Tell me, what would YOU do when berry season is in full harvest, when strawberries and blueberries go for less than $1.00 a pint, when you go berry picking on a farm, then come home wondering what to do with THIS much berries knowing that they go bad quite fast? Oh that wasn’t difficult, was it! Smoothies, of course. Hail to the Blender!
Science has it that any fruit, vegetable, root, etc that has even a tint of purple (read red or blue), possesses a pigment called anthocyanin, known as a powerful antioxidant. And there’s plenty purple in my daily smoothies:
– Wild Boreal Blueberries (via Trader Joe’s)
– POM Wonderful (100% pomegranate juice).
I got this smoothie bug from Mr. Alton Brown, my all time favorite chef, probably because of the geek factor that makes me resonate with his shows. In this particular show he is describing 4 lists of consumed foods (from minute 4:20 onward):
THREE TIMES PER WEEK
ONE TIME PER WEEK
ZERO TIMES PER WEEK
Soda pop (exception of Club soda)
I used to pretty much bolt out the door in the morning bypassing breakfast entirely. Partly because I am still trying to make peace with the American breakfast as opposed to the Continental Breakfast as I was used to, party because I am always running late. I used to consider cereal something for babies. That’s changing of course as I am realizing the importance of soluble fibers! By noon I was a hungry like a vulture, eating anything that came my way. Not smart. After all, breakfast is the most important meal in the day and should be regarded highly in your daily food consumption.
So, now I settled my daily breakfast with steel cut oats, and a big glass of purple smoothies (thank you Mr. Brown!). This needs a little do ahead preparation, like portioning out the smoothie ingredients (less the juice) packing them and then freezing. But it is way worth.
The Purple Juice
Of course your blender would be extremely happy if you would thin out the smoothie ingredients with juice so the blade can chop easily through frozen strawberries – if you are like me, who always forgets to have the frozen fruit pulled from the freezer and into the blender glass placed in the fridge the night before.
And as I wanted my smoothie to have as much purple in it as possible, I went with literally the only 100% truly pure pomegranate juice you can find on the market called Pom Wonderful. Beside the fact that it has intense health benefits like providing you with the antioxidants needed to get rid of your junk matter, it tastes like nothing else!
Speaking of the POM juice, one good day I had the privilege to discovering a box of these POM pomegranate juice gems on my porch sent straight from the good people who make one of the finest and unadulterated juices on Earth and available in the USA, in the San Joaquin Valley in Central California. These guys are NUTS! They grow their own pomegranate trees, use their own irrigation drip system (water is PRECIOUS in California!), do their own harvesting, processing, squeezing, even make their own bottles to keep useless hauling at minimum. How cool is that! I am all for supporting this kind of environment and health aware mentality in food producing companies!
The Recipe and Ingredients
How would this sound if I tell you that there isn’t one recipe. Simply use the Force. Improvisation works best. I for one don’t like any diary products in it at all. Maybe I add one banana per batch on a good day, OK? otherwise, I usually go with what’s on sale at the time. Being summer in Chicago and bordering blueberry states, of course fresh blueberries are on the top of the list. And along with anything that has the word “berry” would do good. Although sometimes I like using Wild Boreal Blueberries I found in a frozen 1 Lb bag at Trader Joe’s. They are much smaller than regular blueberries but they seem to have a much intense blueberry-ish taste.
As for juice, anything would go but you really need to give the POM Wonderful pomegranate juice at least one chance. Besides the fact that will elevate your smoothie to youth elixir power levels, it will impart a sublime taste as well.