Shakin' things up in the kitchen

I bought a new smoothie blender last month and believe me, that was quite the challenge. The varieties, styles, models and multiple features are mind-boggling. Almost as bad as buying a new car, but not quite! I knew what my needs were; I really needed a powerhouse that could handle two morning shakes 365 days a year. Both Phil and I have a shake every morning ... well, almost every day, but never on Sunday. On Sundays we take all the kids and grandkids that want to join us out for a late-morning breakfast at the restaurant of their choice. The kids take turns picking the restaurant; it is always a lot of fun! But the rest of the week, it is a shaky breakfast for us both.

I find that if I don’t make a shake, I get busy with other things and before I know it, it's time for lunch, or even worse, I miss lunch and am starving at 3. That is definitely not a healthy thing to do, so the shakes are our go-to breakfast. We decided the $500 blender was a bit much when only using it for shakes. We also needed it to be compact enough to pack in a suitcase because we always take it on trips. Well, we ended up with the Ninja 900. It has worked out great. I now have been experimenting with some new and innovative shake recipes – some really healthy – some not so much! I’m including a few in today’s column, but if you want all of my shake recipes, please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will be happy to mail or email you the complete list with recipes and tips.

It is just past 8 a.m., I have fed the dogs and now it’s time for a big frothy chocolate mocha shake. It almost tastes like a Starbucks Latte Macchiato thing! Please, “Join my Table” as we shake things up in the kitchen.

Cranberry Fruit Smoothie (adapted from AHA recipe)

Servings: 1
1 6-ounce carton of your favorite yogurt, regular or low-fat (I use Greek Yogurt)
1 banana (or other fruit of your choice)
1/3 cup 100 percent cranberry juice (not cranberry cocktail)
6-7 ice cubes
1 tablespoon *Nutrimeal® French Vanilla
1 teaspoon *Fibergy Plus

DIRECTIONS: Place everything into a high-power blender; pulse for 5-10 seconds or until smooth.

The Metabolism Booster
1/2 cup brewed decaf green tea, chilled in the fridge
1/2 cup mango fresh or frozen
1/2 tablespoon honey
3-4 ice cubes
3 scoops *Nutrimeal® French Vanilla

Note: Catechins are an antioxidant found in the leaves of the tea plant. In smaller amounts, they are found in other foods such as red wine, chocolate, berries and apples. Their health benefits have been under close examination since the '90s, due to the strong association of tea with long life and health in many ancient cultures.

This smoothie includes protein-packed yogurt and green tea, which contains catechins, that may boost metabolism.

P.S. All of these shakes make great popsicles too!

*To purchase the Nutrimeal products listed in this column, go to Houston.USANA.com or call Order Express 888-950-9595 and ask for the same price as #3737190.

Cutline:
Kerri Weickert and Lorie Boughton enjoying a healthy shake at The Healthy Mixer held Sept. 13.

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