Smoothie-making was anything but smooth

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

My stepson Christopher and his family were going to be in Pittsburgh for a one-day stopover on their way to San Diego from Quantico, Va., courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps. While I was planning a family get together to say goodbye, I thought it might be a good time to test some smoothie recipes with the help of eight of our 10 grandkids, ranging in age from 4 to 15.

Is “disaster” too strong of a word to describe a kitchen mishap? Believe me, little fingers can make big messes. My first helper was Emma, who switched on the blender before the lid was in place. Abraham wanted to help clean the counter but knocked over a glass of juice while reaching for a paper towel.

There’s more.

John was teasing his sister Riley so she threw a blueberry at him. John reached for the bowl of berries, which was too close to the edge of the counter. Berries on the floor and little feet are not a good combination.

Zaara tried to help but slipped on a very berry mess. Lots of berry juice but no blood.

Through it all I managed to make seven different types of smoothies. Just to make the younger grandkids laugh, cousins Zach and John contorted their faces with each sample they tasted. Their siblings howled.

The two teenage grandkids, Ashley and Marissa, said what I was thinking: “Grandma. this was a bad idea.”

But there were pluses to this day. The grandkids, including the two oldest, sampled delicious healthy smoothies and they all had fun. So did I. And years from now when they look at the photos their grandfather took of them that day, they will laugh.



PG tested

3 oranges, halved

2 pieces (about 1-inch cubes) peeled pineapple

½ banana

½ cup low-fat yogurt, frozen over night, or low-fat yogurt plus 4 ice cubes

¼ cup blueberries

½ mango, peeled and pitted

Squeeze juice form the oranges. Pour juice into a blender or food processor, add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.

Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

-- “Juice Boost!” by Chris Fung (Sterling, 2013, $19.95)



PG tested

1 medium-ripe pear, core removed

5 parsley sprigs

½ lemon, rind and seeds removed

1-inch chunk ginger, peeled

1 cup filtered water.

4 ice cubes

Pulse all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth

Makes 1 serving.

-- Caroline Shannon-Karasik (


PG tested

2 navel oranges

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 cup frozen raspberries

Place ingredients in a blender on high speed until smooth.

Makes 2 servings.



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To make this smoothie non-dairy, substitute 1 cup rice milk for the milk and yogurt or use soy yogurt.

2 cups frozen strawberries, raspberries or cherries

1 cup milk

½ cup plain yogurt

1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

2 to 3 tablespoons honey or to taste

Put all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Makes 2 servings.



PG tested

4 tablespoons orange juice

1 tablespoon lime juice

Scant ½ cup sparkling water

2 1/3 cups frozen summer fruits (such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries)

4 ice cubes

Pour orange juice, lime juice and sparking water into a food process or blender and process gently until combined.

Add the fruits and ice cubes, and process until a slushy consistency has been reached.

Makes 2 servings.

-- “100 Best Smoothies and Juices” (Paragon, 2010)


PG tested

2 ripe bananas

¾ cup yogurt

½ cup skim milk

½ teaspoon vanilla

Put ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

2 servings.

-- “100 Best Smoothies and Juices” (Paragon, 2010)


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My sister-in-law Cathy Brunetti and brother-in-law Erin O’Neill are into healthy and holistic living. When they heard I was writing a story about smoothies, they sent me this recipe from Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s website.

2 1/2 ounces baby spinach

½ medium banana

½ cup frozen blueberries

¼ cup soymilk light vanilla

2 ounces pomegranate juice

½ teaspoon milled flax seed

Mix ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth and creamy.

Makes 2 servings.


Arlene Burnett:


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