Before we lived on the East Coast for eight years, I was a California girl for eleven. And yet during that initial residency in the Sunshine State, I was never much of a citrus person. Now that we are back, however, I’m all over the citrus. We even lived on Citrus Street at one point.
We’ve inherited a (sad) orange tree that I plan on not neglecting soon, friends with bags of lemons to give away, an intrastate gift of delicious grapefruits from my parents tree and a recent glut of limes from my favorite farm stand’s dollar table. With this overabundance of vibrant spheres of Vitamin C sourness (#overthetopeuphemisms), I have been forced to find ways to consume them.
Enter our friend, Vita-Mix.
My husband – we’ll call him the “Vita-Mixalogist” – started us off by recreating our 1980’s mall cruising companion, the Orange Julius. (Google it, young people.) Since I can rarely be bothered with exact measurements, here’s a detailed recipe from one of my favorite nourishing food blogs. (Hint: Vanilla extract is the secret ingredient that will bring your taste buds that OJ nostalgia.)
But we don’t bother deveining the oranges or making sure every last bit of peel (essential oils!) is off. We also vacillate between coconut milk, raw milk and organic whole milk yogurt for the creamy base. And note that raw (what?! why raw?! is that even safe?!) egg yolks are what make this a nourishing, nutrient-dense, and very orange breakfast. (Here’s a helpful primer on how to purchase clean eggs! Unfortunately, it’s more complicated than you think… #knowyourfarmers.)
Orange you thankful for the culinary gem that is the smoothie?
With that delicious victory under our belt, I decided to tackle our green friend, the lime. Despite what a great little fruit that guy is, there were not a lot of appealing lime smoothie recipes out there. I started with this recipe because we all know that you put the lime in the coconut...
But I swapped out the cucumber and put in frozen spinach to keep up with the green smoothie trend. We added frozen bananas for sweetness. And we used easier to find coconut additions like our simple, probiotic filled homemade coconut soda and BPA-free organic coconut milk. (Beware of the crazy additives in the tetra-pak coconut milks – carageenan is apparently from the fru-its of the dev-il – and consider making your own! Here’s a video on how to make it raw.)
Seriously. So good! And the fun green color will make it the perfect St. Patrick’s Day breakfast.
Then I figured that since life gave me lemons, I had to make a lemonade smoothie. (You totally saw that coming, didn’t you?) I started with this recipe that adds a nice twist with strawberries.
But since I had to stick with my color theme, I swapped those out for pineapples, which tout health benefits including improved digestion, decreased inflammation, and even helping thin congestion. I fatten it up with raw/coconut milk and/or yogurt. We also like to do a little zesting when we have the time. And at my sons request, I sweetened it with a few drops of stevia.
Breakfast o’ Champions, I tell ya. And you can turn them all up a flavorful and healthful notch by adding a few drops of the corresponding essential oils to them!
So I hope you are inspired with some new smoothie-based breakfast or snack ideas!
Now if you are the type that needs exact measurements, I’m sorry that we can’t be friends. May I encourage you to learn the art of “tasting as you go and making adjustments?” We like to call this “freestyle cooking” at our house. (I intend to write a “Choose Your Own Adventure Cookbook” someday, btw…) If you end up making too much, pour the leftovers into popsicle molds. Or if it is a total fail (though I’m inclined to believe that almost every kitchen creation is redeemable), you can at least compost it…
And in the same way that it is good for the soul to wing it in the kitchen every once in a while, I admit that it is a personal goal of mine to actually follow a recipe. Exactly. To the very end. Without substituting anything. So we’ve all got our stuff to work on. =)
There is something about citrus that brings a bright spot during its winter harvest, yet reminds us of sunny summers to come.
So enjoy its wonderfully tart taste, the beauty benefits, and then use the peels to make a non-toxic cleaner.
Or ferment yourself some Orangina. (‘Cause you know we like to ferment stuff ’round here. )
Seriously, could a food be any cooler?
Share with us your citrus musings…
Great post! Thanks for the tips. Looking forward to trying the lime recipe when our limes are ripe. The tree is flowering as we speak.
Oooh, I have citrus envy, Wendy. I would love my very own lime tree! Enjoy the smoothies and let me know if you come up with any other citrus creations.
I make my orange Julius with orange juice and half and half and ice, and i squeeze in agave and honey often but now I will add in vanilla. Best smoothie store in town had lime sorbet and pineapple juice smoothies…love the coconut milk idea. I really like the added flavor of substituting almond flour in other recipes and coconut oil or milk and I substituted coffee for water in a brownie recipe and it was more delicious…Good stuff!
Oh, I remember Orange Julius! We are big fans or green smoothies around here, great post! And thank you for the fermented orangina link, I love orangina!
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