30 June 2013

From Swamp To Table

Upon tasting this recipe the first word that sprang to mind was "swampy."  My second thought was, "I just wasted four perfectly good stone fruits and some fairly expensive yogurt."

My first clue that something was awry should have been when I discovered that the protein powder was green.  Olive green, no less.  But I was feeling optimistic and it was plant-based after all, so what is a little chlorophyll?  So there it went, into my delicious smoothie base in the best kitchen appliance ever: the Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus.  Economical, powerful, and pretty!  (Everything I strive to be!  Does that mean I have an appliance as a role model?)

First, the ingredients and tools (I forgot to photograph the spatula I used.  Big deal.).  Innocuous looking, aren't they?

Nothing scary about this cast of characters!  Right?
Now onto the recipe (and method):
  • 1 banana (organic, non-Dole brand preferred... I'll write more about the Dole Corp. later)
  • 1 plum
  • 3 apricots
  • 1/2 c. So Delicious brand unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 c. White Mountain brand non-fat Bulgarian yogurt (similar to Greek yogurt or kefir)
  • 1 packet of original flavour Amazing Meal plant-based protein powder

Step One - Slice and dice fruit into manageable chunks (remove and discard pits/stones, duh); put into blender or food processor (also, duh).

Step Two - Add coconut milk and yogurt; pulse/blend until partially liquefied, but still a bit chunky.

Step Three - Add protein powder (contents, not envelope... although I'm not entirely convinced that would negatively affect the taste) and pulse/blend once more until desired consistency.

Step Four - Optional!  Add sweetener of your choice: sugar (I prefer raw), honey (again, I prefer raw), stevia, agave syrup, or plain ol' white granulated sugar (which defeats the purpose of this being a healthy, non-crap-filled meal but suit yourself).

*Note: I chose not to add any sweetener because I simply didn't have any on hand.  Raw honey or agave syrup probably would have improved the taste, but I guess I'll never know!

Step Five - Pour into some sort of glass, if you dare.  Makes two approximately 8 ounce servings.  Sadly...

As I mentioned above, I should have taken the greenish powder as a red flag but persisted on my mission entirely heedless of the likely unpleasant consequences. 

At first all seemed to be going well... the fruit, coconut milk, and yogurt created a lovely bright coral colour when incorporated.

Then came the beginning of the end: the green powder lent its unfortunate colour to the previously appealing concoction.  The smoothie now closely resembled scummy pond water.  The protein powder also contributed a flavour that I can only describe as, "earthy and green in a manner not unlike compost."  Not that I know what compost tastes like first hand (I could ask my dog Gatsby who partakes of it at every opportunity), but I certainly know how it smells and can use my imagination from there.

The first flavours that hit your tongue are surprisingly banana, plum, and apricot.  Unfortunately this is followed by a lingering, bitter, compost-y aftertaste.  That was the only incentive I had to finish my single serving.  That and my refusal to be defeated by green sludge that has many healthful benefits (which it does; I can't knock it for that).

In conclusion, I may be willing to try the flavoured varieties offered by this brand... but the fact that I rinsed my mouth out with a 50/50 mixture of cider vinegar and water (which is also what I use as a cleaning agent around the house...) gives me pause.

P.S.  I don't know why I included the recipe; I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

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