Here's the Dish

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Breakfast Smoothie February 20, 2011

Can you guess what the secret ingredient is?

Lots to do today? Power up with a vibrant, nutrient-packed smoothie.

Bananas, strawberries, almond milk, blueberries and…. squash? It may not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when you think of smoothie making but butternut squash (delicious in so many recipes) is actually a great smoothie ingredient. It’s lower in sugar and higher in potassium than many fruits and just half a cup provides more than 100% of the DV for vitamin A.  I like to pair it with strawberries and add cinnamon. You can use it frozen, raw, or cooked.

Breakfast Smoothie

-Fresh banana
-Frozen strawberries
-Frozen blueberries
-Unsweetened almond milk
– Dash of cinnamon

SECRET INGREDIENT: BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Want more smoothie ideas? Check out a few of my favorites.
Plantain Coconut Berry Smoothie
Mango-Avocado Smoothie
Pineapple Banana Mango Smoothie



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Plantain Coconut Berry Smoothie November 7, 2010

 

Plantain Coconut Berry Smoothie: Fresh plantain (ripened to sweetness), unsweetened coconut milk, frozen strawberries, blueberries, mango, and a spoonful of spinach.

Plantains are an excellent source of potassium (even more per gram than a banana), vitamin A, and vitamin C. When allowed to ripen for several days, they can become very sweet and be used like a banana and eaten raw. Plantains are also commonly used like a potato when they are less ripe, and make delicious chips, and tasty baked dishes.

Unsweetened Coconut Milk adds a delicious creamy, tropical taste to smoothies and is a great way to reduce added sugars. Check the label of the carton before you buy and look for the variety with 0g of added sugar and that is fortified with vitamin D and calcium. While coconut milk does contain some saturated fat (5g/serving), research has shown that the type of saturated fat found in coconuts, medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) may be processed differently in the body than the saturated fats that are present in animal products.  The brand of coconut milk that I bought was also fortified with vitamin B12 (providing 50% of the daily RDA), making it a very good choice for vegetarians and vegans who may be lacking B12 (usually only found in animal products) in their diets.

 

Peel Appeal: Red Bananas November 4, 2010

Red Bananas: A different taste of a fruit favorite

Bananas are among my favorite fruits. They are portable, sweet, filling, and taste amazing with chocolate, oatmeal, or cinnamon. And they come conveniently wrapped in their own natural packaging. Normally, this packaging (a.k.a. the peel) is yellow…

As you can see however, this is not always the case. I stumbled upon some red bananas recently and decided to give them a try. Here is what I found:

Food Profile: Red Bananas

Taste: I had read that red bananas have a hint of raspberry mixed in with the banana flavor but in my tasting I didn’t notice that this was the case. The flavor was definitely a little bit different than a standard yellow banana but this difference was very subtle.

Nutrition: Nutritionally, red bananas are almost identical to yellow bananas. Bananas are an excellent source of Vitamin B6, and a good source of Vitamin C, and Potassium. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant, vitamin B6 is needed for amino acid (protein) metabolism and red blood cell formation, and potassium is a mineral that many of us in the U.S. need more of to help balance sodium intake.

Where to find them: I found this bunch at Whole Foods. There are two Whole Foods locations within walking distance of Tufts. The closest one is near Boston Ave. on Mystic Valley Parkway. The one I stopped at was near the Alewife T station.

My Take: The difference in taste is only slight but I think this banana would be a great one to serve to guests if you’re trying to make a meal something extra special. They have a flavor that pairs especially well with dark chocolate if you are serving them for dessert. I would also buy them again for myself just for variety’s sake. It’s a fun way to shake up a very familiar food.