There’s a drink in our household that’s an almost daily ritual, a fruit smoothie with coffee and toast in the morning. At the other end of the day, and a little less often, maybe, is the hot chocolate version of the smoothie. Both feed the soul in a yin and yang sort of way, and they’re both mostly local if ingredients are purchased with that in mind.
There are a zillion versions of the smoothie – this one with peaches is our current favorite. The banana is the exotic fruit hitch for us – we can’t seem to give it up, though we will eventually out of necessity, and that’s another story.
A Fruit Smoothie Recipe
In a blender place one whole or ½ banana/ 1 ½ cups Nancy’s Lowfat Yogurt (Oregon)/ ¼ cup Rockridge Orchards‘ Cider (Washington, available at Farmer’s Markets)/ 1 cup, give or take, Remlinger Farms frozen fruit – peaches, blueberries, strawberries/ Add any supplements you like/ Let it all sit for 5 minutes allowing frozen fruit to soften, blend it all and pour into two tall or four small glasses. Measurements need not be exact – please, don ‘t arise in the morning and get out the measuring devices. It will come together, intuition kicks in, and you’ll end up with your own delicious version.
These smoothies can be embellished with healthful additives like flax, chia or hemp seed, vitamin C powder, protein powder . . . your call. And a chocolate smoothie, a definite possibility.
Then, at day’s end, there’s homemade hot chocolate, velvety dessert in a mug. Again, a mostly local indulgence when local dairy is used or even chocolate that is ‘produced’ locally, like Theo’s. And, there are no packets of quasi-chocolate mystery ingredients involved.
Decadent Hot Chocolate Recipe
*Bring whole or reduced fat milk (Organic Valley is a good choice) just to a simmer/ Stir in heaping tablespoons of chocolate cocoa powder to taste and sugar if using unsweetened chocolate – use more or less chocolate or sugar to taste/ Whisk together until dissolved over medium heat/ Finally, stir in heavy cream, as much as you like. When chocolate mixture is very hot, but not boiling, pour into mugs which might contain marshmallows.
If you have an immersion blender or a frother, whip the final mix for a few moments and achieve a frothy soft blend, or whip the cream before adding – it will take you to another level of chocolate bliss. Sit, chill out, and have a moment with your inner chocolate.
* Proportions are ambiguous in this ‘recipe’, but it would be hypocritical to pretend that I actually measure this stuff. Truthfully, the trick is in the handmade process, to assemble the key ingredients, the chocolate, the milk, cream, (marshmallows?) and have at it according to your own audience and taste. With these ingredients, and if you’re fully committed, decadence can be achieved.