Sunday, May 19, 2013

Creamy smoothies: Peanut butter and carob (with broccoli!) and strawberry-mint-avocado (with cauliflower!)

I have given away the twist to these smoothies in the post's title. However, I figure that most of you are used to seeing odd things turn up in smoothies. It's not a big leap from spinach or kale to broccoli or cauliflower. So - I'm sharing the twist with you from the start and plan to use the rest of the post to convince you that these particular smoothie additions are worthwhile (and edible)!


I have a bit of an obsession with peanut butter and carob at the moment. To clarify: I have a bit of an obsession with peanut butter and carob together at the moment. I am obsessed with them on their own pretty much constantly. Now, I want them together in everything.

In smoothie form, this desire played out very well, in all ways except the photography aspect. To my shame, I snapped images on my phone only, and taking photos of a browny liquid in questionable lighting on my phone...well, the result wasn't great. I apologise. I was going to make another version before sharing this post, but I was so enamored with the drink that I thought you deserved to hear about it promptly.

The broccoli in this smoothie is limited to the broccoli stems. It's something I've been meaning to try it for some time, having seen the idea mentioned in various places over the years. The idea is that you have a container in your freezer that you add broccoli stems and/or other 'waste' vegetable or fruit components to, and then add them to your smoothies as desired. Once the broccoli stems are processed - and I use my food processor, not a high powered blender - they aren't noticeable at all. You end up with a creamy drink that is more like a thickshake than a smoothie, tasting as decadent as can be, but which incorporates broccoli that would otherwise be wasted. It's really quite brilliant.


Having used broccoli stems with success, the obvious next step was to try cauliflower stems. I added them to a variation of the strawberry, avocado and spearmint smoothie that Gena posted on Choosing Raw last week. 

As with the broccoli stems, the cauliflower wasn't noticeable once processed. This was also the first time I'd used avocado in a smoothie, and that wasn't noticeable either. It makes a nice change from bananas, in terms of thickening the texture and creating a creamy drink, and you could probably use water rather than milk for all of the liquid additions (I used half of each). Whilst I froze my avocado before blending, I'm not sure that's strictly necessary either.

Whether you make these particular drinks or just tuck the idea of broccoli and cauliflower stems away, I hope you end up with a smoothie that makes you as happy as these two made me!


Peanut butter and carob shake with broccoli
Serves one
Vegan


Ingredients
1 medium banana, frozen
2 tsp carob powder (or cocoa powder; adjust to taste)
1 tbsp peanut butter (or any nut butter)
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped broccoli stems, frozen
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used sweetened almond; or use coconut water or milk for a raw alternative)

Method
Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor, and process until smooth.


Strawberry-mint-avocado smoothie with cauliflower
Serves one
Vegan


Ingredients
1/2 medium hass avocado, frozen
1 cup strawberries
1 small bunch mint leaves, removed from their stem
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped cauliflower stems, frozen
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used sweetened almond; or use coconut water or milk for a raw alternative)

Method
Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor, and process until smooth.

Submitted to 5 ingredient Mondays
Raw Foods Thursdays, and
Ricki's Wellness Weekend

What do you like to add to your smoothies?

26 comments:

  1. Love the idea of adding broccoli stems to smoothies! I like using berries and almond milk.

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  2. Great idea to freeze the stems. And another great idea to then hide them in smoothies. I have been loving cucumber in my smoothies lately. :-)

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    1. I still have to try that too! I'm hoping it will allow me to use of cucumbers instead of wasting them, given my innate cucumber hatred ;)

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  3. I am all for experimenting! I really want to try that peanut butter with brocolli one!

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  4. Great idea to make a healthy smoothie - you can hide a lot of good things in there.

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    1. It's quite incredible how much :-)

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  5. I have been enamoured of a chocolate spread with peanut butter lately so I sort of understand your peanut butter carob obsession - even if not quite into the carob flavour. I quite like the idea of peanut butter in smoothies but am less inclined to experiment with it due to Sylvia's peanut allergy - however I have been experimenting with cauliflower lately so the smoothie addition sounds like a great way to get a few more veg in.

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    1. You could definitely change the peanut butter and carob for almond butter and cocoa, and I think things would still be quite wonderful :)

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  6. Oh my goodness - I am OBSESSED with the peanut butter & carob combo at the moment too! Great minds!

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  7. I think carob and peanut butter go together very well. However, it has never occurred to me to add broccoli. As you say, it's not too dissimilar to adding kale or spinach to perhaps I'll give it a try xx

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    1. I hope you enjoy it if you do - and I'm glad to find another carob/peanut butter lover. So many people dislike carob most unfairly!

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  8. I've always eaten teh broccoli stem, even as a kid. I honestly didn't realise people threw it away or tried to hide it in things. it's so good raw! Stir-fried! In soup!

    You know I'd love this. But I'm still more likely to just mix pb, carob, maple syrup, and nutritional yeast together with a spoon and eat it straight.

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    1. Yes, it can be a bit of a challenge getting the ingredients into the blender/processor rather than popping them straight in one's mouth! If you love broccoli stems that much (I don't actually mind them myself) you probably have no need for the smoothie anyway. Yay for spoon-based eating :-)

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  9. I must try this! I love trying new smoothie recipes, but never thought about putting avocado in them. To just eat avocado, I am not a fan.....I wish that I was. But I love sneaking it in things where I can't taste it. :)
    Thank you Kari!

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    1. I'm the same Brandi - I like avocado hidden in things, but not on its own or in regular sorts of savoury dishes. I hope you like this use as much as I did :)

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  10. Ooooo wacky Kari! I used to like banana smoothies.. now I can't stand bananas. My Nan puts avocado in them :) I do make green smoothies now though. Feel healthy right after consuming it!

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    1. They do have that effect - it's quite wonderful!

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  11. Great minds think alike my friend. I recently started doing the exact same thing with my broccoli and cauliflower stems. So good right?? Love the strawberry and mint combo!

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  12. Strawberry mint avocado, please. That one sounds incredible. I haven't tried broccoli or cauliflower stems yet, but now I will! What do I like in my smoothies? Absolutely everything, but I love adding spirulina to green smoothies. The color is so vibrant and it increases the protein count. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thanks Heather! Spirulina and I have a bit of a mixed relationship but I need to try and improve it I think - it is so good for you.

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  13. Both of these smoothies look fantastic! I love the idea of adding broccoli or cauliflower to smoothies! I'm featuring your smoothies this week :) Hope to see you back this week!

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