Berry and Nut Butter Smoothie

August 05, 2017

It's berry season, folks. Graham and I have been picking wild blueberries for about a month now, and the blackberries are starting to hit their stride. He wants me to tell you that he found the wild blueberries in a nearby bog and that they're much better than farmed blueberries (they are, and he did). It was a really cold July, closer to 15C than 30C most days, so everything is a little later than it should be. It's such a luxury to be able to cross the street and pick blackberries growing wild along the water, or walk a few hundred metres to gather enough to last days. They're a little tricky to pick, so luckily for us, they're left alone in large part and there are always lots. 

What do you think of vegetable gardens in front yards? We have ours in front of our house because the back garden is all stones and carefully enclosed gardens with bushes, trees, and flowers. There isn't much space for vegetables, so we ripped up half the lawn in the front and planted food. We live in a fancy neighbourhood just a few minutes from the downtown core (we don't fit in & it's painfully obvious, hah) and strangers walking along the street come into our yard and just stand there gawking at the garden. It's so weird. I can see you, jerks. It doesn't seem so strange to grow vegetables in the front yard, but I've had people come into the house and tell me it's a 'poor person garden' or 'how yards looked during the war' or that they simply don't like it, so I guess rich people don't grow their own food? 

Anyway, the reason I really have trouble wrapping my head around it is because if you have space, why wouldn't you use it to grow food?! Lawns are the fucking worst and not only pointless, but also a huge drain on resources. Even the tiniest spaces can grow food, and that's about as local as you can get. It's going to taste a lot better than anything you can buy, your footprint is a lot lower, and growing your own costs virtually nothing. We planted about 30 kohlrabi plants, and each kohlrabi at the store costs €1,50. That's 45 bucks right there. I know a lot of people live in apartments and can't have gardens, but if you have a yard, you should grow something to eat! Maybe you hate gardens - but I can't think of a real argument against having one. There's significant and increasing evidence that gardening has a positive impact on mental and physical health. Here's an excellent and very recent study on it.

I didn't mean to talk so much about urban gardening, but it's so important, and I regret nothing. This is a simple, straightforward recipe for a smoothie using the best of the season with lots of berries. It's a variation of a smoothie I've been making a lot because we haven't been buying any frozen berries, but  it's a million times better with than without. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are all great choices, so use what you have on hand. Nut butter adds protein and even though it's a minimal number of ingredients, it's a great combination. The smoothies in the pictures are made with blueberries and I think they make the prettiest colour.


Berry & Nut Butter Smoothie
Serves 2

1 cup non-dairy milk (oat or nut)
1 large overripe banana
3/4 cup berries
2 tablespoons nut or seed butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 soft dates or 1 teaspoon honey (optional, see tip)

Place all of the ingredients into a blender and mix at high speed until smooth. Serve chilled and add a teaspoon of chia if you'd like.

Tips:
• Using a frozen banana will result in a creamier, more milkshake-like smoothie. I recommend using either frozen banana or frozen berries to make sure it's cold enough, unless you want it to be room temperature.
• Try mixed berries, or raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries.
• I use peanut butter but any nut or seed butter would be great.
• Only use the sweetener if you have to use a less ripe banana. Otherwise it's sweet enough without.
• This makes a really great chia pudding. Just stir in 1/4 cup chia seeds, mix, and let it set in the fridge for at least two hours before serving.

Keep in touch! Follow @occasionallyeggs on instagram and tag me in your recreations, I love to see what you're making!
6 comments on "Berry and Nut Butter Smoothie"
  1. I love picking wild blackberries, they really do have the best flavour. This smoothie looks amazing, the colours are so vibrant. I like the idea of adding nut butter.

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    1. Thanks, Megan :) the nut butter really rounds everything out, it would be a little too juice-like without it, I think.

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  2. Unfortunately I find that Europeans are "behind" on certain trends, and this is one of them. Because they were still gardening not that long ago, they haven't yet made the full circle connection that we need to start gardening again to feed ourselves in a more efficient and sustainable way... Ugh. I feel your pain. You should perhaps find a way to politely explain to them that food security and sustainability is a worldwide issue, and ultimately, you can say that you enjoy growing your own food without pesticides. I mean, gardening IS a legitimate hobby, so what if you grow edible plants? ;) Foraging is also making a comeback everywhere, which is awesome! Lucky you to have access to delicious wild blueberries and blackberries!

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    1. Yes! That's the thing, gardening was a necessity post-war and then there was a conscious shift away as people started to have more options again. Hahaha politely in my broken German, maybe peppered with a few English curses? I do feel really lucky that it's such a lush area to live in, especially as our garden didn't do that well (I struggled with the rainier, cool climate, I think) so we have lots of wild foods available. Thank you for such a thoughtful comment, Gaby <3

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  3. We are kindred spirits. I have planted my back and front garden with my stomach in mind. I've planted fruit trees of all sorts, bushes, vines, brambles and of course veggies. We eat what the squirrels and birds leave us. There is one old Russian lady up the street who is about 100 years old who comes and plonks herself down in my front garden and eats gooseberries and black raspberries by the handful. Magical! I love the way the light hits your smoothies.

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    1. Oh, thank you for your kind comment, Hanne! Your garden sounds so lovely, what a nice balance you've been able to achieve with the local wildlife. I love that your neighbour feels that she can pick from your garden - it sounds like you're really embracing your community. Seeing this really made me day! Thank you <3

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