Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summer Fruit

Some of you may be waving "bye bye" to July and the record-setting heat waves that have scortched so many parts of the U.S., especially the East Coast. I've got 2 daughters in the Washington, DC area and 1 in New York City, and they have been roasting even with air conditioning this last month. And yet, they had no bragging rights when it came to their other sister, Serena, who lives in between Houston and Galveston, TX. NASA's Johnson Space Center is located right between----and temperatures have been blazing in Texas for longer than July with no relief in sight.

On that note. . .and after reading Lucy's post on Mango Lassi (which I discovered years ago thanks to my love of Indian cuisine, and the pleasure of having several Indian friends who told me about the yummy drink), I thought I'd share some of the homemade smoothies I've concocted. Very easy. I haven't done the Mango Lassi, frankly because if a ripe mango appears in my house, it doesn't last long enough to get near the blender. :) I consume it with utter delight. A ripe, sweet mango is divine.

But I have been making lots of lower calorie smoothies which also are low on the sugar side as well. They're a great way to cool off on a summer evening. I always start with Coconut milk, which I started drinking last year as an alternate to soy milk. I'd switched away from cow's milk a couple of years before. No allergies, mind you. I simply decided to reduce those calories. I discovered I LOVED the rich flavor of unsweetened coconut milk far more than moo juice and way more than soy milk. Plus, there's zero cholesterol, etc and even less calories! Read the label and check it out for yourself.

Anyway, I start with the coconut milk and sometimes add blueberries or fresh peaches or nectarines that are ripening on my windowsill. I always put my fruit on my windowsill in the sunshine, which helps that ripening process. Same for tomatoes. But, back to the smoothie: then I throw in whatever else strikes my fancy. Sometimes it's unsweetened Vienna coffee mix or unsweetened dark cocoa (this works best with bananas). Sometimes, I'll skip the fruit and throw in some cold full-strenth coffee with the unsweetened cocoa for a mocha treat.

Meanwhile, I've been gorging on fresh fruit all summer, starting with those dark sweet cherries that appear in May. We're still getting them, but not for much longer. I stocked up on several bags which are in my fridge. Fresh raspberries are just perfect now and Blackberries, too. I just LOVE fresh berries. Some days, that's mostly what I eat. These divine fruits won't be with us after a few months, and boy. . .will I miss them!

What about you? What's your favorite summer fruit/veggie?

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