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The Sneaky Smoothie

September 03, 1997|BEV BENNETT | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Bennett is the author of "Dinner for Two" (Barron's, 1994)

A fruit smoothie is just about the easiest dessert you can make with the abundant fruits now available at supermarkets and farmers markets. All you have to do is blend fruit, milk and yogurt together into a thick froth.

The secret to a great frosty smoothie is to skip the ice that can dilute the drink and use frozen fruit instead. To do so, spread sliced, peeled peaches, nectarines or plums on a baking sheet and place in the freezer for a few hours. Just put pint packages of berries in the freezer as they are.

Use this Blueberry Smoothie recipe for your basic formula, then experiment with different fruits. Berries and nectarines are a great duo, and you can't go wrong with a berry melange.

Fruit cobblers also make wonderful summer desserts, even if they take a little more effort. The inspiration for the following Peach and Raspberry Cobbler comes from "The Buffet Book" by Carole Peck with Carolyn Hart Bryant (Viking, 1997). I'm used to a biscuit topping for cobblers and loved Peck's recipe for a thinner, more elegant lid.

BLUEBERRY SMOOTHIE (IT'S A SNAP)

1 pint blueberries

1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

1/2 cup milk

Dash nutmeg

2 to 3 teaspoons sugar

Place blueberries in freezer 3 hours.

Puree yogurt, frozen blueberries, milk, nutmeg and 2 teaspoons sugar in blender until thick as a milkshake. Taste. Add additional 1 teaspoon sugar if needed. Puree 10 seconds more to mix. Immediately pour into 2 chilled glasses.

2 servings. Each serving:

185 calories; 119 mg sodium; 10 mg cholesterol; 3 grams fat; 34 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams protein; 1.89 grams fiber.

PEACH AND RASPBERRY COBBLER

FILLING

1 pint raspberries

1 large peach, peeled and thinly sliced

3 to 5 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon flour

Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

CRUST

1 cup flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Dash salt

2 tablespoons butter

Milk

Vanilla ice cream, optional

FILLING

Gently combine raspberries, peach slices, 3 to 5 tablespoons sugar (depending on sweetness of fruit), flour and lemon zest and juice. Spoon into 1 1/2-quart, 6-inch-wide baking dish. Set aside.

CRUST

Stir together flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, baking powder and salt in mixing bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add enough milk, 5 to 7 tablespoons, for dough to come together.

Pat out dough on floured board into circle slightly less than circumference of dish and about 1/2 inch thick. Place over fruit.

If cobbler will be served plain, brush crust with 1 to 2 tablespoons milk and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. If it will be served with ice cream, omit milk glaze. Cut X in center of dough to allow steam to escape.

Bake at 375 degrees until crust is golden and fruit bubbly, 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve warm, plain or with ice cream if desired.

2 large or 3 regular servings. Each of 3 servings without ice cream:

355 calories; 231 mg sodium; 21 mg cholesterol; 9 grams fat; 66 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 2.77 grams fiber.

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