By Ariana Cherry-Shearer

Start to Finish: 5 minutes
Servings: 4
Difficulty Level: Beginner

Freshly blended fruit smoothies of various colors and tastes
credit: Foxys_forest_manufacture/iStock/GettyImages

A smoothie filled with fruit, low-fat dairy and oatmeal can make a simple, filling breakfast that you can easily whip up on a hurried morning. Freezing fresh fruit beforehand will save time in the preparation, and using ingredients like banana slices and berries will thicken your smoothie — no ice required.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 frozen banana, that has been sliced before freezing
  • 8 medium-sized frozen strawberries
  • 4 tablespoons oats
  • 2 teaspoons goji berries
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 fresh strawberries

Directions

  • Place the first four ingredients into a blender. Cover and blend on medium speed for 10 seconds to break up the frozen fruit.

  • Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend on medium speed for 20 seconds. Stop the blender and scrape down the sides. Cover and blend the ingredients until smooth and creamy.

  • Pour the mixture into glasses and garnish each with a fresh strawberry.

Freezing Fresh Fruit

Freeze fresh bananas for smoothies by peeling the skin and removing any of the stringy membranes. Slice the banana into 1/2-inch pieces and place them into a freezer-safe plastic container in one layer. Place the container into the freezer. To freeze whole bananas, peel them and after removing the membranes from the fruit, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Place the plastic-wrapped bananas into a freezer-safe resealable bag to prevent freezer burn.

Wash and dry fresh berries then place them onto a cookie sheet in a single layer. Place the sheet into the freezer. When the berries are completely frozen, put them into a freezer-safe resealable bag and place the bag into the freezer. The frozen pieces will remain loose and can be used as needed.

You can also freeze a variety of fruit such as peaches, plums, mango and orange slices for smoothies in the same manner as the berries. Remove any peels, seeds or pits after slicing into pieces and before you freeze them on the cookie sheet.

To freeze fresh fruit juice, simply juice the fruit and pour into an ice cube tray. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and place it into the freezer. Individual juice cubes can be used in smoothies in place of ice. One cube is approximately 1 tablespoon.

Tips and Variations

Frozen fruit can be partially thawed on your kitchen counter for 30 minutes before using to make it easier to blend in your smoothie.

Adding oatmeal to your smoothie can provide fiber that will make the drink more filling. To ensure that the oatmeal blends in smoothly with the rest of the ingredients, The Kitchn suggests grinding it into a powder before adding to your recipe. You can whirl the oatmeal in the blender for a few seconds to break it down. Alternatively, use a spice grinder or food processor to pulse it into a powder.

Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, add a tangy taste element to this smoothie. You can use them dried or in water for 10 minutes to plump them up before using.

Use ¾ cup of blueberries or raspberries instead of the strawberries for a different taste profile.

If you need to thin down your smoothie, Bon Appetit recommends using coconut water instead of fruit juices that can be sugary and to provide added potassium and electrolytes.