In Which a Summer Cooler Gets a Veggie Boost..

The carrot is IN the shake...

The thing about vegetable drinks is that many people in this part of the world think they are completely, utterly, and undeniably vile.  This, alas, is due in part to the rants and ravings of those raw-food advocates, vegans [shudders in horror], and those wannabe healthy eaters who tout the dubious virtues of this or that tonic pressed from the leaves of [insert name of horrid-tasting vegetable of choice here].

Healthy food, in my personal opinion, should not have to look or even taste like toxic sludge.  Aside from making eaters look good and feel good, it should still look appealing and still taste great.  That said, commercially produced vegetable juices and smoothies have recently risen to the level of classy and gorgeous-tasting sips.  Tomato juice, in particular, has been a long-time favorite and is the basis for the classic Bloody Mary cocktail.  More recently, cucumber soda and its still counterpart cucumber presse have been gaining popularity as summer coolers.  UK’s Waitrose chain of supermarkets even came out with a healthy line of bottled smoothies using various fruit and veg combos.  And, of course, carrot juice has long been a popular way of getting picky kids to get more veg in their diets.

However, I am still a fan of using whole carrots for preparing drinks.  You get to maximize the nutritive value of the vegetable and leaves hardly any waste.  Case in point: this recent experiment I did at home involving fresh fruit, soy milk, and a carrot.

This particular smoothie is naturally sweet even without the addition of sugar, honey, or artificial sweeteners due to the use of bananas, carrots, and mangoes in season.  It has loads of fiber and calcium and can actually replace a meal as it’s quite rich and filling.  Plus, the whimsical name I gave it should be enough to cajole kids into taking it in as one of their five-a-day.

I Has a Bunny Smoothie

  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and chunked
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 medium-sized ripe banana, peeled and chunked
  • 1 cup low-fat milk or plain soy milk
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes

Place all the ingredients in a blender.  Blitz at the highest speed for 30 – 45 seconds.  Lower speed down a notch and blitz an additional 20 seconds.  Pour into ready glasses.  Serves 2 as a regular beverage and 1 as a meal replacement.