Mulberry Smoothie

So, I had my darling sister Arwen over for dinner who is, of course, a coeliac. Me having a savoury tooth, I had a fabulous dinner planned, but kind of forgot about the whole dessert side of things. This meant that when the moment came I simply had to grab what was on hand and invent something that was also gluten free.  Luckily I had a mulberry tree on hand. A fruiting one, no less! We’d spent some of the afternoon picking mulberries for the purpose of stewing and freezing and pie making and other delightful culinary pursuits, so it swiftly came to mind. I decided on a smoothie, since it was a hot night and they’re easy to whip up quickly with not many ingredients.

Mulberries

Mulberries

Mulberries are better known for their role in providing food for silkworms, but as a fruit they are quite delicious and easy to grow. The fruit look some what like black berries, but are much sweeter, and they have the massive advantage of NOT growing in the middle of a bramble bush imitating an incompetent acupuncturist. The trees can get quite big and are heavy fruiting, but you will lose a significant portion of the crop to birds and other back yard denizens. None the less, you should get a fair amount of fruit as long as you remember to pick them. They fruit seasonally and in bulk but the fruit handles freezing pretty well.  The tree seems to be reasonably drought tolerant once established (ours is anyway).

The ingredients

The ingredients

I kept it simple, only using 4 ingredients. The big problem is that when I usually make smoothies I put in a hefty spoonful or two of malt. Malt is in practically everything sweet and is part of what makes things tasty. Unfortunately it is also derived from barley which means it isn’t coeliac friendly, so I needed something else. I decided to try using maple syrup, since it has a distinctive flavour that I thought would complement the mulberries. So I started by throwing some mulberries (about 3 handfuls) and a hefty slosh of maple syrup (2 or so tablesppoons) in the blender. I gave it a quick whizz until the berries where smoothish, and then I sloshed in a bit of milk (mostly for lubrication) and then four or five scoops of icecream. Once it was blended smooth, I slopped it out into glasses. After tasting, I put in a few whole mulberries which added a bit more bite. It came out smooth and sweet, and the mulberry and maple syrup did work quite well. The whole mulberries in it were a nice addition, both because they looked good before they sank and they added texture and bursts of tartness. I don’t think Arwen minded that I hadn’t planned dessert.

The Smoothies

The Smoothies

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5 thoughts on “Mulberry Smoothie

  1. Malt tastes good because when things are ‘malted’ it frees the naturally occuring glutamic acid. Glutamic acid is normally part of a whole protein, when it occurs naturally, and is not harmful. However when you free it from its protein it becomes ‘free glutamic acid’. This free glutamic acid is what makes MSG harmful. When adding it to food, it creates unnaturally high levels in the blood that can (potentially) get past the blood-brain barrier. It tastes great, because it is an exito-toxin. It creates a ‘high’ in the brain by overstimulating the neurons. Unfortunately they overheat and self-destruct. The reason I am pointing this out is because smoothies taste excellent without this ingredient. When I make a smoothie, I use plain yogurt. Depending on the fruit I am eating, I often then add a tablespoon or two of honey. yum

    • I am well aware you can make delicious smoothies without malt. Indeed, when making them for Arwen the coeliac I have to leave out the malt. Since it’s a naturally occurring substance with a long history of consumption I’m not all that worried. I mean, I’m eating a smoothie full of sugar and icecream.

      • Lol that’s true. I personally wouldn’t make it a staple tho. I make a smoothie just about every day, so I use them as a health food. Mulberry banana is my favorite- just a banana, a generous helping of mulberries, and a cup of plain yogurt. A bit of water for consistency. I love mulberries! The tree outside my parents house grows me organic berries for free. 🙂 Don’t have to pay an arm and a leg. They are also high in resveratrol! But since the mulberry smoothie is all fruit, I more often make my favorite green smoothie- mango spinach. One mango, two cups of spinach, a cup of yogurt, and a tablespoon or two of honey. How weird that you cant taste the spinach- all it seems to add is color and texture. I always buy my berries and my spinach organic. The berries I don’t use often for that reason. I could never afford to use them every day. But mangoes are one of the clean 15! (No pesticide residue) Gotta love it. The spinach I buy organic because it has more nutrients that way, and although I love spinach, the main reason I buy it is because it is so healthy!

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