Did you have a Snoopy Sno-Cone Maker when you were growing up? Did you add super-syrupy blends of Kool-Aid to the chunky ice? I did. There were also a lot of cola Icees, purple Slush Puppies, and orange snow balls in my childhood. Now, I haven't succumbed to a filling-station freezie for some time, but I have been known to brake for a "fresh fruit" slush during Sonic's happy hour. Though these drinks technically are vegan, they may contain artificial colors and flavors, copious amounts of corn syrup, and no nutritional value. And they usually come in Styrofoam cups, which I try to avoid.
Possessing a kitchen equipped with a blender, an ice-maker, and a well-stocked produce drawer, I decided that my next frosty beverage would be a DIY job. The sweet-and-sour flavor components would be fresh pineapple, agave nectar and fresh lime juice. Mint's already up in the backyard, thanks to our balmy spell of June-like heat, so that goes into the mix. And because you can never have enough greens, in goes a handful of watercress, as well.
Wait a second... how did watercress sneak into my sweet treat? Well, it turns out that the blended bevvie is a delicious way to mitigate the bitterness and toughness of raw greens, making it easer to include more of them in your daily intake (or your family's). Start with a handful and see if anyone notices a difference in flavor (if they wonder about the hue, tell them it's from kiwifruit). If you've never tried adding greens to your smoothies, you may be shocked at how easy it is to add a nutritional bonus to your diet.
Since I don't have (nor want) a dedicated home slushie machine, I chucked it all into my blender with a lot of ice and a splash of water. The goal was a drinkable, icy consistency rather than a thick smoothie, so the bananas stayed in the freezer. Puréed for a few moments and voilà: a zippy green drink that's capable of giving you a brainfreeze. And, if you add alcohol, a hangover. I recommend sipping this slush through a fat straw, such as the bubble tea straws found at Asian grocery stores or the borosilicate straws that have taken blogosphere by storm. Google it.
Call it a slushie, a mocktail, or a frozen libation, I prefer to think of it as the beginning. Other combinations in my head include lemon-strawberry-basil, lime-mango-cilantro, and lemon-blueberry-thyme. So grab your blender and chill.
makes 32 ounces
- 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
- 1/2 cup squeezed lime juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1 handful watercress with stems
- 6 mint leaves
- 2 cups ice
- 6 ounces cold water
- mint sprigs to garnish
- blender with ice-crushing ability
- fat drinking straws
- Add all ingredients to blender. Process according to manufacturer's directions.
- Divide among two large glasses or four small ones. Garnish with mint sprigs and serve with fat drinking straws.