a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Monday, March 28, 2011

Give me the fruit off the vine

The fruit smootie, which I have named the purple slurple

By Scott Beveridge

The like-new fruit smoothie maker came my way 10 months ago in a small inheritance.

I had purchased the white plastic blender nearly as many years ago for my mom when she was first diagnosed with cancer, thinking adding more fruit in her diet would boost her immune system.

She might have used it once, and then left it on her counter to fool me into assuming it had become a useful appliance in her kitchen. She twice beat cancer, though, before dying of complicating factors from the disease and after, instead, choosing green tea as her elixir of life.

Then the smoothie machine sat atop my clothes dryer waiting for me to decide whether to put it to good use or donate it to a charity thrift shop.

The wait ended Friday at the start of a long weekend away from the newsroom. I decided to ingest fruit smoothies as, either a detox, or a road to improving my diet as I approach my mid-50s. A vegetarian diet is not an option because I would need rehab to break my habit of eating an occasional bacon cheeseburger, or deep counseling over a compulsion to toast marshmallows made with seaweed rather than animal hooves gelatin.

I turn to Google to find recipes for the healthiest smoothie recipes only to find many using yogurt as a base. That stuff literally makes me gag, as does tomato juice, no matter how much I want to like those things.

A number of other smoothie detox drinks call raw granola, oatmeal, wheat germ or flaxseed, roughage that sounds better suited for horse feed than a refreshing morning fruit cocktail.

So I decide to concoct the following recipe:

1 lime, peeled
1 large naval orange, peeled
1 unpeeled apple cut into quarters, seeds removed
Small handfuls of frozen blackberries and blueberries
1 banana, peeled
½ cup of Ocean Spray 100 percent cranberry juice
2 tablespoons of confectioner sugar, for good measure

OK. The results. The first glass went down smooth, while the second took a bit of coaxing. Sure. I did feel an energy boost, but not one similar to those crash and burn highs derived from drinking a pot of coffee. On the third day I concluded I’d rather eat fruit the way it comes off the tree, bush or vine. The remaining blueberries and blackberries will taste great atop scoops of Ben and Jerry’s French vanilla ice cream.

So long smoothie maker, and your labor intense route to a healthy diet.

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