Summer is close at hand, bringing us the kind of steamy weather that makes me cringe at the thought of turning on the stove . . . or oven . . . or microwave. Well, I suppose the microwave is fairly harmless in terms of heat-production, but the fact still remains -- it's about to get hot. That means, among other, fair more momentous things, that smoothie season has arrived.
Smoothies are delicious year-round, of course, but I think that they are truly designed for late spring and summertime breakfasts. Or lunches, which is what the Best Husband Ever and I did for our midday meal today. Smoothies can be very healthy and filling, depending on what you throw into the blender. I love combining the calcium and lean proteins found in yogurt and milk with fresh fruit and sometimes even veggies. That's right -- veggies! Vegetables can be a great addition to smoothies, even if they are not very traditional smoothie ingredients.
Speaking of non-traditional, the hubby had some oddball culinary fun while making his lunch smoothie. My designs behind lunchtime smoothies were pretty transparent -- I wanted to break in our nifty new blender (over the course of several months, I smashed both the blending and food processing attachments on our own blender), use up some blackened bananas, and try out the chocolate HempShake that has been lurking in my pantry for a little too long. Plus, I was hungry and wanted something cool and refreshing on this hot day.
After nabbing a quick hot dog at our church's barbecue this afternoon, the Best Husband Ever was more than willing to make smoothies with me. My smoothie had one packet of chocolate HempShake (the taste was just so-so -- my favorite shake/smoothie powder remains Spiru-Tein), a ripe banana, one cup of skim milk, a handful of ice, and a couple of strawberries. Pretty standard smoothie fare.
Not so with the husband. He started off with some routine ingredients, including milk, banana, and strawberries just like me. But then he got to wondering -- can you put cheese in a smoothie? I suggested trying some cottage cheese, but he was feeling more adventurous and added cheddar cheese instead. And he did not stop there. Still poking about in the fridge and freezer, he emerged with pepperoni and threw a handful of that into the blender as well.
Then he blended away, and as I watched the cringe-worthy ingredients swirled into a delightful shade of pink. Diabolical pink, perhaps, disguising the disgusting flavor combination that surely lurked within. The Best Husband Ever urged me to take the first sip, but I declined, choosing to play it safe with my hemp smoothie. So, taking a deep breath, he braced himself and took a mouthful.
I waited for the grimace of horror to blossom across his face, for the wail of horror to emerge from his smoothie-coated esophagus. But they never came. Instead, he shrugged.
"It's not so bad," he said. "It just tastes like strawberries."
I took a careful taste for myself, but had to agree -- if you didn't know the crazy concoction contained pepperoni and cheddar cheese, you probably would never guess. There was definitely a strange meatiness to the mixture, but it was very subtle. Still, I stuck with my hemp while the hubby took swallows of his own smoothie. After a few minutes, though, he began to complain of odd rumblings in his belly. Although his tastebuds were not affronted by the odd smothie, apparently his stomach was. He had to give up, and gulped down a few handfuls of cooked pepperoni slices to get the taste out of his mouth.
Smoothies are fun to make and fun to eat, and are often deliciously healthy. So let your inner artiste go a little wild and throw some spinach, avocado, or prunes in with your next creation. But don't get carried away. As my husband learned, some smoothie concoctions just should not be.