When Ricki & Kim said that they would make special mention of anyone who submitted a sweet recipe to this month's SOS Challenge, I guess I took it as a personal dare. This month's challenge ingredient is asparagus, and I figured that it must be possible, especially given that raw asparagus does have a subtle sweetness to it. I do admit that I'd hoped to come up with something a bit more decadent and challenging than a smoothie, and had thoughts of turning this into a sorbet, but honestly, I've been feeling like shite the past few weeks, and ambitious culinary pursuits just haven't been in the cards. Can I confess that making and drinking this recipe, which includes fruit that I don't tolerate, didn't really help my plight? Sometimes when I'm feeling crummy, I kind of pull this idiotic psychological trick of telling myself that, "Well, I feel like crap anyway, I might as well indulge myself." Somewhere in my brain there's a thought that it can't really get any worse, but of course, that's incredibly naive of me to assume. It definitely got worse. However dear readers, this mistake is to your advantage, as not only did this experiment yield two recipes in one, it also prompted me to create a wonderfully soothing broth the next morning that helped my gut to heal, which I will also share with you within the next week.
Did you know that for many people, the adage "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," is a painful fallacy? For those with fructose malabsorption or fructose intolerance, apples are about the worst food they can consume. Fructose levels in apples in relation to their glucose levels are so high that it cripples their systems, causing anything from extreme gastrointestinal discomfort to violent mood swings and depression, and in the case of fructose malabsorption, it can be lethal. There are two types of tests for FM, a hydrogen breath test and a methane breath test. My insurance doesn't cover the doctors in Boston that offer the methane breath test, and I tested negative to the hydrogen test, but my elimination diet with a nutritionist found that I am nonetheless quite sensitive to fructose, so it has largely been eliminated in my diet. In addition to this smoothie being a light, sweet juice with incredible nutrition, with modifications it can serve as an applesauce alternative that would surely curb your or your child's cravings for a popular but forbidden snack. I will include the modifications after the lovely purple smoothie recipe.
I'd never tried acai before, and picked up these frozen smoothie packs on sale at the store mainly because it was purple, and I wanted to showcase that color to compliment the sweeter purple asparagus that I zoned in on. I was surprised at how mild a flavor it had, expecting to to be a bit sour or tart like a cranberry for some reason. The apple cider vinegar and sauerkraut in the smoothie, paired with the lime juice help to boost that tart palate that I was looking for in addition to giving you some potent probiotics and B vitamins. For anyone who is apprehensive about the ingredients of the smoothie, I beseech you to trust me; your taste buds won't detect the more unexpected ones, and for most of you, your body will thank you.* (Anyone with FM should exclude the asparagus and sauerkraut.)
TROPICAL PURPLE SMOOTHIE
1 MEDIUM JICAMA
4 LARGE PURPLE ASPARAGUS STALKS OR 6-8 THIN STALKS
1 SAMBAZON FROZEN UNSWEETENED ACAI SMOOTHIE PACK
JUICE OF 2-3 LIMES
1-2 TBS PACKED BASIL LEAVES
1 TBS SAUERKRAUT (ONE WITHOUT DILL, CARAWAY & GARLIC!)
2 TSP APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
1 TSP PURPLE DULSE FLAKES (OPTIONAL)
3/4 TSP LEMON OR LIME FLAVOR
1 1/2-2 CUPS WATER OR COCONUT WATER
LOTS 'O' STEVIA TO TASTE
PEEL THE SKIN OFF OF THE JICAMA AND CHOP, AND LOP THE DRY ENDS OFF OF THE ASPARAGUS STALKS. RUN THE SMOOTHIE PACK UNDER WARM WATER UNTIL IT BEGINS TO THAW, BUT IS STILL LARGELY FROZEN. COMBINE INGREDIENTS IN BLENDER AND BLEND UNTIL SMOOTH.
TROPICAL APPLE-LESS APPLESAUCE
1 MEDIUM JICAMA
1 SAMBAZON UNSWEETENED ACAI SMOOTHIE PACK
JUICE OF 1-2 LIMES OR LEMONS
STEVIA TO TASTE
3/4-1 CUP WATER
PEEL SKIN OFF OF JICAMA AND CHOP, AND RUN THE SMOOTHIE PACK UNDER WARM WATER UNTIL IT BEGINS TO THAW A BIT. COMBINE INGREDIENTS IN BLENDER AND BLEND UNTIL SMOOTH.
*Plus, let's be honest, who doesn't get a thrill at the idea of having a sweet treat, and having epically stinky pee? Right?