Sunday, March 25, 2012

Breakfast Smoothie and Lemon Poppy Cake

Most mornings, I make a smoothie with greek yogurt, a banana, OJ, milk, flax seeds and a mix of frozen and fresh organic berries (usually strawberries, blueberries and raspberries). It's a quick and easy way to get a lot of protein, calcium, vitamin C and other good stuff in one glass. I've been meaning to try JK's version breakfast smoothie and finally got around to it this weekend. I pretty much used everything pictured above: 1 banana, 1 fuji apple cored, about a 1/2 inch piece of ginger peeled, 3 leaves of kale destemmed, a handful of frozen blueberries (instead of the strawberries which I just ate), a splash of carrot juice (forgot to buy real carrots), about 2 cups of almond milk and some flax seeds. It was quite good: refreshing and different; I'll be making it a few more times this week. It's perfect for this time of year as apples and kale are still in season; will have to figure out how to mix it up in a few weeks. Updated: I've made it a few more times this week and I like the addition of some greek yogurt to smooth it out a little bit and also a little wedge of lemon, peel and all. I also blend it through two cycles on the "smoothie" cycle on my Breville blender to puree it a little finer.
I also made a French Lemon Poppy Pound Cake from Joanne Chang's Flour Bakery cookbook for dessert today, as it was my dad's birthday. Since we were having quite a big meal with steak, roasted cauliflower with lemon and garlic, and grilled hearts of romaine, caesar salad style, I decided to keep dessert on the lighter side, as opposed to a traditional birthday cake. As with everything in her cookbook, it was excellent: fluffy super lemony, but nicely balanced with the texture and pop of the poppy seeds, and not too sweet. I think the key to keeping it light and fluffy is to beat the eggs and sugar together for a solid 5 minutes in a stand mixer, and then to carefully fold in the other ingredients but not overmix. The leftovers will be great toasted for breakfast with a healthy smoothie.

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