Saturday, June 14, 2014

Why Avocado Belongs in Your Smoothies

photos via Instagram
I have a new morning routine.  It begins at 5:30, and goes like this.  First, I stumble to the sink, get a glass of water, and drink it on the couch, usually while staring blankly at my Instagram feed.  After a minute, I've built up the energy necessary to take steps to obtain coffee, which then fuels the rest of my activities.  If there is coffee in the machine from the day before, I drop in three ice cubes and congratulate myself on making iced coffee.  If the machine is empty, I grumble a lot, make a new pot, and settle for hot coffee.

When the coffee hits, it's time to make a smoothie.  The smoothie is the highlight of my morning, and it's all because of the humble avocado.

A friend gave me an incredulous look recently when I mentioned putting avocado in my smoothies. I only started adding them in April, but they've already become such a smoothie essential for me that I was totally flabbergasted by her response.  I am writing this blog post on the off chance that you, like my friend, have not tried putting avocado in your smoothies yet.

Here are five quick reasons you should do it:

  1. Avocados make smoothies amazingly creamy and smooth (but don't add avocado flavor).  
  2. Smoothies with avocados are filling, and keep me full for much longer.
  3. Avocados are good for you.
  4. Adding something green to your smoothie can make you feel like you are drinking an actual green smoothie, without any of the green taste.
  5. It's fun to peel avocados this way, and it might just make your morning.
My formula is below in case you're ready to try it.  If you already put avocado in your smoothie, what's your favorite combination of ingredients?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments.  If you are not a smoothie person, I have plenty of other breakfast ideas here.

Fruit Smoothies with Avocado
Prep time: 5 minutes
Yield: 2 generous servings

1 to 2 cups frozen fruit (choose any combination of the following):
            Sliced peaches
            Dark sweet cherries (pitted)
            Sliced banana*
Up to 1 cup fresh fruit (optional--use any of the above fresh, or try the following):
            Cubed seedless watermelon
            Cored, chopped apple
1 Hass avocado, deseeded and peeled
Protein powder (optional--I use 3 scoops or 42 g of grassfed unsweetened whey protein)
Extracts and Flavorings (I always use vanilla, and often add one additional flavor):
            1/4 teaspoon vanilla, or to taste
            1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional--great with cherries, peaches, and berries)
            1-2 tablespoons cocoa (optional--for a chocolate smoothie)
            1/4 teaspoon lemon extract or 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional--add if your smoothie tastes too sweet or could benefit from a bit of tang) 
Water to blend, as needed (I usually need about a cup, but my blender is old and weak)
*I freeze ripe bananas whole (with the peel on).  When I'm ready to use one, I let it sit at room temperature for ten minutes, or run it under warm water for 30 seconds or so.  I chop off each end, slice through the peel lengthwise with a paring knife, and then use my fingers to pry the peel off.

Place the ingredients in the blender in the order specified (frozen fruit, fresh fruit if using, avocado, protein if using, desired flavorings, and then water).  Cover the blender, and blend until smooth, adding additional water as necessary.  Taste, then adjust flavorings as desired and blend again.  Divide among two large glasses and serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to an hour or so (I stash one in the fridge for Ben to drink when he wakes up, which is about 45 minutes after I leave, and he always enjoys them.  If left for longer than that, the color and flavor or any smoothie made with avocado and/or banana will begin to deteriorate somewhat.)

P.S.  I have these stainless steel smoothie straws, and I love them.  They even come with their own straw cleaner!

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  1. I can't believe I never thought to put avocado in a smoothie, but it is a brilliant idea!

    1. Thanks, Nora--I hope you like it! For me, there's no going back.


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