Wednesday, December 2, 2009

If You Can't Beet 'em

I don't think I've mentioned the wonderful present my husband gave me for my birthday a month ago. You may remember that every appliance in my life is falling apart and we've been living without blender. We decided we wanted to save up for a super blender (like the Vitamix or Blentec) because we were tired of medium end blenders and with the amount of green smoothies we make, a cheap blender wouldn't cut it. I know Rob and I have been vegan over 20 and 15 years respectively and lived fine, even happily, without a super blender, but the last couple years we have been longing for the power, the versatility, the ease of cleaning that only "the big two" can provide.

Usually, my birthday comes and goes without much to do. Really no to do, whatsoever. The days of my birthday meaning anything to anyone died with my mom. I'm fine with that. I don't take birthday type of attention well. It makes me feel uncomfortable and the last couple years it just reminded me how old I'm getting. Rob is a darling husband and the best friend a girl could ever hope for, but he is not one for buying flowers, showering a girl with jewelry, or surprise gifts. He sort of takes the approach in life that if I need something and we have the money, I should just go out and buy it. Why mess with a special occasion. It is hard to argue with. If not the most romantic guy in the world, he is practical and that usually stands the test of time better than conventional romance. At least with me. One of my boyfriends was big into buying me expensive presents and then we got engaged he was obsessive about cleaning my engagement ring. He was really a great guy, but it was the kiss of death for our relationship. I was attracted to Rob because he was different and not materialistic...very real.

Back to this year. I wasn't expecting anything except extra hugs and kisses from the kids and the normal sweetness from Rob. Then I noticed that Parker was a little giddy about deliveries coming to the door (since I run a retail business out of my home, usually the UPS man doesn't excite anyone except me). Then Rob asked me if I wanted to know what my birthday present was since it wouldn't arrive on my birthday (Rob is horrid with secrets, just to warn you). Present? For me? How strange. No, I didn't want to know, I wanted a surprise! Parker was in on the secret and didn't let even the slightest hint pass his lips. Well, it finally arrived and as you surely have guessed, it was a Vitamix! I was so happy and shocked that I didn't open it for a couple days. I was worried about breaking it or something. I finally got over my fear (which is understandable given all the blender woes we've had over the last couple years and reading the Vitamix manual can be a little daunting) and put that bad boy to work. It is all that and more. I'm a believer!

Unfortunately, my photos of my first smoothies may be lost to the world forever because my computer hard drive died sometime while we were in NC for Thanksgiving. Don't give me lectures about backing things up. I am very aware. We probably lost most of the pictures we have taken over the last FIVE years and it is heart breaking to say the least. I'm trying to be Zen about the whole know, I have the kids and the memories so the pictures aren't really that important, but it is sad. Life goes on.

Not only did we just jump on the mega blender bandwagon, but after reading about several bloggers adding beets to their smoothies, I decided now was the time to catch this wave as well. I'm not a huge beet fan. I like them fine and I'll eat pretty much any vegan food and enjoy it, but I don't seek beets out. Well, that has all changed. One sip of my take on the Purple Kale Smoothie (scroll down close to the bottom) and I knew beets would be a staple in my kitchen from now on.

At first, Parker wouldn't try it, which is uber unusual for him. He tries anything vegan and is one of the healthiest eaters I know. He saw me cutting up the beet and didn't like the smell. Josie was the biggest fan with Dema following close behind. The second time I made the smoothie which I now call the Purple Kale Eater Smoothie (after Purple People Eater, but with a compassionate healthy twist) it was a hit with the entire family and dare I say our current favorite.
Purple Kale Eater Smoothie
(I don't guarantee results for anything, but I especially have no idea how this will work in a non-Vitamix blender)
1 cup water
1 cup soy milk
2 cups frozen blueberries
2 bananas (peeled, duh!)
1 bunch kale (washed)
1 small beet (washed, peeled, and I quarter mine)
3 Tablespoons flax seeds (with the Vitamix you don't need to grind them first!!)
3 Tablespoons vanilla soy yogurt (optional)

This smoothie has a nice earthy taste from the beet, but it is not over powering with just the right amount of sweetness. Very refreshing and not heavy like some smoothies can be. Great year round, but especially now while local beets are easy to find.