Berries, Bananas, and a Blender

Berries, bananas, and a blender make the best breakfast smoothie – not to mention an alliterative alimentary awakening!

Just combine one cup of skim milk, one banana (fresh or frozen), and about 1/2 cup of frozen, mixed berries in a blender and blend till smooth. Add 28g of Kellogg’s All Bran Buds, ground to a fine powder, for about half your daily fiber needs and a little extra vitamin boost! You can drink your smoothie or serve it over fresh berries or cereal or both. I like mine in a to-go cup as I’m dashing out the door!

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Lasting Lusciousness

Blueberries and blackberries are luscious right now. To make them last longer, soak them in a solution of water and white vinegar for about 15 minutes, pat dry, and store in the fridge.

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Creative Combinations

Not too long ago, I’d have balked at eating a salad that contained the combination of ingredients I chose, earlier tonight, at Salata:

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Mixed greens, kale, spinach, sprouts, cabbage, tomatoes, black olives, black beans, onions, peas, beets, mandarin oranges, pineapple, strawberries, almond slivers, with a side of ginger-lime vinaigrette and a warm, multigrain roll. Some part of my brain still reels in mock horror at the notion, but it’s really delicious. I think the trick is to get the right balance, and left to my own devices, I’d probably overdo it on one or more of the ingredients, or fail to toss it as thoroughly as they do at Salata. But it was just right.

Beets and more berries before bed. 

Why, Oh, Why?

To try to answer my future son-in-law’s question, “Why do people take and post so many pictures of their food?” I think, maybe, it’s because food doesn’t run away. Food doesn’t ever throw a hand over its face and wail about looking like crap. In fact, given the right lighting and a bit of skill at plating the dish, food practically preens for the camera. It is colorful, easily posed, and great to practice on. You never have to pay food or get a model release. Food is a common theme; we all have to eat. Food pics are satisfying appetizers and generate ideas for livening up a boring, routine menu. Food pics are fun!


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HollyJahangiri

Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; Innocents & Demons; and A New Leaf for Lyle. You can find her books on Amazon at http://amazon.com/author/hollyjahangiri. For more information on her children's books, please visit http://jahangiri.us/books.

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32 thoughts on “Berries, Bananas, and a Blender”

    1. I love them! A good blender makes the difference, too (mine even has a travel cup and a “smoothie mode” to go along with a really powerful motor and blade). I don’t like adding sweeteners. Bananas, berries – sweet enough! Others prefer to add a bit of honey or other sweetener, but it doesn’t really need that. One thing I found with smoothies is that I have to stick to a color palette – I don’t like mixing reds/purples with orange/yellow/greens. I like veggie smoothies fine, but they need a citrusy base. Pineapple, spinach, carrot is a good combo, for example, but maybe not with beets. Beets and carrots, okay… pushing it a little, but okay. Takes experimenting to see what works best. I have a juicer, too, but prefer to get the whole fruit or veg. Less wasteful, more fiber!

  1. It must be a generational thing – the kids who’ve grown up with a cellphone which can take and then distribute immediately a picture of something that looks good on your plate – and will end up in crumbs and a licked fork very soon – must be irresistible.

    I’ve taken, with a CAMERA, pictures of my food ONCE in my life, on a trip to New Orleans.

    I still don’t know how to operate the camera on my non-iPhone all the way through the above sequence, and nobody cares what I eat, plus I practically never leave the house!

    Maybe if I ever become famous.

    Oh, and I like my food plain, without all those colorful bits everyone else seems to love, so bits of tomato and peppers and uncooked onions are things to be removed, not photographed.

    I’m really getting to like this ‘old curmudgeon’ thing I’ve got going.
    Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt recently posted…Side Effects: the dark side of medicinesMy Profile

    1. Well, just don’t overdo it – you may have hit the charming, eccentric-writer sweet spot, but go full-blown curmudgeon and it’ll just annoy you and everyone else. 😉 Besides, as a curmudgeonly woman AUTHOR, there will be expectations – reclusive elusiveness, for one. And while you may THINK that sounds heavenly right about now, think of the paparazzi hanging around while you shop for groceries… it won’t be pretty when you’re famous! Perez Hilton will write a whole column on you. You’ll become a tourist attraction. I don’t think you want to go there, Alicia.

      Nothing wrong with plain food, though. It’s healthy and not as fattening as glugged up, fancy food. Throw some fresh herbs artfully atop your boiled chicken breast, line the plate with baby field greens… it doesn’t even have to look ugly. It just needs a backdrop of other “fresh, natural” things, or a really pretty plate. 🙂

  2. I loved the alliteration in the post! Even my blog name has three B’s (Broken Blue Bubbles)!

    The paragraph in which you mentioned why people take photos of food is brilliant! I’ve never thought about food photography in that way. 😀

    1. Alliteration’s funny; once you start, it’s hard to stop. I like your blog’s name! Today should be the perfect day for you in blogging!

      heheh…I actually started taking pics of food for an online photography class, so I started out thinking of it that way – in terms of color, lighting, composition, and the fact that it sits still and lets you pose it. Food’s awesome that way. Now, it’s practically seen as akin to some sort of social or eating disorder, which is unfortunate. I think it’s just a great photo subject for us introverts who want to practice our photography skills.

  3. Catchy alliteration! Smoothies are delicious. The salad looks good, too. I’d go for it, but hold the olives (not my taste) and the almonds (allergy) and substitute raspberry vinaigrette.

    Taking pictures of food is something I don’t get either unless you’re in that business. Might be a good subject for future blog posts! Last night we had squid ink cavatelli with calamari. Would have been an interesting photo. Food for thought…:)
    Debbie D. recently posted…BORN TO BE WILD | #AtoZCHALLENGE (B) #MusicalMemoriesMy Profile

    1. I’m not in that business, but was tempted, recently, to consider it. There is a little restaurant near us that, if they advertised with the photos on their menu, would go bankrupt in a week. Seriously ugly food photos on that menu. You know how restaurants usually show pictures of food that looks ten times BETTER than anything they actually SERVE? This one’s the opposite. I think the menus have been left out too long on the patio, in the sun, or something. (See a sample at Food, Fantasy, and Fiction post linked below. OMG, they’re all bad. The one that looks edible is mine, for comparison, snapped on my cell phone at our table.) I didn’t think $$$$!! I thought, I should offer to help them not die. 😀 I worry they’d feel insulted, but seriously, it’s bad. And they’re not the only ones.

      Not sure Salata has a raspberry vinaigrette, but they do have several yummy choices. I actually use very little, if any, dressing on my salads. I dip a fork into the dressing and then stab a mouthful of greens, or kind of swish the fork around in them to spread a bit of the flavor. I always ask for the dressing on the side, not drowning the salad.

      My son saw squid ink cavatelli mentioned in an anime, and wants to try it! No idea where it’s served around here! Had squid ink paella in Spain, but he didn’t go with us.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting, Debbie!
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…Food, Fantasy, and FictionMy Profile

      1. You could start your own side business of food photography, Holly. 🙂 A convincing sales pitch might do the trick. Tell them it could increase their business. That was my first time trying squid ink cavatelli and it won’t be the last! Our favourite restaurant has a lot of interesting dishes like that. Other delights include turnip risotto and arugula pesto. Squid ink paella sounds good, too. Now I’m hungry!

        My pleasure, Holly. 🙂 Thanks for the linking opportunity.
        I’m sharing memories and music for this year’s A to Z. Come on over!
        Debbie D. recently posted…BORN TO BE WILD | #AtoZCHALLENGE (B) #MusicalMemoriesMy Profile

      2. I suspect that if they had the means to make it a lucrative side business for me, they wouldn’t have such horrible menus in the first place. 🙂 But there really are places where I’d offer a menu make-over, if I didn’t worry that their beloved nephew had taken the pictures and I’d offend or hurt their feelings!

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    1. If you’re asking my permission (why would you do that??) – go for it! That’s the only way I know of to discover favorite recipes – EXPERIMENT!! Don’t do it if it’s the last of the milk or other yummy ingredients and you don’t have time to shop. But for sure, try it!

      If you’re asking if I’ve tried it…nope. I do suggest a strong blender with a really good blade if you use ice cubes or dried fruit of any kind. It’s likely to be sticky and need extra cleaning of the blade. But why not? I’ve made almond butter in a blender before. It’s a mess, getting it out, but the right blender can handle it. Let us know how it goes!
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…Here, Hold My Beer – Watch Me Break Blogging Rules I Created!My Profile

    1. It is. 🙂 Our Kroger’s grocery store carries a good variety of frozen fruits, so I try lots of different combinations. Using frozen fruit cuts down the amount of ice needed for a good, thick, cold beverage. Another of my favorites is banana and peach. Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog, Suzy!
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…Auntie NimMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Shilpa! I like honey, but have been trying to reduce the sugar I eat in general – partly to reduce the overall calories, but also because sugar tends to make me sleepy. I need all the energy I can get, and pure sugar, sugar syrups, even honey give me none. Carbs like baked potatoes or sweet potatoes (freshly baked or boiled, without sugar or syrup) are okay. Now, my smoothies taste too sweet to me if I add anything like that to them.
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…You Cannot Change the World by Leaving ItMy Profile

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    1. Around here, a “milk shake” is made with ice cream. And ice cream is full fat cream, sugar, vanilla, and other flavorings. It can be good, but we’re talking 900+ calories vs. about 270-300 in one of my smoothies at twice the size! Big difference in taste, too, as I only use fresh or frozen/fresh ingredients. I use mango, too, sometimes. Usually in combination with the banana, or with pineapple and strawberries.
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…Auntie NimMy Profile

  6. I love smoothies! berries and bananas are a fav combo. I keep trying all these mix and matches too! Combining Kellogs is something I haven’t tried…I hope it doesn’t get change the flavour?

    1. The only change I’ve noticed to the flavor is that it seems slightly sweeter, slightly thicker, and if you haven’t ground the cereal finely enough (I use a very small, electric coffee grinder for this, and get it VERY fine) you can feel a little graininess on your tongue. It’s fine. But it’s also a good, easy way to work in that extra fiber most of us are lacking in our diets, without drinking some concoction of psyllium husks in water or something! 🙂 It’s also enriched, so has extra vitamins that fiber supplements lack.
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…You Need Kibbles for Your Pet Peeves?My Profile

  7. At work, our cafeteria makes smoothies every Friday. Vanilla yogurt, various frozen fruits (choices include strawberries, blueberries, mangoes, peaches,or banana, in a rotation of sorts), your choice of fruit juice or coconut milk – and a blender. So good. I know it’s made me gain weight but I so look forward to my Friday smoothie!

  8. Beautiful photos! Your smoothie looks delicious. I like smoothies, but I never make them at home because it always seems like too much trouble… so I tend to just buy them at airports. I take lots of pictures of food that I make myself but I sometimes feel self-conscious doing it in a restaurant! Weird, since everyone does it these days.

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