Tuesday, January 05, 2016

(Clean Clean) Blueberry Pie Smoothie

Last night I dreamed that I went to the kids' school and a gorgeous, glowing teenager ran up to me to ask me about my skin and why it was so pretty. Since usually my dreams involve the wrong subway and the wrong-size token and me with a stump for a hand, and since my waking life actually involves skin that looks like a fossilized elephant's leg that got turned into a pot holder, I took this to be a good, if ridiculous, sign about the state of my psyche.

Oh, it is hard for me to move on from gravlax. Because it was the holidays! And it was the best! And I wanted it to get cold, and now it is finally cold, only the kids are back at school and my all-cheese diet has come to a sorry end, so where’s the fun in that? Just cold work days? Please. Plus, longish-time readers may know that this is the brutal, boring three weeks of my life called The Cleanse. No coffee, alcohol, dairy, sugar, meat, or wheat. Just mugs of seaweedy green teas and frothing cashew whatevers that are terrible, terrible, terrible, until they’re suddenly not, and then you worry about the kind of person you’re becoming. The kind of person who likes a nice hot drink that tastes like tilapia and the swamp in which it laid its eggs. The kind of person who says things like, “Oooh, maybe I’ll treat myself to a date!” which Birdy cannot stop making fun of me for, because that is a thing I actually said. 

Remember this old friend?

The children turn cruel and unhelpful, feeling, as they do, abandoned to their hot buttered rye toast and maple-glazed donuts and clothbound cheddar by their usually fun and food-loving mother-turned-nun. “Want some FETA on your salad?” Birdy asked last night, like a naughty baby. “Want a bite of my ICE CREAM?” Yes. And yes. But no. I nursed an inch of cherry juice in a wine glass and admired my own energy level, which, I’m sorry to report, is high. “Eat this,” Ben said, pushing a candy cane into my face. “Eat it.” Who are these people? But when I threaten to cheat, they turn encouraging, so I know they’re on my side. Deep down, at least.

Alarmingly named "kelp noodles" with veggies, cilantro, and a Trader Joe's salmon burger, cut up so it looks fancy.

Oh, clean eating. It’s kind of great. I kind of hate it. I might write more about it, depending on your interest. Because there are actually clean things I can get away with feeding the family, such as rice-noodle soups and grain bowls and cashew cheese (!). And it’s all very high-fat and umami, laced as it is with nuts and avocado and coconut oil, with nutritional yeast and miso. As far as self-created problems go, it’s an excellent one.

A bad picture of last night's excellent dinner: rice with fried chickpeas, roasted chipotle-lime butternut squash, arugula, and pumpkin seeds. The sauce is tomatillo salsa whirred in the blender with cilantro and raw cashews, and it might be the best sauce I ever made. Just saying.
Meanwhile, this smoothie. It is simply fantastic, cleanse or no. It actually tastes startlingly like blueberry cheesecake, but then again the last normal thing I ate was a 9- by 13-inch casserole of artichoke dip on New Year’s Eve, so I may not be the best judge. Still, it is rich and creamy, tangy and nutty and deeply satisfying. I really think so. The particular regimen I follow has you drinking a smoothie for breakfast, hence all the fat and protein. If you were going for a lighter snack-type thing, you could eliminate some of the nuts.

Ben's bowl had more romaine lettuce than anything else, but hey, he was satisfied! Just kidding. He ate an entire package of deli turkey afterwards.

Happy new year from my cold, clean world where you feel the exact same way all day long from morning to night. Sigh.

xo

The greens turn things a little browner, if you know your color mixing. 

Blueberry Pie Smoothie
Makes 2 servings

If you have a high-powered blender, definitely add the greens. We just got one, and I can’t believe the extent to which greens disappear into a smoothie. Otherwise, add the greens only if you don’t mind the flecks. The dates are for sweetness; add a different sweetener if you prefer.

1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup almond milk, coconut milk, or normal milk like a normal person
A tablespoon or two of toasted pecans (optional)
¼ cup almonds, ideally soaked in water overnight and then drained
1 heaping tablespoon almond butter
Pinch of salt (if the almond butter is unsalted)
1 tablespoon vanilla (Turns out, I am the kind of person who sneaks booze into my smoothie.)
The juice and grated zest of half a lemon
2 pitted dates
A small handful of spinach or kale (optional)

Put all the ingredients in a blender jar and whir them together until smooth, 1-2 minutes. 

33 comments:

  1. I am always on the lookout for good dairy-free smoothies! And you know I'm in for a cashew cheese recipe. :)

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  2. Anonymous1:14 PM

    I don't mean to sound rude, and I'm glad you like it (I believe it MIGHT taste great), but... no thanks ;)

    Angela

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  3. You have, once again, summed up so delightfully something that is so real in my life. I am about to re-start the same diet again in a couple weeks (after I indulge in lots of wheat and cheese and sugar when we go to Porches next week). I'm dreading the initial part so much but remember what the feeling strong and healthy part is like. And I need that! Keep posting, please!

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  4. Will you come and cook for me? Whole artichoke dips followed by healthy, time-consuming cleanses? You've got all that extra energy now, and all. And also, a whole TABLE spoon of vanilla!? Are you kidding me?

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  5. Not cleansing but definitely starting back in the elimination phase of my AIP/Paleo way of eating. I indulged in the nightshades and cheese quite a bit during the holidays and ooff, it's been painful, and bloaty, and not comfortable. So buh-bye (for now) coffee, gluten, grains, dairy...You can't have my nuts quite yet...I need them for a couple more weeks. This time last year your Soup for One recipe kicked off my research into ingredients which lead me to AIP so many, many thanks for that!

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  6. I want all the recipes (last night's dinner included). I've never done a cleanse. I am curious, especially with the claims of more energy (yes, please). Good luck. I know you will do well (despite feta temptations and all). Happy New Year! xo

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  7. It must say something about the state of my new post-cancer diagnosis diet that all of these dishes look rich and delicious. The only thing I absolutely avoid is refined sugar (so hard!) so your comment about the date cracked me right up. The smoothie looks delicious!

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  8. The Cleanse began here today too. I had a salad with tahini dressing on it for lunch that was one of the worst things I've ever eaten. Your smoothie looks good!

    I got a great Christmas gift from my husband! He pre-ordered your book from our local bookstore, then printed out a picture of your cover and pasted it onto a field guide and wrapped it!

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  9. Yes! Please write more about it. Very interested :-)

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  10. You're just so damned funny.

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  11. I've done that cleanse! I'd love to hear any family-friendly recipes you discover. Might be easier with teens than toddlers though....

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  12. I'm ready for that fried chickpea and cashew sauce recipe any time. :-)

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  13. Anonymous1:58 PM

    I read your recipes whether I am interested in making them or not, just for the entertainment value. :)

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  14. Last night I tried a cleanse drink with turmeric in it - I gagged on my one sip and then realized it stained one of my favorite tumbler glasses (Go Bobcats) and I was so agged about the whole thing I dumped the remaining horrible liquid down the drain.

    After reading about your clean diet, self imposed predicament, I suddenly need some cheese its. Happy New Year brave Catherine - feel great and enjoy your high energy.. I'm laying on the couch - come join me when you're done. ;)

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  15. Verity4:09 PM

    I so want to be the sort of person who would do this or indeed make any of your delicious recipes but I never will be. I just read them like food porn while heating up a pizza and willing myself to buy almond milk or something!

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  16. I love the intro about your dreams! Stumps for hands.......lol....and describing Birdy as like a naughty baby, lol! You crack me up. I will not be trying the cleanse, I just skip dinner every now and then, that's my weight loss tip. Ha ha!

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  17. I was feeling really good about myself until I read this. I'm guessing that not eating the rice at PF CHang's doesn't count as a cleanse.

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  18. Thank you for sharing valuable information. Nice post. I enjoyed reading this post.
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  19. "where you feel the exact same way all day long from morning to night. Sigh." What an incredibly apt description for January. And February.

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  20. Yes PLEASE write about the cleanse. And maybe you could publish the whole thing? (with all your extra energy...) I am doing the Bon Appetit Food Lovers Cleanse and it's...ok. I've never done one before so it's encouraging to hear I'll be feeling energetic and healthy soon. But I'm sure I'd enjoy the Catherine Newman cleanse much, much more!

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  21. I did a detox/cleanse for the first time this fall and LOVED LOVED LOVED it. Since I also love your writing, I feel like your writing about a cleanse would basically be the best thing ever. Please!

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  22. Like the first photo :)
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    Maria V.

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  23. I would love to hear more about your cleanse! I'm intrigued. I'd also love the recipes you mention.

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  24. Karen5:37 AM

    Please tell us the "rules" for your cleanse!

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  25. Our blender stopped working so please tell us about your new one! I have one boy here in smoothie withdrawal

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  26. JoeMama2:17 PM

    In general I am skeptical of cleanses and their claims to how it will REVOLUTIONIZE your life or provide the key to new found REVITALIZATION. Most of the time I just feel grumpy that I can't have wine, cheese, bread and coffee. BUT, I am starting this cleanse TODAY, knowing that most everything you recommend has been wonderful in my experience. So yes, please, more clean recipes and writing about the whole (dreadful and wonderful) process. Wish me fortitude because god knows I love cheese.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous4:51 AM

      I think it all depends on what you want and expect. A "detox" is just an advertising trap, our bodies don't "build up toxins" from poor eating, nor does drinking juice combinations "rid our bodies" of anything. But eating healthy food as opposed to eating Cheetos and drinking sweet fizzy stuff will certainly make you feel more energetic. Eating only as much as you need is also important... and is the opposite of what I do at Christmas! Hence I feel really sluggish at Christmas, then I cut out the cakes, chocolate and alcohol in January, plus eat normal portions again, and voila! more energy. You could call it a cleanse, of sorts.
      Angela

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    2. Anonymous4:53 AM

      PS I still eat cheese and drink coffee, basic essentials ;)
      Angela

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    3. Anonymous4:55 AM

      And bread! Just less.

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  27. Would love to hear more of your "clean-eating" thoughts!!!

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  28. I was often getting injured and sick because my body was constantly at odds with what I was putting in it. So, in order to supplement things in my diet, I started taking Green drink.

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  29. This recipe is delicious, you're the best, thanks for sharing.




    simon

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