Dragonfly Home Recipes

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Category: Drinks (page 2 of 3)

Cherry Cranberry Smoothie

Bursting with flavor and color, this smoothie will pick you up and infuse you with vitality.  Tart cherries and cranberries are sweetened with a splash of cranberry juice, and a banana makes the texture thick and smooth.  With only four ingredients, this smoothie is a breeze to make, yet it tastes like a special treat.

cherry cranberry smoothie overviewTart cherries freeze beautifully, and I like to keep a bag or two of Montmorency tart cherries, grown right here in Michigan, in my freezer. Then I can pull them out throughout the year to make a cherry pie, or in today’s case, a smoothie.  With the cherries and the cranberries, this smoothie is loaded with antioxidants.  There has been a lot of press about the health benefits of tart cherries–that they help with arthritis, sleep, fighting cancer, and many other things.  Whether or not all the hype is a little over the top, I still believe cherries are good for us. Just a sip of this smoothie, and I know I am drinking in lots of good nutrients.  There is some sugar from the cranberry juice, but otherwise the cherries and cranberries are too tart for most people, and there is not a lot of juice in this smoothie–just enough.

cherry cranberry smoothie with berriesWith all the things going on surrounding the holidays, it is good to keep fortified with nutrients. The vibrant flavor and color will lift your spirits.  It is not always easy to keep up with all that is going on, and small treats help.  Stopping to drink a smoothie. Several deep breaths. A walk with a trusted friend. I hope you all have a great weekend!  I will be taking this over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Sadhna @ Herbs, Spices, and Traditions and Natalie @ Kitchen, uncorked.cherriescherry cranberry smoothie on baking sheetcherry cranberry smoothie with berries 2cherry cranberry smoothies against white 3

Cherry Cranberry Smoothie

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of frozen tart (preferably Montmorency tart) cherries
  • 1/2 cup of cranberries (frozen or refrigerated is fine)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 and 1/4 cups cranberry juice (I use one that is 27% juice, so it has some sugar in it, but not as much as some do)

Directions:

Place the cherries and cranberries in a blender.  Add the sliced banana and cranberry juice. Blend until smooth. Pour into four glasses. Serve with a straw. Enjoy!

 

Strawberry Smoothie with Lemon Balm and Mint

strawberries 2Many of us long for fresh strawberries all year long.  There is nothing like the sweet, bright taste of a strawberry that has been recently picked.  This smoothie is bursting with freshness with local, in-season strawberries and a hint of mint and lemon.  The banana and Greek yogurt give it a smooth, creamy texture.  It truly tastes like summer in a glass. (I guess it is not technically summer yet, but it will be very soon, and it feels like summer already!) Not to mention the nutritional benefits of drinking a smoothie with fresh strawberries and fresh herbs, and the Greek yogurt for protein–there are lots of vitamins and antioxidants in both the strawberries and the herbs.

Yesterday I was doing errands with my kids in the city near us, amidst strip malls, big box stores, and parking lots, when a pickup truck in a parking lot caught my eye.  Next to the truck, under a tent, there was a man selling quarts and quarts of fresh strawberries!  He was a farmer from the countryside near here.  I was very excited.  My kids and I were getting aggravated from all the traffic, construction, and the tedium of errands, but this was one last errand we had to do before we went home.  I bought a couple of quarts and got to work as soon as we unloaded our groceries.  First I made some strawberry shortcake, the recipe for which I posted on this blog last year, and which is always a favorite in my house.  It was delicious.

I had a few strawberries left over, and wanted to use them soon, since truly fresh strawberries do not keep well.  Smoothies are a good way to start the morning, so the next morning I made this delicious smoothie with strawberries, Greek yogurt, and bananas, sweetened with a touch of honey.  My daughter suggested we add lemon balm and mint, since we have them growing abundantly in our garden.  She went out and picked some for me, and they add a wonderful background flavor to the strawberries.

It has been a strange couple of weeks, with the transition from school to summer break for the kids, all-consuming soccer tournaments, and other issues that inevitably come up when one lives in this beautiful, difficult, imperfect world.  We have had rainy day after rainy day, bringing mosquitoes and lots of wet shoes that take forever to dry.  But we have not had to water our garden once yet this year.  I have made some good things in the kitchen that just did not make it to the blog–rhubarb and red grape crisp, pizza with broccoli rabe, and chocolate oat muffins.  As my kids and husband would say, they were not quite blog worthy.  Yet these non-blog worthy dishes got eaten anyway, and they were quite good.  I just have not been organized enough to have a well-stocked kitchen lately, and have been doing a lot of substituting and throwing things together at the last minute.  We are almost to the summer solstice, so I would like to slow down and make time to truly experience the summer– watch the fireflies at night, and get to one of the many lakes around here as much as possible.

This strawberry smoothie is definitely blog worthy, just bursting with flavor and freshness, so I will share the very simple recipe below. strawberry smoothie 2strawberry smoothie 5fruit in blenderstrawberry smoothie in handrhubarb grape crisppizza with broccoli rabechocolate oat muffinslupine

Strawberry Smoothie with Lemon Balm and Mint

  • Servings: 1-2
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of strawberries (add more if you wish), with their tops removed
  • 1 banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup of plain, Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup, according to your taste
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoon of fresh lemon balm leaves, coarsely chopped

Directions:

Wash and prepare the strawberries and herbs.  In a blender, place the strawberries, banana, yogurt, honey or maple syrup, mint, and lemon balm.  Puree until smooth.  Pour into one or two glasses, and enjoy!

 

Maple-Banana Smoothie with Oats and Walnuts

maple smoothie on counterThe snow is melting, the sun has a promise of warmth, but the wind is still chilly and the nights are cold.  The sap is running in the sugar maple trees.  In celebration of maple syrup season, I made a delicious smoothie today, sweetened with pure maple syrup from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  My brother and his wife live up there, and gave us this syrup made by a friend of theirs.  It is so flavorful and pure, I feel like I am walking in the fresh north woods when I taste it.  I love using pure maple syrup as a sweetener.  It is a welcome alternative to refined sugar, and it contains minerals and antioxidants as well.  Maple syrup has gained popularity in many recipes, and I am enjoying experimenting with it. The smoothie I made this morning is full of soothing, creamy, rich nutrition with banana, yogurt, oats, and walnuts.  maple smoothie ingredients 3To me, it is the perfect combination of sweet and nourishing.  Goodness knows I needed a boost of energy this morning, and this smoothie has enough protein from the yogurt, oats, and walnuts to provide lasting energy.  My sweet son has been quite sick this week, and I have needed all the energy I could get to help take care of him. Fortunately, he is feeling much better.  I am sharing this recipe, because I hope this smoothie will help you face whatever lies ahead with strength and some enjoyment thrown in along the way.  That’s where the maple syrup comes in. It is such a lovely, natural treat. “When made in small quantities–that is, quickly from the first run of sap and properly treated–it has a wild delicacy of flavor that no other sweet can match. What you smell in freshly cut maple-wood, or taste in the blossoms of the tree, is in it. It is then, indeed, the distilled essence of the tree.” –John Burroughs, Signs and Seasons, 1886. I love the phrase “wild delicacy.”  Those two words seem to be opposites, and yet together, they describe some of the best things in life. Have a wonderful weekend! I am sharing this recipe with the many talented bloggers at Angie’s The Novice Gardener site for Fiesta Friday, hosted today by Jhuls at The Not So Creative Cook and Mila at Milkandbun. maple smoothie ingredients 2maple smoothie on porch 3maple smoothie on porch 4

Maple-Banana Smoothie with Oats and Walnuts

  • Servings: 1
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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons of raw walnuts
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 banana, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk, almond milk, or soymilk
  • 2-3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions: Place the oats and walnuts in a blender or food processor.  Blend until the mixture resembles coarse sand.  You may need to scrape the sides and stir the mixture a bit between blending.  Then add the yogurt (Greek yogurt is great too), banana, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla.  Blend again until smooth.  If this is too thick, you can add a couple ice cubes and blend again.  If you prefer it on the thicker side (like I do), simply pour into a glass and sip with a straw and/or spoon.  Enjoy! 

Soothing Beetroot and Banana Smoothie

beetroot smoothie in glass 2As I was picking basil in our garden yesterday, I noticed that there were some beets we had not pulled up yet.  I had been craving something nourishing, so I pulled them and brought them into the house.  Since just my daughter and I were home for the evening, I decided to make us a smoothie.  It was a rainy evening–perfect for a bright, cheerful, nutrient-rich smoothie.  Because I do not have a vitamix or the equivalent, I needed to soften the beets before I blended them, so I simmered them on the stove (washed but unpeeled) for about 15 minutes.  When the beets were fork-tender, I was able to easily peel them and put them in the blender with a banana, some yogurt, and a splash of cranberry juice. (The amounts of the ingredients are included in the recipe posted below.) This smoothie was just what we needed: creamy, soothing, and beetsnutritious. Beets are well-known for their abundance of vitamin C, folate (a form of vitamin B), and minerals such as manganese, potassium, and magnesium.  And anything that is naturally such a beautiful, bright color has to be good for your body and your soul.  If you have some beets and are wondering what to do with them, this smoothie is a delicious option.

first beetbeetroot smoothie in wineglass 3

Recipe for Soothing Beetroot and Banana Smoothie

Soothing Beetroot and Banana Smoothie

  • Servings: 1-2
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Ingredients:

  • 3 small or 1 medium/large beet (about 1/2 cup to 1 cup)
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 cup yogurt (if you use unsweetened yogurt, you might want to add 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey)
  • 1 cup of cranberry juice
  • ice cubes (optional)

Directions: Wash the beets. Trim roots and all but 1 inch of the stems. Place in boiling water, reduce heat to simmer, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the beets are fork-tender.  You may need to simmer them a few minutes longer if they are large or especially tough.  After beets are tender, rinse in cold water, rubbing off the skin as you rinse.  Place cooked, peeled beets, banana, yogurt, and cranberry juice in a blender and puree until smooth.  You can add a couple of ice cubes if you like your smoothies really cold.  Serve in glasses and enjoy!

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