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Apple, pear & cherry smoothie

There was a time when smoothies were relegated to the breakfast table. They were thought of as a sort of meal replacement by people who jazzercised and wore shoulder pads. What the fruit?! Well, no more. Thanks to the popularity of smoothie bars (and good sense) these blended fruit beverages have enjoyed a sort of coming-of-age as a snack in their own right. Snack time, lunch time, any time is a good time for a smoothie. And there are few times in the kitchen when flavour, health and pure food enjoyment come together so effortlessly.

This smoothie combines sweet ripened pears with tangy pressed apple juice and plump pitted cherries. I wrote this recipe for some organic tree fruit partners in the U.S. Pacific Northwest who are headed to Toronto later this month for a trade show. They want to proudly offer the flavours of organic apples, pears and cherries from their booth. I'd say the three fruits shine equally in this smoothie, with creamy yogurt and a splash of pure vanilla rounding out the brightness of the fruit. The best part is they're happy to have me share the recipe with you here too.

Here's how I made it:
makes 4 servings

2 cups organic pears, cored and chopped (skins on)
1 cup organic cherries, pitted
1 cup organic apple juice
1/2 cup organic plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups crushed ice
1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract

I combined all the ingredients in the blender and blended until smooth.

Now, who's ready to jazzercise? Work it.

What goes into your favourite smoothie?