How to Juice and Make Vegan Smoothies

Summer may be ending, however that does not mean the cool fresh taste of a smoothie must face the same fate. Many a person have scoffed with disbelief that a delicious vegan smoothie is possible. I am here to say it is not only possible, but also easy. The best way to ensure you will have a tasty treat is by using frozen fruit. I access my local farmer's market every Saturday to pick from the wide selection of organic fruit. Even though they are organic, it is still essential to wash all fruit you bring home for health reasons.

Peel the bananas and cut in to slightly larger than bite-size chunks. Wrap or bag the chunks to store in the freezer. As well, freeze fresh strawberries, blueberries, and other mixed berries. Lay out the berries on a cookie sheet (lined with wax paper is optional). Without letting the berries touch, chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and then place in a freezer for an additional 2-3 hours. They are ready to be bagged and placed back in the freezer once they are individually frozen.

Two Notes:

1) I have five children and do not always have time to freeze the berries individually. I have not had any problem (as of yet) by simply placing them immediately in bags to freeze.

2) Do not freeze whole oranges or other citrus, as the juice will expand. The fruit will explode inside of your freezer and that is no fun.

Juicing fruits for vegan smoothies is simple to do with a blender or food processor. I have found that the use of a juicer will leave too much of the nutrients behind inside of the machine. If you do choose to use a juicer, use a masticating juicer. The process is just a bit slower than a centrifugal, but more effective.

The wonderful thing about blenders is that they can be simple or complex. I have a Braun PowerMax MX2050 blender that is an exceptional middle-of-the-road product. At around $50, this 525 watts blender will crush, puree, mix, blend, and emulsify with a five-speed option and pulse.

My favorite vegan smoothie that I make with my blender is the Banana  amp; Strawberry Smoothie. Take out 1 banana (frozen chunks) and 1 cup strawberries (frozen) from your refrigerator. Blend the frozen fruit and 1 cup of soy-milk together. I enjoy larger chunks of strawberries, so I will add them last. You can alter the consistency of the smoothie by adding ice or soy-milk. The reason I use this recipe in my blender is that the PowerMax has drip holes on the lid that make adding extra liquid easy with no mess.

I use the KitchenAid KFP750 12-Cup Food Processor for recipes that include a thicker substance, such as peanut butter. This processor comes with dual tall feed tubes that are perfect for thin carrots to heftier pieces of apple. The price for the KitchenAid KFP750 is about $250, but is well worth every penny. It is most definitely a multi-purpose appliance with six different blades and 4-cup mini bowl.

The Peanut Butter  amp; Chocolate Smoothie I make with the food processor is quick and simple. Place 3 ½ Tablespoons of organic peanut butter (stirred first to mix the oil) and 1 cup of chocolate soy-milk in the food processor. Mix until smooth, then add ice cubes, and crush.

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