After looking into the honeybee colony collapse problem a bit more, I was saddened to find that most of the ingredients in my favorite smoothie recipe are threatened by this situation. In fact, four of the top ten crops that would disappear without honeybees are represented in my smoothie! Blueberries, cherries, almonds and avocados are as American as apple pie (apples being another top ten crop). Declining bee populations would not only endanger some of our favorite American food staples, but also impact world food prices.
For example: Around 80% of the world's almond supply comes from California, requiring about half of the honeybee population in the US for pollination each year. Almond crops are completely dependent on honeybees for pollination. Being California's top agricultural export, most almond crops are destined for places in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Honeybees are also responsible for pollinating 90% of blueberry, cherry and avocado crops in the US. The combined value of just these 4 crops alone is well into the BILLION$. Colony collapse disorder (which is a worldwide problem, not just an American one) will not only lead to the continued increase in world food prices, but compromise so many of our favorite recipes. I, for one, will be doing what I can to help save the bees. Check this out if you'd like to help, too.
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
• 1-1/2 to 2 cups frozen fruit (I use one frozen sliced–up banana plus either a frozen berry medley that contains blueberries/blackberries/raspberries or a very cherry berry blend that also includes cherries
• 1/2 of an avocado (peeled, flesh removed from pit and cut into chunks)
• 2 tablespoons raw, unsalted almond butter (creamy or crunchy)
• 1 tablespoon ground flax (the one I use also contains dried blueberries)
• 1 scoop of vanilla-flavored whey powder
• 1-1/2 to 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
• Optional: fresh berries or mint leaves for garnish
Step 2: Add Your Solid Ingredients
Place first six ingredients in a blender jar in the order they are listed (blends together more smoothly and keeps almond butter from sticking to jar when done this way)
Step 3: Add Your Liquid Ingredient
Pour enough almond milk into the jar to just barely cover the solid ingredients (Note: if you prefer a thicker smoothie, use less almond milk)
Step 4: Start Pulsing and Blending
Pulse until the big chunks of frozen fruit have broken down, then switch to smoothie mode (or a higher blending speed) and continue blending until desired consistency is achieved
Step 5: Pour, Garnish and Enjoy!
Pour into serving glasses and garnish with berries or mint leaves if you like
(Note: this will make enough for 2 large servings)
Now, go outside and raise your glass to toast the bees who deserve the credit for producing the ingredients in this deliciously healthy smoothie!