The popularity of “green” smoothies… loaded with kale, spinach or other good-for-you leafy greens… remains strong, with a seemingly endless variety of combinations possible. They are a staple of our own morning routine nearly every day of the week, give or take only one or two. And while they can vary from day to day… both in flavor and hue… Stemilt apples are a common thread.
In our smoothies, apples are kind of the canvas that all other flavors get layered into. If this sounds a bit artsy…it’s truly not far off. I think of the layers of flavor as much as I do the color of these smoothies. (Though I have to admit that mornings I’m not in charge of the blender, color is not a point of consideration. Oftentimes, these equally delicious and nutritious varieties are more mud brown in tone… good, but not pretty.)
For finicky eaters, color and presentation are often very important (whether they realize it or not). (For creatives, this can also be true.) And regardless of the hue, flavor is always paramount. That’s why apples are a great staple. I can’t think of one variety that wouldn’t make a terrific base on which to build flavor in a smoothie (and certain varieties lend better to smoothies and juices than others, as is evident with Stemilt’s new Fresh Blenders apples).
When thinking of what might make a great, simple flavor combination, I couldn’t get much past apples and strawberries. There’s a great breakfast shop near our home that serves a simple little chop of fresh apples and berries to top their waffles and/or pancakes and I’m always surprised at how lovely that flavor is, the strawberries macerating a little and tinting the apple with both color and flavor. And these two fruits together with a touch of basil is delicious…so why not a smoothie!
In an effort to appeal to the more discerning (finicky) eye and palate…those they might turn a nose at something so obviously kale- or spinach- driven…I opted for romaine, a green that is so subtle in hue that it doesn’t fight with the deep red of strawberries to make…well…a muddy tone.
While romaine might not be the “leafy green” most would turn to, when you are dealing with finicky eyes and tummies, it’s a great option…becoming kind of a hidden green due to its subtle coloration. Compared with spinach, romaine delivers more Vitamin A per cup, about one-third the level of Vitamin K, and more micrograms of beta carotene, making it a great starter green for the less-than-enthusiastic smoothie drinker. Each 12-ounce serving of this smoothie delivers approximately 52.2% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin A and approximately 71.2% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C (based on a 2,000 calorie diet). And, the final product looks more like a fruit-slush treat than a good-for-you concoction.
Here, Stemilt’s delicious Pink Lady apples are combined with vibrant, red strawberries, fresh basil, romaine leaves, lime zest, and some flax seed for a smoothie that would be welcome any time of the day…offering a delicious way to start the morning or even a great treat for kids getting home from school. The apple-berry combo is highlighted by a light hint of sweet basil and brightened with the addition of lime zest. The flax seed is a great supplemental nutritious add that doesn’t fight for the flavor limelight; happy to remain in the background along with the romaine. It’s a great smoothie option, finicky or not.