Monday, January 21, 2013

Hot Pink Smoothie

This is the most beautiful smoothie you'll ever make. It's also one of the most unusual. It's also one of the most well-rounded (protein, fruit, veggies). It's vegan if you skip the honey.

If you hate beets, you WILL NOT like it. I'm sorry and I wish it wasn't so. But the beety undertones are inescapable, even if you add a bunch of sugar to it like I did for my kids. So if you don't like beets, you might want to omit them and go for a Light Pink Smoothie instead. That said, if you are going to eat raw beets, I can't think of any other or better way to do it than this smoothie. Also, as just one more note on taste: The first sip is kind of like, "Whoa, earthy/beety." But the more you drink, the less striking/shocking that flavor is. So, unless you really hate beets, it might be worth giving a try. Just give it more than one sip of a chance.

Having a fancy (Vitamix or Blendtec) blender would be nice for this. I don't and even my mediocre blender could turn out a decent smoothie, but without the very high-end blender you will still have a few small chunks here and there and will never achieve silky smooth nirvana. That said, I will give some tips for how to make this as very smooth as possible in a mediocre blender.

The other comment about this is that it's not cheap. The Thai (young) coconut cost me $2 at the Asian store, dates are pricey, and cashews are pricey. It's somewhat balanced out by the uber cheap beets and carrots, but not entirely.

I've wanted to try this recipe for a long time. Green Smoothie Girl created it and talks about it though she never gives the recipe, hoping instead that one will buy her book (who can blame her). But even Green Smoothie Girl cannot escape Pinterest and that's where I found this.

Hot Pink Smoothie
Makes 2-6 servings (2 large--full glass, 4 "normal", and 6 small)
adapted from The Royal Cook
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cost: $2.55 (still only about $.60/serving. You can't even get a soda for that at McDonald's)
beet: .15, carrot: .10, cashews: .40, dates: .40, strawberries: 1.50

A note on Thai coconut: First of all, it is also known as "young" coconut because (shocker) it is actually an underripe coconut--it hasn't developed that tough brown cover we associate with coconuts. Usually you will find them with the outside (which is green) shaved off and it will look white and naked like this. You can also visit that link for tips on how to get it open. I, being ignorant, didn't visit any sites about how to get it open and just took a (sharp) knife and cut the bottom (not the top, like everyone recommends) off and then, whoosh, stuff started leaking out, so I held it over my blender and voila. Ignorance is bliss right. After you've cut the bottom off or whatever method you choose to get it open and gotten the liquid out, stick a spoon in it and scoop out the soft, gelatinous flesh (it doesn't look like something you'd love to eat, but trust me, it's good). If your milk or flesh smells rotten, it is. Don't eat it. You want to look for a coconut that is firm and doesn't have any moldy or soft spots on the outside. Another tip is to shake your coconut. The coconut water shouldn't slosh around. If it does, there is a leak in the coconut and this is allowing bacteria into your coconut (not to mention the fact that you're getting less bang for your buck, people). The flesh can be white, but mine was light pinkish-purple. Some say that that means it's got bacteria in it, but (again--blissful ignorance) I ate it and it was fine. It also smelled perfectly good and coconut-y.

1 Thai (otherwise known as "young") coconut
1/2 beet, peeled and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/4 C raw cashews
1/4 C dates, pitted
1 1/2 C frozen strawberries
1-2 Tbsp honey (optional, but I liked it better this way)

Instructions for making this in a mediocre blender:

Open your coconut using my expert (not really) instructions above. Pour the liquid into your blender and then scoop out the gelatinous flesh and add that. Blend this.

Add beet and carrot and blend. Add dates and blend. Add cashews and blend. The idea being that you want to get one thing fairly well blended before you go adding other things and overloading your sadly mediocre blender. When this stuff is all blended to the best of your blender's abilities, add the strawberries. Pulse and blend. The smoothie should get thicker and smoother. It should be the consistency of a very melty milkshake. If it's too runny (as in looks like just a juice), then your coconut may have had a generous amount of "milk." Add some more strawberries and blend.

Add honey if you like (or sugar or agave or whatever it is you use as a sweetener).


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