Blend Smoothies, written by Faith Gorsky and Alyssa Brantley, features 35 artisanal, healthy smoothies made with natural ingredients and all in less than 5 minutes. Along with a guide filled with useful tips and tricks for making your own amazing smoothies, you will also find indulgent treats like the Hot Fudge Sundae, fruity creations like the Minted Strawberry Melon, healthy greens like the Kiwi Lime + Kale, or a morning pick-me-up Coffee + Tea like the Black Forest Coffee.
Faith Gorsky is the blogger behind An Edible Mosaic. She grew up in Upstate New York, went to law school in Florida, and lived in Syria, Jordan, and Kuwait with her husband before settling in the D.C. area. She is also the author of An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair and you can find more of her photography here.
Alyssa Brantley is the blogger behind Everyday Maven. She developed her love of cooking through her mother, a classically trained chef, and focuses on uncomplicated recipes with real food for real families. She grew up in Philadelphia, earned her B.A. in Broadcast Journalism at New York University, went to graduate school at Drexel University, and now lives in Washington State with her husband and two sons.
The chapters are divided into 2 parts. The first section, The Basics, is separated into Making Smoothies in 5 minutes, Smoothie-Building, Fruit + Vegetable Basics, Liquids for Smoothie-Making, Natural Sweeteners, A Few Ingredients Explained, Measurements + Serving Size, Substitutions, and Smoothie Issues, Solved. The second part covers the recipes: Indulgence, Fruit, Green, and Coffee + Tea.
Faith and Alyssa put together a highly detailed guide perfect for those new to creating smoothies. There is a thorough explanation of popular ingredients, the different types of natural sweeteners, how to work with fresh and frozen fruit, and storage of fresh herbs. You will also learn how to layer the ingredients in the blender for smooth processing and pick out ripe fruit before washing, cutting, and flash-freezing. I particularly love the handy charts for easy reference. There is even a section on troubleshooting for any consistency issues that may arise.
All of the smoothies are made with single servings in mind. They can easily be doubled to serve two and still fit in the average blender (adjust the sweetness to taste). Ingredients are listed in US Customary and all the recipes include headnotes and tips/variations. The photography and styling are provided by Faith Gorsky. Every single recipe is accompanied by a beautifully-styled full page photo of the finished smoothie.
This ebook is a great pick whether you are new to smoothies or looking for new ideas. Most of the ingredients are readily available in the average grocery store. A trip to the health food store may be needed if your store doesn’t stock items like chia seeds, flaxseed, dates, or fenugreek. Most of the recipes are dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan. Unsweetened almond milk is used most often as the base followed by coconut milk, but tips and substitutions are also included for other types of liquid including cow’s milk if that is preferred.
This Brownie Batter Swirl smoothie combines an almond banana base with a creamy, fudgy brownie-like swirl. It is perfect for taking care of any sweet cravings and comes together in less than 5 minutes.
I love how the brownie batter comes from a combination of mostly healthy ingredients. I wasn’t sure how the diced dates would blend in, but they did and helped with the texture. Claire was also a huge fan.
If you don’t have stevia on hand, you can substitute with honey or maple syrup. Start with 1 teaspoon and adjust the sweetness as needed for personal taste.
If the date has hardened, soak in boiling water for about a minute to soften.
A variation is also included to decrease the almond milk to 1/4 cup and add 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt. Additional sweetener may be needed.
I also made Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookie, Peaches + Cream, Sweet Green Goddess, and Maple Walnut Coffee.
The Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookie is an interesting, but delicious smoothie. It was definitely the first time I have ever added raisins to a drink. It is a great pick for those times you are craving a cookie, but want a healthier option. Almond milk is seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg, then blended with oats, raisins, and toasted almonds for that cookie flavor.
The Peaches + Cream smoothie was a great way to make use of any extra summer peaches. The combination of fresh and frozen peaches (can use all frozen during the off-season), creates a creamy milkshake-like consistency. This smoothie was incredibly easy with only a few ingredients.
The Sweet Green Goddess is a refreshing smoothie packed with fruits and vegetables. The cucumber, peach, and ginger add to the lightness. I couldn’t even tell that there was a cup of spinach included and both kids enjoyed it.
The Maple Walnut Coffee was Chad’s favorite. Maple, oats, and walnuts pair together with a little instant coffee for a great morning or midday pick-me-up. Since I don’t generally keep maple flavoring on hand, I also appreciated the substitution guide for using maple syrup instead.
Brownie Batter Swirl Smoothie
Adapted from Blend Smoothies
Brownie Batter Swirl:
1 tablespoon semisweet chocolate chips
1 Medjool date, pitted and finely diced
1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon tahini
1 pinch sea salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2-2 tablespoons plain, unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk
1 large banana, peeled, chopped into 6 pieces, and frozen
1 packet stevia
1 pinch sea salt
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon chocolate sprinkles
To make the brownie batter: In a small microwave-safe, bowl, heat the chocolate chips in the microwave in 15 second increments, stirring in-between, until melted and smooth. Mash in the date using a fork. Whisk in the cocoa powder, tahini, sea salt, and vanilla extract. Slowly whisk in the almond milk to create a batter-like consistency.
To make the smoothie: In a blender, add the almond milk, banana, stevia, salt, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean paste. Blend until smooth.
Pour the smoothie into a serving glass and swirl in the brownie batter. Serve immediately topped with sprinkles.