[Sunday breakfast, November 2008.]
I love fruit — I love apples sliced and paired with sharp cheddar cheese, oranges peeled carefully and segmented, drippy nectarines eaten over the kitchen sink because they’re so juicy and ripe, cherries baked into muffins and pies, strawberries eaten out of hand as quickly as I can stuff them into my mouth. Lately, however, I find myself gorging on vegetables — bright and delicious chard, roasted potatoes and carrots, even a brussels sprout or two — and have been woefully low on the fruit intake. I’m not really sure why this is; I live in the Bay Area, which means the growing season goes long and late (even just a few weeks ago there were still peaches at my farmers’ market), but I just haven’t been consuming too much. Maybe my body is already preparing for winter and a dearth of stone fruit?
Today, the first day of daylight savings time and admittedly my least favorite of the year, I woke up early and went to my yoga class. I ate a banana on the way, as I usually do (so, OK, I do manage to force-feed myself fruit every so often), and when I got out of class I was starving. My legs, after yesterday’s high mileage, were feeling a little wobbly and as I walked through the park to do my usual coffee-farmers market-home circuit I fixed on the idea of a smoothie. This often happens when I’ve done a lot of exercise and I can feel my muscles sore and stretched out and a bit weary; my body usually knows what it needs and I try to listen to it when I can.
Now, there are many perfectly fine coffee shops in my neighborhood and some of them even turn out very decent smoothies I’ve indulged in on occasion. The problem, though, is that they’re often a bit too sweet for my taste — as I may have mentioned at least 400 times at this point I’m more a savory girl than a sweet, no matter how much baking I do on a regular basis — and I knew I had a few very ripe bananas at home that needed to be used oh, yesterday.
Making a smoothie is perhaps the easiest thing in the world, and it’s also the easiest way to get a healthy serving of whatever fruit you happen to have on hand. I had a bag of organic mixed berries in the freezer, those over-ripe bananas, and a lot of non-fat yogurt — so that’s what I used, nothing more or less. Oh yeah. That was the best decision of the day, for sure. Sometimes I’ll add a bit of orange or cranberry juice or some ice if it’s hot out (note: not today) or even leave out the yogurt altogether for a vegan variety. I’ve heard of people swapping yogurt for ice cream but, um, that’s not me. Really.
I know, I know, what you’re thinking: Breaking news! San Franciscan discovers the wonders of pureed fruit and embarks on a whirlwind love affair with seasonal produce! It’s not exactly the stuff exciting dreams are made of. But I’ll tell you this: that smoothie this morning was darned delicious. I sat down with toast topped with peanut butter and blackberry jam, did a quick perusal of the paper before slipping back into my busy day, gulped my cofffe — and savored my daily dose of fruit. Since I made enough to last me a couple more days, I’m already looking forward to tomorrow morning which, as you may realize, is a Monday — and anything that can get me eagerly anticipating a Monday morning has got to be pretty good.
1.5 cups plain non fat yogurt
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, strawberries, or mixed berries
splash cranberry juice
In a large bowl or in a food processor, cut in the bananas in large chunks. Add the yogurt and use a hand blender to process. Add the fruit and juice and puree about a minute until fairly smooth.