Smoothie Basics (and how to make a Banana Protein Smoothie)

I’ve been craving smoothies so much recently, and making so many of them, that I finally no longer need a recipe for them. That’s a big achievement for someone like me who loves to cook but still relies on instructions to make a dish.

Essentially I have now hit upon a great base for any smoothie. While it may not be original or inventive, it’s nice to know I only need to have a few key things in the fridge in order to make any flavor smoothie I like.

Start with a quarter cup each of fat-free yogurt and orange juice for one regular serving. If the fruit you’re using isn’t chilled, then put a small handful of ice cubes in the blender along with the yogurt and OJ. (Using lightly thawed frozen fruit like berries is especially nice.) A spoonful or two of protein powder adds extra nutrition if you want it, and a swirl of honey (or agave syrup, my preference) adds sweetness if the drink still needs it.

There you have my perfect smoothie base. As for fruit, use whatever you like — that’s the fun of making these things. I often add banana because I like the touch of creaminess it lends the mixture. If I include other fruit, then I use half a banana. I have found a total of one serving of fruit works well with the amount in the base, but of course all of this is entirely up to your tastes.

Here’s the smoothie I made this morning — straightforward and delicious.

Banana Protein Smoothie
makes 1 serving

Blend the following until smooth:
1/4 cup fat-free yogurt
1/4 cup orange juice
Small handful ice cubes
1 Tbsp. protein powder
1 banana

Pineapple-Banana Smoothie

This smoothie is a favorite of mine. It’s delicious and easy — it only has three ingredients — and it’s quite a good way to start the day. I had it for breakfast just this morning.

Serves 2

1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 15.5-oz (434g) can of pineapple chunks in juice (preferably chilled beforehand)
1 banana

Combine everything in a blender and whizz until smooth. Be sure to include the juice from the pineapples.