Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dried Fig Smoothie

I am on a liquid diet since the overstuffed holidays! And, I don't mean booze -- it's back to fruit smoothies in the morning for the much heavier frugal foodie.

I am more of a grab-an-apple-and-run type in the AM. I like an omelet every once in a while, but my usual morning meal is frozen fruit blended with low-fat yogurt, a banana, and soy milk. I try to mix it up with frozen raspberries, strawberries, grapes, peaches, blackberries or pineapple.

Over the Christmas holidays, we went to Joshua Tree National Park with our Seattle friends Jenny and Kevin (meet them in my Seattle Video Diaries here.) We hit the hiking trails, enjoying the dramatic desert scenery of scrappy Joshua Trees and sun-bleached tan building blocks of skyscraper-sized boulders (to see what I'm talking about -- my previous Joshua Tree video adventure is here.) On the way back to Los Angeles we stopped for a date shake at the diner, Hadley's (website,) west of Palm Springs on the 10 Freeway. Along with Joshua Trees, the desert dryness and sun is perfect for growing fields of date palm trees. I love dates, and had forgotten how good they pulverized in a milkshake -- so cool, creamy and sweet.

 I was at The 99c only Store last week and saw dried figs for sale. I have seen small packages of dates before, but not this time, so I thought: "Why not make a Dried Fig Smoothie next time?" After all, figs are chewy dried fruit just like dates.

But, dried figs are not as sweet as dates, so I added a teaspoon of honey -- it turned out to be just the right amount of sweetness. I also used soy milk instead of ice cream (too rich for me,) a handful of ice cubes to get a slushy consistency, and some yogurt for creaminess.

So, until I see dates return to the 99c store, I'll use dried figs. If you have cheap access to dried figs or dates, give my smoothie recipe a try. It's a cool, tasty drink -- good anytime of day.

  • 6 whole dried figs - they have small stems. I went ahead and blended with stems (it's extra roughage,) but they are easy enough to slice off, too.
  • 1 small container of yogurt - about 6 ounces. I used a peach flavored yogurt, but you could just use plain.
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 cup soy milk - okay to use regular milk. For a Dried Fig Shake substitute with vanilla ice cream.
  • Handful of ice cubes - optional.

Add all of the ingredients into a blender and run until smooth. With the dried figs you may have to first pulse a few times, to get it all going.

Ice cubes will make a slushy cold blend, and the dried figs will reduce to into a ground pepper like texture.

I've also started adding a couple of dried figs to my normal breakfast frozen fruit and yogurt smoothie (that recipe is here.)

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