Meatless Monday: Cottage Peach Smoothie & What we Are Eating

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When it comes to making breakfast for the family, I really try and ensure it is balanced.  I know there are a lot of smoothie recipes and people who use their vitamix and juicers to make a nice beverage, but when I make a smoothie I want it to be of high nutritional content.  This is one reason you will never find a smoothie recipe I create that uses water.  As a dietitian in a nursing home you start to learn a lot about puree food.  One of the most important factors in serving puree is to ensure you give your customers the most bang for their buck.  Appetites vary so you want to make sure even the smallest appetite is getting an adequate amount of vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber.  Water is great at thinning food when you need to change the consistency but it also lessens the nutritional content.  I prefer to use juice, dairy, or dairy alternative beverage.  This was how I taught cooks and dietary aides to make puree, and I use the same concept when I feed my family a liquid meal.

In addition to a nutritional beverage I sometimes add some yogurt as well.  I love greek yogurt but I know it has a tanginess that is not always ideal in all smoothies.  The other day I found some of the peaches we picked this summer in the freezer and decided it had been a few weeks since we had that summer flavor.  When I think of peach smoothies, I tend to think sweet as they are a sweet fruit especially when perfectly ripe.  As I began to add ingredients to the Vitamix, I was torn between greek yogurt or just using fruit in addition to the almond milk.  Then it caught my eye – cottage cheese.  Recently we discussed that I have a new found love for ricotta cheese and you find it in a lot of recipes where it is made to be sweet, but cottage cheese, I was not sure.  Of course then I realized I have a great kugel recipe that calls for cottage cheese and one of Little Miss Mixtures favorite things is cottage cheese with applesauce and cinnamon, so I figured it could not be too bad.  It definitely was not bad in fact it was really good. The cottage cheese helped to thicken the smoothie slightly while of course increasing the protein and calcium content as well.

As I sit here writing about this I realize how nice these same flavors would be using apple or pumpkin instead of peaches.  A perfect Fall flavored smoothie.

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Cottage Peach Smoothie

1/4 cup Almond Milk, Vanilla

1/3 cup Cottage Cheese

1 fresh banana

1 cup Frozen Peach Slices

1/2 tsp. ground Cinnamon

 

Place all ingredients in a blender or Vitamix. Remember liquid on the bottom and frozen on top when using a Vitamix. Blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy.

 

What we are eating (September 14 – September 20) 

Sunday – Leftovers

Monday – Roasted Mushroom & White Bean Puree (Cooking Light)

Tuesday – Ground Chicken Tacos with homemade Taco Seasoning

Wednesday – A version of this Chopped Salad 

Thursday – Patty Melt with Waldorf Salad

Friday – Ham & Swiss Sandwiches, Organic Trader Joe Corn Chips, Fruit

Saturday – Night Out

Thanks for reading and have a great week.  Looking for some more Smoothies that are packed with protein.  Check these out.

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Protein Packed Smoothie

IMG_3192Protein Power Green Smoothie

 

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Peach Watermelon Smoothie

Image 3I promised summer recipes this week and I am not sure you can get more summer than a recipe that involves peaches and watermelon.   You also cannot get much easier than a fresh breakfast in less than 15 minutes.

So many fruits these days are available year round in the stores. But luckily for us there are some items that are not quite as easy to transport long distances. Thus peaches are rarely seen in the depth of winter, even here in the south.

However in between late June and August the peaches are abundant at the local stores and the farmers markets. I prefer to buy any local produce at the farmers markets, but in this case I went straight to the source. We are still enjoying the peaches that we picked ourselves in July. Of course peaches have a short shelf life, so our enjoyment of them now is taking them from the freezer. They still have a great flavor and in the case of a smoothie, in order to get the right consistency you need something frozen.

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There are quite a few smoothie recipes out their that incorporate ice to get a smoothie cold and slightly slush like, but as a dietitian and having a background working with puree food, I just cannot do it.  I see no reason to water down anything and decrease the nutritional value.  If I want a icy type item sure, but when it comes to breakfast and trying to get nutrients into my family I will always use frozen fruit.  In the case of this smoothie, I needed very little liquid as I knew the watermelon would provide plenty, but I wanted to add some creaminess so I grabbed the milk container.  Almond milk would also go nicely with this combination of fruit, adding a nutty undertone and keeping it dairy free.

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This morning I whipped up this smoothie for us to enjoy.

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Peach Watermelon Smoothie

1/4 cup Skim Milk

1 Cup Watermelon, in chunks

1/2 banana

1 1/2 cups frozen peaches

Blend and enjoy.

* Please note this measurements are approximate and yielded about 20 ounces.

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Classic Peach Milkshake

IMG_3433If you remember a couple weeks ago, I wrote about how I typically consume milkshakes in place of meals.  I realize this may not be the healthiest of choices, but I love milkshakes and I am just too full to enjoy them with meals or after meals most of the time.  I posted a Chocolate Cherry Milkshake that I made one night as Little Miss Mixture and I had gone out to a late lunch and neither of us was that hungry, so we had a fun summer dinner – Milkshakes.

On occasion I am able to make one type of milkshake for everyone in the house, but many times there are a couple varieties or different flavors requested.  This was one of those times.  Little Miss Mixture wanted to try peach.  I find peach milkshakes are really most enjoyable during the summer when the peaches are fresh.  If you have been reading recently you know we went peach picking and have a lot of peaches on hand now.  I have sliced and frozen a large amount of them.  I think frozen peaches are great for making smoothies, but the flavor is not quite the same as a fresh peach in a true classic milkshake.  Peach milkshakes are best in the middle to late summer when the freestone peaches are at their best and make it easiest to work with.

This milkshake is quintessential summer in the south and can be ready in five minutes.  Why not make the most of the summer by enjoying fresh local fruit and ice cream.  If you are like me in anyway a milkshake can just brighten your day.  Try it!

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Classic Peach Milkshake

6 oz. Vanilla Ice Cream

1 1/2 Fresh Peaches, pitted and sliced

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/4 c. Milk, optional

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.  If you prefer a thicker milkshake, puree the first 3 ingredients and then add milk to get desired consistency.  If the peaches are really juicy no milk is needed to get a perfect thick peach shake.  Pour into a glass and enjoy.

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Chocolate Cherry Milkshake

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Well I just went back and read my About Me page.  I must apologize as I failed to mention a favorite food … Milkshakes.  I have a vague memory that I spoke about my love for milkshakes and liquid meals in one of my smoothie post, but if not there it is.  I have always loved milkshakes and before smoothies were a popular breakfast item , I can remember my mom making fruit shakes for my breakfast.  I was and never have been a great breakfast eater.  As an adult, I know how to get food when I need it, but as a child I do not think my parents liked sending me off to school without breakfast.  Thus I can remember fruit shakes, toaster strudels, carnation instant breakfast, and a variety of other items being given to encourage me to eat breakfast.  I probably ate mixture for breakfast as early as middle school and continue to do so at times.  I like cereal.  I just never learned to enjoy it covered in milk and turning soggy as I eat it.  Funny as I think about it.  I love milk and still consume it on a regular basis with meals, but cereal and milk are two foods I do not mix.  However as I am typing it just occurred to me there is one way I would probably enjoy milk and cereal together… in a milkshake.  That is an idea for another day.

Well I love milkshakes, but they are just too filling to accompany a meal.  I actually consume them more in place of a meal.  I used to get them for snacks or as quick bite when I was busy working and sort of missed meal times.  As a kid I remember having milkshakes for lunch on a summer day for occasion, and this is something I have continued to do.  Well it is more of a year round occurrence than a summer thing.  It is just so easy and many times it is the perfect amount of food if we have had a later breakfast or bigger breakfast on the weekends, but need something with substinance to hold us to dinner.  I do have some guidelines with our milkshake meals – they generally always contain a fruit, banana mostly.  Nay sayers go on, but all food has a place and just as I remember it as a memory as a child, so will Little Miss Mixture.  Besides there are worst things that could be consumed than a combination of fruit, milk, and ice cream.

 

The other day Little Miss Mixture and I were invited to have lunch with my mom.  We went to a local restaurant that specializes in sushi and burgers.  Yes it is a strange combination, but it works.  The menu had some unique milkshake, including some adult only ones, but I was there for lunch and did not need that much.  However the idea of a shake seemed to stick with me for the remainder of the day.  Having eaten a somewhat late lunch, not being that hungry, and no pressure to make dinner as Mr. Mixture was out of town.  I decided to eat some of the leftover food we brought home and make milkshakes.  Perfect dinner for a hot night.

As a kid we used to visit Dairy Queen.  In fact I can recall having my first blizzard and it being served upside down to show how thick it was.  I am fairly certain when we got these they replaced our meals as well.  See I am just carry on another family tradition.  I have always liked cherry things.  For years I ordered the Cherries Jubilee flavor at Baskin and Robbins, and one of my favorite blizzards was chocolate covered cherry.  I had never tried to recreate one of these flavors until the other day.  I could be in trouble because the first time was success and why wouldn’t it be.  How can you go wrong with chocolate and cherries.

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Chocolate Cherry Milkshake

20 fresh cherries, pitted

6 oz. Vanilla ice cream

1 tsp. Vanilla extract

1 Tbsp. Chocolate Syrup

Blend until smooth and enjoy.

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I wonder how many more delicious things I can make before cherry season is over.  What is your favorite way to eat cherries?

 

 

Sweet Cherry Smoothie

IMG_3219As I mentioned yesterday, it is the peak time to get cherries, so we stocked up.  I finally got some washed, pitted, and frozen so that we can use them in smoothies in a couple of weeks.  Talk about a mess.  I may rank pitting cherries up there with my least favorite kitchen task.  Boiling chicken is still # 1.  Regardless of how few or how many, I end up having to split some open because the pitter does not always work perfectly, so there is juice on my hands.  My fingers begin to look stained by the end of the process and the clean trash bag is now stained as if there was a horrible kitchen accident.  Luckily this time around I managed to not get the juice on my shorts.  As I complete this process, I keep picturing the episode of “I Love Lucy” where they crush grapes with their feet.  Okay I just dated myself some, but as a kid I loved to watch the “I Love Lucy” reruns that TBS aired.

Having made a really nice adult drink with the cherries, I decided to start our day on Monday with a family friendly drink.  Little Miss Mixture and I had somewhere to go, so it was a great morning for smoothies in the car.  Thank goodness the car is old enough I do not care about cherry juice and in a nicely topped cup the likelihood of a cherry juice mishap is slim.  I would never have fresh cherries consumed in the car in any other form.  Honestly I have often thought of serving them outside as I constantly fear the juice ending up on the upholstery or the walls.  I know too much information about how I may be a little too type A, but at least I can admit it.

We had fresh pineapple from Sunday’s dinner which gave me the idea for the smoothie; however I ended up using frozen to get the consistency I wanted.  This simple fruit smoothie had a bright and somewhat tropical flavor to it.

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Sweet Cherry Smoothie

20 Pitted Cherries

1/2 cup Skim Milk

3 Tbsp. Nonfat Greek Yogurt

1 cup Frozen Pineapple

Place all ingredients in a blender or Vitamix.  Remember liquid on the bottom and frozen on top when using a vitamix.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into about a 12 oz glass or split into two smaller servings and enjoy.

Printable Recipe & Nutrition Info

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