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Thursday, June 3, 2010

College Cooking: Smoothies with Your Immersion Blender

Now that it's June, my little project is taking on some urgency. You've all acquired an immersion blender, right? Smoothies can be made in regular blenders, but the clean up is a pain. With an immersion blender, you can just rinse off the blender and your container. I know that for harried students, even that can be too much sometimes. But yucky blenders are the worst!

Smoothies: These are ridiculously expensive in shops. One hardly needs a recipe: we use yogurt, frozen banana, and whatever other fruit we have that seems promising. A little sugar or honey and you're done.

For the dorm cook, even the simplest concoction comes with roadblocks. What if you don't HAVE a frozen banana (because packing bananas for the freezer is a pain)? What if you don't have fruit? What if you don't have yogurt? Besides, yogurt can get expensive; we make our own chez frugalscholar, but that would be too much for most students.

This morning I conducted an experiment: regular unfrozen banana, handful of frozen blueberries, powdered milk, water, sugar. It was just fine.

Then I tried a trick I read about recently: I put in a handful of regular flaked oatmeal and blended it in. It worked!

So here we have a healthy smoothie with roadblocks minimized.
1. You can use a regular banana.*
2. You can sub powdered milk and water for yogurt.**
3. Fruit is a problem area, because it's heavy to lug home from the store, fragile, and has a short lifespan.*** I suggest adding FROZEN FRUIT to your freezer pantry. The cheapest place in my town is Dollar Tree, where I can get blueberries, peaches, and strawberries. The fruit comes in bags, from which you can take what you want and then re-secure, either with a rubber band, a scrunchie, or a paper clip.
4. The oatmeal is a great add-in because it functions as a thickener, is VERRRRRY healthy, and gets around the problem of "I don't like oatmeal because it's slimy."

*Would it be unethical to snitch a banana from the cafeteria when you eat there? If not, you could use that banana.
**Same as above, except for yogurt. For some reason, I think the banana is OK, but the yogurt is not.
***For a wonderful children's book on mortality through the example of a peach, see


Duchesse said...

Banana ethics: If it forms part of a normal sized meal, take; if it is an extra, leave. If someone else claims it is her banana, threaten to cut in two. Oh wait, that's a baby.

BG2.0 said...

Hi Fru,

I agree with the ethics of bananas, but have some questions:
How do you make your yogurt and is it really cheaper?

Do you slice your bananas and lay them on a cookie sheet to freeze then pop in a bag?


Funny about Money said...

The powdered milk idea is great! Wonder if powdered buttermilk would imitate the tang of yogurt.

I make smoothies every day with frozen fruit + orange juice. But I use a regular blender...tried my immersion blender but it just wasn't up to the job.

Frugal Scholar said...

@BG2.0--Took up the yogurt expense issue today! We just break the bananas up and put in a ziplock. The other way is more proper, but too much work!

@Duchesse--Thanks for resolving the problem!

@Funny--I would rather run some water over the frozen fruit to defrost it a bit--than to clean out a blender. Also, usually, I just wait a little.

Shelley said...

Fruit smoothies are dead easy! I throw any older fruit (not rotten, but not appetising anymore) into the freezer whole, then thaw - at least a little - and peel; alternatively I would peel or core them and then freeze in a bag as you say. Squeezing thawed banana out of the peel is gross, but lots of cooking stuff is, isn't it? I think any dairy product / fruit juice &/or sweetener (depending upon how creamy / acidic / sweet you want) and oatmeal is excellent, as you say. Tinned fruit might also be an option, but I'd drain off the syrup if it were me. Can't really speak about the ethics of bananas, etc., as I've not been part of a college cafeteria scheme.

Homemade yoghurt would be great. The part about keeping it at a constant temperature is the challenge I've yet to figure out.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Shelley--We peel the bananas and break them into chunks before we throw them in a big ziplock in the freezer. Not gross at all!