Fresca Smoothie

One of my new favorite snacks to make are smoothies. They’re not very complicated, especially when you can find bags of frozen mixed berries at the grociery store. I usually don’t stray from my simple go-to recipe of frozen berries, a little yogurt, a little milk, and a banana if I have one around. I’m a HUGE ice cream fan, and if I had my way I think I would eat it with every meal, but this also means I would weigh about 300 pounds. Smoothies, especially in small batches, are a good way to split the difference: nice and cold and generally thick with yogurt, but comprised of more healthy ingredients.

Last night I made a smoothie before the gym and had a little left over for after my workout. Lazily, I was spooning out the remaining smoothie from the Breville hand-mixer container, and I couldn’t help but feel bad that I couldn’t reach everything or scrape every last bit of smoothie from the sides. I knew we had some black cherry Fresca in the fridge, and I wanted one anyway, so I poured it into the smoothie container in an attempt to “deglaze” the container of the rest of the good smoothie bits.

In the words of Borat, “Great success!” The fizziness of the Fresca really lightened up the smoothie taste, and it got me to thinking, what if I added Fresca to the original smoothie recipe?

I decided to test it out, and the result was great. Usually my smoothies come out really thick, too thick to drink actually, but the Fresca served as a great thinning agent without diluting the flavor of the smoothie. The carbonation and bitter-sweet citrus added a subtle complexity and a little extra kick–although a soft, nudging kick–to the berries and tang of the yogurt. I gave Jay a taste of the final product without telling him what was in it, and I could see him thinking, “Something’s different, but I don’t know what it is.” Jay prefers thinner smoothies, so he was very pleased with the consistency of this one. When I told him I had put a can of Fresca in it, he was pleasantly surprised. “Looks like your plan worked!”

Another great thing abotu adding Fresca: it greatly increases the amount of smoothie without (1) watering the flavors down (2) distorting the flavors, or (3) adding a lot of calories.

Serving suggestion: serve your smoothie in glasses that have been sitting in your freezer for a while. We usually keep glass beer mugs in the freezer, and I poured my smoothie into one of these. The mug keeps the smoothie nice and cold, and after you’ve sipped on all the smoothie that remains viscous, you can scoop out the part that’s frozen to the side of the glass as an extra treat and different texture.

Fresca Smoothie: Ingredients:
NOTE: this are approximations, to taste. I never measure, I just kind of eyeball and do what I feel like. This is the order I put mine in the hand-mixer container.

  • half a 12 ounce bag od unsweetened mixed frozen berries (leave frozen, don’t thaw; the mixes I use always have blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and black berries)
  • 1 banana (I like mine with a little green on it)
  • 1 big spoonfull of sweetener or sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 can Black Cherry Citrus Fresca
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