Easter may be over, but I have a smoothie recipe that will brighten up even the rainiest of April days! With the warmer weather here, I’m finally craving morning smoothies and enjoying big raw salads for lunch again – oh how I missed this! My local CSA is back up and running in full swing, and I’ve been getting the most incredible weekly boxes of fresh produce. With the long cold winter we had, it’s been a slower start to the spring harvest, but this week’s box included some cute little carrots with gorgeous green tops that I couldn’t help but use in a smoothie and juice.
It’s been a total blessing connecting with Guilford Gardens here, and having access to locally grown organic produce. I’ll admit one of the hardest things about moving to Oklahoma has been the loss of my weekend farmer’s market outings. I dearly miss that culture and connection, my life in DC and summers in Vermont revolved around biking to the markets, gathering with friends in the park and enjoying late brunches feasting on fresh finds. My biggest dream for this up and coming community here in OKC is to revive the old Public Farmer’s Market and make it a place where people gather. I keep whispering into my city planner boyfriend’s ear about how someone really ought to make that happen! But until then, I’ll keep thanking the folks who make this CSA possible!
So with these fresh weekly baskets, I challenge myself to create as many different meals as I can with the ingredients. Last week, I made a beet gnocchi and used the beet greens in my pesto. This week, I’m keeping with the pesto kick but used the gorgeous chard and paired it parsley and pumpkin seeds, spread over top my spaghetti squash dinner. Then of course, this vibrant carrot smoothie. There are really two ways you can make this, by juicing the carrots and using the juice in place of the hemp milk, or just by peeling them whole and pureeing them in the blender. Call me lazy, I opted for less clean up and the extra fiber by combining it all in my blender at once. I use a Vitamix, a high-powered blender that turns everything into smooth creamy deliciousness in a matter of seconds, but if you’re working with a lower powered machine, I might recommend adding the hemp milk and carrots first to liquefy and smooth out the texture before adding in the remaining ingredients. Give it a try and let me know what you think of this beta-carotene, magnesium + omega-rich smoothie!
CARROT, CINNAMON & CACAO SMOOTHIE
2 frozen bananas
2 large carrots, peeled & chopped
1 cup hemp milk
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp maca powder
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla bean powder
1 tsp flax oil
Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender, puree until creamy smooth. Pour into a glass and garnish with a sprinkle of raw cacao nibs and a pinch of cinnamon. Enjoy this thick milkshake-like smoothie with a spoon or a straw.