The Local (Smoothie)

In college, friends and I would occasionally eat at a fancy little sandwich shop near our dorm. It was ridiculously expensive for our meager college budget ($7 a sandwich!), but the grub was yummy. The sandwiches had kitschy names–my favorite was ‘the Thanksgiving. Roasted turkey, mayo, cranberry sauce, AND stuffing.

Now that I’ve got you drooling and your stomachs a-rumblin’, I hope you won’t be disappointed with a recipe for a smoothie. See, it wasn’t the sandwiches I was thinking of, it was their names. I’ve always been tickled by funny punny sandwich names that reflect local celebrities, places of interest, or playoff the ingredients. Thus, I dubbed my latest smoothie  ‘the Local’.

The  locavore movement is gaining momentum, and the hard-core folks in this area really have their work cut out for them. Our Upper Midwest clime does not lend itself easily to a strictly locally begotten diet. Veggie selection is drastically reduced in the winter, no coffee, tea, or olive oil allowed. Their determination and creativity are to be admired.

I am by no means a strict locavore, but I try when I can. If eating meat and dairy, I go local, and I try to buy my veggies or fruit from local farms and farmers markets, or grow my own.

Fruits are the most difficult, and I am often putting pineapple, mango, and other tropical goodies in my smoothies. The other morning I wanted to attempt a totally local smoothie, both for the health, freshness, and environmental-friendliness of it (less fuel burned to get the food to my stomach.) Once I started thinking about it, there were quite a few options! I did break the seasonality rule a bit, by breaking out my frozen blueberries. But I put ’em up, so I figured I could enjoy them.

The Local (Smoothie)

1 apple, cored and chunked (from our neighbor’s orchard)
handful of spinach (from my garden)
1 rib celery (from the farmer’s market)
1 carrot (from the farmer’s market)
1 cup blueberries (from my garden)
1 cup strawberries (from a nearby berry farm)
1 cup apple cider (from a local orchard)
enough water to get desired texture (I like mine thin, so I add more)

Whir in blender until very smooth. If you don’t care for celery, don’t add it, as even the smallest rib is clearly evident in your finished product. I like the pleasant, vegetal note, but my husband can’t stand it.

If you’re in California or some other tropical location, you can mix up something local and amazing with ease. If you are in a northern area, here are some additional options: kale, pears, apricots, plums, cherries, summer squash, sunflower seeds, blackberries, raspberries, lettuce, or cranberries.  Let me know if you discover any mouthwatering combinations!