Saturday, August 8, 2009

Blueberry Yogurt Milkshake (Not a Smoothie!), Plus Goji Berries

July and early August are awesome because of blueberries. We have a lovely blueberry farm near our house that we can go to and pick our own organic blueberries for the prices of dirt-cheap and a couple of hours of hot, mosquito-ridden fun (which, unless you're a blueberry farmer, meaning you do this kind of crap every day, is actually fun... for a little while). The prices are unbeatable: something ridiculous like $0.60 a pound or something if you pick your own berries. Usually, we end up picking ten or twelve pounds over the course of the summer. The other day, my mom went and picked a bunch and froze all of the extras that she couldn't wolf down, and then she gave a quart of the frozen goodies to me. I realized the immense potential of this gift the second I remembered that I still have some leftover ice cream from my last milkshake experiment....

There's got to be some kind of subtle distinction that says when a blended drink ceases to be a (creamy) smoothie and when it starts to be a milkshake. For me, that distinction occurs exactly when ice cream comes into the picture. No ice cream: smoothie. Ice cream: milkshake. Unnecessarily complicated definitions need not apply. That's why this is called a yogurt milkshake. That way, I get that yogurt tang in my milkshake decadence. Yes! Basically, I used a "normal" blueberry milkshake kind of recipe and added yogurt to it. Whoa. Complex, I know. The result is delightfully good creamy purple wonderfulness:
It goes down like this (for two or three big glasses like this):

  • Three or four scoops of awesomely good vanilla ice cream;
  • Half a cup of plain (whole milk) yogurt;
  • About a cup of (whole) milk;
  • Half a cup of frozen (not necessary, but it keeps it colder) blueberries;
  • About a tablespoon of hippy sugar (evaporated cane juice or turbinado), or just use your own regular white sugar if you don't care about that kind of thing or use maple syrup (I'm out) if you want it to be really good.
Combine all of these ingredients in a blender and blend it until it's smooth, maybe a minute or two to really get the blueberries and ice cream destroyed and worked in. That's it. If you like it thicker and all of your ingredients are cold, you can add a little ice to it. I don't. I like being able to chug it, not giving myself brain damage and a bizarrely sore hard palate trying to suck it through a straw.

The milkshake pictured above actually has three other ingredients that I didn't mention. Secretly, I frequently work a little tonic herbalism into my cooking, and there are two other ingredients along those lines in this shake. One is powdered astragalus root (which I now put in most of my shakes) and the other is goji berries (wolfberries), both added before the blending. A third secret ingredient lurks inside this shake: whey protein concentrate, a scoop and a half of it, actually (30 g of protein worth). Why? It only barely modifies the flavor and gives 30 g of protein plus a slightly more "milkshaky" texture. I guess we could say that it lowers the guilt that these healthy ingredients are added, but I never feel guilt in drinking a milkshake anyway. I had three yesterday, in fact (two like this and then one classic chocolate malt)! Worried about my health? I train it off. No worries!

A deep question lingers, though... if I used frozen yogurt in place of ice cream in this recipe, is it a smoothie then? I dunno... but if I wanted it to be a smoothie, I'd have just replaced the ice cream with yogurt and maybe added some extra just to be on the safe side.

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