Celebrate the transition between summer and fall by combining each season’s best flavors in one incredible smoothie.
The end of August is such a bittersweet time of year. The passing of summer feels all too swift — wasn’t May, like, yesterday? — but it can’t be denied that the promise of cooler weather and vibrantly hued leaves holds a certain kind of excitement. This is the time of year when I truly appreciate living in the Northeast, where we’re treated to fall in all its glory, and one thing I look forward to most from season to season is the new batch of inspiration that will soon fill our local farmers’ market stands. Ripe cherries and strawberries are replaced by figs and, later, pears. Electric green zucchini move over for cold-weather squash of all varieties. These new tastes and flavors jolt our senses back to life, begging to be brought home and tossed into salads, soups and, you guessed it, smoothies of all kinds.
While we’ll soon be filling our menus with warming, hearty food to sustain us through the colder months to come, now is the perfect time to experiment with melding the flavors of late summer with early fall. I always look forward to the arrival of the first batch of black figs to the market or grocery store, and this past week it finally happened. Looking for a new way to enjoy these little jewels — besides just eating them plain (which I admit might be the best way to enjoy them) or prepared like this — I whipped up the smoothie you see here, tossing them together with a handful of frozen strawberries picked locally last month for another recipe. Naturally sweet and full of goodness, this is the perfect morning pick-me-up or, when frozen, a way-better-than-ice-cream ice cream alternative.
Fresh Fig, Pistachio & Strawberry Smoothie
Makes one large serving or two small servings
3-4 fresh black figs
1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, halved and roasted at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, cooled
1 medium banana, sliced and frozen
1 cup coconut milk, or milk of choice
1 tbsp chopped pistachios
1 tsp hemp seeds
1 tbsp granola (I prefer homemade or Grandy Oats wheat-free)
1 tsp sliced almonds
Sliced fresh figs
+ anything else your heart desires
First and foremost, that pistachio rim. To make it, dip the rim of your empty glass in honey and place in the freezer upside down on a piece of parchment paper for about 10 minutes. Remove from the parchment and dip the rim into a bowl of crushed pistachios. Place in the freezer until ready to serve.
To make the smoothie: after roasting and cooling the strawberries (tip: make a big batch ahead of time to have on hand for smoothies and desserts), combine strawberries, fresh figs, frozen banana pieces and coconut milk in a high speed blender or food processor until smooth.
Pour into the pistachio-lined glass and top with fresh figs and more crushed pistachios. Garnish with banana spears, sliced almonds, hemp seeds and granola (look for one with less than 5 grams of sugar per serving). Serve immediately, or pop it into the freezer for 20 minutes and enjoy it as a much healthier version of “ice cream”.
+ Is there an ingredient you’d like to see us tackle next? Let us know in the comments!
More healthy recipe ideas from BLDG 25