Intro: Frozen Banana Smoothie
This is one of my favorite summer concoctions. Dr. Dan Baca taught me this years ago, before the word "smoothie" existed. We called it "banana milkshake", and then had to explain that it didn't contain icecream. For some reason it tastes like it has many spices and ingredients such as icecream in it. But it's just milk and bananas. A mystery.
Here are the steps:
Cut into chunks.
Put in Blender with milk, kefir, and other stuff
Repeat. It is very delicious.
Note: There is no watermelon in this recipe.
Step 1: Freeze Bananas
First peel the bananas. Some lazy people freeze their bananas with the skins on.
Like many lazy acts, it results in much greater work for a worse result.
Peel your bananas and freeze them in plastic bags. Regular grocery store plastic checkout bags are fine. Use double bags if you expect your bananas to remain long, to avoid freezer flavor mixing.
The bags pack together more efficiently than tubs or tupperware.
I used to get very cheap crates of bananas at closing time at Haymarket in Boston.
When you have peeled bananas in one pile and the peels in another, it's amazing how much peel a banana has.
My current batch of bananas came from a Trader Joes Dumpster.
I have so many it will be a long time before I have an opportunity to take the "peel bananas" picture.
In the mean time, here's what they look like after being frozen for a few months.
Be aware that some people prefer to peel their bananas from the wrong end.
Step 2: Cut Bananas Into Chunks
Pry bananas one by one from the block of frozen banans. It's easier than you'd expect.
Cut them into chunks about as long as they are wide.
It's tempting to put whole bananas into the blender, but they tend to jam and take a lot longer.
Step 3: Put in Blender
Use about this many. Then someone came into the kitchen so I added a few more chunks for them.
Step 4: Add Milk
Add enough milk to come up to the top level of the banana chunks.
This is the right amount for them to blend to the proper consistency.
The same theory works if you're using icecubes to make a slushy.
I prefer it with skim or 1% milk.
Kefir, yogurt, etc are also good.
Soy milk isn't, for some reason.
I like soy milk a lot by itself, but it doesn't seem to mate with the bananas in the same passionate way as mammal milk.
Step 5: Blend
Hit your favorite buttons on the blender until it looks like the second picture.
Make sure the bottom is actually screwed onto the pitcher so it doesn't get flung around the room and make a huge mess, feeding a pest problem, leading to a plague that ends civilization.
Step 6: Drink It and Make Another
Here it is garnished with cinnamon for photo purposes.
Actually you shouldn't add anything to your first one, so you can be overwhelmed by the myriad flavor nuances of the basic concoction.
Step 7: Go Nuts With Variations
Okay, now that you've mastered the basic piece, you can start to improvise.
Here's a black-and-tan with a half-batch mixed with cocoa and coffee over the basic, sprinkled with sesame seeds. Mmm good.