Play it Smooth, Keep it Local

Alex Palzewicz, Health, Recipes, Upper Peninsula

Here we are already in July, and the temperatures are finally feeling like summer here in the UP. June gave growers a slow start, but now we’ve had day after day of warm weather and the occasional thunderstorm, meaning the diversity at the farmers market is growing and growing.

So, how do I recommend Michiganders beat the summer heat? Play it smooth, smoothie that is.

I remember the first time I used a professional grade blender in a professional kitchen in back in Seattle. From salad dressings to curry paste, it felt like 75% of the recipes had me using the Vitamix. A blender is a crucial tool in any kitchen – and one of your best friends when it comes to utilizing the most out of local food. 

I think the reason I like smoothies so much is because at the end of the day, the recipe doesn’t need to be exact! The recipes below are meant to inspire you, but feel free to be creative! A smoothie is essentially a liquid, a base and a chill factor. I often don’t even measure anymore, using my instincts to get me to a final product. 

The following are a few great local smoothie suggestions, but use them as guides and be creative! You know what you like from flavor to consistency of your smoothie. Maybe you add ice or frozen fruit, maybe you like thin. Maybe you are veggie heavy, maybe it’s all about the fruit. Happy blending! 

Bluebeet

High in antioxidants, and tons of other great health benefits, this smoothie is simple prep and bold in color. The sweet of the berries balances out the healthiness of the greens making it the perfect tool to getting the most of this months local produce selection.

1 Pint Blueberries
1 Bunch Beet Greens
1 Cup Coconut Milk
3 Tbsp Maple Syrup

Pick Me Up

And owed to all the questions about U-Pick Berry Farms here in the UP that I’ve already gotten this season. During the hot spurts, I always make cold brew coffee, or just make normal coffee ahead of time and ice to combat warm summer days. Coffee is also a great liquid to use with your favorite local ice cream to make a fun weekend brunch treat. 

6-10 Strawberries
½ Cup Iced Local Coffee
½ Cup Coconut Milk 
1 Fair Trade Banana
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup 

Frozen Summer Cocktail

Because on the farm last summer, there was nothing better than a frozen cocktail at the end of a busy and hot day in the field. Another favorite was when the two peach trees in the hoop house produced delicious gifts, pair that with my housemade pineapple weed syrup, lime and ice. Cheers!

1 Pint Mixed Berries (Raspberries, Blueberries, Strawberries) 
2 Tbsp Honey
Juice of Two Limes 
1 Can of Flavored Sparkling Water (flavor of your choice, mine is mango)  
2 Cups Ice
3 oz. of your favorite Local Vodka or Gin (I use Straits Gin from Les Cheneaux Distillers

Alex Palzewicz is the Upper Peninsula Local Food Coordinator for Taste the Local Difference and felt like a true adult when she bought her first blendor. She wants to know what your favorite summer smoothie recipe is, send her an email: alex@localdifference.org 

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