Monday, August 17, 2015

Cucumber Citrus Breakfast Crush

If you have tried and liked Prevention Magazine's original cucumber-lemon Sassy Water recipe floating around the internet, then you will enjoy this blended wake-up version. I buy lemons and cucumbers when they are on sale. I give the cucumbers a quick, three-sided partial peel, so they have a variegated look. I then crinkle-slice the lemons and cucumbers and freeze them on cookie sheets. Once they are frozen, I bag the slices separately to use in smoothies.

Last week, cucumbers were six for a dollar at Food City, and each one weighed almost two pounds, so I wound up with close to twelve pounds of cucumbers for less than the price of a jar of store-bought pickles. Lemons were $2.99 a bag at Sam's Club, 10 to a bag, with nearly unblemished skins. I sliced and froze them all right away. I did not have any ginger in the house, so I stopped at Haji Baba to buy a jar of minced ginger paste for $5.99, a way better deal than I could have gotten on the same weight of fresh ginger.

Start by placing two frozen orange slices and five frozen lemon slices in the blender jar. Fill the blender three inches from the top with frozen cucumber slices. Add a tablespoon of dried mint and two teaspoons of ginger paste. Add 1/4 cup honey or one large, ripe frozen banana (or substitute your preferred sweetener). Fill the jar with 100 percent apple juice until even with the sliced fruit and cucumber but at least one inch below the top of the blender jar. Put the cover on the blender and hold gently to ensure that it does not get pushed up while you pulse everything two or three seconds at a time until the majority of the fruit and cucumbers disappear into the liquid. Stop the blender, remove the top and use a wooden spoon or rubber scraper to push any large bits down into the blender jar.

Start pulsing again until you are sure that all the solids have shredded. Hold the pulse button down and grind the contents until you no longer see any large, green flakes of mint or cucumber skin. Serve right away. Makes two 24-ounce smoothies.

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