This weekend I have been playing with fresh herbs and a bit of Veracruz vanilla bean.
Vanilla beans were first cultivated in Veracruz, Mexico. The highly prized vanilla in Madagascar is the same vanilla plant that was originally grown in Veracruz. Vanilla beans are expensive. Saffron is the only more costly spice. I have seen some websites offering Veracruz vanilla beans at prices ranging from $4.60 – $9.95 per bean. I found Madagascar vanilla beans as low as $3.40 per bean. If you use vanilla beans, just snip off a small piece at a time to get the best value out of your investment.
Fresh sage also should be used sparingly, so its loud flavor doesn’t overwhelm the other ingredients. In today’s smoothie, I used a little more than an inch of vanilla bean and two sage leaves.
Kiwi fruit is an exotic-sounding addition to this blueberry smoothie. I think of distant kiwi plantations in New Zealand, where this fruit was first commercially cultivated. The kiwi fruit is also widely cultivated here in California and is, seasonally, a common presence in the organic CSA produce box delivered to my door.
Don’t waste those thick broccoli stalks left after you have trimmed florets for your dinner. Plan on using chopped broccoli stalks in place of leafy greens for the following day (or two)’s smoothie.
This recipe makes an ideal amount for a to-go cup. That worked out well on this day, because I was out the door before having a chance to finish drinking it. Enjoy it at home or while on the run!
Blueberry Kiwi Smoothie with Vanilla Bean and Sage, by Veganbythebook
Makes: 30 ounces (about 900 ml)
- 1 frozen banana, sliced (peel before freezing)
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 kiwi fruit, quartered (no need to trim ends or peel)
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
- 3 tablespoons organic raw shelled hempseed
- 1 teaspoon organic maca powder
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- About 1 inch of Veracruz vanilla bean (or other vanilla bean)
- 2 leaves fresh sage
- 1 medjool date, pitted
- 1 thick stalk of broccoli (about 1 cup), chopped (florets and short stems were steamed for another meal)
- Add all ingredients to the jar of a high-speed blender and process until smooth, about 1-2 minutes, tamping down as needed.