February 28, 2011

Smooth Moves

I’d like to begin by thanking Gale Gand – acclaimed pastry chef (you may have seen her as a guest judge on Top Chef Desserts) and host of the once-on-air show, Sweet Dreams.

It was the summer before college, I was wrapped up in a blanket at an unreasonably early time of day, flipping through the infomercials and other A.M. television fodder, when I happened upon Gale, her adorable brunette bob, and an incredible milk shake recipe.

Frothy, light, and luscious, the milk-based treat was irresistible. But this is far from the end of the story. Because there wasn’t a scoop of ice cream to be found in that glass. No, not even a drip.

Gale had used frozen green apples as the base of the shake and with a cup of milk and a drizzle of vanilla, she turned the doctor’s nemesis into a fountain shop dream.

Inspired? You bet.

It was the perfect example of culinary trickery and it proved that, when you pair unexpected ingredients with a traditional recipe, it gets elevated to new levels of awesome.

So that brings us to the creamy concoction you see below.

Want to know what’s in it? Here’s a hint: there isn’t a drop of dairy, only one fruit, and a vegetable. Yes, a vegetable. And it still tasted like a vanilla smoothie shake.

As a result of getting obsessed with juicing – I’m not talking about steroids, but my new compact Breville magic machine – I’ve begun blending leftover vegetables when an extractor cannot be found. I find it to be a great way to give my bod the nutrients it needs and to experiment with unexpected food combinations as well.

So when I found myself with half of a yellow squash to enjoy, instead of throwing it in a frittata or a bowl of pasta, I threw it in a blender with a banana, a squeeze of orange juice, 1/4 cup of coconut milk, and a drizzle of vanilla (in honor of Ms. Gand).

That was it. A perfect way to start the morning or cure that afternoon snack attack. It will satisfy your sweet tooth without the guilt of eating an entire bag of skittles by yourself before 9am. Not that I did that yesterday. And just imagine serving these sunrise stunners to a table of brunch guests, only revealing the true ingredients once the glasses had been slurped dry.

Impressed? You bet.

Blend on.

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