Dried Figs, Banana And Yogurt Smoothie


 

After mangoes figs are one of my favorite fruits but we don’t get fresh figs here in Delhi unless one pays an exorbitant price for them in some posh store or food hall in a mall.  Throughout the year I use dried figs which we get at almost all good grocery stores. The locally fried one come beaded in a rope and are deliciously sweet. I never use the packaged one sold by multinationals with added preservatives etc.

Sometimes I use fresh figs for smoothies and they pair brilliantly with apples and bananas. If you love the natural sublime flavor of figs just use them with ripe fresh frozen bananas and voila you have a fantastic breakfast or post workout drink in a jiffy.

I use home cultured yogurt for my smoothies but you can use Greek yogurt, low fat yogurt, almond milk, coconut milk and normal dairy milk too. Riper the fig greater the sweetness of the smoothie. Figs are rich in Iron and are the highest plant source of calcium. They are loaded with antioxidants and soluble fiber plus they are low on calories too. They are rich in zinc, magnesium and other essential minerals. Ayurveda tells us that figs are cooling and sweet in nature. Most of all they taste so good. 🙂

I am anemic most of the time and eating two sun dried figs, that are soaked in a little water, first thing in the morning helped me regain my hemoglobin and iron levels to some extent. I drink the water in which the figs are soaked. In some ways figs are even better than dates nutritionally.

As I have given up on bread I usually make one fruit smoothie to go with my breakfast. Fig banana smoothie is naturally sweet so I do not add sugar or honey to it. If you find it less sweet for your taste add a little honey and not sugar. Apart from being health honey gives  the smoothie a nice texture. Honestly, you must bank on the natural sweetness from fruits like I do.

If you are using dried figs for this smoothie soak them overnight or for 30 minutes to an hour in some water till they plump up nicely. Add the fig flavored sweet soaking water in the smoothie.It is rich in antioxidants.

Ingredients 

(One large glass)

3 Sun dried figs or fresh figs

1/2 Cup chilled yogurt ( home cultured is best)

2 Fresh ripe bananas

Method :

Use the ripe or a little over ripe fruits to get the maximum sweetness.

Peel and chop the banana , put it in a zip lock bag and freeze while you do other stuff.

Frozen fruit makes best smoothies but you can use it without freezing too.

In a blender put soaked dried figs or fresh figs, chopped banana and chilled yogurt. Add a few ice cubes ( I sometimes freeze coconut water to make ice cubes for such smoothies)

Blend everything till thick and smooth. There should be no solid pieces of fruit.

I love the smoothie with no added sweetener or essence etc. but some people use vanilla , rose water, cinnamon, even chocolate. I feel they mask  the flavor of the fruits.

Pour the rich thick delicious smoothie in a mason jar or glass and serve chilled.

 

Note

Always use unblemished, fully ripe plump figs if using fresh ones. Look for Figs with stems in place. Figs are highly perishable so buy in small quantity and use them quickly. Ripe figs are delicate and yield slightly when gently pressed. Check for mold too. Figs have a tendency to develop white mold. Discard if you see any.

If using the dried ones, look for the sun dried figs or the organic ones with no preservatives. Dried figs have a robust and more sugary taste than the fresh ones. Look for the ones that are dusty, dirty or hard. The fruit should bend easily.

The smoothie may turn slightly brown if kept for sometime due to the antioxidants in figs just like the apple. So, don’t worry about it. 🙂

 

PS – The painting you see is made by yours truly. It is acrylic on canvas. I do paint sometimes. 🙂

 

Tip : Just a little fresh ginger juice sometimes gives a distinct kick to the smoothie. Try it. ( 1/4 teaspoon)

 

A Healthy Yogurt Smoothie With Organic Apples and Pomegranates


I discovered I Say Organic  from their FB page and ordered a few fruits which were in the season. Mangoes to begin with. It was a bitter-sweet experience at first but then their customer support is excellent and they worked on my issues immediately. I have ordered things from them since then. Last week I got a package of red delicious apples and pomegranate from them. Both the fruits were fresh, sweet and juicy. I prefer my smoothies to have natural sweetness so decided to use the last few in a delicious apple, pomegranate yogurt smoothie.

I prefer organic fruits  because we can use the fruits like apple with their skin. Their website claims that the products are free of toxic chemicals and are organically grown. There is a vast taste difference between organic and conventionally grown apples. Eating apples with skin is a good high fiber, low sugar option. Apple skin has most of the nutrients like dietary fiber, Vitamin C and antioxidants. We all know the health benefits and nutritional values of this fruit.

Similarly Pomegranates are loaded with nutrients and are considered as one of the healthiest food. The arils are rich in fibers, vitamins, minerals and bio-active plant compounds, beta carotene. You can find all you want to know about the health benefits of these fruits from mother Google :D.

I use naturally cultured yogurt which I make at home but today for the lack of it I used the one from Mother Dairy. It is as close as one can get to home made one.

For the smoothie I used :

1 medium size organic red delicious apple

1 medium size organic golden apple.

1 1/2 medium size pomegranate

1/4 cup natural Mother Dairy dahi ( yogurt)

I did not use any sweetener.

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Process :

Wash and pat dry apples. Dice them with the skin into small pieces.

Wash and cut the pomegranate in half. Take a bowl of cold water and break apart one half of the fruit inside the water. The membrane will release the pearls beautifully as you slowly rub it with the thumbs. The membrane sticking to the peals will float up and the peals will stay down. Drain the water and you will have ruby red, juicy gleaming pearls of sweetness. Google is the mother of all life hacks but I remember it being done at our home since I was a kid. So…  😀

Now that we have both the fruits ready, take the blender, add the yogurt first then add the fruits to it. If you know the fruits aren’t very sweet then add a spoonful of organic honey to it.

To make smoothies healthy do not use sweetened yogurt, refined sugar etc. Natural fruit sweetness is the best. Honey or date/maple syrup is the next best choice.

Keep things simple and natural.

Cover and blend the ingredients for 10 seconds or till everything is blended to a smooth texture.

I use the pearls of the pomegranate fruits. You can take out the juice and add that to avoid the seeds.  Use only fresh juice in smoothies. If you don’t have a juicer, simply place all the pearls in a plastic sieve over a container and rub/press/squeeze with your thumbs till all the juice is out. I used pearls of 1 pomegranate and the other 1/2 fruit I juiced like this. To quicken the process I used a wooden masher used for making pav bhaji. 😀 It worked beautifully and I got super sweet deep red juice in no time which I chilled in the freezer and added to the smoothie before having.

The result was out of the world.

I am very fond of pomegranate margaritas and I simply love the salt rimmed cocktail glasses in which its served so I salt rimmed my smoothie glass and it made the flavor more enticing. It also made me crave for the margaritas 😉

Tomorrow will be another special smoothie wit ha surprise element. Watch out for it.

Till then Enjoy!