Why This Recipe Works
- Frozen strawberries are almost always packaged at the peak of seasonal ripeness, ensuring a more developed strawberry flavor no matter the time of year. Plus, they’re frozen, helping to chill the smoothie without the need for ice.
- Incorporating strawberry jam provides a boost of berry flavor.
I remember the day my mom came home with our family’s first blender. My sisters and I gathered around her as she unboxed the machine on our kitchen counter, curious to see what the fuss was about. The blender, a white, plastic Philips model, was the most advanced piece of equipment in our kitchen at the time—it was Hong Kong in the 1990s and we didn’t even have an oven. We watched her assemble the blender and proceed to whizz together the only smoothie she knew how to make: a creamy strawberry-banana one that tasted more like a milkshake than a breakfast drink. Despite now owning a blender, my mom never changed it up. The only two things she used the blender for? Milkshakes—and smoothies that tasted like milkshakes.
Though I have since expanded my smoothie repertoire, my mom’s strawberry-banana smoothie remains a nostalgic and comforting favorite of mine. It’s not hard to see why she loved it so much: her version had just three ingredients and was an easy snack to whizz up for her three annoyingly loud and needy daughters.
Over the years, I’ve tweaked it ever so slightly by swapping fresh berries for frozen and adding a tablespoon of strawberry jam. Frozen berries are picked and preserved at their peak when they’re ripest, and provide a burst of concentrated strawberry flavor better than most fresh fruit can throughout the year. The jam adds to that strawberry intensity even more. The banana, meanwhile, helps to thicken the smoothie, while whole milk lends richness. Paired with the frozen strawberries and jam, the resulting beverage tastes like a sippable version of strawberries and cream. Is it dessert or breakfast? You decide.