Birth of the Blender Girl
Hello, my name is Tess, and I’m a blendaholic.
And when it comes to passing on my addiction to others, I’m also an enabler. But fear not. This habit (one you may soon find yourself hooked on, too) is healthy, and comes with a blender-load of positive side effects.
We can’t bottle time, so in our hectic lives we’ve taken to bottling, canning, boxing, and vacu-packing everything else. Convenience foods offer a quick (and often, virtually empty) way to fill up on the fly, and it’s only human that we make the trade-off.
But we don’t have to compromise on health, nutrition, or good eating just because we’ve got pressing things to do. Enter the blender, which makes healthy fast food possible. This phenomenal machine is the greatest culinary gift bestowed on us since fire and spoons! Blending makes life easier, levels the playing field in the kitchen, and allows anybody to whip up nutrient-dense, tasty foods with limited skills and time.
No, we don’t check our teeth at the door. While this book does contain a repertoire of drinks, smoothies, and soups, you’ll find more here than food to sip, glug, or scoop up in a spoon. My recipes are blender centered but by no means blender only. I favor blender-inspired dishes—appetizers, snacks, salads, desserts, and easy main dishes you can attack with your trusty knife and fork. The blended components—sauces, spreads, and condiments—play a vital role in these dishes; a delicious pesto or homemade mayo can elevate that basic bowl of pasta or plate of steamed vegetables from bland and boring to brilliant.
So, okay, yes, in addition to being an addict and an enabler, I’m also a zealot! But I hasten to say, not an evangelist. I’m neither a foodie nor a chef nor a gourmet shopaholic. I’m a regular person and a self-taught cook who just loves food.
Chock-Full Chocolate Surprise
serves 2 to 4
This smoothie is a fun way to get kids to eat more veggies. Unlike the murky color of some vegetable smoothies, the brown of this smoothie makes it look like a chocolate milkshake, enabling you to hide all manner of nutritious goodies inside. And it’s so delicious and creamy, nobody will know that it contains greens! Note that the broccoli must be frozen and the cauliflower must be steamed and cooled, not raw. This is quick and easy to make if you have a bit of leftover cauliflower. If you can’t quite get your head around blending wet florets, you can always add an extra banana and reduce the sweetener.
1 cup (240ml) unsweetened soy, rice, hemp, or almond milk (strained if homemade)
1/2 teaspoon probiotic powder (optional; see note, page 30)
1/2 cup (22g) firmly packed baby spinach
1/4 cup (25g) frozen broccoli (about 2 florets)
1 banana, plus more to taste
1/2 ripe pear, cored, plus more to taste
1 cup (120g) steamed cauliflower florets (cooled completely), or an extra banana (to save time if you don’t have a bit of leftover cauliflower)
2 tablespoons cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus more to taste
1 cup (125g) ice cubes
Throw everything into your blender and puree on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until smooth and creamy. Tweak flavors to taste (you may like a bit more banana, pear, cacao, vanilla, or maple syrup).
Note: This smoothie is best consumed immediately, or the day it is made.