Think Pink

think pink1On this February afternoon two friends are catching up over blended pink drinks. We're in Boston where winter lasts well into April. There is no snow today and the sun is shining but it's cold. We're talking about healthy things that taste good and are easy to make.

We've been working kitchens together longer than we can remember. It started in 4th floor walk-ups across the hall from each other where dinner for seven meant peas, corn and salad with home-made chili, spaghetti with broccoli and garlic bread. We moved on to sharing secrets for perfect matzo balls (don't potchke), cheese plates at the Wine School, salad dressing, brining turkeys and what to serve at the Christmas block party.

Like our hair, our tastes have changed. We nix meat and dairy and drink more red wine. Our mid-day favors drinks whipped in a blender. When I found it last spring, the blender hadn't been used since the last time I crushed ice. That's when I learned that vegetables can be imbibed.

Of course, we use fruit too and Health Coach Barbara Hebert's been sharing recipes with me. Today we're working red fruit variations that speak to Valentine's Day and heart health.

Before you start:

Use fresh ripe fruit (frozen is okay too)
Almond milk is a low-fat dairy substitute
Ditto plain yogurt
Nix the sugar
Make enough to share
Lean to small batches to be used within 24 hours
Watch your colors. It may taste good but brown works best when you're in a bar.

Cherries in the Snow

2/3 cup frozen sweet cherries
1/2 cup almond milk, vanilla, unsweetened
1/4 cup chopped raw red cabbage
1/2 cup frozen peaches
1 tablespoon protein powder

Blend thoroughly, pour into a Downton Abbey glass, garnish with cherries, feel like Lady Grantham. Yes, you taste an edge of cabbage but it is fruit forward. Why raw cabbage? Vitamins K & C, fiber and 28 calories per cup. Makes one glass.

Berry Berry Surprised

1/2 cup frozen strawberries
2/3 cup yogurt, plain, low fat, organic
1/4 cup chopped raw red cabbage
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 Cup blueberries - in place of strawberries
1 tablespoon protein powder

Blend mixture for longer than you think. Garnish with berries. Yogurt provides active cultures. Makes one glass.

Informal taste tests awarded cherries, peaches, almond milk and red cabbage first in show. It also rates in anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. We agree that anything with dark juicy cherries in winter is a treat. See more about Barbara @ Healthy-Impact.

Kitty Kaufman is a Boston writer. You can read about her food adventures at Corporate Edge.