Temperatures have started to rise over the past few days, which among other things, means that it is smoothie season. Not to say that other months aren’t smoothie-appropriate, it’s just that now it’s possible to slurp down a smoothie in record time without getting a brain freeze.
When it comes to making great smoothies, simplicity is key. I like to stick with one type of frozen fruit to keep the color scheme vibrant as well as cold without diluting the flavors with ice cubes.
I choose to blend my fruit with milk rather than juice to make sure that the smoothie is creamy and thick. I also like to add some chilled coconut milk in two parts: a few spoonfuls for a little natural sweetness and thick texture in the smoothie in addition to a swirl of chilled coconut milk on the top of the smoothie for a fun garnish. It’s like really easy latte art for cold drinks.
Finally, I like to give every smoothie a little textural contrast on top to counteract the otherwise smooth texture. In this smoothie, to complement the coconut milk I add some toasted coconut flakes, but depending on the flavors of the smoothie I may use granola, toasted almonds, or even some shaved chocolate. The beauty of a smoothie recipe is that once you have a smoothie base that you love, you can add in variations to make something that you really love that never takes more than five minutes.
Coconut Berry Smoothie
Makes 2 large smoothies, or 4 small smoothies
1, 15 oz. can full-fat coconut milk, well chilled
3 cups frozen berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries etc.)
3 cups milk
1-2 tablespoons honey for sweetness, if desired
¼ cup coconut flakes, for topping
- Turn the can of chilled coconut milk upside down, then open the bottom of the can, which is now facing up. Pour off the coconut water, then scrape the coconut cream into the blender. Blend on high speed for 1-2 minutes, until the coconut cream is light and airy. Transfer 1 cup of the coconut cream to another bowl for to use for topping, and leave the remainder of the coconut cream in the blender jar.
- Add the frozen berries, milk, and honey (if using) to the blender jar, then blend on high speed for 1-2 minutes until the berries are completely smooth. Pour the smoothie into jars, garnish with the coconut cream and coconut flakes, and serve.
- Feeling extra hungry? Add a spoonful of almond butter or 2 tablespoons of raw oats to help keep you full for a few hours.
- Feeling daring? Add a handful of spinach and watch your smoothie turn green—try using frozen pineapple or mango to keep the smoothie a bright green color that’s packed with nutrients. Don’t worry; the spinach is very hard to actually taste.
- Feeling like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup? Add a spoonful of peanut butter and a tablespoon of cocoa powder, then garnish with a few shavings of dark chocolate.