Pros: Very easy recipes, lots of fresh fruit, frozen fruit instead of ice, extended nutritional info
Cons: Not an amazingly durable book
Rating: 4 out of 5
First published 9/6/2000
Previously published on Epinions.com
Here I am, reviewing yet another Corpening sisters cookbook. This time, “Smoothies.” It’s a relatively small book with softcover (but it lays flat better than most softcover cookbooks). It has 50 recipes in it, but then it doesn’t cost a fortune, so that’s okay.
Types of Smoothie
Before I looked at this cookbook, I would have thought of smoothies as one thing. You put some ingredients in a blender (maybe fruit, some yogurt, some juice) and you get something yummy out the other side. Silly me.
This cookbook starts with “wholesome medleys:” nutritious, healthy, fruit-heavy recipes.
Then we have the “no-moo” blends, made without milk. Some of them use interesting substitutions, like silken tofu, rice milk, coconut milk, and soy milk.
Then there’s “decadent medleys,” deserving of being served for dessert. These have more sugar-and-cream in them, by and large.
Finally you’ll find “drunken concoctions.” Smoothies with alcohol, in the unlikely event that you hadn’t guessed.
These are followed up by a set of nutritional analyses of all the smoothies, including not only calories, fat, cholesterol, carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and sodium, but also calcium, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C!
You’ll also find information on equipment and techniques, non-fruit ingredients, and fruit (how to prepare it before using, and how to select it).
Wholesome medleys ranges from the “smoothie classico” (a blend of orange juice, strawberries, and bananas), to my favorite, “dangerously red” (strawberry yogurt, cranberry juice, strawberries, and raspberries). I do recommend adding a tablespoon or two of sugar to the latter.
As you may have noticed, the Corpening sisters once again bring us their trademark weird names. “Passion!” is yogurt or kefir, passion fruit nectar or juice, pineapple, and passion fruit sorbet. “Guava gulp” is guava nectar, lime juice, mango, and banana.
My favorite part – and I think this is what truly sets this book apart from others like it – is that the recipes use frozen fruit instead of ice cubes to give the smoothies texture. This means no watering down of the flavors! “Nectarine nelly,” for example, one of my favorites, uses frozen nectarines and frozen mango.
There are stranger smoothies in here, of course. “Tea-licious” makes use of peppermint tea. “Banana latte” has soy milk and coffee in it. “Peanut power” includes rice milk and tofu. “Almond joyous” is meant to replicate the taste of an Almond Joy candy bar. “Enlightenment” includes chai, a wonderful spiced tea.
If you want a smoothie for dessert and really want to go wild, how about “strawberry cheesecake?” Or “Cookies and cream?” What about “apple a la mode?” It includes frozen yogurt, applesauce, fresh apple, spices, and more. Recipe for applesauce included. Then there’s “cherry pop,” “sassy frass” (like a root beer float!), and “raspberry cappuccino.”
Under “drunken concoctions” you’ll find such smoothies as “bloody orange” (including orange segments and Grand Marnier), “golden girl” (with wine, pears, apricots, and more), and so on.
More Helpful Things
There are odd little tips and info here and there. Like the suggestion to make frozen pops by pouring smoothies into popsicle containers and freezing.
One helpful bit of info – if you use a recipe that specifies straining out seeds, be prepared to spend some time at it. Most of these are very thick smoothies and they don’t strain quickly. If you’re impatient you can speed up the process by using a little extra juice (or whatever other liquid) in the recipe so the smoothie is a little thinner.
My only complaint about this book is that ours is starting to fall apart a bit, and I don’t think we’ve really abused it enough for that. There are a couple of smoothies that just didn’t wow me (”maple blue” and “starburst,” for example), but by and large these are wonderful recipes. They’re perfect for a hot summer day. If you don’t want to have to worry about your book falling apart, by the way, you can also get these recipes on a deck of cards: