Back in 2013 I developed a signature menu for Aro Ha to get them up and running — dozens and dozens of recipes for smoothies, salads, appetizers, snacks, sandwiches, etc… For those of you who don’t know, Aro Ha is an award winning retreat center in New Zealand co-created by my dear friend (and fellow New Mexican) Damian Chaparro. I was flipping through their website the other day and discovered an old post I had written for a fun breakfast smoothie, and thought it would be great to share again here. Feel free to cruise over to their site to view the original post, or the sumptuous photos of their eco-luxury wellness experience. Enjoy!
Earl Grey was my mother’s favorite tea all throughout my childhood. When I was a teenager, I imitated her by ordering it for myself as soon as I began exploring coffee shops. It was on one such occasion when I discovered that something called “bergamot” imparted Earl Grey Tea with it’s signature flavor. Anyone who drinks Earl Grey figures this out this sooner or later, but for my epicurious adolescent self it came as quite a discovery that the ingredients in Earl Grey were not rare herbs or special varietals of tea plant; but simply black tea flavored with bergamot essential oil. It came as another revelation (many years later) to learn that bergamot was a kind of citrus fruit, an orange to be exact.
Unlike Jean-Luc Picard, my mother’s favorite way to drink Earl Grey was always with a splash of cream and maybe a bit of honey. Earl Grey in this fashion is like warm, sweet milk, perfumed with an exotic summer afternoon. Earl Grey’s capacity to evoke ethereal notions is probably why it exploded on the scene as a tea time favorite in the UK all the way back in the 1820s. In honor of the love affair we’ve all been having with Earl Grey and the bergamot orange for nearly 200 years, I would like share my latest green smoothie breakfast solution, which brings the thrill of Earl Grey back to mornings without the caffeine.
I call it, The Earl Green.
1 1/2 c. Honey Almond Milk (see recipe below)
1/2 c. young coconut meat
1 orange, peeled
1/4 c. fennel, chopped
1-2 handfuls of greens (romaine, spring mix, spinach, kale, etc.)
1/2 t. (or more!) spirulina, E3Live, or Billy’s Infinity Greens
5 drops liquid stevia (to taste)
2-3 drops bergamot essential oil
1 cup ice
Blend everything together until smooth and creamy, and enjoy! This recipe makes about 3 cups and is a good serving for one person. Drinking your greens in the morning is a great way to start the day, and the more greens you eat, the more you start to crave them. Green smoothies are something of a catch-all solution to many common health ailments, and if you’d like to read more about their restorative powers I totally recommend Victoria Boutenko’s book Green For Life.
For those of you who haven’t kicked caffeine or the Earl Grey habit yet (don’t worry, you’re not alone) here’s an upgraded way to enjoy your hot beverages. Once you’ve soaked the nuts, this sprouted nut milk takes less than 10 minutes to put together and is totally free of the preservatives and natural/artificial flavors commonly found in cartoned nut milks you buy off the supermarket shelf. As an added bonus, it comes alive and kickin’ with enzymatic activity and precious healthy fats. Woo hoo!
Honey Almond Milk
1/4 c. raw pine nuts, ideally soaked for about 2 hours to sprout.
3 T. raw almond butter
2 T. raw, unfiltered honey (swap in some stevia if you’re avoiding sugar)
1/4 t. ground vanilla bean
1/4 t. vanilla extract
2 pinches sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
Combine the above ingredients and blend with 1 cup of water for a few minutes until totally smooth. This ensures your milk is ultra creamy and you don’t have any little bits of nuts floating in it. Then blend the milk with another 3 cups of water to expand and froth it up. It’s almost like foamed milk at this point and super awesome for lattes. Store in a clean quart jar in your fridge — it will keep for about a week.