Recipe: Spicy Blueberry Smoothie
Twice a month, Berkshire County native Alana Chernila, mother of two, and author of the cookbook, The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying & Start Making (Clarkson Potter), contributes a thoughtful and heartfelt essay/recipe created exclusively for Rural Intelligence readers. Her first cookbook has achieved top-seller status, and Chernila has a new one in the works, titled “The Homemade Kitchen,” due out this year.
I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions. I’ve gone through thirty-six January 1sts, and as many lists and wishes I might make, I have yet to be a better/more focused/more productive/fill-in-the-blank person than I was the day before. It’s still just me, pouring flat champagne out of glasses on the counter and trying to figure out what we’ll have for dinner that night. New year, indistinguishable me.
For the same reason, I tend to resist what seems to be one of the major rules of online food writing, that is, to write about decadent sweets in December and then shift to virtuous smoothies on January 1st.
Just after the holiday, I dove headfirst into the illness that seems to have seized the county. This lined up with the whole world freezing solid, and I spent the first week of January catching up on British crime dramas with our new puppy. She tried to be patient, both with my coughing and the fact that we couldn’t go outside for stretches longer than five minutes, but she couldn’t help but chew up every single shoe and stuffed animal that fell into her path. I didn’t have the energy to stop her.
We both emerged from the bedroom in the last few days, me breathing almost normally again, she pushing her way through all the cotton batting on the floor to finally take a proper walk. And after all that, resistant as I was to the wave of New Year’s eating trends, all I wanted was to put everything good and fresh and real into my blender and drink it. I gave in again and again, and this week, I’ve been making one of the best smoothies I’ve ever had. So, just this once, I’ll break my own rule and I’ll write about a smoothie. If you too, crave something good and fresh and real, it’ll be just right.
I prefer my smoothies to be thin and creamy, but if your tastes go towards a thicker, icier drink, replace the water with ice.
The Spicy Blueberry
1½ cups frozen blueberries
1 ripe banana
½ cup plain, whole milk yogurt
¼ cup loosely packed mint leaves
½ cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Hefty pinch of cayenne
1 cup water
Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until entirely smooth. Drink immediately.