Thursday, February 13, 2014

Strawberry Cherry Smoothie with Cocoa Nibs & Lavender

The beauty of this smoothie is in its unexpected simplicity.  It has so many wonderful layers, from the sweet tartness of the fruit, the creamy mouth feel of coconut milk, the accent of rich, chocolate rising and falling on the palate with the occasional crunch, to the gentle, soothing aroma of lavender buds.  And yet, it only has six ingredients. [cue audience applause]

I recently whipped this together for a party I catered, and the guests went absolutely bonkers for it (there really is no other word for it).  I served it in martini glasses as the last of four courses, and watching their heads tilt back in bliss with a quiet smile, spoonfuls growing smaller as they attempted to stave off the temptation to inhale it, and listening to the quiet but excited whispers as they discussed how delicious it was and began guessing what ingredients were responsible for the collective happiness of their taste buds, was quite a "proud papa" moment, needless to say.  

Saving best for last...

So taking into account the sense-stimulating nature of the ingredients and how they all seamlessly tie into the romantic connotations of Valentine's Day, I felt today would be a perfect time to share this super simple spoonable smoothie recipe.  

Whether for breakfast, a midday pick-me-up, or as a dessert to savor by candlelight, it's a treat that can help anyone to feel loved.

Strawberry Cherry Smoothie with Cocoa Nibs 
Gluten-Free & Vegan

Active Prep Time:  less than 1 minute
Inactive Prep Time: none
Blending Time:  1-2 minutes
Yield:  about 2 1/2 cups (two large glasses or four short glasses)

2 c (16 oz) unsweetened coconut milk beverage
2 medium bananas, sliced and frozen
1/2 c frozen cherries
1/2 c frozen strawberries
1 tablespoon raw cocoa nibs
1-2 pinches Himalayan pink salt

lavender buds & extra cocoa nibs to garnish

What you'll need:  Blender or food processor

1.  Combine all ingredients in blender.  Pulse a few times to begin breaking up the ingredients, and then allow to run continuously until desired consistency has been reached.
2.  Before serving, rub the lavender buds gently between your fingers as you sprinkle them on top.  This will help to activate the essential oils and bring out the aroma.  Remember that a little can go a long way.

Ingredients getting cozy.

So happy together.

I hope you enjoy this loving smoothie as much as I do.  In fact, I am enjoying it as I type (doing my best to not dribble it on the keyboard or spill it onto my very beige carpet).  Feel free to make it your own with any variety of additional ingredients that would personally make you, or the person with whom you are sharing it, feel extra special.  

Wishing you Love, Light, and Laughter from a place of Peace and Excitement - 
Happy Valentine's Day.

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