Strawberries make a comeback in February for Valentine’s Day. What red food looks or tastes better covered with ribbons of dark and white chocolate? Now that Valentine’s Day is over for the year, it is time to focus on a better way to enjoy the preseason shipped strawberries that fill the market this time of year.
Fruit smoothies are easy and quick to make. Any smoothie blend is improved by the addition of a few strawberries. The consistency becomes much lighter and slightly fluffier when strawberries are included in the mix. Even winter-grown berries have a tangy fresh taste and pretty cotton candy pink color.
“Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did.” ~ Dr. William Butler, 17th Century English Writer
Local strawberries make their seasonal debut during June in Minnesota markets. Fresh from the farm to the table berries have a stronger more captivating flavor, more consistent dark red color and more juice than shipped berries. Still, during the winter season, even a strawberry hailing from the distant valleys of California are a welcome sight.
During the long, cold, gray days of winter a homemade smoothie tastes refreshing. Whip up a pretty in pink, strawberry-banana smoothie as a cure for cabin fever. This smoothie recipe makes for a healthy snack loaded with Vitamin C, potassium, calcium and other nutrients. Yes, smoothies do have calories, but so does that left over Valentine’s Day candy.
Strawberry and Banana Smoothie
Bananas and strawberries are the superstars on the smoothies menu but with the kaleidoscope of fruit varieties available these days, the possibilities are endless. Just about any seasonal fruit works well. Try adding fresh ripe peeled mangos, kiwis or pineapple. In a pinch, canned pineapple or peaches will also work, but fresh fruit tastes better.
2 peeled, ripe medium-sized bananas
1/2 cup strawberries, washed, trimmed and hulled
1/3 cup vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup milk or milk substitute (soy milk, almond milk etc.)
2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
2 tablespoons honey (optional)
5 – 7 ice cubes
Place bananas, strawberries, yogurt, milk, orange juice, honey (optional) and ice in a blender. Process a minute or two until smooth. Serve immediately in wide-mouthed glasses.
Makes two to three servings. In the unlikely event that any smoothie remains as a leftover, freeze it in small, plastic, drink bottles to make brown bag lunch ice packs that become edible as they thaw.