Good morning!! Happy Hump Day – we all made it halfway through the week! As some of you know, I will be traveling to Florida in only two days time and I couldn’t be more excited. Since I am obviously a mermaid (*hair flip*), you can understand why my return to the Gulf is so exciting. 😉 This week (my first week of Veganuary!), I did something out of the ordinary – I bought oranges at the grocery store! Probably the only food that weirds me out (beyond the creepy mushrooms my sister sometimes buys) is PULP. I don’t love it. If I am faced with eating an orange, I will “vampire” the juice (a la Bill and Sookie) and spit out the languid, pulpy wedge (so ladylike, I know). Oddly enough, I LOVE citrus juice. For years, my cocktail of choice was a screwdriver (and I have all the abandoned Nalges with a faint odor of orange juice and vodka, that no amount of dishwashing will remove, to prove it. Hey, when you’re a girl who doesn’t like beer, you’ve gotta be resourceful). I dislike pulp so much that I would rather give a mimosa the side eye than drink it, if it is made with pulpy orange juice (why would someone do something that unspeakably cruel to me, I do not know. I loooooove mimosas!).
So now that we’ve established the depths of my hatred for pulp, you can understand how surprising it is that I would pick up a few oranges at the grocery store. I decided it was high time for me to overcome this aversion and hostility – one baby step at a time. I figured I can start off slow, by blending them into my favorite thing on Earth: smoothies. We all love smoothies, they are clearly the best. By now, you may know that I have a little bit of a problem with smoothies (and all of the many varieties). To create this particular smoothie, I blended the orange together with three things I really like: baby spinach, unsweetened vanilla coconut milk and cinnamon. It sounds like an unlikely combination, I know, but it was AMAZING. The coconut milk gives a smooth creaminess, the baby spinach is very mild and the orange gives a gorgeous pop and brightness to the smoothie. The cinnamon, of course, is the little spice that could – it makes everything better, and here it lends a little spicy kick. This smoothie was just what I needed – healthy, full of nutrients and flavor, and the orange makes you dream of sunshine and sand under your toes, even when it’s 15 degrees outside. It’s so simple, and it’s vegan, gluten-free and DELICIOUS!
Green Citrus Smoothie
- 1 orange*, peeled
- handful of baby spinach (~3/4 cup)
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Add all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth. Enjoy! 😀
*I used Cara Cara oranges. They are a red-fleshed navel orange, sweet and low in acid with a flavor profile more complex than regular navels. Wikipedia says they “[have] been described as evoking notes of cherry, rose petal, orange, and blackberry.” Oooookay, Wikipedia, whatever you say – all I know is they are DELICIOUS, and so sweet that I didn’t need any additional sweetener. If you chose a different variety and your smoothie comes out a little bitter, throw one or two dates in there. That should sweeten it right up for ya. 🙂
Um, this smoothie is amazing. It’s so easy and probably takes 30 seconds to make once you peel the orange (and then your hands will smell lovely and orange-y for a bit). The flavor impact is unreal; when I blended it and had my first sip I actually said, “Wow!” aloud in my kitchen even though it was just me and the Nutribullet. The best part? You’ve fulfilled your Vitamin C requirements for the day, half of your Vitamin A, a quarter of your potassium and a third of your dietary fiber. Rock on. It’s fresh and deceptively filling – a great snack, breakfast smoothie or just for a special, fresh treat. Yum.
I hope that you guys enjoy this creation as much as I did – it is amazing (and if you close your eyes, you might just feel the sun beaming down on you, in the middle of January).
Sending you lots of sunshine today! Happy Wednesday! 😀
PS: I went for a run last night in 18F and snow showers. It was fabulous (dead serious – I actually had a great run!). I recently got a bunch of run accessories to increase my nighttime visibility (both my friend and my bro-in-law called out my all black Ginga Ninja non-reflective winter run gear, and they were totally right – visibility is key in the winter!). If you’re interested, they will be making an appearance in my Friday Faves post. 😉