Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cold and Spicy Breakfast Smoothie Anybody?

I've been making my own smoothies with diverse ingredients for longer than the word "smoothie" existed. Back in high school I worked in an ice cream shop and learned to make an orange julius with a real egg, real milk, orange sherbet and vanilla ice cream. Things have evolved a bit since then; the raw egg was last popular when I was expecting number four, the ice cream has been replaced by healthier ingredients. Now that I have reached a certain, we'll say, amount of years, at times a return to smoothie meals is a way of helping with weight control, as well as detoxing. I have many different ingredients I toss in the blender. I always start with greens of some sort; parsley and kale, spinach, etc. Protein powder, in a rice or soy form, is added, frozen berries, milk. It's an easy way to get a bunch of nutrition and little calories.

This morning's meal was composed primarily of what remained in my bag of greens; mustard greens. To their credit, mustard greens are a known anti-cancer vegetable, they may also be helpful when one suffers from colds, arthritis or depression. Enough good reasons to incorporate them into one's diet, right? Well...

To the mustard greens in the blender, I added fresh strawberries, a tablespoon of frozen orange juice, a frozen yogurt the kids forgot in the freezer, half a frozen banana, ice cubes and a little soy milk. Mmm, it was an interesting mix, smelled like a fresh garden harvest, tasted good until it got half-way down, then the spicy hit. At first it was a sort of pleasant, pinch of cayenne pepper thing. As I drank, it became a little more powerful, still tolerable, but increasingly reminiscent of the "breakfasts" the Mexican cooks would make us when I worked in a Chinese restaurant in college. (These were always hotter when the cook was homesick or mad at a waitress.) I think I may have heart burn all day. I had to wash the whole thing down with an extra chocolate protein drink, life is the pits. I'll stick to collard greens and kale tomorrow.

For the rest of the family, it was a cooking and baking day. The kids woke to the odors of fresh chocolate bread baking (which was not for breakfast, but for park day). They requested bacon and eggs, which were cooked and served. Milk became an issue; we were almost out. You would not believe the panic in a house where children all think they deserve the last glass of milk in the gallon! Really though, there was more like a quart of milk left, enough to do something creative with.  Smoothies for them too, more bananas, no collard greens. I figured that would hold them for a little while. I made a second chocolate bread (my recipe; sort of a challa with Ghiradelli chocolate chips, sprinkled with raw sugar on top) to thank our neighbors who gave us a much-needed desk that perfectly fits the need Lily has for a larger one, such luck, such kindness! I prepared a quick picnic and we headed to the park. It was a fabulous day.

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