LET’S COOK: In praise of smoothies
Snowflakes have been lightly falling and Christmas trees are beginning to be lit up and down the avenues; we know that the season of advent is upon us. Advent is the time for us to prepare for the coming of the Christ Child and Christmas. In our world today, the Christmas season brings lots of rushing and lots of “oh my, I have so much to do” comments. We have only known for 12 months that Christmas is coming. So often with this mad dash to make everything perfect and possible at Christmas, we forget to take time to reflect, ponder and wait with patience and wonder.
This often comes because we have mistletoe to hand, holly to hang, and parcels that need wrapping to be sent across the miles. Then there is the concern of the family Christmas card and which picture should we select. In our home, we often think we have captured the image earlier in the year showing our young side with a flare of fun. Then when the time comes to relook at the image, we realize “I have a double chin on that pose!” so thus a Christmas card photo retake is necessary.
The list goes on-baking, cookie decorating, Christmas programs to attend, lighting of the town Christmas tree, and we can’t forget about the office parties! Now if you are of the nature to make your Christmas gifts, that does triple your stress. After staying up until 3 a.m. working on quilts, photo calendars and wooden dollhouses, your eyes will be red with green bags under them, for sure.
During this fast-paced season of Christmas, we need a tasty, quick breakfast drink that gives not only energy, but wonderful nutrition. By fueling up right away in the morning, you will have the stamina to complete the 999 items on your Christmas to-do list. I am inviting you to join the breakfast smoothie club. In our home we are all members of the Simply Smoothie Brigade. We often have protein rich smoothies before we rush off to school and work, before heading out the door early Sunday morning for choir practice, and sometimes in the afternoon as a pick-me-up when the garage needs cleaning.
I sum up smoothies as simple virtues. Their homespun goodness with healthy ingredients are a sensible way to start a busy day. They can be made year round with seasonal fruits. Just as a glass of strawberry lemonade is a cool welcome in the summer heat, smoothies are a satisfying in the autumn with pumpkin and warm spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. With the availability of many frozen fruits at supermarkets, we can enjoy blueberry, mango and strawberry smoothies anytime of the year.
A favorite smoothie in our home is blueberry-cranberry with a touch of banana. You have seen the color of this smoothie in the night skies of North Dakota. It is that lavender tone that appears between the pink and yellow nightfall which is often followed by night skies strewn with stars. If you are wondering how to reflect the stars in a smoothie-and I knew you were-simply toss some ice chips on the top of your finished drink. We often add wheat germ or ground flax seed to our smoothies which is an easy way to enjoy extra protein.
So there you have it-a smoothie that reflects part of our North Dakota Twilight. It is a smoothie that will give you energy all year long but especially the busy holiday season.
As we return to the Christmas list, be sure to add some time for friendship, kind words, and much understanding. As carols and chimes flood the air, let us stop and listen. May we put in our hearts the evergreen feeling of peace. These are just a few of the lasting gifts of beauty which make us rich and blessed.
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