A smorgasbord of smoothies

May 24th, 2010 · Lisa · gluten-free, raw, Recipes, Snacks, sugar-free · Comments

Today the city of Toronto issued its first Heat Alert. The temperature only reached about 25 degrees Celsius but with the sunshine and humidity we hit the mid-thirties on the Humidex. If you’re not Canadian that was probably way too much information about the weather. We do tend to perseverate over the forecast. It dominates our national conversations in a way unparalleled by other cultures.


The glorious weather was made even more exciting since it arrived on a holiday (Victoria Day) so I was actually able to get out and enjoy it. I was so happy to have the chance to spend the afternoon in the sunshine rather than starring at it wistfully from my office window (yes, I am grateful that I have a window).


The warm weather had me craving something refreshing, so I pulled on a tank top (for the first time in 2010!) and went out to see what I could find. I wandered into Kensington market, a great area of the city full of small fruit and vegetable shops and family-run health food stores. Our seasonal farmers markets won’t open for a few more weeks so local produce is still pretty hard to find. When I have the option I always buy local fruit and vegetables. However, because my diet is so dependent on fresh ingredients sometimes I don’t have a choice. 


One of the ways I grapple with this dilemma is to happily take home the ‘very ripe’ fruit marked down for quick sale. Where I shop they often have huge bags of bananas that have started to develop black spots on sale for a dollar. I know that those bananas, peeled and frozen are the ideal base for any great smoothie so I happily save them from the waste-bin. I was able to find a number of similar deals in the market today.

8 mangoes – $1.00
large pineapple – $2.99
pint of blackberries – $1.49

Since this produce is already quite ripe I like to make quick work of preparing it for the freezer. Everything gets washed, peeled and chopped so it can easily be added to smoothies, ice creams and sauces in the future. 


Over the last few days, with the return of warm weather, I’ve started to crave smoothies again. Over the winter months I find smoothies a lot less satisfying but now I am easily encouraged to throw some frozen fruit together in the blender and sip away the afternoon. I turned to Matthew Kenney’s everyday raw for some delicious inspiration to use some of my recently procured produce.


All of Matthew’s smoothies include fresh almond milk. I don’t usually add non-dairy milks to my fruit smoothies but I was willing to give it a try and I was quite amazed by how much a little almond milk can boost the creamy texture and satiating power of these blended beverages. I tried a number of Matthew’s flavour combinations, with a few little twists of my own.

Blackberry Mango Smoothie
with almond milk, vanilla extract and a pinch of sea salt
Banana Almond Butter Cup
banana, cacao nibs, cinnamon, almond milk, medjool date
Chocolate-Cherry Smoothie
cherries, banana, chocolate covered goji berries, water, vanilla extract, a pinch of sea salt
Pear Power
pear, cinnamon, hemp protein, mesquite, almond milk, agave, vanilla extract, pinch of sea salt
And a recipe of my own for you
The Royal Blush
in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 lemon, peeled
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup almond milk
1 date (optional-if you enjoy things on the sweet side)

What is your favourite way to pass a holiday weekend?

Do you typically add non-dairy milks to your fruit-based smoothies?

What local produce are you anxiously awaiting? I’m a cherry-fiend. Our stores have just started carrying cherries from California, but I know soon the Ontario bounty will arrive. I can’t wait.

8 Comments

  1. Posted May 24, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    lovely looking smoothies!

    i do add almond milk if i have it or just a bit of almond butter in the blender to make "instant" almond milk. but these are more of my treat non-green smoothies. for green smoothies, i typically go without because the almond flavor gets lost.

    i am anxiously awaiting cherries too! and all berries. i love berry season so much.

  2. Posted May 24, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    WOW, those are good looking smoothies :) Can we have some?

    Pure2Raw Twins

  3. Posted May 25, 2010 at 12:16 am

    banana almond butter cup looks deelish :)

  4. Posted May 25, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Long weekends = bicycle time. I spent so much time cycling around this weekend. It was divine! Also, seeing my favourite vegan ladies is huge too. :)

    As for local produce: it's cherries for me too. I never even had a fresh cherry until I was 30 or so, so I'm making up for lost time.

  5. Posted May 25, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Love those smoothies! I can't get enough lately, thanks for the great ideas!

    I waiting for cherries too!!! I saw some (non-organic) in the store yesterday and I was so tempted!!! I also can't wait for peak watermelon season! Mmm, and cantaloupe..oh geez, pregnant lady can go on forever!! Ha ha!

  6. Posted May 25, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Bitt- I love the instant nut-milk trick!

    Lori and Michelle – just let me know when to expect you. The smoothies will be waiting.

    nutellacube-you should give it a try. I love meals that take less than a minute to prepare.

    Colleen-seeing you was the highlight of my long weekend. We should have a cherry celebration.

    Lauren, oh now I want watermelon. I love watermelon juice, watermelon gazpacho and watermelon in salads. Can't wait!

  7. Posted May 25, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    What I like best on long weekends is just having a day that's not planned out to the hour. Waking up and just doing what I feel like.

    And, I am anxiously awaiting STRAWBERRIES! :)

  8. Posted May 29, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    They all sound delicious! I love smoothies in general, of course, but coming across some new combinations is always such a treat. Cherries–mmm, can't wait to try that one! And I'm sure Queen Vicky would have been pleased!

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