You may know Carolyn Cope as Umami Girl. She stops by on Tuesdays with ideas on preparing fruits and vegetables. —The Mgmt.
Along with coffee, avocados, and lemons, bananas are one of the top reasons I could never really be a locavore. Although we've worked pretty hard over the past few years to have most of our produce, meat, and dairy come from close by, certain foods are just too good to live without. Bananas, for one, are great for plugging a noisy baby's pie hole, reviving you from the brink of expiration after exercise, baking, ice-creaming, and slicing onto The Elvis. How could you give up all that for mere principle?
Soy milk, on the other hand, is not one of my top reasons for anything. It barely makes my list of top nondairy creamers. Back before the American Processed Foods People sweetened and emulsified it, I didn't have to think past the fact that soy milk tasted like Oh! God! No! to know how I felt about it. Now that it tastes pretty passable in iced coffee, my objections focus on the fact that it's more of a junk food than a milk. Nothing makes a parent stop and reflect on the state of our food system like trying to explain to a five year old how and why we would milk an edamame.
Still, a few years ago, we ended up with half a small carton of vanilla soy milk in our fridge. Never one to let an edamame die in vain, I set out to polish it off. The Banana Peanut Butter Smoothies that resulted were popular enough that, I must admit, we've sometimes bought soy milk on purpose since. They're a tasty quick breakfast or after-school snack which, while not perfect, pack a decent nutritional punch as well.
Banana Peanut Butter Smoothies
- 1 cup vanilla soy milk
- 1 large ripe banana, broken into chunks
- 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- A handful of ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in a blender and purée until very smooth. Serve immediately.