I miss Harry Chapin. I was fortunate to hear him in concert three times, once as an opening act and twice as a headliner. I managed to get great second row, center seats for a concert in 1979. In the middle of the set, he stepped down into the audience to sing Mail Order Annie, and accidently dropped his harmonica near my feet. I picked it up off the floor and gave it back to him. He thanked me and then launched into the haunting harp intro to a song about bygone times when men ordered brides via mail. I had a ringside seat for a minute or two. I was lovin’ it!
Harry also sang a great song that night about a truck driver who was up to his ears in bananas – thirty thousand pounds of bananas to be exact. Happy Acres is not even near Scranton, Pennsylvania, but we surely have our share of bananas.
See, our freezer is currently bulging with bags of peeled, frozen bananas. Our grocery often has brown paper bags of them on sale for 99 cents, and frankly, we’re a sucker for bargains. So we bring them home, eat the fresh bananas until they get too ripe, and then freeze what’s left. The frozen bananas are perfect for breakfast smoothies and banana bread.
I’m still tweaking a recipe for healthy banana bread (all suggestions are welcome), but my wife has a great recipe for smoothies and has kindly allowed me to share it. It’s a summertime favorite for busy mornings. We make our own yogurt, but any plain yogurt will do for this recipe. We also use powdered stevia extract for the sweetener. Other sweeteners can be used of course, but if you’ve never used stevia it is well worth a try.
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Blueberry Banana Smoothie
A Happy Acres Original
With 6 grams of fiber and 360 mg calcium, this smoothie will help get your day off to a good start.
2/3 cup skim milk (almond or soy milk can also be used)
1 cup yogurt, lowfat
2 bananas, frozen
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 tbsp flaxseed meal
stevia to taste (or other sweetener)
1. Place all ingredients in blender starting with milk, blend until smooth. More milk can be added for a thinner drink.
Nutrition (per serving): 291 calories, 35 calories from fat, 4g total fat, 9mg cholesterol, 137.4mg sodium, 978.7mg potassium, 56g carbohydrates, 6.1g fiber, 32.5g sugar, 12.5g protein, 360.6mg calcium, 1.6g saturated fat.
Substitute 1 cup of your favorite fruit in place of the blueberries. Strawberries, raspberries, peaches, pineapple and mangoes all make great smoothies.
Flaxseed meal is very perishable. Store meal in refrigerator or freezer, or grind your own flaxseeds in a coffee or spice grinder.