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Alaska from Scratch: Blueberry smoothies, for a sweet start to the day

Maya EvoyAlaska from Scratch
Blueberry and spinach smoothie Maya Evoy, Alaska from Scratch

Blueberries are in season all over the state and are ripe for the picking. Our family enjoys walking to a nearby lake in our neighborhood for our annual summertime berry-picking adventure. Blueberries are great to use in baked goods, salads, or transformed into syrup or jam. One of the ways I use them most is as a base for a healthy homemade smoothie.

This is currently our household’s favorite smoothie combination: Greek yogurt, bananas, spinach, blueberries, strawberries. The kids enjoy it too, and it’s one of the only ways I can get them to eat their spinach. You can’t taste the leafy greens and you can just barely see them if your blender is a good one -- tiny green flecks mixed in with the gorgeous purple color of the blueberries.

A couple of quick smoothie-making tips: the type of milk you use is entirely up to you. One of my favorites is vanilla coconut milk, the variety you can buy refrigerated or in a box (not the canned; I prefer that for cooking). But you can also use soy, almond or dairy milk. The same is true of sweeteners -- you can use honey, agave nectar, or pure maple syrup. You can play around with your own milk and sweetener combinations to discover your favorites, as well as fruit combinations. Smoothies are incredibly versatile, excellent as a healthy breakfast, lunch, or afternoon snack. Also, if you happen to have a popsicle mold, you can transform your smoothies into nutritious frozen treats.

Blueberry Spinach Smoothie

2 Servings

Ingredients:

2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 ripe banana
2/3 cup frozen blueberries
2 large frozen strawberries
1 cup spinach leaves
1/2 cup milk of choice (dairy, coconut, soy, almond)
2 teaspoons protein powder (optional)
1 tablespoon of honey, or to taste

Instructions:

1. Add all of the ingredients to a blender, cover with the lid and whirl until smooth. Add more milk if needed to reach the desired consistency and taste for sweetness, adjusting as necessary. Pour into two glasses and enjoy promptly.

Notes: Some smoothie combinations are sweet enough without sweetener, especially if your banana is very ripe.

Maya Evoy lives in Nikiski and blogs about food at alaskafromscratch.com. Have a food question or recipe request? Email maya@alaskafromscratch.com and your inquiry may appear in a future column.