14 December 2019

Weekend Cooking: Smoothie Project by Catherine McCord

Review of Smoothie Project by Catherine McCordWhether you're a daily smoothie drinker or are new to smoothies, I bet you have some questions, like these:

  • Help! I'm in a smoothie rut and need more recipes.
  • Help! I'm new to smoothies and need some tips.
  • How do I prep ahead for a week's worth of smoothies?
  • Which ingredients will help me at my stage of life?
  • What kind of blender do I need?
  • What are the pros and cons of the different kinds of milks?
  • What are the benefits of specific add-ins?
Well, wonder and ask no more because Catherine McCord (from Weelicious) has all the answers in her new book, Smoothie Project (Abrams, Dec. 17).

I was particularly excited to receive a copy of this cookbook from the Abrams Dinner Party because I've been in a smoothie rut. Mr. BFR and I tend to make our same old favorite one or two on endless repeat. I needed to expand my horizons and discover new ingredients. Smoothie Project came through in spades on that score.

review of Smoothie Project by Catherine McCordFor example, I found recipes for fragrant smoothies (Carrot Orange Ginger), healing smoothies (Skin Brightener), tropical smoothies (Mango Spice), coffee-flavored smoothies (Awake), and indulgent smoothies (Chocolate Nut).

I was impressed not only with the variety of the flavor combinations but also with how easy McCord makes it to switch "add-ins" to fit your pantry, tastes, and needs. Each basic recipe includes a list of of what she calls "Optional Super Boosts," such as flavored protein powders and other nutritional powders, seeds, and oils.

The sections on how to use the freezer for prepping ingredients, how to pick a blender, and how to save a smoothie to drink later were clearly written and informative. I also appreciated the information about which smoothies and ingredients fit different age groups and health concerns.

review of Smoothie Project by Catherine McCordFor my first week with the cookbook, I primarily picked smoothies by flavor, color, and ingredients I already had on hand. The only thing I bought specifically for my recipes were frozen cauliflower and coconut water. Then I made substitutions as necessary.

The smoothies I tried were Pure Gold (mangoes and turmeric), Avo-Coco Kale (avocado, coconut, and kale), Vanilla Cinnamon Date Shake (almond butter and dates), Creamy Vanilla Shake (cauliflower and cashews), Blueberry Cherry Lemon, and Cherry Almond.

My smoothies also contained bananas, yogurt, coconut, flax seed, lime, almond milk, frozen cauliflower, and honey (not all of these in every smoothie, of course) as well as various spices.

review of Smoothie Project by Catherine McCord

All of the smoothies were tasty, but, naturally, I liked some better than others. For example, as much as I love avocado, I discovered that I didn't really love avocado in my drinks. The smoothie was fine, but I'm not sure I'd make it again. My favorites were the vanilla cinnamon date smoothie (recipe below) and the cherry almond smoothie (the far right just above).

Two additional notes: The recipes made slightly more than I wanted to drink in one sitting, but I simply saved the extra to drink later or Mr. BFR finished it off. I also found the drinks to be a little on the thick side, which was easily fixed by adding a little more almond milk (or called-for liquid).

Recommendation: If you're a smoothie fan or are planning to buy a new blender this holiday season, you need a copy of Catherine McCord's Smoothie Project. I discovered some new favorite drinks and have marked at least 20 (not exaggerating) more to try. Smoothies will never be boring again.

Vanilla Cinnamon Date Shake

review of Smoothie Project by Catherine McCordServes 1
BFR's Notes: this one was so good, I could barely stop myself from sipping while I was setting up the photo. Note that I omitted the hemp seeds, but that's just because I didn't have any in the house.
  • 1 fresh or frozen banana, peeled
  • 1/4 (33 g) frozen cauliflower florets
  • 2 dried, pitted dates
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/8 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds or flaxseed meal
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) almond milk or milk of choice
Combine all the ingredients in a blend and blend until smooth.
Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

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rhapsodyinbooks 12/14/19, 6:21 AM  

I should try smoothies. Sometimes I just want a milkshake, but I think a smoothie would work, and would be much better for me. The recipe you included sounds great!

gluten Free A_Z Blog 12/14/19, 7:40 AM  

Her smoothies sound delicious. It's nice to a variety of smoothie recipes all in one book. Sounds like a good gift. thanks

Tina 12/14/19, 7:52 AM  

That cinnamon date shake jumped out at me. I usually use the same old fruits but this would give me some cool new ideas.

bermudaonion 12/14/19, 8:20 AM  

I need to get this for our nephew - he makes a smoothie for breakfast every morning.

jama 12/14/19, 8:59 AM  

I need to look for this one at the library!

Jackie McGuinness 12/14/19, 9:28 AM  

John goes on smoothie kicks, so I have had a few! I like them if someone else is making them.

Anonymous,  12/14/19, 11:10 AM  

I'm new to smoothies but mainly because I never know what to put in them! Definitely going to look into this book.

Anika | chaptersofmay.com

Deb in Hawaii 12/14/19, 1:11 PM  

I am just starting to delve into this one--lots of good ideas and recipes! I am with you--as much as I adore my avocados i don't care much for them in shakes or smoothies. ;-)

Vicki 12/14/19, 5:34 PM  

I've never tried smoothies from home and I don't know why!

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 12/15/19, 1:10 PM  

I love the idea of smoothies, but never know what to put in them except for the same old banana and strawberries, I will be looking for this and thanks for posting the Date and Cinnamon Smoothie, a great place to start!
Melynda @ www.oursundaycafe.com

Aj @ Read All The Things! 12/15/19, 9:36 PM  

When I was in college, I used to drink smoothies every day for breakfast. My smoothies were always purple because of the blueberries. I don’t remember why I stopped drinking them. I probably got bored.

Aj @ Read All The Things!

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