Smoothie Moves

Story and photos by Brandon Matzek

 

 

 

 

 

 

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During the warm months of summer, there is nothing I want less in the morning than a steaming hot cup of dark coffee. Instead, I prefer to jump-start my day with an icy cold, refreshing smoothie-particularly something packed with protein, fiber and, of course, flavor.

One might recoil at beets for breakfast (or dessert). However, I assure you that their sweet, earthy flavor works. Roasting beets intensifies their natural sugars, creating a perfect accompaniment to tart mixed berries. When blended into the smoothie, Greek yogurt lends silkiness while providing a hit of protein. Almonds are for texture, and honey offers a warm, floral sweetness. The finished smoothie is balanced and bold, touting the most vibrant shade of purple.

Utterly useless before my morning beverage, I find the task of roasting beets for a smoothie at 6 a.m. a bit ridiculous. To prepare for the workweek, I simply roast a small bunch of baby candy beets over the weekend and store them in the refrigerator. You'll need about two beets per smoothie.

Mixed Berry And Candy Beet Smoothie

(serves 1)
Ingredients
2 baby candy beets, washed and trimmed of greens*?Canola oil (or other unflavored oil)
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (low-fat is fine)
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons almonds
1 cup frozen mixed berries
2 to 3 ice cubes
Orange slices, to garnish

Process

Roast the beets. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place beets on a square of aluminum foil. Drizzle with canola oil, then wrap foil tightly around the beets. Cook beets in the oven until an inserted knife meets little resistance (25 - 35 minutes). Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Prepare the beets. Once the beets are cool enough to handle, rub the skin off using a paper towel. You can also use a spoon to gently scrape off skin. Discard skins. Rough-chop two beets and measure out a heaping 1/3 cup. Save leftovers for future use.

Assemble the smoothie. To a blender, add Greek yogurt, honey, orange juice, almonds, berries, chopped beets and ice. Blend until smooth (at least 1 minute).

Serve. Pour smoothie into a glass and garnish with slice of fresh orange. You can prepare this smoothie a few hours in advance, but it is best enjoyed immediately.

Watch out. For brain freeze. Cool, man, cool...

*If you can't find baby candy beets, use regular beets. Larger beets require additional time roasting in the oven (50 minutes to an hour). Add a heaping 1/3 cup of chopped beets to the smoothie.

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