Friday, July 13, 2007

Favorite Ingredients Friday for July 13

Well, the theme for this week's Favorite Ingredients Friday is Healthy Eating. I try to lighten up most all of my everyday recipes, so I really couldn't decide what to share. I finally decided to share two recipes, one for fruit smoothies/shakes and one for roasted vegetables.

First, here is a basic recipe with many variations for a healthy fruit shake/smoothie. I have tried several of the flavor variations and have enjoyed all the ones I've tried. Although a frozen banana is vital to the consistency of this shake, you really don't get much of a banana flavor in the variations. They just taste good -- and of course are very healthy. You can freeze the bananas whole (in ziplock bags) anytime you have overripe ones on hand -- or anytime you find a good deal on overripe ones. It is an easy thing to do with overripe bananas rather than feeling you must make muffins, banana bread, etc. every time. The recipe makes 1 tall glassful.


1 frozen banana
1 cup liquid (as specified in recipe)
additional fruit or flavoring (as specified in recipe)
optional sweetener (as specified in recipe)

Break the frozen banana into chunks and put in blender. Cover with specified liquid up to the 1-cup mark on the blender container. Add any additional ingredients. Blend until the mixture reaches "shake" consistency, usually 30-40 seconds. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Now for the variations.

VANILLA -- use 1 banana, 1 cup milk, 1 tsp. vanilla extract

CHOCOLATE -- use 1 banana, 1 cup milk, a few squirts of chocolate syrup

STRAWBERRY -- use 1 banana, 1 cup milk, 1 handful fresh strawberries, washed/sliced (or use unsweetened frozen ones -- works fine); pinch of sugar if desired

BLUEBERRY -- use 1 banana, 1 cup milk, 1 handful fresh or frozen blueberries

PURPLE COW -- use 1 banana, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup grape juice

PEANUT BUTTER -- use 1 banana, 1 cup milk, 2 tsp. peanut butter. May also add some chocolate syrup for a "Reese's" effect. (This one is yummy!)

PINA COLADA -- use 1 banana, 1 cup milk, 1-2 tsp shredded coconut, 1/4 cup crushed pineapple

APPLE -- use 1 banana, 1 cup apple juice, 1/2 of an apple, peeled & chopped, cinnamon & nutmeg to taste

KEY LIME - - use 1 banana, juice of 1 lime placed in a 1 cup measure and milk added to the 1-cup mark

TROPICAL -- use 1 banana, 1 c. orange juice, 1/4 cup crushed pineapple


Now, moving on to my second recipe:


Vegetables of your choice:
Mushrooms, zucchini, summer squash, green, red, yellow or orange sweet peppers, baby carrots (or use regular ones), onions, eggplant, etc.
1 to 2 Tblsp. olive oil
Herbs or spices of your choice -- I use either pizza spice or Italian seasoning
A gallon-size zip-top plastic bag

Line a large shallow pan with foil.

Cut the vegetables into bite-size pieces. (Baby carrots may be left whole.) As you cut them up, place them in the zip-top plastic bag. Add 1 Tblsp. olive oil to the bag. Seal the bag and shake vigorously to coat the vegetables with oil. Dump the vegetables out on the foil-lined pan. Spread them out evenly.

(If you have more veggies than will fit in a gallon-size bag, then re-use the bag after dumping out the first batch, and add another Tblsp. of olive oil to the bag.)

Roast the vegetables at 425ยบ for about 25 to 30 minutes. You can sprinkle the seasoning on either before or after roasting.

Yield for this recipe will depend on how many vegetables you use, but 1 pan should be enough for about 4 people.

This is a recipe I developed myself after some trial and error. The blend of roasted vegetables is just beautiful with all of the different colors. It goes well with grilled meats, or alongside pizza or sausage subs.

Happy healthy eating, everyone!


  1. You can bet that I'll be using these recipes - especially the shakes! I have just barely begun to make my own kefir and was successful at "sneaking" some into my son today. I think that these shakes are an ideal place to add some w/o it being noticed.
    The roasted veggies look extra tasty also! I wonder if you can do those on the grill in a grill pan...hmmm. Have a great Friday!

  2. Anonymous2:03 PM

    Your recipes sound wonderful! I've been enjoying just browsing thru your blog. Thank you, from a lurker.

  3. Both of these sound great, and perfect for me to try as a diabetic! Yay! When I was pregnant with my second son, I had gestational diabetes, and one of my favorite snacks was a shake made with a banana, milk, and vanilla, so I know at least that one is delicious.

    I just made a batch of your Cranberry Lemonade, using Splenda and the new Diet Ocean Spray cranberry juice. It's chilling in the fridge now, and I can't wait to try some this afternoon when it's time to put my feet up for a few minutes.

  4. Hi everyone,

    Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table! Glad you are enjoying the recipes and finding some you want to try.

    Susan -- I sure hope your cranberry lemonade turned out well! I can't vouch at all for what might happen with Splenda, etc. You might need to adjust the sweetener amount a bit. I have started to use less sugar than the recipe says and find that we prefer it a bit tarter. But I hope your batch came out well and that it added to a refreshing break for you this afternoon.

    God bless you all! Have a great weekend!

  5. It turned out great! Next time, I might use a tad less sweetener, as most recipes using artificial sweeteners tend to be a little on the "too sweet" side. But this was great just like it was. My 18 yo son said it was refreshing, and I even told him it had Splenda in it. They are getting more brave about that! Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Oh, my! These look wonderful! I love fried green tomatoes and would never have thought to baked them, until I came across the Baked Green Tomatoes recipe. HOpe you enjoy. Thanx for stopping by!!

  7. I love to roast vegetables, and can always use smoothie recipes. Thanks!

  8. Good morning, all!

    So nice to see so many of you here at my kitchen table again! Thanks for stopping by -- please visit anytime!

    Susan, I'm so glad the cranberry lemonade came out well for you and that even your son pronounced it "refreshing"! We think it is very refreshing, too, but I don't drink much of it because of the sugar. I pretty much stick to water and iced tea.

    Have a wonderful day, everyone! It's a gorgeous day here in New England!

  9. I love the variations on the fruit shakes! Yummy!

    The roasted veggies sound great too!

    Thanks so much for participating in my Favorite Ingredients Friday- Healthy Eating Edition recipe exchange. I do appreciate it.


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