“Citrus fruits are some of the very few redeeming aspects of winter,” I declared with no uncertainty in my voice, immediately following yet another grating comment about all of the snow. Just as the novelty of trudging through dense, wet, frozen slush wears out quickly, so does one’s patience for hearing about it. So, instead of boring you with yet another long rant about how nasty this season has been behaving, let’s skip right to the good stuff, shall we?
Blood oranges, those elusive orange globes that masquerade as a standard Navel or Valencia, only reveal their true colors when sliced open. Crimson red, their juicy dips do look every bit as macabre as their name, but their flavor is so much more enticing. A bit sharper and more intense than their paler brethren, these babies are worth waiting all year for. Their season is pitifully short though, so enjoy them while you can- As soon as that snow starts to thaw, they’ll vanish from store shelves and farmers markets so fast, it will be like there never were blood oranges at all.
Though this sweet and tangy winter smoothie is a disarming shade of creamy pink, it actually tastes like a brilliant orange creamsicle. Thanks to the unusual hue, you could even get away with sneaking in a good splash of beet juice too, should you want to squeeze in a serving or two of veggies.
Midwinter Morning’s Dreamsicle (Blood Orange Smoothie)
2 Blood Oranges
1 Frozen Banana
1 Cup Orange Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1 – 2 Tablespoons Light Agave Nectar (Optional, if you like it sweeter)
Slice or peel away the skin from the oranges and remove any pips you should find. Toss the whole oranges, membrane and all into your blender, along with all of the remaining ingredients. Blend on high for a minute or two until pureed and completely smooth. Enjoy with a straw for ultimate satisfaction (because smoothies really taste better slurped through a straw, don’t you know.)
Serves 1 or 2