Go Green (Smoothie) or Go Home
A while back, Jerry Seinfeld’s wife wrote a cookbook where she hid healthy food inside kid-type food to pull a fast one on her kids. I think she stuffed organic broccoli inside of donuts or something but I wouldn’t really know because I never bought her book. I admired it, yes, but I didn’t spend my husband’s hard-earned money on it because I have always known that my kids would see through that sneaky little bit of genius.
You see, my kids are the “prince and princess and the peas” of food. If you were to hide a green pea at the bottom of a stack of pancakes my kids would throw the pancakes in my face without tasting them and tell me that something about them was stinky.
Most foods I serve them are entirely naked, and I always have to be sure that no one food invades the personal space of any other on their plates. Once I guiltily made them boiled penne with nothing on it because I had run out of spaghetti sauce and they said something along the lines of, “my compliments to the chef, mom, you’ve really outdone yourself this time,” without a hint of sarcasm. The only green things they’ve eaten in their lives are popsicles. That all changed last week though, when my daughter unexpectedly fell in love a grisly vitamin-packed sludge drink, the green smoothie.
No one was more shocked than I was. I had been browsing the food blogs of my twitter foodie buds when I found a simple smoothie recipe by @damn_delicious that coincidentally incorporated a mess of items that were nearing their due dates in my fridge. Since I often try to cook with the goal of emptying my fridge into bellies rather than compost bins I had to give it a go, but when I saw that it included great gobs of spinach, I envisioned myself as the only one who would be slurping it.
Long story short, my daughter dipped the tip of her tongue into it as cautiously as she could, but immediately loved it (how many times have I told you that now?) so I’ve been making it for her every day and trying to act nonchalant about my excitement while I watch great green gobs of iron and vitamins gloop down her throat and into her nutrient hungry little blood vessels. Her hair is already so shiny that I can style my own in the reflection of it.
And that brings me to my next long story short. I found “ground cherries” at the market this week. They look like this:
I decided to use them in place of the strawberries in my Twitter friend’s recipe. They taste orange tart-sweet (weird description, but I think you’re imagining the taste) with seeds almost like cherry tomatoes.
Apparently they’re a hallucinogen to some (?) and so they’re outlawed in Louisiana. I would like to state for the record that my daughter enjoyed the smoothie before it included this ingredient. I also happened to have picked up some tomatillos earlier which are similar but larger (cherry vs. grape tomatoes),
Ground Cherry & Tomatillo Green Smoothie
- 1 banana
- 1 pint ground cherries, separated from husks
- 1 pint tomatillos, separated from husks (a pint of strawberries rather than my tomatillos and ground cherries will also get lovely results)
- 2 handfuls fresh spinach
- 1 orange
- 1/3C low fat Greek yogurt
- 5 medium ice cubes
- Dash of honey to taste
Directions: Peel and prep all fruits and veggies and put them in a bowl.
Use a hand blender to mash everything together so that blending is simpler. If you have a kick-ass blender that I don’t have, ignore that last step. Add this slop to your blender and include the ice cubes. Blend for quite a while (5 mins?) until all ingredients are well incorporated and the colour changes to green. Taste the smoothie, and add a dash of honey if it’s too tart for your taste.
Results: I couldn’t be happier. There was very little difference in taste when strawberries or ground cherries were used except that I had to use a little honey with the switch, which means that in future I could sneak all kinds of fruits into this drink for my kids. On the other hand, this also means that the recipe didn’t showcase the full attributes of what the ground cherries and tomatillos had to offer, so I might use them again in something else. Rating: 3 Yums
Wine Pairing: Let’s skip it for this recipe. Pairing a wine with a smoothie might highlight that I need some sort of counselling.
Bonus Contest: I took some photos in this post with my brand spanking new iPhone5 and some with my Canon Rebel. If you are the first to correctly identify which are which, I’ll send you a prize. The prize will be a mystery prize from the dollar store, but it will be a prize nonetheless.