Winter in the market stalls and produce stands is heavy on the green-- greens of every blade and shade, deep and jewel-toned, bright and brassy, dusky greens edged in lacy deep reds and purples. Like some kind of cruciferous peacock, certain brassicas like to show off. Peppered with shades from deep mahogany through hues of aubergine and cool, deep dark green, like mustard greens, or the purple kale, above,
Well, they're just gorgeous. Market muses. They inspire me. And when I came upon those voluptuous blackberries, the plan was in place. A nutrient-dense morning workhorse of a smoothie, the Blackbird Sings warbles its tune with a 5 ingredient base, and smart, interesting options to tailor benefits and personal tastes, individually.
The drink has an interesting name, as all interesting drinks do, inspired by its raven blackberry hue, and a song or two (see below), this Blackbird Sings smoothie, tart and refreshing, adds a little needed sunny umph to greet the day.
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1/2- 1 cup blackberries
- 1/2 Meyer Lemon, seeded, halved again
- 1/2 English cucumber, sliced thinly
- 3 large leaves purple kale, trimmed and large stems removed, chopped roughly
Options: Substitute or add to coconut water any nut milks or cow's milk, add yogurt, peanut butter, hemp butter, chia seeds, pecan meal, cashews, coconut meat, mango, pineapple, banana, orange juice or zest, cocoa powder, protein powder, honey, agave nectar, a pinch of cayenne, a bit of freshly grated nutmeg, cinnamon, a shot of espresso, ice for a thicker smoothie, or anything else you dare, for that matter. Play with it. Get all artsy with your morning jumpstart.
In small alternating batches, combine ingredients in a blender, pulsing until blended well, adjusting liquids as needed (Hint: I start with a little liquid and the most difficult ingredients to puree, like the kale, here. I continue to add liquid to the blending mixture as needed between batches of solid ingredients). When all are well mixed, turn blender to puree and let it whirl until smooth.
It's chilly, grey and yucky as I write this. yet I know that in scant weeks, Spring will arrive in central Texas, and with it, the days of dipping in the public springs and waterholes, pulling out summery cotton sundresses to dance under the shining sun among music festival crowds, and slipping back into bike shorts for brisk, somewhat sweaty walks along Town Lake with my little grey-ing, yet young at heart companion, Jack. Long past the bikini days, I'd still like to look my best, and to that end, it's time to get back to my healthiest living ways, including lower calorie, higher nutrient meals, getting out for more exercise, and NOT SKIPPING BREAKFAST.
To that end, I'm whipping up my smoothie in no time flat, transferring it to a 'go-cup', pulling out my earbuds, throwing a leash on Jack, and hitting the trails this morning. It's going to be a great day.
Enjoy Mr(s) McCartney, Cocker, DeWyze, Hansen, Beck, and last, but not at all least, Ms. Simone.