At that time, we only had one blender, and it roared and whined so loud and obnoxiously, it would make me go a little berserk. Many times I made the grave mistake of scraping down the sides of the blender with a spoon or spatula, while the motor was running. Needless to say, there were casualties. Explosions. Smoothie running down my face and arms and all over the walls, with the spoon shooting up to the ceiling.
On more than one occasion, I had a meltdown and would find myself in the walk-in refrigerator (the only private place we had), screaming and crying. Eventually, I figured out, I could ask one of our employees to make them instead of me. So Kara became our smoothie maker. And in time, Kara ended up in the walk-in refrigerator too.
Eventually, we took them off the menu, and morale improved immediately. For a long time afterwards though, I had PTSD. Post Traumatic Smoothie disorder. I still have nightmares about making them, and to this day have a hard time with blender sounds.
Ten valuable lessons- for a good smoothie:
1. Never stick a spoon or spatula in a running blender.
2. Pour the liquid in the blender first. Then add the fruit. This will help to get things moving. Never, no matter what, add sticky or thick things like peanut butter in the blender first.
3. Start the blender on the lowest speed and gradually increase speed to highest and shut it down the same way gradually slowing it down.
5. If you can’t eat fresh fruit fast enough, freeze it for smoothies. (Peel it, cut it into small chunks, put in a zip lock) Anything goes: grapes, apples, kiwi, bananas, berries, oranges, mangoes, anything really. Avocados can even be frozen.
6. In winter, try adding something hearty or rich like bananas, nut butters, tahini, oatmeal or avocado, for a little extra heartiness.
7. A smoothie is not a milk shake. Try to keep it healthy. Otherwise, just have milkshake. (This means, leave out dairy and sugar. ) Use soy, almond, rice or coconut milk, fruit or veggie juice, aloe or just water. Use maple syrup, brown rice syrup, honey, agave, or fruit itself, as sweetener.
8. Play around with adding fresh herbs and spices and seeds.
9. Chilly frosty smoothies are yummy. Room temperature smoothies are not as tasty. If not using any frozen fruit, throw in a few ice cubes. It makes it so much more palatable.
10. If your smoothie is bland…try adding a little citrus juice, or zest to brighten up the flavor.
If you wanted you could peel, cut into cubes and freeze the kiwi ahead. Or just add a few ice cubes if you would rather have it fresh. Fresh lime juice is an immediate mood booster and brightens the flavor.
One of my secret weapons, to help stave off winter doldrums, here in the dark, cold, overcast for days in a row Northwest is …..citrus. Grapefruit, blood oranges, mandarins, Meyer lemons, limes. No, unfortunately they are not local, but they are in season….somewhere. And somehow they bring with them the warmth and sun from where they were grown. Pressing your own fresh juice releases their essential oils into the air, giving you an immediate mood boost. And the juice it self, is liquid sunshine.