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I tolerate the whining roar of the blender and smile in anticipation. My kitchen blender and I have become, excuse the pun, fast friends. Summer is smoothie-time and I’ve developed a daily habit. Got to get my fix of frozen delight. At least it’s healthy.

Yogurt is the constant ingredient—Greek style—thick and slightly tangy. Add a hint of vanilla and some sweetener. The magic happens in the choice of fruits. Organic, dark-colored berries provide intense flavor, rich color and plenty of fiber. (Aging brings an appreciation of that element.) A medley of tropical fruits—conveniently packaged in frozen bulk—produce a blast of flavor unique with every shake. Variations on a theme.

Strawberries can stand alone or be tossed in the mix. Rich in vitamin C and a natural diuretic, they’re a nutritious choice. (I’m in my 60’s. Those benefits mean a lot.) Bananas thicken well and defeat muscle cramps. I’m noticing a pattern her: food as defense.

Indulgence has its place too. My current favorite is pineapple. Solo. Forget partnering with competing flavors, just golden sweetness whirled with yogurt. I inhale the scent and hear tropical music, see flashes of dancing on a Caribbean cruise ship, pina colada in hand. I’m talking healthy eating, bursting with flavor, minus the rum, the artery-clogging coconut and the pat downs by TSA.

Sometimes, like Dorothy, I think, There’s no place like home.

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