Question:

Smoothie recipes - how do I make them?

Smoothie Recipes: Thick Coffee Banana Smoothie

Smoothie recipes are quite popular these days, and for good reason: they're simple to prepare, good for you, and delicious. A smoothie is a great breakfast on the run when you're pressed for time. Still, there are a few little preparation quirks that distinguish a good smoothie from a great one - at least in my book. For one, I like to par-freeze the fruit I'm using - not rock solid, mind you - because it helps thicken the drink; room temperature fruit only thins it. Ditto for the liquid I use, in this case coffee - usually left over from the pot I've made that morning. As prepared here, this smoothie has a mild coffee flavor, but if you want a stronger coffee kick then go ahead and use some, or all, coffee yogurt instead of the French vanilla. Note that chocolate syrup may be used as well, for a mocha flavor profile - but do go easy with it, so you don't mask the coffee flavor. Finally, never over-blend smoothies because the friction tends to thin them out.

3/4 to 1 cup fresh brewed coffee, cooled
1 medium banana, peeled
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar or honey, to taste (optional)
1 1/2 cups French vanilla yogurt (low-fat or nonfat is fine)
1 to 2 tablespoons protein powder or other nutritional powder (optional)
1 teaspoon chocolate syrup (optional)
1 drop vanilla extract

1. Twenty to thirty minutes before you plan to mix your smoothie, put the coffee in a shallow pan and place it in the freezer, stirring once or twice after 15 minutes. It should become slushy-icy. Thinly slice the banana onto a plate and put that in the freezer as well, to chill. While you're waiting, chill the 2 or 3 glasses you plan to serve this in.

2. When you're ready to proceed, combine the chilled coffee, banana, and sugar to taste in a blender. Blend just until smooth.

3. Add the yogurt and any of the remaining ingredients you wish to use. Blend again, briefly, just until smooth. Taste, adding a little more sugar if needed. Transfer to the chilled glasses and serve.

Makes 2 to 3 servings

Find more delicious coffee recipes here in our Coffee Lovers' Recipe Collection.

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