I usually drink a smoothie a day in the summertime. As in, I drink a smoothie more often than I shower. But for some reason, I haven’t been as into them lately.I know, “BOOOOOO.”
Maybe it’s because cereal with berries has sounded way better than blended up greens. Stop judging me. Who knows. But I’m staging an intervention now, starting with this smoothie. Roasted strawberry cheesecake seemed like the perfect comeback flavor. Who doesn’t want cheesecake for breakfast? I DON’T KNOW EITHER.
I started by roasting some strawberries. Roasting fruit releases its natural juices, makes it softer, sweeter, and in the words of Wit & Vinegar, all “voom voom shebang.” Moving on.
Next I added the strawberries to some low-fat cottage cheese (<- that’s where the cheesecake flavor comes from), ice, vanilla, honey and water. Xanthan gum added a little thickness, and some NuStevia powder added just a touch more of sweetness without a sugar high.
The result was a creamy, luxurious smoothie that was perfect as dessert-for-breakfast, especially topped with crushed graham cracker. Oh my goods. I couldn’t resist adding in a little spinach and re-blending after photos. And as I suspected, it tasted just as delicious. Greens in smoothies just works; it’s science. DO IT.
- 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese (or 1/3 cup plain yogurt + 2 Tbsp goat cheese)*
- 1/2 cup (5-6) strawberries, hulled
- 1 Tbsp honey, agave or stevia (I like 1 packet non-bitter NuStevia)
- 8-12 ice cubes, depending on preferred thickness
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch xanthan gum or 1/4 tsp chia seeds for thickening (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and placed hulled strawberries on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a tsp or coconut, olive or grape seed oil and toss. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until soft and juices begin to release. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes or more.
- To a blender add cottage cheese or yogurt, strawberries, sweetener of choice, ice, water, vanilla and xanthan gum or chia seeds. Blend until well combined.
- Taste and adjust sweetness as needed. I added 1/2 a packet of stevia at first but then added the remaining amount.
- Serve immediately with a Tbsp of graham cracker crumbs swirled in (optional) and a strawberry garnish.
* To keep this smoothie dairy-free, sub frozen dairy-free milk cubes for the cottage cheese. To prepare, add 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk of your choice (almond is my favorite) to a liquid measuring cup and add the juice of one lemon. Stir and let set for 5 minutes, then pour evenly into an ice cube tray. Cover and let set until completely frozen and then use in place of the cottage cheese and ice cubes in the recipe. Add a bit of lemon juice for the cheesecake-y "tang."
* Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 smoothie.
*I prefer NuStevia, non bitter stevia packets for my smoothies. (see photo below)