Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Orange Julisy (or Julis-ish, perhaps)

Last night, I had a pretty good idea that I could replicate an Orange Julius using my blender and some powdered milk. I decided to let Google be my friend, and after a few minutes, found this really great recipe that looked like it should do the trick. All I needed was some powered egg white.

Unfortunately, powdered egg white is like $22 for this can that is barely bigger than a tuna can. Forget it! So, I decided that if I can eat a caesar salad legally, why not just use an actual egg white? So on we go with the story.

For those of you who fear consuming a raw egg white, you might as well give up now. Close your browser, watch PBS or whatever you do, no Orange Julisy for you.

Why Orange Julisy? Well, it ain't an actual Orange Julius; I'm sure that's a trademarked term and what not. But this is like 95% close, and I think you'll like it. Anyhow, on we go.

Ingredients


  • 1 egg white. I suggest you use a pasteurized egg
  • 2 oranges, peeled and quartered
  • 1/4 cup Da Vinci sugar-free vanilla syrup
  • 1 good squeeze of blue agave syrup (yes, that is along with the Da Vinci syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 cup cold water. Ice cold.
  • 1-1/2 cup ice

Directions

  • Add the ingredients in the order listed
  • Blend for one cycle using the "Smoothie" setting

Yield

  • You'll get maybe two 16-ounce servings with a tad left over.
This will be a tad foamy, it might be that I should stop the blending process before it finishes. But you'll be liking the taste, as I think you'll agree that it is a darn near clone of the real thing. In the convenience of your kitchen, to boot. Oh, and did you notice that unlike the real thing, this one has only the sugars of the two oranges and a squeeze of blue agave syrup? I would dare to say this might even be healthy, but I'll leave that up to the nutritionists. All you gotta do is enjoy, that is, if you get over the raw egg white. Pasteurized, that is.

Post-Workout Breakfast Banana Smoothie

Each workday morning I head to the gym before work, and today I decided to use up a couple of bananas that were due. This blend is intended to be a good post-workout start to the day, with plenty of protein for replenishing your spent body.

The spinach is in there to provide some healthy green leafy vegetables to the daily intake. Of course, as with any blender drink, once you add spinach, it's going to be a green-colored drink, which some folks find off-putting. If you are one of those folks, look away while you enjoy the flavor of this fine start to your day.

Of course, you can enjoy this any time of day, and with the use of some sugar free syrup, you have a sweet drink perfect for scratching the dessert itch.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water*
  • 2 bananas, cut in chunks
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1 scoop 100% whey protein, vanilla flavor
  • 1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk
  • 1 cup ice
  • *Optional:  Use 3/4 cup water instead, and add 1/4 cup Da Vinci sugar-free syrup, vanilla flavor. 

Directions

  • Blend on "Smoothie" setting for one cycle.

Yield

  • Two large glasses, or one huge glass, which is what I consume for breakfast.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Luciously Tart Raspberry Smoothie

This is one of those accidental discoveries that ended up being a huge success. While there is a bunch of mixed tropical fruit in here, in the end you get a tug-of-war between raspberry and lemon, a battle you will enjoy playing out in your mouth with each taste.

Ingredients


  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 lemon, quartered (peeled, of course!)
  • 2 cups frozen mixed tropical fruit (we got ours from Costco)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • and finally (read the directions I'm gonna give) a big ol' splash of DaVinci sugar-free raspberry syrup, the kind folks use in coffee

Directions

  • Add all ingredients, except the raspberry syrup, into blender
  • Blend for one cycle on "Smoothie" setting
  • Listen to the blender cavitate slightly, as there is not sufficient liquid
  • Say "Hmm." to self, and try the "Smoothie" setting again. Watching the blender, realize that the mix has turned into a sherbert.
  • Try some of that sherbert, which has an amazingly silky texture, and realize that while it's a perfect sherbert, texture-wise, you want a smoothie, and want something with a more punched-up flavor.
  • Get out that DaVinci sugar-free raspberry syrup and add in a big ol' glug of it. My guess is I used 1/4 cup, but really it was just a big ol' glug.
  • Use a spatula to work the syrup into the now near frozen mix, and blend one more time, just enough to fully incorporate the syrup.

Yield

  • two 16-ounce drink cups work perfectly to hold this thick, tart, fantastically berry-flavored treat

Frozen Melon Cubes

While shopping at Costco, I decided to buy a "Golden Melon", about the size of a basketball. The melon itself tastes okay, a bit weaker flavor than say, a cantaloupe.

But what to do with a basketball-sized melon? I decided to quick-freeze it in cubes, so it could be used in blender recipes in place of ice.

What you need


  • Freezer with space to hold a baking sheet
  • Non-stick baking sheet, the kind with edges on it, so that melon juice would not spill off the edge. 
  • One melon, of whatever variety you like

Directions


  • Cut up the melon in quarters, and discarded the seeds
  • Cut the quarters in half, yielding eight slices
  • For each slice, cut the rind off, and dice the melon
  • Place the melon pieces on the baking sheet
  • When done, put the sheet in the freezer overnight
  • In the morning, use a plastic spatula to pop the frozen melon pieces off of the baking sheet
  • Store cubed pieces in freezer bags for storage
So now you have a nice bag of frozen melon cubes that won't stick into a giant lump. And even if they do stick together bit, they usually separate easily enough with a sufficient bonk against the kitchen counter. I found these to be a great substitute for ice in blender recipes, as they don't dilute the flavor. Enjoy!

Friday, August 3, 2012

How to drink half a cabbage

Today's lunch was an attempt to use up some existing ingredients I had lying around. There was this Napa cabbage in the vegetable drawer, and I figured it was time for it to become part of the food chain.

Ingredients


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 Napa cabbage, shredded
  • The rest of that Jello vanilla pudding mix package I had left over from the Insanely Good Banana Smoothie
  • two pears, quartered and seeded
  • 1 scoop of ice

Directions

  • Add all that stuff into the blender in the order listed
  • Blend for one cycle on the "Smoothie" setting. Add more water if the mix isn't getting blended properly.

Yield

  • Two tall glasses of some odd stuff indeed
Yeah, this is probably one of those items I might not be making the same next time. If there is a next time, I think I'll leave out the pudding mix and use it for something more dessert-like. Anyhow, the taste wasn't too bad, but the texture and vanilla taste threw it off a bit too much. I'll file this one as a work-in-progress.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Insanely Good Banana Smoothie

While watching the Olympics tonight, I felt like nothing would celebrate the accomplishments of our proud USA athletes like a banana smoothie. Just for me, since the rest of the family was out at the movies. So this recipe is purely a quantity = 1 item.

What you get here is in my opinion not hype, it truly is an insanely good banana smoothie. Silky smooth, and shamelessly sweet, this makes a perfect way of scratching that itch for something indulgent.

One trick I'm using here is Jello pudding mix powder. I'm not using the entire package, so that means there is enough left over to make more creations.

Ingredients

  • 1 banana, cut in pieces
  • 1 tbsp Jello sugar-free vanilla pudding powder
  • Big ol' squirt of Blue Agave syrup
  • Scoop of ice cubes from the fridge; approximately 1-1/2 cups worth or so.

Directions

  • Add ingredients in the order listed
  • Blend for one cycle using the "Smoothie" setting

Yield

  • Yields one smoothie, at least it did for me.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Panang Curry Carrot Soup



This recipe is a blatant recycle of "Creamy Curry Carrot Soup" as found on page 108 of the "Fresh Blends" recipe book which came with our Blendtec blender. I reworked it to make it easier and faster to produce.

I'm using a Blendtec Total Blender Classic Fourside blender, so if you're using something else, you'll have to find your own equivalent to the "Soup" setting.

Ingredients

  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp Mae Ploy Panang Curry concentrate
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, either shredded or whole

Directions

  • Get a large microwave-safe measuring bowl
  • Add the can of chicken broth (just the broth, not the can) to the bowl
  • Add 2 cups baby carrots to the bowl
  • Add 1 tbsp Panang curry concentrate to the bowl
  • Microwave on high-power (or default) for 3 minutes
  • Pour the contents of the bowl into Blendtec mixer
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the mixer
  • Blend for one cycle using the "Soup" setting
The resulting soup will be just the cure for a rainy day, I promise. Great stuff. You end up with maybe a bit over two bowls of hot curry soup. Or one huge bowl if you happen to be serious hungry or cold. Ahhhhh.

Thick Banana Blast Smoothie


Okay, the prelims: Yesterday, I weighed in at 182.6 pounds. Too much vacation, obviously. This morning I weighed in at 179 pounds, so I'd say a day of smoothies paid off well. After work, I bought a load of fresh fruits and vegetables, which leads me to what I had for breakfast.

This drink will give you a rich, smooth, thick banana smoothie, with a bit of a bite. I really liked it, and left some in the fridge for my impartial family to try.

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces cold wateer
  • 2 bananas, cut in chunks
  • 1 lemon, quartered and removed from peel
  • 1/2 block soft tofu. I use Sun Luck, which most grocery stores carry
  • 2 cups frozen strawberries

Directions

  • Place ingredients into your Blendtec blender in the order listed, and run for one cycle on the "Smoothie" setting
  • Serve and enjoy. Yields 2-1/2 large glasses.
I think this would be a fine smoothie to have random folks try, as it has an appealing pink color to it, and has a very smooth and thick texture, an almost thick milkshake quality to it. Not a bad way to start off the day.

Pear Melon Smoothie with our new Blendtec TotalBlender

Here is what I drank for dinner tonight, my first melon smoothie made in our new Blendec blender.

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces cold water, the colder the better
  • squirt of Blue Agave syrup, if you want it a bit sweet
  • 1/2 cantaloupe, diced in big chunks
  • 1 pear, washed, de-seeded, cut in quarters
  • Big ol' handful of leaf spinach, the salad kind (not the in-a-can Popeye stuff!)
  • 6-8 ice cubes from the fridge. Or in our case, a scooper full of ice.

Directions

  • Place the ingredients in the blender in the order listed; starting with the water and ending with the ice on top.
  • Blend for one cycle, using the "smoothie" setting
  • Serve it up and drink while it's cold. For me, it yielded 2-1/2 tall glasses.
I really like the Blendtec, it engages in a furious churning which renders all tossed into it into a nice creamy, melony smoothie. You'd be hard pressed to notice the spinach, although the bright green is something of a giveaway.