Monday, January 2, 2012

Youngest Hawthorne Requests A Blueberry Smoothie.

In case you didn't know, when the Hawthornelets are home from school, my kitchen ranges from a dive, a diner, to a restaurant. Most meals are done in shifts, depending on who wakes up when, or when someone comes in. And the boys expect at least 3 meals a day. If they wake up at 1 or 2, and Mr. Hawthorne and I are eating lunch, they want breakfast. They must have their meals in order. I have learned not to ask Youngest Hawthorne what he would like for lunch. I've learned this the hard way. I thought it was such an innocuous question, the answer being something simple, say, a pizza, a sandwich, a burrito, a taco, a quesadilla, a hamburger. But no. Youngest Hawthorne, when asked what he wants for lunch, without hesitation, will tell me, "Scallops on spinach and sun-dried tomato risotto with the Parmesan crisp and the pesto and the caramelized onions." And then he'll add, "I know you have pesto. You always have pesto." Yes, I always have pesto. But I don't keep fresh scallops on hand. This is a home. Not a restaurant. When I tell Youngest Hawthorne that I don't happen to have fresh scallops on hand today he actually offers to run to Billy's Seafood or the Teeter to pick up the scallops, because, as he tells me, "I know it takes you at least 30 minutes to make the risotto and I can be back in that time." What a thoughtful lad. By the way, in case you're wondering how Youngest Hawthorne came up with that request, he used to bus tables at a restaurant that happened to serve this particular dish, and, as it turned out, Mr. Hawthorne and I had recently taken a cooking class at the North Carolina Aquarium where this was the featured dish. So, to make a short story long, Youngest Hawthorne requested a blueberry smoothie. That, I can do.
I consulted my trusty inventory of the kitchen freezer. Yes, a blueberry smoothie is doable.
I put about 2 cups of frozen blueberries in my Blue Ninja. The nice thing about using frozen fruit in smoothies is that you don't have to add additional ice, which dilutes the flavor.
Did you know that blueberries are ranked as having the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits and vegetables?
Blueberries are antioxidant powerhouses. Antioxidants are essential to optimizing health by helping to combat the free radicals which can damage cellular structures, as well as DNA. Antioxidants in blueberries neutralize free radical damage to the collagen matrix of cells and tissues that can lead to cataracts, glaucoma, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, peptic ulcers, heart disease, and cancer. Studies also show that we can freeze blueberries without doing damage to their anthocyanin antioxidants. Anthocyanins are the colorful antioxidant pigments that give many foods their lovely blue, red, and purple colors. Anthocyanins are important in their support of our body systems, functioning as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Anthocyanins improve the structure of veins and the vascular system, enhancing the effects of vitamin C, allowing for the maintenance of a stable collagen matrix, which is essential for the health of bones, tendons, cartilage, and connective tissue. The collagen matrix is what keeps skin from wrinkling and sagging. Research has shown that the consumption of blueberries provides improved antioxidant defenses in body systems that need special protection from oxidative stress, like the cardiovascular system. Research has also shown that blueberries have whole body relevance. Damage to muscles from overly taxing exercise can be reduced through the consumption of blueberries. Evidence has shown that regular consumption of blueberries can protect the nervous system from oxidative stress. Blueberry intake is also responsible for antioxident protection of the blood sugar regulatory system, and for antioxidant protection of the digestive tract, particularly with respect to the colon and its risk of cancer. Blueberries inhibit cancer cell proliferation and induce programmed cell death. Blue berries contain kaempferol, a compound which has been shown to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. They also contain pterostilbene, another powerful cancer fighting compounds. Both constipation and diarrhea can be relieved with blueberries. Their tannin concentration helps to reduce inflammation in both the digestive tract and the urinary tract. Regular blueberry intake has also been shown to support healthy blood pressure. Blueberries are also high in the soluble fiber pectin, which has been shown to lower cholesterol. They are also excellent anti-depressents and mood elevators. New research on blueberries also showed cognitive benefits as well. It's this whole body antioxidant support that makes blueberries stand out as an amazing antioxidant fruit. Makes me want to go eat some blueberries right now.
This is my vanilla flavored sugar. Whenever I use vanilla beans, I store the pods in a special sugar container to infuse it with vanilla flavor.
1-2 TB of vanilla sugar.
1/2 banana, sliced. OK, Ticky. I know you have something to say.
A tablespoon or more of Mr. Hawthorne's sourwood honey from the mountains.
Only the very best honey in the world. A little heavy cream, maybe 1/4 cup.
Pour milk to cover.
Ready to rumble.
Rumble well.
And pour yourself a goblet full of blue goodness and good blueness.


Ticky said...

Funny thing though, the phallic jokes don't come as fast and furious these days. I wonder why?

Rosie Hawthorne said...

I have a theory, Ticky.
Want me to PM you?