recipes in this book, and I will definitely use it as a reference for future meals. For the meantime, however, I was focused on the smoothies.

To make this one, I halved the original recipe. Here's what I needed:

*1 cup yogurt (preferably plain-- I used Greek yogurt)
*1/4 cup orange juice
*1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/2 frozen banana (I used 1/2 of a regular banana)
*1 cup unsweetened frozen peaches

I put everything in our blending cup, leaving the peaches and banana for last. Since I used an immersion blender, I'm not sure how important this ended up being, but for a regular blender, you'll want the liquid on the bottom.

If the mixture is getting stuck, you can add more orange juice. I ran into the slight problem of the peaches getting pushed down to the bottom and not getting sliced by the blades, but some nudging helped move them along, and soon enough everything was finely mixed together.

That's it! Without a doubt, this was a smoothie success. The fruit was fully blended, no fingers were lost in the process, and it tasted delicious. The only downside is that by using the accompanying blending cup, we limited our serving size to one glass. This worked fine for me, but for making large batches, I'm not sure how I would use the immersion blender. Maybe in a large pitcher?

Either way, this smoothie recipe worked well for us, and I definitely hope to make it again. The warmer months are a good times for fruity drinks, but I think this would work well at any time of year for a snack or filling beverage. Enjoy!