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I read a friend’s blog post when I was up entirely too late last night. She’s looking for things to make with the many apples she just picked, so I figured it’s high time I write a post about my husband’s morning smoothie specialty.

We pick loads of apples and blueberries while they’re in season so we have enough to last for a year of smoothies. We core and slice the apples, spread the slices out on cookie trays, and freeze them before vacuum sealing. I hear storing in Ziploc bags works great too, they just might get freezer burn faster.

Last year we picked 38 pounds of blueberries and they only lasted until early spring. So this year we picked 52 pounds with the help of a friend in hopes they’ll last until next July when blueberries are in season again.

Sounds excessive, I know. But you haven’t tried Ben’s Smoothie Delight yet.

By the time I met him, Ben had perfected a smoothie recipe to cover as many health bases as possible – carbohydrates, protein, laxatives, antioxidants, omega-3s, vitamins, and so on.

Here’s what he came up with, slightly modified from the original recipe shared by a friend in Tennessee (when it says tablespoon, it literally means a table spoon – the big ones that come in sets of flatware).

Ben’s Smoothie Delight

  • 8 oz milk
  • 1 heaping tablespoon protein powder (or a couple scoops)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1 handful spinach (15-20 baby leaves)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter (the kind without hydrogenated oil)
  • 1 tablespoon almonds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 banana
  • 1 male sized handful of blueberries (2 female sized handfuls)

Put everything in the blender in an order similar to that listed above (to help with pureeing) and blend for a couple minutes until all the chunks are gone. I like to start on the slowest speed to make sure every vegetable chunk gets caught in the blades (I hate when my last sip includes a carrot chunk), then bump it up to medium speed while I start cleaning up, and high speed for the last minute or so.

That’s the smoothie base we built on after we got married. When I came into the picture, I started messing with the recipe a bit – Ben would probably tell you I did this with most areas of his life.

I added apple slices to the mix because I didn’t always want a full banana and needed a substitute thickener – not to mention I’ll take whatever help I can get keeping the doctor away.

I figure I have enough fats in my life, so I eliminated the olive oil and added a bit more flax seed.  And if the smoothie wasn’t as thick as I’d like it, I threw in a handful of granola.

When we ran out of blueberries last year, I tried strawberries instead. And the plethora of peaches last month? Yep – I threw those in for a delicious strawberry peach smoothie (sans banana and blueberries).

At some point we agreed it would be good to have more probiotics in the smoothie, so we now add a couple spoonfuls of vanilla yogurt too.

And once I realized the deliciousness of the fruit hides the taste of spinach, I started experimenting with other extras in the fridge. Bits of cauliflower, carrots, and celery have been known to make it into my smoothies and go untasted.

Is it starting to make more sense why we picked 52 pounds of blueberries this year?

Organic blueberries at Fred Meyer currently cost $9.30 a pound ($6.66 for non-organic). We picked most of ours for $1.50 a pound, and the rest for $0.50 a pound (!!) at the end of the season, totaling $66. So we potentially saved more than $400 and had an incredible view to boot!

In case it’s helpful – my go-to spot for blueberries is Nelson’s Blueberry Farm in Hood River, Oregon. This is where we got the amazing prices and view of Mt. Hood. Plus Nelson is really friendly and laid back.

Kiyokawa Family Orchards, also in Hood River, is my preferred apple picking spot.

To summarize all the modifications described above, here’s my rendition of Ben’s Smoothie Delight…

Halley’s Rendition of Ben’s Smoothie Delight

  • 8 oz milk
  • 1 heaping tablespoon protein powder (or a couple scoops)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1 handful spinach (15-20 baby leaves)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter (the kind without hydrogenated oil)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon almonds
  • ½ – 1 banana and/or ½ – 1 sliced apple
  • 1 male sized handful of blueberries (2 female sized handfuls) or half as many strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon sliced carrot, 2 cauliflower florettes, ½ tablespoon sliced celery, and/or other mild vegetable bits
  • granola as desired to thicken, one spoonful at a time

I guess I really have made life more complicated for Ben. But more delicious in my opinion too!

Enjoy – hopefully you’ll be licking the sides of your cup like we do.

Let me know if you come up with any good renditions.

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