Smoothies are one of my most favorite drinks. I love them for breakfast or as a mid-afternoon snack. Actually I could drink them any time of the day and during any season. Besides being delicious they are a great way of using up extra fruit. Let’s not forget how nutritious all those extra fruits are to our bodies. As long as we don’t add much sweetener or additional unhealthy ingredients, smoothies can be low in calories too.
Since I am not much of a sweet drinks person I hardly, if ever, add additional sweetener to my smoothies. Instead I prefer all the sweet and flavors to come from the fruit. But feel free to add as much or little sweetener to your smoothie.
It’s a bit silly giving you a recipe for smoothies, as it’s one of those foods/drinks made according to individual taste and preference. Regardless, I’ll give you a list of ingredients which you can adjust to your taste.
Blueberry Banana Yogurt Smoothie
1 Large banana
1 large handful of blueberries
120 g or 1/2 cup unsweetened plain white yogurt
pinch of Bourbon vanilla powder or splash of vanilla extract
Blend until smooth, serve and enjoy!
I made this smoothie using my homemade yogurt. It was before I strained it so it wasn’t as thick as Greek yogurt. Though Greek yogurt would be just fine. You may have to adjust the amounts to achieve the desired smoothie consistency.
Last week I posted my recipe for Homemade Greek Yogurt, and I’ve received some questions and problems regarding homemade yogurt. The most common problem people have with homemade yogurt is that it doesn’t set. If it happened to you, know that you are not alone. Yogurt making is a precise process that can quickly go wrong. But don’t let a failed attempt prevent you from attempting it again. Okay, let’s cover a few points.
Reasons why your homemade yogurt didn’t set:
- If the milk is too hot you will kill the yogurt cultures. Make sure after you’ve scolded the milk that it is allowed to cool down before adding the yogurt starter.
- Did you allow the yogurt starter to come to room temperature? It is important that the yogurt starter not be cold, because the yogurt cultures will not activate during the incubation time.
- Make sure the yogurt starter has a stamp or text guaranteeing live active yogurt cultures. Also be aware that different brands can have different amounts of cultures. Not all brands are created equal, and the quality of cultures can vary from brand to brand. It may be possible that you may need to experiment with a few before you find the right one. The quality of yogurt cultures can also dictate how long it will take for the yogurt to set. I’ve had one brand set in 4 while another took 10 hours. So you may need to allow longer incubation times.
- Were the yogurt starter and milk powder sugar free? Make sure both the yogurt starter and milk powder do not contain any sweetener or additional ingredients, like fruit in the yogurt. Sweetening and adding fruit should be done after the incubation and after the yogurt has set overnight.
- Do not use skimmed milk. You need the lactose sugar from whole or 2% milk to help the yogurt cultures activate. I never use anything but whole fat milk.
- Did you wrap the yogurt in a blanket and set to incubate in a warm place? This is very important, but make sure that the incubation spot isn’t too hot or too cold. In a colder space, or during cold months, the yogurt may need to incubate longer. In a warm place, or during warm weather, the incubation time is shorter.
- If you’re first attempt failed, you could try adding a bit more of the yogurt starter next time. Try using 2 heaping tablespoons instead of 1 tablespoon. Or another alternative would be to purchase a packet of active live yogurt cultures to use in place of the yogurt starter. The package instructions can guide you
- Remember that after the incubation period, and allowing to sit overnight, the yogurt will not be as thick as Greek yogurt. Thick Greek yogurt is the result of draining off the whey. If you want the thick Greek yogurt it needs to be drained.
The last thing I want to say is don’t give up after one failed attempt. Try again and just have fun with the process. Now if you’ll excuse me I must go check on my new homemade yogurt batch. Yum, can’t wait to have a taste.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Nancy Lopez is a food blogger and author of the cookbook Mexican Tamales Made Meatless. Born in Mexico, raised in the US, and currently living in Southern Mexico, she has followed a meatless diet for almost 10 years. It is her passion and mission to share all she has learned about vegan Mexican cooking and vegetarian Mexican recipes. Mexican Made Meatless is a blog dedicated to preserving the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine just without the meat. It’s a place to celebrate Mexican culture and all it’s delightfully delicious traditional foods. Read more…