Thanks, everyone, for your great comments on yesterday’s post! Honestly, I hadn’t thought that the “beeteroni” (thanks, Leah) was as far “out there” as it turned out to be, but am glad you liked the idea. This ACD really does spark some unusual culinary adventures!
[Quick housekeeping note before today’s post: I’ve been working on updating the blog and finally added a “Press” page with links to the blog and cookbook, for those who are interested in such stuff (see Ricki keep interrupting the hosts on Rogers’ daytime TV show!). I’ll also be adding a candida-related page (with more info about my diet, treatments, resources, etc) in the next few weeks, and will be updating my blogroll. If I already read your blog and it’s not on the list, or if you’ve got a blog that relates to one of the topics on my “Blogs I Read” page, please let me know with an email at dietdessertdogsATgmailDOTcom. Thanks! 🙂 Okay, now on to the blog post. . .]
Do you love a challenge?
As a kid, I’d welcome almost any dare and embrace fresh challenges with gusto. Whenever the teacher solicited a volunteer to work out a problem on the blackboard (nerd alert! nerd alert!), I was the first to shoot my hand in the air. One time, my 3rd grade class was given a punishment to write a 200-word essay because two boys had been chattering incessantly at the back of the class (thanks, Norman and Sheldon). To eight year-old me, this presented a fun opportunity. I worked and re-worked my writing, counting articles and changing verb tenses until I achieved exactly 200 words. (Of course, my teacher didn’t notice, but at least it made the assignment more interesting). The next year, after my parents brought home a cocker spaniel, I spent every day after school with him for a month, a pile of dog biscuits by my side, enunciating an elongated “rrrrrroooolllllll” over and over ad nauseum until he finally picked up on the command (thanks, Sweeny).
Later on, once anxiety and insecurity hit in my teens and 20s, everything shifted. In those days, I preferred the anonymity of introversion, backing away from challenges as steadfastly as Salinger backed away from publicity. More than once, anxiety prevented me from accepting a promotion, leaping at an opportunity, or trying a new activity. Challenges passed me by like “Out of Service” subway trains gliding through the station.
And these days? Happily, I’ve settled somewhere between the two extremes (thanks, therapy).
So when I received an email from Elizabeth of Don’t White Sugar Coat It telling me about her (along with 4 other bloggers’) Super Breakfast Bowl Challenge, I knew I had to join in. The challenge asks you to use one of five atypical ingredients in a breakfast dish (and we all know how much I love atypical ingredients!), then send the recipe to the group as an entry for the event (and to possibly win some prizes). This week’s ingredient is avocado.
As it turned out, I’d just had a huge glass of a new apple-based smoothie I concocted this very morning! While most smoothies contain some variation on banana and/or berries, the only fruits I’m allowed to consume at the moment (thanks, ACD) are apples, pears and berries, and berries had featured prominently in one too many breakfast drink already. So–what the heck–I threw an apple into a smoothie. And some green stuff. And ended up with a green smoothie that tastes like apple!
This baby is what Angela at Oh She Glows would call a “Green Monster” (courtesy of leafy greens and avocado). Nothing monstrous in this glass, however. It’s very creamy–velvety, even–with a slight sweetness and pronounced apple-cinnamon flavor; the greens aren’t detectable. Apples provide soluble fiber (to keep those cholesterol levels healthy), avocado contributes heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, cinnamon stabilized blood sugar levels, pumpkin seeds offer immune-boosting zinc, and green leafys add, well, pretty much everything (but mostly some great minerals). With its additional boost of protein powder, this smoothie truly is a complete meal.
It’s also perfect for the breakfast bowl challenge. Thanks, Elizabeth!
If you’d like to join the challenge, head on over to Elizabeth’s blog (or any of the four others). And I’d love to hear about your favorite smoothie combinations as well–please feel free to mention them in the comments. 🙂
Apple Pie Smoothie
The ingredients in this smoothie are very flexible–liquid, you might say–so feel free to substitute your own favorite fruit or greens for those in the recipe.
1 medium apple (I like Gala, Crispin, Pink Lady), cored and cut in chunks (no need to peel if you have a strong blender)
1/3 to 1/2 of one medium cucumber, peeled and cut in chunks
large handful of spinach, kale, lettuce, or other mild leafy green
1/2 medium avocado
2 Tbsp (30 ml) raw pumpkin seeds or walnuts
1-2 tsp (5-10 ml) cinnamon, to your taste (I like a lot of cinnamon)
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) ground ginger
1 cup (240 ml) plain or vanilla soy, almond or rice milk, very cold
1 scoop of your favorite protein powder, plain or vanilla
Place all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until perfectly smooth (you can use a regular blender, but will likely have to blend in batches, or else use a bit more liquid). The smoothie will be very thick (I like to eat it with a spoon as a pseudo “pudding”), but if you like it thinner, add more milk or water until desired consistency is reached. Consume immediately. Makes one massive or two regular servings. And it really tastes like apple!
Note: made this way, the smoothie isn’t extremely cold. If you prefer a chilled smoothie, ensure that your apple and cucumber are refrigerated before using, or add a few ice cubes to the mix when blending.
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Last Year at this Time: Sweet Potato for my Sweetheart: Spiked Sweet Potato Truffles or Truffle Cups
Two Years Ago: The Best Home Fries Ever
© 2010 Ricki Heller